2012 Boston Red Sox: Timeline Of Turmoil
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BOSTON (CBS) — The Boston Red Sox’ season has been going on for 118 games over more than four months, and here is a comprehensive list of all the positive things that have come from it: Will Middlebrooks, Fenway’s farewell to Kevin Youkilis, Pedro Ciriaco, Cody Ross. That’s pretty much it, right?
But the negatives? We’re going to need a bit more space for those. Let’s not waste any more time and run through all of the disappointments of the season. For the sake of decency, we’ll skip the offseason and spring training, and as a reminder, there’s still a month and a half to go in this season.
April 5-8: Red Sox get swept in opening series in Detroit. Josh Beckett serves up five homers in 4.2 innings on Saturday, and the Red Sox blow a 10-7 lead in the ninth inning and a 12-10 lead in the 11th inning to lose on Sunday. Alfredo Aceves leaves Detroit with an ERA of infinity.
April 13: Jacoby Ellsbury, fresh off an MVP-caliber season, has Reid Brignac fall on his shoulder. Ellsbury would miss the next three months.
April 15: After sweeping the Tampa Bay Rays, Valentine publicly questions Kevin Youkilis’ effort and commitment to baseball. The story becomes an early-season distraction. Dustin Pedroia responds by telling the media, “That’s not the way we go about our stuff around here, I’m sure [Valentine will] figure that out soon.”
April 20: The Red Sox host a grand celebration in honor of Fenway Park’s 100th birthday celebration, but the team loses 6-2 to the Yankees.
April 21: The Sox blow a 9-0 lead over the Yankees after five innings and eventually lose 15-9. Valentine calls it “rock bottom.”
April 21: Red Sox acquire Marlon Byrd, who had been hitting .070 for the Cubs. He’d go on to hit .270 with the Red Sox before he was released in June, and he was later suspended for testing positive for PEDs.
April 25: Bobby Valentine admits that he didn’t know opposing pitcher Liam Hendriks was a righty, so he drew up his original lineup as though the pitcher was a lefty. Valentine said it was Jarrod Saltalamacchia who alerted him to the mistake.
May 1-May 10: The Sox lose eight of nine games to the A’s, Orioles and Royals, falling to 12-19 on the season. This stretch came after the team had won seven of eight, got its record to .500 and had appeared to “turn the corner.”
May 4: Boston Globe investigates Fenway Park’s “sellout streak” and reveals it to be a “distribution streak” in which not every seat is sold.
May 6: In a 17-inning game against the Orioles, Adrian Gonzalez steps in to bat against designated hitter/first baseman Chris Davis, who was pitching in an emergency role. Gonzalez strikes out on three pitches. The Sox lose 9-6.
May 10: Josh Beckett allows 7 ER in 2.1 IP. He then refuses to apologize after the game for golfing while injured, and he delivers the now-infamous “we only get 18 off days a year” message. Also, a fan wearing a paper bag on his head becomes a national sensation as a representative of the Red Sox fan base.
May 22: David Ortiz responds to questions about a players-only meeting he called a week earlier with a profanity-filled rant about how he doesn’t get respected.
May 23: Following a win over Baltimore, Valentine reveals to the media that backup catcher Kelly Shoppach complained to the manager about playing time during a hot stretch by Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
June 3: Daniel Bard lasts just 1.2 innings in Toronto, in which he allowed five earned runs while hitting two batters and walking six. He’s yet to return to the big leagues.
June 17: ESPN’s Buster Olney reports the Red Sox have a “toxic” clubhouse. It becomes a major story line (and distraction) for at least a week.
June 21: David Ortiz says he’s not having fun and says Boston is “becoming to be the [expletive] hole that it used to be.”
June 21: Another report surfaces, saying that several players do not like their manager and that one player even “openly challenged” Valentine.
July 4: David Ortiz says that his offseason contract negotiations were “humiliating” and “embarrassing,” hinting that some of his teammates were given long-term, big-money contracts that he feels he deserves himself.
July 6-8: The Sox lose three of four to Yankees, head into All-Star break in last place, 9.5 games out of first place.
July 13: Larry Lucchino sends a rallying email to season ticket holders, promoting “the cheerful Cody Ross, the friendly Mike Aviles, and the inspiring story of Daniel Nava.”
July 16: David Ortiz suffers an Achilles injury, but it’s believed to be a minor tweak that will keep him out of the lineup for a week at most. One month later, Ortiz remains unable to work out pain-free and out of the lineup indefinitely.
July 22: Jon Lester allows 11 earned runs in four innings in a 15-7 loss to the Blue Jays, continuing an awful season for the former ace.
July 28: Former manager Terry Francona spends quite a bit of time in the Red Sox’ clubhouse prior to a game in New York. Francona was chatting it up with old friends while Valentine remained in his office. Francona later sent an apology text to Valentine.
July 30: Ryan Sweeney, a rumored trade piece for the Sox, breaks his hand punching a door.
Aug. 2-4: Red Sox lose three straight to Minnesota Twins, including a three-run, game-winning homer from Joe Mauer after Pedro Ciriaco’s pinch-hit homer gave the Sox the lead in the eighth inning.
Aug. 6: Amid media speculation that Bobby Valentine’s job is in jeopardy, John Henry and Ben Cherington feel compelled to publicly offer their vote of confidence to the manager.
Aug. 10: A report surfaces of the injured John Lackey “double-fisting” beers in the Red Sox clubhouse. While this wasn’t technically a violation of the team’s clubhouse alcohol ban, it set off a media firestorm that lasted several days.
Aug. 10: Will Middlebrooks breaks his wrist when he’s hit by a pitch, ending a superb rookie season and eliminating one of the few feel-good stories from the Sox this season.
Aug. 14: Yahoo! story reports of attempted mutiny in late July, with Pedroia and Gonzalez leading a meeting with ownership saying some players no longer wanted to play for Valentine. The players, owners and manager all denied that the message of the meeting was to get Valentine fired, but nobody denied that the meetings took place.