I need to rant. (I'll end it on a happy note, I promise.)
So after the elation that came from sweeping the Orioles, it seems half of RSN is back on the ledge. This is after losing to the best team in baseball, in non-blowout fashion. The Orioles, on the other hand, suck. I would actually submit that last night's game was better than the last two they played against the O's. Yes, Hale made an absolutely boneheaded decision, which cost them a chance at the game - but given that it's mid-August and this is the first time his name has even showed up in the dailies, I can't complain: that's not bad for a third-base coach. The other big complaint it Francona: yes, his hook is slow, but seriously, what choice does he have? Every game he can't trot out Papelbon, especially if it's the 8th and the Sox are down by a couple. Just like I couldn't stand when people complained about the lack of moves at the deadline, while having no suggestions for moves that should've been made, I'm getting tired of hearing about how Francona didn't take so-and-so out soon enough, while offering no ideas whom he should've brought in.
Blaming the coaching staff is the nice pat answer to the Sox's woes. But the fact is, this team just isn't very good right now. I think they're playing well below potential, and when you add that to some key injuries and a poorly constructed bullpen (in hindsight), it's difficult to win. I will add: it's an extremely likeable team, with tons of potential...I hope they bounce back from their slump and their injuries and have a great last 6 weeks of the season. It really can be done.