Saturday, April 21, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Valentine's Day Massacre
By Gordon Edes
BOSTON -- The tweet came from a New Yorker (@jdubs88), and it’s a winner. Something the Red Sox are decidedly not.
“The Bobby Valentine’s Day Massacre,” he called it.
If this is what Fenway Park has to look forward to in its second century, it might prefer that someone hang a condemned notice at 4 Yawkey Way.
One hundred years and one day into its existence, Fenway bore witness to what will make anyone’s short list of worst Red Sox losses ever.
The Sox led the Yankees 9-0 after three innings. They led 9-1 after six, with young left-hander Felix Doubront a shoo-in for his first win of the season.
The Yankees won, 15-9, scoring seven runs apiece in the seventh and eighth innings.
The Bombers sent 23 batters to the plate in those two innings. Eight men in a row reached base in the seventh. Ten out of 11 batters reached safely in the eighth. Fourteen scored.
Nick Swisher and Mark Teixeira drove in six runs apiece. Swisher hit a grand slam off Vicente Padilla. Teixeira hit two home runs, one from each side of the plate -- the 13th time he has done so, extending his own big-league record.
Six Red Sox relievers combined to give up 14 runs on a dozen hits. Alfredo Aceves, ostensibly the closer, was summoned to protect a 10-9 lead in the eighth. He went walk, double, intentional walk, walk, double and intentional walk before he was lifted.
It was funny when manager Bobby Valentine joked before the game that despite the team’s poor start, fans had been good to him.
“No one has yelled at me when I’m on my bike or tried to run me over or anything like that. That hasn’t happened yet,’’ he had said.
Not so funny afterward. Valentine's next mode of transportation may be an armored carrier. Valentine was booed loud and often by a disenchanted crowd of 37,839 that witnessed the Sox fall for the fifth straight time at home, their overall record dropping to 4-10.
As hard as it is to believe, this has happened before, but it was in Yankee Stadium. The Sox led the Yankees 9-0 on June 26, 1987 in a game started by Roger Clemens and lost, 12-11, in 10 innings.
During Saturday's game, the Sox finalized a trade for an outfielder, Marlon Byrd. He is batting .070 (3 for 43). And he can’t help the bullpen.
The Sox sent out invitations to hundreds of former Sox players for Friday’s 100th celebration. Job applications might have been a better idea. Where have you gone, Dana Kiecker?