Apparently “toughness” was the Red Sox’ biggest problem in 2011

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Word count in the latest column from Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe about the new values Bobby Valentine plans to instill in the Red Sox:

  • Some variation of the word “tough”: 26
  • Some reference to running out ground balls: 6
  • “grit”:  3
  • “Punto”: 2
  • Mentions of the quality of the starting pitching: 0
  • Mentions of the pitchers’ “shenanigans”: 1

Ah, the offseason. When a 90-win team’s failure to make the playoffs can be cast as a function of grit, determination and a Punto deficit disorder, and nothing that actually happened on the diamond.

Athletics DFA Liam Hendriks

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The Oakland A’s have designated reliever Liam Hendriks for assignment.

Hendriks got blown up for four runs on four hits — two homers — in an inning of work yesterday and the A’s have apparently seen enough. It’s been a rough go if it all around, really, as he’s posted a 7.36 ERA over 13 appearances.

Hendriks, who appeared in 70 games last season, signed a one-year deal last winter to avoid arbitration. The deal is for $1.9 million, so anyone claiming him off of waivers or trading for him will owe him a bit over half of that. Given the durability the eight-year veteran has shown in previous seasons that’s not out of the question, but his ineffectiveness this year, combined with a groin problem that caused him to miss some time, may give suitors pause.