Beergate simply won't die. I really hate the 'gate' suffix, but it fits here, because like it or not, it helped contribute to the perception that Terry Francona got the 'gate'.
I'm not very sympathetic to so-called professionals whose immaturity or lack of discipline got exposed, and who then cry foul. Once again, it's not the behavior that's the problem, it's revealing it.
I can't imagine that patrons would be happy to hear that their surgeon drank in the doctor's lounge during a 'case', even if it were unlikely that he'd get called into surgery. Rumors of pregame drinking (position player) still exist, although that player's no longer a member of Ye Olde Towne Team.
Baseball, like many other professions, is a 'bottom-line' business. You can eat, drink, or carouse your way out of a team. If you have a problem with alcohol, then you'd better perform at a high level when you're not drinking. Sometimes character issues make it unlikely that a player can ever come back to a team. There's no point in naming names, because many of you know the player often mentioned as returning to the Sox, who never makes it here.
Would we be better off had the Sox simply won a couple more games, made the playoffs, and had ignorance proven bliss? How many times have you watched some atrocity, be it Bucky Dent or some other walkoff play and said, "I'll never watch them again." Sure, that's like Steve Howe giving up drugs as a player. It could have happened.
Nobody expects ballplayers to be saints. That's not their job. But if a lack of conditioning, a lack of concentration, and a lack of caring for the welfare of their team because of excessive distractions compromises the bottom line, blaming the media or the fans really doesn't cut it.
Few people are blessed with the athleticism and ability of professional athletes. Many fans make sacrifices so they and their families can go to a ballgame, paying high prices to watch their heroes. They shower these athletes with adulation. Is it unfair to ask for 'best effort' in return?