"Things haven’t really changed," Epstein told the Boston Herald about the situation the Red Sox found themselves in. "We talked about this last week. We’re still playing bad baseball. Unintelligent, undisciplined, uninspired baseball. It’s got to change.
"It either changes itself, or we have to do something to change it."
It's certainly out of the ordinary when Epstein or another club official goes public with such strong statements. The organization believes in keeping everything in-house, but with the recent play of the team, it's hard not to.
One could argue that making these opinions public is exactly what's needed to light a fire under the Red Sox. Sometimes, being publicly called out for lackluster play is all it takes.
Cam Neely, the Bruins' vice president, called out the hockey club after an uninspired rematch against the Pittsburgh Penguins which had been hotly anticipated in light of Matt Cooke's hit on Marc Savard on March 7.
And now, the Bruins hold a 2-0 series edge in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
While there were still some frustrating moments during Monday's victory over the Angels, the Red Sox seemed to come alive and show some of the pep that has been missing so far.
Despite not even being at the .500 plateau yet after 26 games (the club is 12-14), the Red Sox are far from cooked. Want proof? The Yankees started 2009 with a 15-17 record before winning 103 games and the World Series. The Phillies, Tigers and Rockies also got off to slow starts (with Colorado the worst at 20-32 on June 3) before engineering playoff pushes.
Epstein's words were a warning shot. As he clearly states, unless things change for the better, he will be doing the changing. If these words don't give Boston the motivation needed to turn its season around, what else can be done? Will his words give the Sox motivation?
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May 3: Is it time for the Red Sox to consider making big changes?