Boston's prism of failure 

October, 12, 2011
10/12/11
9:54
AM ET

Boston Red Sox dugoutAP Photo/Patrick SemanskyBoston's clubhouse culture has been a hot topic of discussion since the late-season collapse.
The stories about the Red Sox, told on and off the record, have sounded like the final days of the Roman Empire, with the structure crumbling around inhabitants who are too entrenched in their personal failings to do anything about it. The latest story along these lines comes from Bob Hohler of the Boston Globe today.

It's worth a reminder that if the Red Sox had won one more game, none of this would be discussed. If the Yankees had finished off their first-and-third-and-nobody-out rally against the Rays in extra innings, and if Jonathan Papelbon had closed out the Orioles, Boston would've been propelled into the playoffs and maybe into the World Series. With one more victory and one more Tampa Bay loss, the Red Sox ownership would've been compelled to pick up Francona's contract options.