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Dan Shaughnessy

Red Sox left picking up the pieces

Picked-up pieces while waiting for the Sox to finally admit the sellout streak is over when we see empty seats at Monday’s afternoon game against the mighty Royals . . .

John Henry says he’s writing a book. He has been talking about it around Fenway, and Tuesday night he sent me an e-mail that read, in part, “I’ve been writing a book . . . I’ll finally have my perspective in print . . .”

Henry truly seems to think there is not much of a problem here. I tried to remind him that here in Boston the highs are higher and the lows are lower — that’s why 2004 was so great.


I tried to explain that I am not alone in critiquing what the Sox bosses are doing, and he said, “No, it’s just you.’’ I then asked him if he owns a television or a radio.

The hits just keep on coming. The 2012 Red Sox are like a demolition derby — you can’t take your eyes off them for a second. Thursday night’s 14-13, 410-pitch Sox loss goes down as one of the greatest games in the history of baseball. Still wondering why Bobby V didn’t throw the beanbag on Vernon Wells’s home run in the ninth.

Sometimes I worry that Ben Cherington is too methodical for Larry Lucchino. Ben is not one to do things in haste, and Lucchino is one of the more impatient men on the planet.

The Sox have fallen behind the Seattle Mariners. And we have a big anniversary coming up. A week from Saturday is Sept. 1, which will mark the one-year anniversary of the Red Sox stinking. With Thursday’s loss, the Red Sox are 66-86 over their last 152 games. This is no small sample, people. We’re 10 games away from a full big league season of underachievement. It’s especially amazing given that the Sox played 39 games over .500 after last season’s 2-10 start. Even the Daddy Butch Hobson years weren’t this bad. You have to go back to 1966 under Billy Herman to find the Sox playing 18 games under .500 (72-90, 26 games out, ninth place) for a full 162.


John Farrell makes a lot of sense as the next Sox manager. He is especially tight with Sox assistant GM Mike Hazen, and the Sox and Jays should be able to do something about the one year remaining on Farrell’s Toronto contract.

Big props to Nomar Garciaparra for making a huge effort to attend Johnny Pesky’s services.

It kills me when Red Sox starting pitchers are lifted in mid-inning, come to the bench, take a seat, wait until the runners charged to them either score or are erased, then bolt before the inning is over. Clay Buchholz did this Wednesday night. Lifted in the sixth after giving up his 12th hit, Buchholz sat on the bench until Junichi Tazawa gave up the hit that allowed Buchholz’s runners to score. That was it. With his pitching line complete, Buch­holz got up and went into the clubhouse. In mid-inning. Jon Lester did this earlier in the season. I think it’s weak.

Here’s my take on the sellout streak (778 and counting). It’s like sitting at lunch with someone you don’t know well and noticing that they have spinach in their teeth. The longer you go without saying anything, the worse it gets. You both feel better once you come clean. That’s what the streak has become. The Sox are strangled by their own monster here. Best to admit it’s over and we can all get on with our lives.


Sometimes I can’t believe my ears when Bobby V talks. Tuesday’s welcome-back-to-Fenway beauty was, “Have I been called a fool yet? I don’t think I’m a fool.’’

Personally, I feel giving the Sox players heat for not attending a funeral is piling on a little. Ryan Sweeney and Mike Aviles probably never met our beloved Johnny Pesky.

Harvard needs a good man to replace baseball coach Joe Walsh, who died last month. The Crimson no doubt will be inundated with capable candidates, but they won’t find a better fit than Babson coach Matt Noone, who has been a lefthanded batting practice pitcher for the Red Sox for almost a decade.

I said a couple of weeks ago that I was actually starting to feel sorry for Curt Schilling. My bad. I take it all back. Schill had the gall to tweet that the governor of Rhode Island is a “dunce.’’ Pretty bold when you’ve burned through $75 million of the state’s monies. One would think he would be chagrined and go away as quietly as possible under these circumstances. Not our boy, Schill.

Mike Scioscia has been manager of the Angels since 2000 and is signed through 2018. He has been on the hot seat because of the Angels’ underperformance. If the Angels want to make a switch, how about the Sox making a deal to pick up Scioscia’s contract?


According to USA Today, in 2011 and 2012, 68 percent (85 of 125) of major and minor league players who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs were born in Latin America. Eight of the last 10 big league players suspended (50-game penalties) were Latin American-born players.

Big, underrated problem with the Red Sox: They no longer grind out at-bats. They can’t make outs fast enough. They don’t walk. They don’t have on-base guys, not even at the top of the order.

Congrats to crack Sox publicist Pam Ganley and NESN producer Russ Kenn, who will be married Saturday.

ABCD (Action For Boston Community Development) is celebrating its 50th anniversary and 15th year of Field of Dreams, thanks to the Red Sox. This year’s event is going to be a Fall Classic, celebrating Fenway’s 100th anniversary and ABCD’s 50th. Please call Alecia Carey at 617-348-6244 if you have any questions or wish to make a donation.

Having a bad day? Feeling a little sorry for yourself because of traffic getting off the Cape last weekend or the price of gasoline? You should have been at St. Peter’s Field in Cambridge a week ago Monday. You would have been inspired. You would have been in the presence of someone who has been dealt a devastating blow but finds a way to turn the negative into positive every day of his life. You would have seen 27-year-old Peter Frates standing at first base in the top of the first inning in the 19th annual Old Time Baseball Game. Frates has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a disease named after the greatest first baseman who ever lived. One year ago he was working his finance job and playing outfield for the Lexington Blue Sox of the Intercity League at night. Frates was one of the better players in the ICL, a former Boston College captain who hit two homers in a game at Maryland in his senior season of 2007. He is the son of John and Nancy Frates and he was a three-sport star at St. John’s Prep and a four-year letterman for BC baseball. On April 20, 2006, he went 4 for 4 and homered into the bullpen at Fenway to lead the Eagles to a 10-2 Beanpot championship victory over Harvard. Last week, Cherington presented Frates with an old-timey Sox No. 3 jersey. Frates wore No. 3 at Boston College. He was always a good ballplayer and a great young man. Now he is a hero and an inspiration to us all.


Dan Shaughnessy is a Globe columnist. He can be reached at dshaughnessy@globe.com.