Well, the latest public relations debacle for the beleaguered Red Sox organization has hit: Yahoo’s Jeff Passan reported that a group of players demanded and received a meeting with ownership in July to complain about manager Bobby Valentine.
It’s certainly been a tough 12 months for the team, with the historic collapse, beloved managerial ouster, fugitive GM escapee, and now an underperforming, discontent 2012 squad. Out of sympathy with the Red Sox and their fans, we are proud to provide a service today: we had a mole inside the meeting who transcribed what went down verbatim — and we humbly offer it to you now as a one-act play.
INT. – PALACE HOTEL – DAY
A, angry, sullen group of Red Sox players sits around a cramped conference room. There aren’t enough chairs to go around so DUSTIN PEDROIA sits on the lap of DAVID ORTIZ. Team owners JOHN HENRY and LARRY LUCCHINO, and general manager BEN CHERINGTON walk in swiftly, shut the door, and and stand at the front of the wood-paneled room.
Hello, everybody. We understand that you have some concerns about the direction of the team, and we want you to know that you are being heard, appreciated, and loved. You are all very special to us. We want you to know that this is an open forum where we can speak freely as adults who trust one another. But we also need you to understand that Bobby Valentine has our full support, m’kay? Now please go ahead…this is your chance to have a voice. We have 15 minutes, then I have to get to the Montauk Yacht Club for the monthly regatta.
John, Larry, Ben. Thank you for coming here. Allow me to present you with this petition. Seventeen of us have signed it already. It says that we want Bobby Valentine to be fired today.
A petition? What the hell do you think…
Ben, shush. I got this. Adrian, thank you for your thoughtful petition. We will give it careful consideration.
After which we will turn it down. Bobby Valentine is our manager.
A motherfucking petition? Are you guys serious?
Please! I hate it when we fight like this. This petition is printed on such nice stock. Did you get this at Papyrus?
I will not be disrespected like this! I am Big Papi! I have hit 400 bombs in the big leagues. I am a man! You can’t play me like this. First you give me that weak-ass contract and now you motherfuck our petition? No respect.
Look, we just want Terry back. That’s it, OK? Then everything can go back to normal.
Yes, we steadfastly request that Terry Francona, Esquire be named manager of the Boston Red Sox forthwith.
Back to normal? You guys committed literally the worst collapse in baseball history last year. That’s what you want to get back to?
(wipes chicken grease from mouth; hides beer behind his back)
Look, I think it’s pretty well known by this point that I didn’t even want to hire Bobby. These guys big-shotted me on that one.
Larry Lucchino smirks.
Now, Ben, there was no pulling of rank. We came to a meeting of the minds, based on the information available to us…
Whatever. The point is: now that he’s here, we need to at least give him a fair chance. He’s only been here for 105 games or so, and we’ve been dealing with crippling injuries all season. Is it Bobby’s fault that Ellsbury missed the entire first half? Or that Papi hurt his Achilles? Or that Carl Crawford has one baby arm like that weird Kristin Wiig character on Saturday Night Live?
It’s Bobby’s fault Youk is gone!
And that he has said mean things to several players. Doesn’t he know how much money we make?
And it’s his fault that one day he disrespected me by taking me out for a pinchrunner.
And Terry used to let me borrow his laptop all the time, whenever I wanted. Bobby keeps the door locked.
(has chicken nuggets stuck in his soul patch)
And Bobby wouldn’t let Kenny Chesney give the pregame speech.
And he banned beer from the pregame meal, the postgame meal and ALL the mid-inning meals. It’s bullshit!
Bobby won’t let me watch Diners, Drive-ins and Dives during games I’m DH’ing. What the hell else am I supposed to do?
Bobby makes us take showers after games!
Terry ain’t never said a work when I brought my pistol in to the locker room but Bobby says it’s bad for morale. What the fuck, John?
And Terry always used to let my brother hang around the clubhouse, chill with the batboys, mentor them, that kind of stuff. Bobby banned him!
And Bobby wants me to warm up in the fucking bullpen before the game starts! Terry just let me play Call of Duty to get my range of motion ready.
Gentlemen, please! My delicate ears! I guess if it’s what everybody wants, we’ll get rid of Bobby and bring back Terry. You know how much I love you guys. Dustin, do you need a refill on that Sam Adams?
JH, we can’t do that, at least until after the season. We’ll look weak.
Does anyone have a spare gorilla suit?
TOMMY ST. PATRICK
Hey everyone, I agree with Larry. I think Bobby is doing a fine job in a difficult situation. He’s got verve! He’s got elan!
Wait, who the fuck are you?
TOMMY ST. PATRICK
I’m Tommy St. Patrick! New outfielder, just up from Pawtucket.
I concur. Leave Mr. Valentine alone.
And who the fuck are you? Where do you come from? And what’s with that white suit?