The Boston Red Sox knew they couldn’t ignore the awful results of the last two seasons, so they decided to address the issue directly.
In billboards around Boston and a full-page newspaper ad, the team presents its motto for 2013: “What’s broken can be fixed.”
“It’s a marketing slogan. But I think this one has the added virtue of being true and transparent,” Red Sox president Larry Lucchino said as the team embarked on spring training and began the effort to make fans forget the previous 199 games.
“We know that last year and the final month of the preceding year were the beginning of a very downward trend for this franchise, a historic collapse, a disastrous 2012; that it was no secret that things needed to be repaired, reset, rebuilt, reloaded, reset — whatever ‘R’ word you want to use. And that acknowledging it was probably and honest way to approach the season.”
The first step in the tear-down was the August trade that shipped underperforming and over-complaining Josh Beckett, along with Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and more than a quarter-billion in future salaries, to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Then they got rid of manager Bobby Valentine, who was brought in to shake up Terry Francona’s coddled and complacent clubhouse but made too many enemies in the process.
“Bobby didn’t go out there and get any hits or make any errors or do any of that. We lost those games. It’s on us,” said second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who had never finished the season on a losing team before. “I don’t want it to happen again. ... We’ve got to do everything better than we did last year. It was difficult. We had a tough time. We lost a lot of games. So I think everybody’s motivated to make sure that doesn’t happen again.”