After spending a little time around the Red Sox as part of ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball crew, Buster Olney writes that the poor state of the Red Sox clubhouse is immediately apparent, though that might not prevent the team from being a contender come October.
Here’s an excerpt from Olney's Sunday blog:
Carl Crawford is working out and is very close to beginning his minor league rehabilitation assignment, Jacoby Ellsbury is making progress and could be back in the lineup in less than a month, and Adrian Gonzalez feels like he's one swing away from putting himself back together at the plate. So anybody who is ready to bury the Boston Red Sox now is out of their mind; they've got some really good players who are going to be augmented by more good players coming back from the disabled list.
But it doesn't take long to ascertain that the Red Sox are a splintered group, with a lot of players and staff unhappy for a lot of different reasons. If they do come back and make the playoffs, it's not going to be because of a united clubhouse. It's toxic -- but that doesn't mean they can't win.
Olney followed up that post with another item on the Red Sox Monday morning, when he revealed more about the Sox' situation:
The unhappiness that exists among the Boston players and staff is multi-layered and deep. Calls and texts and complaints about daily events and exchanges are being sprayed all over the baseball landscape, as some involved share their frustration with friends and family and agents. Some are already talking about looking for work elsewhere down the road.
There is frustration about how individual situations have been handled, about communication. For those aware of the problems, there is bad body language on display during games, as the anger manifests.
"Did you see that?" an official texted during the weekend here, after some particularly egregious posturing.
Nobody's really gone on the record -- yet -- but it's clear that if the Red Sox are going to win this year, it'll have to be in spite of the bad feelings. This team isn't going to turn into Happy Town anytime soon. There are too many irreconcilable differences in place.
For more Red Sox news, visit the team page at weei.com/redsox.
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