Shaughnessy: ‘Greatest Collapse In History Of Baseball’

BOSTON (CBS) – Even veteran Boston Globe sports columnist and 98.5 The Sports Hub contributor Dan Shaughnessy didn’t see this coming.

“I think the Rays are not going to win tonight. I think the one thing that we’ve eliminated tonight is the Red Sox season is not going to end tonight; they live to play another day. The Rays are not going to come back from 7-0 with an inning and a half to go,” he said on NESN late Wednesday night as the Red Sox appeared to be closing in on a playoff berth.

Then the Sox collapsed and the season was over in just minutes.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Joe Mathieu talks to Shaughnessy

“It’s really hard to get your head around, that all the things (that) could happen did,” Shaughnessy told WBZ NewsRadio 1030 Thursday.

“They were on their way to winning the game and that was kind of narrow. The Yankees were thrashing the Rays.”

“When Tampa’s behind 7-nothing in the eighth, at least one thing you know is that the Sox are going to live to play another day and, worst case, be in a one game playoff with Tampa.”

“And then to have all that stuff just unravel after a rain delay in the midnight hour, it’s pretty bizarre.”

So what happened in September?

“It’s really spread around. I mean there were some injuries but nothing extraordinary like in 2010 which really did blow up their season,” Shaughnessy said.

“This was about under-performance, particularly the high-priced free agents that they brought in, i.e. Carl Crawford, John Lackey, the big-ticket guys in the last two years.”

“Even a guy like Adrian Gonzalez was not nearly as productive in the second half of the season. He still hit a very high average, but (he) just wasn’t having (an) impact on games.”

“Youkilis getting hurt at the end definitely was a blow.”

Read: Collapse Will Stick With Sox

“Something got them every night it seemed. They lost 20 of the last 27 games and it’s the greatest collapse in the history of baseball.”

“No team’s ever had a nine-game lead in September and not made the post-season.”

Read: Worst Choke Ever?

So what’s next?

“I think we’ve seen the last of Terry Francona. I’m not sure that’s fair. I just think that this has run its course.”

”Their pitching coach Curt Young probably is vulnerable. Theo (Epstein) will probably be encouraged to go talk to the Cubs if he wants to. They have sort of a standing offer with him.”

“And then people like Tim Wakefield, Jason Varitek, J.D. Drew, they’re probably all gone. David Ortiz and Jon Papelbon have contracts up and that’ll be an interesting signing season.”

“The core of the team sticks around and tries to recover from this and move forward next spring.”

And what about John Lackey, who didn’t endear himself to fans this season and then reportedly filed from divorce from his wife as she battles breast cancer?

“He keeps getting the ball as long as he’s here, that’s the way I see it, because they’re paying him a lot,” Shaughnessy said.

“He’s got some major making up to do throughout the region in a lot of areas and that’s going to be a challenge to him on and off the field.”

  • Don Smith

    I’ve been a season ticket holder (4 tickets) since 1966. I’m Done!

  • Chris Ross

    What an unbelievable collapse from the Red Sox. I can say honestly that throughout this whole thing I never thought that the Red Sox would actually do it. I thought it would be great if it could happen but just couldn’t believe that it ever would. What a day for baseball. A year with no races turned into a year with unbelievable races on both sides. Jonthan Papelbon with a blown save and Evan Longoria with a walk-off homer. Two major players in each franchise playing huge roles in the end result. It don’t get much better than that. This is what Major League Baseball is all about!

  • joe shmow

    be happy , they still play in America’s most beloved ballpark – says John Henry I am a billioare who charges you 12 bucks for a small roast beef sandwich and 5 for a weiner- be happy you ingrates.

  • Joe

    As I watched the game wiht my son and expained the several possible scenarios, I stated the BEST one of all was that it just keeps on raining in Baltimore!

  • Emmit066

    This is just more ammo for Yankees fans to go and throw in the face of Sox fans. Is this the beginning of the slump/drought that we had to endure for 86 years, who knows. I know that as a Red Sox fan I am disgusted with the team right now. For the amount of money that these guys are getting paid, they sure aren’t performing to their potential. Carl, you don’t have to try & swing for the Monster every singe at bat. Lackey is a mediocre pitcher at best and a far below average pitcher at worst as he’s displayed this season with his worst ERA in the Majors. Anytime he pitches, I count it as an almost guaranteed loss.

    Maybe it’s time for a change. Something has got to give here in Boston. There’s blood in the water & the sharks/fans are circling. We’re all looking for some answers as to how in the heck this could have happened. Are the players too soft now, who knows. Only time & next season will tell. To the members of the 2012 Red Sox team, we will not have forgotten about what happened in 2011 and will be looking at you to rectify the situation. It’s going to be a heavy burden to carry so start working out now.

    • FireGuyFrank

      If Yankees fans want to throw this in our face, I would remind them of 2004. NO team in Major League Baseball EVER coughed up a 3-games to none lead in a best of seven series — EVER!

      This was bad, but it needed to happen. This team needs an overhaul on many levels.

    • roger

      I have been saying it for years. The reason for this colaspe is so obvious. The best player on any team has to be the manager. Terry Francona has shown many times he does not know hoe to motivate his players. You think this past september was the only one. Every september the sox do bad. Put the blame on Terry Francona. Thank God for the Red Sox he is gone. It will be interesting to see where he winds up.

  • George Steinbrenner

    Does anybody seriously think they would have beaten anybody in the playoffs? They struggled with Baltimore down the stretch, how could they possibly beat a playoff team. To bad the owners and all the greedy parking lot owners will no longer be able to dig deep into peoples wallets.

  • BH

    I’m glad this happened. Now maybe the organization could really shake things up and have some heads roll starting with Franconia. An dthen bring ticket anc consession stand prices to a more affordable level for the average joe to enjoy a game.

  • nighthawk

    Sure, its mostly the players fault, but who’s responsible for the players ? Theo and Tito !! Theo has “wasted” more money on players than any other GM in history ! Tito, although, seemingly a very nice guy, is a terrible technical manager. Theo needs to put his gorilla costume back on and take a hike, and Tito needs to start checking the classifies !!



  • Ed dracut

    Who cares move on. It’s over writing about it won’t change what happend.

  • rocky Stallone

    Blame the whole team. The month of September was filled with miscues too long to list here. Stupid errors, stupid base runner blunders, stupid fielding errors….all reminded me of a little league team and not highly paid professional athletes……Just look at all the base runing miscues last night and how many got thrown out trying to steal 2nd???? Regroup, start over and move on…….the writing was on the wall September 15th and many us knew but didn’t want to admit it.

  • jaygee

    As usual, Dan has it 100% correct. We are very fortunate to have one of the best sports writers in the country. As far as this overpaid and underachieving team goes, who cares, they didn’t deserve to be in the play-offs anyway. One thing that hasn’t been brought up (I don’t think) is the question as to whether the Yankees simply let them win. I wouldn’t be surprised since Boston had a very good record against them. If they did pull such a stunt, good for them.

  • Ed Keenan

    Written by a guy nicknamed SHANK…………..guess why?………………THe sox need a compltere BLOWUP

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