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Red Sox sweeping regret under the rug

Posted by Eric Wilbur, Boston.com Staff  February 16, 2012 09:23 AM

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Good to see Red Sox players are taking accountability for collapsing down the stretch, getting their manager fired, and prompting their general manager to flee the flaming sinkhole that is the Boston Red Sox.

Just listen to what Adrian Gonzalez had to say yesterday, taking the issues head on.

"People have to eat, whether it's chicken or steak."

Absolutely. Mr. Gonzalez gets it. He understands the ire of Red Sox fans and is taking a stance. It doesn't matter if it's chicken or steak. Heck, I'd go as far as to say it doesn't matter if it's fish or pasta. People have to eat, indeed.

It was also good to hear Clay Buchholz address the controversies of last season.

"It happened more than that in previous years. But we did well and it wasn't to be spoken of."

See how contrite these players are, even after not having won a playoff game in four years?

Yes, it was an epic collapse last season, one of the worst in Major League Baseball history, but spring training is finally upon us, and the Boston players involved are clearly showing their regret. It is what it is. It's 2012. Get over it.

People do have to eat.

Josh Beckett smoothed things over earlier this month by reminding us that Kevin Millar and Co. did shots of Jack Daniels in the clubhouse prior to Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS. Hey, they did it and won the World Series. Last year's Red Sox were simply drinking suds. That's a significant alcohol degrade. Cut them some slack, will ya?

No more jokes about chicken and beer. We're talking about the health and nutrition of players here, people. Don't you feel badly now that you laughed all winter about the human players' right to eat? Why do you feel the need to pile on a laughingstock? Let's see you go three hours without greasing up your hands and pounding some swill.

Some have opined that the "chicken and beer" story line was simply symbolic of how this team tanked down the stretch. That's unfair. Have you ever had Popeye's and Bud Light together? That's a heart-stopping recipe not to be denied to anybody.

The fact is this is potentially the most likeable Red Sox team in years. The first baseman is a force, as long as it's God's will, the ace should balloon nicely by mid-season, and the cash-cutting owners will have to spend significant time overseas to calm racial tensions. We'll all miss J.D. Drew, team management seems to be denying the fans their deserved right to watch Tim Wakefield chase the franchise record, and we won't have any more of "Heidi Watney vs. Ballpark Food," but I have a feeling Nick Punto fever is ready to grip New England.

Carl Crawford will only miss a "few weeks" of the season thanks to his mystery surgery, Nobody knows if Andrew Bailey can close effectively in the AL East. And the right fielder is...well, we're not quite sure. But it's the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park. Who needs players when you can market that? Party on. 

Red Sox players are showing their regret for the unfortunate way last season ended, clearly seeking to redeem their reputations in the fan base. What more can you ask for? Say what you want, but these Red Sox players get it. They're saying all the right things and taking accountability. If you're concerned that they seem to be defending their actions more than apologizing, you just don't know these Red Sox. New team. New year.

And the attitude adjustment we're already seeing is a thing of beauty.

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About the Author

Eric Wilbur is a Boston.com sports columnist who is still in awe of what Dana Kiecker pulled off that one time in Toronto. He lives in the Boston area with his wife and three children. Comments and suggestions for the best Buffalo wing spots are encouraged.

Contact Eric Wilbur by e-mail or follow him on Twitter.


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