→ Who is to Blame for the Red Sox?

Peter Abraham with a sobering breakdown, including:

John Lackey and Carl Crawford are obviously uncomfortable in Boston and it has affected their play. If Adrian Gonzalez was indeed the ringleader against Valentine — and he didn’t deny Passan’s charge that he was — that speaks poorly about his character, too. It is worth noting that Valentine was a staunch defender of Gonzalez in the spring when the first baseman was hitting .256 and going weeks between home runs.

Dustin Pedroia is the de facto captain of the team. Plenty of players follow him whether he has a “C” on his jersey or not. That he was so tight with Francona was going to be a problem for Valentine. Both men needed to find common ground in spring training and it seems that never happened.

This line probably sums it up best:

Somehow — and this is the crux of the matter — the Red Sox went from being a franchise of grind-it-out, hard-nosed players to being entitled, selfish and unlikable.

Can we just end this season now?