Now that everyone has had their opportunity to weigh in on the Boston Globe article ripping apart the Sox (including me), let's do what bad journalists do and make some blind guesses - in this case, who the Globe's "unnamed sources" might be.
Every good scandalous story has "unnamed sources", acquired in one of two ways - completely made up, or from people close to the situation who didn't want to be named because they were concerned they'd
get their ass kicked lose their job. Directly from the Globe article:
This article is based on a series of interviews the Globe conducted with individuals familiar with the Sox operation at all levels. Most requested anonymity out of concern for their jobs or potential damage to their relationships in the organization. Others refused to comment or did not respond to interview requests.
So this could be anyone from a batboy or a clubhouse manager to, say, the President/CEO. Someone online mentioned that the best way to get a good guess as to who "unnamed sources" are is to see who comes out of an article like this untouched or even looking good. So let's see who does, just by looking down the roster:
- Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, John Lackey, Tim Wakefield, Jason Varitek, Kevin Youkilis, Adrian Gonzalez, Bobby Jenks, Clay Buchholz, and Carl Crawford are mentioned in a negative light.
- Jacoby Ellsbury and David Ortiz receive both negative and positive comments.
- Dustin Pedroia is the only player mentioned consistently positively, although Alfredo Aceves and Jonathan Papelbon also receive some praise for hard work.
Your initial thought is Pedroia, which is possible, but Boston (and national) media have fallen all over Pedroia in the past, so that doesn't necessarily mean anything.
Let's look at some possibilities:
- Jarrod Saltalamacchia - The negative comments about team captain Varitek were surprising to say the least, and it's possible that there could have been some bitterness between the old veteran and the young player taking over his role. Saltalamacchia could also have harbored some bitterness after being benched during the final two games for minor league catcher Ryan Lavarnway. Random Flash Fact - Sox record for their last 15 games with Varitek catching: 3-2. Lavarnway: 1-1. Saltalamacchia: 0-8.
- J.D. Drew - How can you have a piece ripping apart the Red Sox without touching Drew? Drew's value can be debated over the course of his contract with the Red Sox, but this was easily his worst season of his career. For a player who has been a lightning rod for criticism and potentially another example of Epstein's follies to go untouched seems unusual.
- Jed Lowrie - Seems interesting to have that much detail on Ellsbury's psyche and to know that Jacoby only has one true friend, doesn't it? Also would explain some of the venom towards Youkilis, who has been one of the best players on the Sox and one of its most respected veterans, but who called out Lowrie's best friend Ellsbury last season.
- Aceves - Mentioned as a hard worker, Aceves could have harbored some resentment for not being placed in the rotation while the rest of the starters were going down in flames around him.
- Papelbon - Last offseason, the Red Sox strongly courted free agent Mariano Rivera, and it was rumored that if they had signed Rivera, Boston would have non-tendered the then-arbitration-eligible Papelbon. Could there be bitterness left over after hearing that your team was looking to not only replace you but release you as well? You bet there could. Plus, Papelbon is a free agent this offseason, so it's not like he has to worry about going back to that clubhouse.
- Larry Lucchino - As mentioned in yesterday's article, the Globe piece sure puts a lot of the blame on the outgoing manager and GM, and puts sweeping changes in a good light. At the same time, ownership doesn't take much of the blame, being unaware that the issues were as "bad as they were", and noting that ownership tried to boost morale by buying the team headphones and giving them a players-only party on John Henry's yacht. Sure sounds like ownership saying "we tried, guys!" Also, note that the Carl Crawford contract, which will potentially be the most lasting "bad move" that Epstein made, was made without full ownership approval. This allows ownership to place full blame for the move on the departed ex-GM if the Crawford contract looks as bad as it did this season. Remember - Lackey's contract (which ownership takes blame for) is only for three more seasons, while Crawford is for six more, and $75 million more.
Of course, this is a blind guess and based purely on speculation, but when you start using "unnamed sources", you open the door to all this, right?