In one weekend, the Red Sox saw their manager remain under heavy fire, their former backup catcher get involved in a text message scandal, and one of their highest-paid players express his desire to have season-ending surgery . . . and that was all before they squandered another opportunity to revive a disappointing season.
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"We're in basically the same place as we were coming into the game," he said. "One game different from we were coming into this game. Like I said, we gotta get it going."
The problem is they are running out of time to get it going. The Red Sox dropped to four games below .500 and are now 7½ games behind Baltimore, with three teams between them, for the second wild-card spot. Add the turmoil surrounding the team and it makes for one unhappy clubhouse, which was quiet and nearly empty after the game.
"We just got to play one game at a time," said Josh Beckett, who took the loss after allowing four runs in six innings. "You can't really worry about that stuff. We need a lot of things to happen now. We have to play better and we have to have some teams fall off."
First there were the rumors that former catcher Kelly Shoppach, traded to the Mets last week, may have used Adrian Gonzalez's phone to text message ownership. Then Valentine said the team will meet with outfielder Carl Crawford Monday to discuss the possibility of him having season-ending Tommy John surgery to repair a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow that he has been playing with since April.
It's been reported that Crawford, in the second year of a seven-year, $142-million contract he signed with the Red Sox as a free agent, is now in favor of the surgery after agreeing to play through the pain and use more conservative treatment, which the Red Sox preferred. He went 1-for-4 Sunday night in what may have been his final game of the season.
"We will talk to him again and sort of look at all the available information again and just try to work with him, trying to figure out the right path for him and us," Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said.
The weekend did come with some good news for the Red Sox. David Ortiz, who hasn't played since July 16, hopes to return this week.
"It's difficult," Ortiz said of the Red Sox situation. "We're in the last quarter of the season. We definitely want to be able to win some games . . . Hopefully, things change."