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Topic subjectBosox manager singles out dreadlocked blacktino LF slugger for team woes
Topic URLhttp://board.okayplayer.com/okp.php?az=show_topic&forum=8&topic_id=2456850&mesg_id=2456850
2456850, Bosox manager singles out dreadlocked blacktino LF slugger for team woes
Posted by 40thStreetBlack, Tue Jun-16-15 05:23 PM
It's like deja vu all over again! my work is done here. O_E, take it from here.


After another Red Sox horror show, John Farrell crooks a finger at Hanley Ramirez

Gordon Edes, ESPN Staff Writer

BOSTON -- On an afternoon during which the Boston Red Sox were first blinded by the sun and then saw stars -- the Toronto Blue Jays knocked them senseless 13-5 -- manager John Farrell made sure no one missed what he considered an egregious mistake by the team's highest paid player, Hanley Ramirez.

Farrell never mentioned Ramirez by name, but he brought up what he clearly viewed as a base-running blunder by Ramirez, who was easily doubled off second on Xander Bogaerts' line shot to Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson, cutting short a bases-loaded threat in the first inning.

On an afternoon of multiple misjudgments, misplays, mis-located pitches and misreads, this was the one Farrell brought up when asked the following: If, as Farrell claimed Sunday, the effort is still there, how can the execution be better?

Hanley Ramirez's costly baserunning error in the first inning cost the Red Sox a chance to take an early lead in their blowout loss to the Blue Jays. Gregory J. Fisher/USA TODAY Sports
"That's got to be through some anticipation of the given play," Farrell said. "We get doubled off in a big bases-loaded situation in the first inning. Head-high line drive, you're schooled to fight back and do what you can to get back safely. That didn't happen."

Ramirez had a healthy lead off second and broke toward third as soon as Bogaerts connected. He tried to reverse direction but slipped, jogged back and was thrown out easily by Donaldson, ending the inning.

This is the same player, of course, who just 10 days ago lost track of how many outs there were in the seventh inning of a tie game against the Twins that the Sox went on to lose 8-4. And who later Sunday could easily have been charged with an error in left field on Russell Martin's double into the corner, failing to play the carom cleanly.

Instead of giving an early lead to rookie left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez -- the Sox are 18-8 when they score first -- they came up empty. There was no guarantee they would have scored, of course, though the next hitter, Pablo Sandoval, singled and tripled in his first two at-bats.

But it was an indication that Farrell, whose default response is usually to assign blame in general terms, might be growing as frazzled as the paying customers, who even mocked icon Dustin Pedroia with insincere applause after he caught a popup, after Pedroia lost two in the sun earlier in the game.

We’d like to share Ramirez's reaction to Farrell’s criticism, but he wasn’t around to offer one. Like so many of his teammates, he made a quick getaway Sunday.

"We're not," Farrell said, pausing before finishing his thought, "in a good place right now as a team."

Nor, it goes without saying, is he in a good place as a manager, even with owner John Henry claiming to have his back less than two weeks ago. At the time, Henry called the team's play terrible and went a step further in front of the TV cameras by calling it "bleep."

If the Sox were bleep then, they're even worse now, after falling a season-low 10 games under .500 with their sixth straight loss and dropping eight games behind the Yankees in the division. They’re now 10-21 against the American League East after being swept in consecutive series by division rivals. The Orioles schooled them in fundamentals last week in Baltimore and the Blue Jays battered them into submission in the Fens, outscoring them 31-19 while extending their winning streak to 11 games, longest in the majors this season and matching their franchise record.

In the past 96 hours, Farrell has been publicly challenged by one of his pitchers, Wade Miley, he has presided over the biggest blown lead of the season, his team has lost a game in extra innings and he has watched Sunday's game descend into "Benny Hill" disarray.

Remember that the owner, while defending Farrell, also said he expected the team to begin playing better.

He also said this: "I think we have the right mix of veterans and youngsters, speed and defense. I think we have the right mix."

He also said GM Ben Cherington was not to blame.

"I think we’ve been on the same wavelength," he said at the time, "so you have to blame ownership as much as you blame the general manager."

So if the mix is right, and the GM is merely executing the owner's philosophy, and the team is expected to play better but isn't, where does that leave the manager?

No place where any manager wants to be.