Cry babies

Whatever the merits and meaning of the Red Sox latest meltdown -- as yet not fully determined -- it is already clear that the merry contretemps featuring the alleged "mutiny" of certain roster malcontents who've become disenchanted with manager Bobby Valentine should be seen as very much in this historically inscrutable team's richest tradition.

"Rebelling against the manager?" "Undermining authority?" "Ratting out one another?" "Stars brown-nosing the owner?" "Managers being devoured in the cross-currents of palace intrigues?"

Why, it's all there in black and white raging through the annals of your beloved Fenway boys of summer, old Sport. In the interests of time and space we'll confine this review to the "modern-era," beginning right after WW II.

But before getting into all that let me make this much clear right here and now. You will hear apologists and other doting lackeys of Red Sox Nation argue that this stuff happens on all teams. WRONG!

Yes, it happens -- at least every blue moon or so -- on every team in every sport. But not with the consistency that it happens here. Not with the levels of venom and malice achieved here. Not with the epic carnage that's been produced here. No formal records are kept on the subject. You won't find corroborative evidence in the Elias' data-base. But I'll vehemently argue no team in any game has a record for such colossal ragtime faintly comparable to what's been etched by your Boston Red Sox. PERIOD!

Here's the rundown:

1950 After Joe Cronin's ascension to the right hand of Owner Tom Yawkey, Yankees' legend Joe McCarthy takes command in 1948 and botches two golden pennant-opportunities before getting released from his suffering mid-way through the 1950 season. McCarthy is old, tired, and losing a terrible battle with alcohol in his time here but it's the grumbling of his players that finishes him off. On the train-ride home from New York -- after they'd blown the '49 pennant -- derisive players humiliate McCarthy. It would have been merciful if they'd fired him as he got off that train.

1954 Hired after the post-war flops to orchestrate a massive overhaul featuring kids from the farm system, Lou Boudreau is systematically undermined by veteran players enabled by Yawkey's front-office cronies. As an outsider, Boudreau probably never had the trust of Yawkey and Cronin. Moreover, they had a true-blue buddy waiting in the wings; Pinky Higgins.

Late '50s Yawkey's penchant for cronyism abets the problem which at its height produces wonderful farces like the front-office clashes of Higgins with Bucky Harris and Billy Jurgess. Inevitably the players and even some baseball writers get drawn into the circus. But aging resident demi-god Ted Williams remains aloof. Interestingly, Williams never allows his fondness for Yawkey to influence his loyalty to his managers.

1963 Evolving new-age star Carl Yastrzemski is suspected of undermining Manager Johnny Pesky with what are described as "back-stairs visits" to the owners' inner-sanctum. I've never been convinced young Yaz bore as much malice as was charged, while long suspecting the malevolent Higgins had much more to do with Pesky's managerial demise. But clearly old Johnny believed Carl was guilty. It's a burden Yaz still bears.

1966 Promising young team's developing stars (not including Yaz) rebel against Billy Herman's traditional ways. But that has nothing to do with Dick O'Connell's determination to dump Herman. Dick has a new guy in mind.

1969 That "new guy" -- Dick Williams -- runs afoul of his troops and their hyper-indulgent owner and gets fired only two years after orchestrating the greatest story in the team's history. Certainly, many players disliked Williams with some even having reasonable reasons. But Yawkey should never have listened to them. He was dead-wrong.

1976 Mere months after leading the lads to the allegedly greatest World Series of the age, Darrell Johnson loses his team's respect and gets canned. But it remains difficult to defend Darrell.

Late '70s Rebellious team clique called "the Buffalo Heads" led by class-clown, Bill "Spaceman" Lee, dedicate themselves to the destruction of Don Zimmer. They don't succeed, per se, but unquestionably grease the skids for Zimmie's eventual demise. They were dead-wrong.

1988 Just months after leading them to that World Series classic against the Mets, John McNamara gets de-legitimized by his players in ways eerily similar to Johnson's experience 12 years earlier. If neither was another Earl Weaver their tales were no less examples of the inmates taking over the asylum, once again.

1991 History repeats itself ingloriously. After two trips to the playoffs and the weaving of his celebrated ''magic'' Joe Morgan loses favor with Owner Jean Yawkey who chooses instead to listen to several of her most favorite players.

2001 Insurrection in the players' ranks inspired by but not confined to the infamous Carl Everett lays waste to Jimy Williams. Hilariously brief Joe Kerrigan era promptly follows.

2011 Terry Francona reign -- second longest in team's history -- ends in a monumental fiasco with players' quirks glibly tolerated by ownership and outright insubordination playing major roles.

2012 Actually, the Bobby Valentine era began to melt down even before it had really begun, which may be some sort of record.

Valentine of course could yet survive. We seek not to bury him here. No one but a few stray fools claims it's all his fault. The melodrama still plays out as this is written and so far he's handled himself reasonably in the midst of the firestorm swirling about him. You had to particularly like his blunt and unequivocal assertion that this contretemps has NOT been created by the media even as some dim-witted members of said local media were saying it was. One assumes they do so in a pathetic attempt to ingratiate themselves with the owners who aside from CEO Lucchino are AWOL in this messy business. And would someone please advise principle owner, John Henry, that he can spare us any more pious press releases presumably crafted by his resident super-flac, Dr. Whatshisname. The search for "goats" yields no end to candidates. If the media didn't create this mess that doesn't mean the media won't enjoy it.

Actually the classic example of a team rebelling against its manager did not star our Red Sox but rather the historically tame (relatively) Cleveland Indians. In 1940 the Indians had a fine team starring Kennie Keltner, Lou Boudreau, Hal Trosky, Jeff Heath, and that incomparable fireballer, Bobby Feller, who was a mere 27-11 that year. They were leading the league despite constant friction with their manager, a cranky baseball-lifer named Ossie Vitt with whom they'd been feuding three years, when the situation finally exploded in June of 1940.

Quite beside themselves, the players demanded a showdown with Owner Alva Bradley. Here's how the conversation went between the players and the owner as detailed by Feller in his fine 1947 autobiography.

"We tried to paint the picture with Bradley, as we saw it," Feller writes.

"He makes everybody nervous,'' someone said.

"He pops off too much to newspapermen," said another.

"He showboats too much," was a third comment.

"He flies into rages in the dugout during games," somebody added.

"He tears us down to other teams," chipped in another.

Through it all, Feller wrote: "Bradley sat there, shifting his gaze as we spoke." But in the end, he did nothing. The next day, the story broke. Someone had squealed and there were scalding headlines. "It was June 13," Feller writes "Paris had fallen to the Nazi Germans the very same day the Indians rose against their manager." Which of course, he points out, only made them seem more ridiculous. Within a week they were the laughingstock of the league to be branded "Cry-Babies" forevermore. Vitt remained their manager as they lost the pennant to the Tigers, by one game.

One can imagine this Red Sox scenario ending up in roughly the same way. Of course we won't know for sure until one of them lets the cat out of the bag, maybe years from now. Frankly, I can wait.

Retired Green Bay auxiliary bishop failed to report abuse, withdraws from ministry

Green Bay, Wis., Sep 20, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- Bishop Robert Morneau, Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of Green Bay, has withdrawn from public ministry saying ...

Dolan 'impatient' waiting for apostolic visitation in response to McCarrick

New York City, N.Y., Sep 20, 2018 CNA.- The Archbishop of New York said Thursday that while he has confidence in the way Pope Francis is handling the ...

Two more Chilean bishops step down in wake of abuse crisis

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis accepted the resignations of two more Chilean bishops, bringing to seven the number of bishops who have stepped down ...

Celebration of the Priesthood dinner raises over $1.8 million

BOSTON -- A record 1,700 people attended the 10th annual Celebration of the Priesthood dinner to raise funds for the Clergy Health and Retirement Trust ...

Lawrence parish helps community cope with gas explosion aftermath

LAWRENCE -- Volunteers at St. Patrick Church's Cor Unum Meal Center were serving dinner when multiple natural gas explosions and fires broke out in homes ...

Ceremony, Mass kick off St. Augustine Chapel bicentennial

SOUTH BOSTON -- St. Augustine Chapel and Cemetery began its year-long bicentennial celebration on the weekend of Sept. 14-16 with tours, special Masses, ...

Mass. Knights install new officers

The Massachusetts State Council Knights of Columbus recently held its Installation of State Officers at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Canton with ...

Deal will keep Sancta Maria Nursing Facility open

CAMBRIDGE -- Sancta Maria Nursing Facility announced Sept. 17 that it has negotiated a comprehensive operational contract with Advocate Healthcare Management ...

From Cardinal Seán's blog

As I mentioned in my preface to last week's blog, this week and last, I have been in Rome for meetings related to the work of the Pontifical Commission ...

N.Y. Archdiocese names judge as independent reviewer on abuse protocols

NEW YORK (CNS) -- New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan has named a former federal judge to study archdiocesan policies and procedures with respect to sexual ...

U.S. reports poverty declines, but agencies finding needs remain great

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The good news from the U.S. Census Bureau Sept. 12 was that the poverty rate dropped for the third straight year in 2017 and median ...

Class-action lawsuit filed against eight Pennsylvania dioceses

PITTSBURGH (CNS) -- A class-action lawsuit was filed Sept. 17 against eight Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania demanding the dioceses provide proof that ...

Apostolic visitor outlines plans for expansion at Medjugorje shrine

WARSAW, Poland (CNS) -- The Polish archbishop tasked with overseeing Bosnia-Herzegovina's Medjugorje shrine has outlined plans for expansion, including ...

Pope names administrator as Indian bishop investigated for alleged rape

MUMBAI, India (CNS) -- Pope Francis has accepted the request of an Indian bishop accused of raping a nun to be relieved of his duties during the investigation. In ...

In letters to German cardinal, retired pope defends way he stepped down

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Retired Pope Benedict XVI expressed his displeasure with the way a German cardinal publicly criticized his stepping down as pontiff, ...

Thousands of Hispanics expected in Texas for Encuentro summit

Fort Worth, Texas, Sep 20, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- As many as 3,000 Catholics of Hispanic background are expected in Texas this week for the National V Encuentro, ...

Church plans third-party abuse reporting system, code of conduct

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Pledging to "heal and protect with every bit of the strength God provides us," the U.S. bishops' Administrative Committee Sept. 19 ...

Be grateful to parents, never insult them, pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Honoring mothers and fathers means being grateful for the gift of life and Christians should never insult anyone's parents, Pope ...

Canadian cardinal: Women should help screen, train priest applicants

Poznan, Poland, Sep 18, 2018 CNA.- Increasing the role of women in screening and training priests is among the steps that should be taken to prevent future ...

Vatican delegation will travel to China this month to finalize agreement, Chinese newspaper reports

Beijing, China, Sep 18, 2018 CNA.- A newspaper tied to the Chinese Communist Party reported Tuesday that a delegation of Vatican officials will head to ...

Media reporting Vatican-China agreement could be signed in late September

HONG KONG (CNS) -- The long-awaited Sino-Vatican agreement on the nomination of bishops is expected to be signed in September, reported several media ...

Update: Irish singer Bono calls pope 'extraordinary man for extraordinary times'

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Bono, the lead singer of the Irish band U2, said he told Pope Francis that in Ireland "it looks as though the abusers are being ...

Cardinal Marx says mistakes were made, calls for change in German church

Cardinal Reinhard Marx, head of the German bishops' conference, admitted that mistakes were made in the German church's handling of sex abuse of minors ...

Church crisis response: Healing Masses, listening sessions, fasting

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- In response to the sexual abuse crisis in the church, Catholics are praying for victims, talking about their frustration and anger, ...

Pope names Minnesota priest as auxiliary bishop of Hartford

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Pope Francis has appointed Father Juan M. Betancourt, a priest in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, as auxiliary bishop ...

Listening church: Pope gives new vision for Synod of Bishops

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Synod of Bishops increasingly should be a structure for listening to the Catholic faithful, demonstrating a local bishop's concern ...

Director of Courage releases letter on Penn. abuse report

Washington D.C., Sep 17, 2018 CNA.- Courage International, an apostolate to support people with same sex-attraction in leading chaste lives, has issued ...

Richmond bishop apologizes to victims; commits to opening, reviewing files

RICHMOND, Va. (CNS) -- In celebrating the Diocese of Richmond's first Mass of Atonement for victims of abuse Sept. 14, Bishop Barry C. Knestout apologized ...

Advocates decry historically low cap for refugee entry in 2019

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Advocates for refugee admissions into the United States decried what one statement called a historically low cap of 30,000 for fiscal ...

Stanford University to remove saint's name from some properties

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- California's Stanford University will strip the name of 18th-century Franciscan friar, St. Junipero Serra, from some of its properties ...

Catholic Charities distributes disaster relief to areas hit by Florence

RALEIGH, N.C. (CNS) -- The Carolinas were hard hit with record rainfall and flooding rivers from tropical storm Florence since it made landfall Sept. ...

Archbishop Lori assures diocese he's with them in journey toward healing

WHEELING, W.Va. (CNS) -- In his celebration of Mass at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Wheeling Sept. 15, Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore said ...

Bishop takes a (sky) dive to get pilgrims to Lourdes

HOVE, England (CNS) -- "The Moth has landed," tweeted the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton. The tweet Sept. 14 and a similar post on the diocesan Facebook ...

Words, promises are not enough to prevent abuse, archbishop says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Inviting presidents of the world's bishops' conference to the Vatican to discuss abuse prevention reflects an understanding that ...

Pope praises Capuchin order's charism of authenticity, simplicity

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Capuchins are called to be men of peace, reconciliation and prayer and to be close to all people, Pope Francis told members of the ...

Path to healing starts with seeking forgiveness, Cardinal Wuerl says

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- A "Season of Healing" for sexual abuse survivors began in the Archdiocese of Washington with a Sept. 14 Mass at the Cathedral of St. ...

Archbishop McCarrick's unofficial role in Vatican-China relations

Vatican City, Sep 17, 2018 CNA.- Following reports that the Holy See and the People’s Republic of China could be about to sign an agreement ...

Archbishop Chaput: When we forget faith, we forget our humanity

Spokane, Wash., Sep 14, 2018 CNA.- When man tries to cling to reason and separate himself from faith, he forgets who he is and loses his source of hope, ...

Pope Francis warns priests against living a double life

Palermo, Italy, Sep 15, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- During a day trip to Sicily Saturday, Pope Francis told priests and religious to fight their vices and strive ...

What is the pontifical secret?

Vatican City, Sep 14, 2018 CNA.- Following the allegations made by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò about the case of Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, ...

Catholic workers say U.S. aid cuts to Palestinians could be disastrous

JERUSALEM (CNS) -- The U.S. budgetary cuts to humanitarian aid institutions helping Palestinians could lead to long-term disastrous consequences, said ...

Vatican publishes list of synod participants, including papal nominees

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- To the list of members of the Synod of Bishops elected by national bishops' conferences, Pope Francis added cardinals from 14 countries, ...