Boston The Boston Red Sox are failing on the field and feuding with management.
In the past month, they lost manager Jimy Williams, nine straight games and any realistic hope of reaching the playoffs. Their best two players are upset and the team could be sold in the offseason.
And Manny Ramirez hit .238 between Aug. 1 and Labor Day.
"It hasn't been easy for anybody," Nomar Garciaparra said. "The only way you get through difficulty is turning to each other."
And, it seems, away from general manager Dan Duquette.
Aloof and, some say, arrogant, Duquette has irked Pedro Martinez by saying he's healthy enough to pitch and irritated Garciaparra by firing coach John Cumberland, who handled the pitchers.
Martinez has three Cy Young awards and, he said, a minor tear in his rotator cuff.
Duquette "is not going to force me to pitch," Martinez said. "I'm only going to pitch if I feel fine enough to pitch."
Garciaparra missed the first half of the season following wrist surgery and went back on the disabled list last weekend. But the two-time defending AL batting champion has a calculated knack for bland comments, so when he spoke out about the chaotic season, his words carried weight.
"Baseball is built a lot around respect," he said, carefully crafting his remarks after Boston's ninth straight loss Tuesday night. "The way I've been brought up is respect is a two-way street. Respect is asked of us as players and a staff, and it's not always given in return."
It was a comment directed at Duquette.