When I saw that Pete Abraham had written a piece entitled "A few thoughts on the clubhouse" I was ready for the worst.
I expected another long-winded attack on the Sox' starters and their now all-too-notorious predilection for beer and chicken. Seriously, when we start haggling the point of beer being in the clubhouse or in the dugout (and, by the way, how would cameras never catch this?) it's a sign the story has reached a sort of critical mass at which point it simply can't be stopped by anything short of divine intervention. You may as well just get over it, except a sponsorship deal from Popeye's, and become the first club to field a 100% obese team.
But then I clicked through and, amazingly, it was nothing of the sort.
Instead, Pete Abe has decided to say what really should have been everyone's first reaction:\On a given day, there are 4-7 players on a 25-man roster who aren't going to play in the game. You have the other four starting pitchers, a reliever or two getting a day off and maybe a position player nursing an injury. Plus you have players on the disabled list who are in uniform.
What they do is pretty much their business. But sitting in the dugout is not a prerequisite.
Abraham goes on to describe any number of off-day hijinks throughout the league, including the trading of signed balls for pizza and hot dogs in the middle of games and an outfielder who liked some Kahlua with his chew.
To be frank, the whole story is just a convenient excuse to be outraged with a team that lost because it just didn't have the starting pitching. Were Beckett and Lester bad at the end of the year? Yes, but if you switch those games with some terrific starts in June, then their seasons are still the exact same and the story becomes that the Sox just couldn't hold on despite the heroic efforts of their top-2 arms. Pitchers slump sometimes, and the fact that for the Sox it came in such dramatic fashion leaves us fans looking for a way to lash out.
This is what we've been given. Hopefully we can take a step back, acknowledge that this isn't necessarily anything unique, and let the story die.