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October 9, 2012

Red Sox' disaster resulted from bad communication, pitching

(Continued)

Lester’s ERA in 107 innings that Saltalamacchia caught was 5.62 compared to a 3.70 ERA in the 48 innings caught by Kelly Shoppach, who is known for his defense.

Clay Buchholz posted a 6.30 ERA in the 75.2 innings that Saltalamacchia caught compared to a 3.23 in the 78 innings caught by Shoppach, who was traded to the Mets during the season.

Meanwhile, Ryan Lavarnway had a catcher’s ERA of 5.96 in 28 games, 25 starts.

Lavarnway threw out only 3 of 31 (9.7 percent) of base stealers. Saltalamacchia caught just 18 of 98 base stealers (18.4 percent).

GM Ben Cherington and his staff must think long and hard if they can really rely on a Lavarnway and Saltalamacchia combo next year.

4). The issues beyond injuries.

The Red Sox had 27 different players combine for 34 separate DL stints, both of which are the most by a Sox team since at least 1971 and the most by any team since at least 1987, according to team notes.

Yes, the Red Sox offense was greatly hurt when David Ortiz went on the DL.

But here’s the real concern: Why were there so many injuries to begin with and why did it appear like there was a lack of communication and even disputes between the medical staff and the manager, especially when the medical staff was restructured last offseason?

5). No chain of command.

President/CEO Larry Lucchino admitted Thursday that he and Cherington did not empower Valentine as much as they could have.

So not only did Lucchino and Cherington fail to empower Valentine but Lucchino didn’t empower Cherington to pick his own manager.

Overall, issues of power and chain of command became a huge reason why this team went 69-93, why players ended up going behind Valentine’s back to ownership to hold team meeting regarding Valentine and why Alfredo Aceves demanded a meeting with Cherington when he lost his closer job.

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