Bummer of a Summer - By Mike Lynch
A former coach once told our team, "Winners never quit and Quitters never win." He only had to tell us that once since the term "quitter" had such a shameful connotation.
The 2012 Boston Red Sox are quitters (you can actually include the 2011 team as well) and shame on them. Red Sox ownership showered this team with enormous contracts and they quit. They quit on their owner, they quit on their general manager, they quit on their fans, they quit on each other and they quit on Bobby Valentine who was given the task of babysitting these spoiled children.
Bobby never had a chance, he was the new teacher brought in to replace the substitute teacher who let you get away with everything. When Bobby told them recess was over, several of them ran to the principals office and complained that Bobby was being mean to them. I am convinced that there was, and is, a faction of players, fans, media members and Red Sox employees that were praying that Bobby would fail.
On the very first practice in spring training I can remember Josh Beckett cussing and complaining that practice would not end at its usual time of 11:15 (they start at 9:30) and that pitchers were going to have bunting practice. It wasn't as if Valentine inherited a World Series winner, he was given custody of a team that had turned in the biggest collapse in baseball history. Tony LaRussa couldn't win with this bunch of quitters. I wondered if he ever regretted taking this job.
"I didn't know what I was dealing with at the time I took the job," Bobby said. "It never worked right from the start."
His club has been the embarrassment of Major League Baseball but unlike his players, Bobby Valentine hasn't quit. Quitting is a permanent stain on your reputation, it becomes your shadow and shamefully looks back at you every time you look in the mirror.
Quitters, indeed, never win. Bobby Valentine won't win in 2012 but Bobby will never have any trouble looking at his reflection because Bobby Valentine didn't quit in this bummer of a summer.