Occupied

I will be the first to admit that 26 games is a small sample size.  With 136 to go, anything can happen.  But one thing seems to be apparent so far in 2012, and that is the Red Sox are clearly part of the “Occupy” movement.

The Red Sox, it seems, have bought into the idea that it is their job to Occupy Last Place.  At 11-15, and just a 4-9 record at home, the Red Sox have given very little indication thus far that they intend to do little else but bring up the rear.  Now, I could be way off and they can get on a hot streak, but, outside of a 6 game winning streak against the Twins and White Sox, they have been inconsistent at best.

In the early going, the bullpen had trouble recording a single out.  Now that they have rectified that issue for now, the starting staff has become mostly invisible.  As has the offense.  Not a good combination if you want to win games.

Bobby Valentine has shown that he is overmatched.  Either a decade away from MLB or the scrutiny of being in Boston has shown him to be underprepared.  The biggest area of concern is his handling of the starters, although his bullpen management has not been much better.  The first real clue that he Valentine may be in over his head was the Patriots’ Day game against Tampa when he left Daniel Bard in a hitter or two too long, and Bard lost the strike zone, and walked home the only run of the game.  The Yankee debacle on April 28 showcased the issues even more, and on national TV.

If the Red Sox are going to do anything other than occupy last place this year, they need to get things turned around quick.  They are already 7 games out.  They will have to choose between taking on the personality of Dustin Pedroia and hustle and show they care, or taking on the personality of Adrian Gonzalez, and show no hustle at all (watch Gonzalez “run out” a ground ball, it is like he cannot be bothered to give 90 feet of effort).

It is shaping up to be a long, hot summer in the Fens.  Will the Sox heat up as temperatures rise, or will they melt and be an after-thought?

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