Rank 'em: Splitting up the Sox blame pie

The Red Sox finished their disaster of a season at 69-93, losing their final 8 games and 12 of their last 13. It was their worst record since 1965.

As is usually the case, there is plenty of blame to go around. Help us slice up the blame pie by ranking the parties/circumstances on this rank 'em feature according to the share of responsibility each deserves.

Here are the blameworthy seven:

* Ben Cherington: GM was the architect of the 2012 Red Sox, so he certainly bears some responsibility.

* Bobby Valentine: He was the skipper that steered the Red Sox ship directly into an iceberg. Couldn't motivate his players and felt his coaches undermined him.

* Larry Lucchino: Red Sox president is widely considered the biggest proponent of hiring Valentine and is ultimately in charge of the team. Does the buck stop with him?

* John Henry: Red Sox owner has been seen and heard from much more as the Sox season dragged on, but has he spread himself too thin with obligations elsewhere? And has he hired the wrong people?

* The players: These are the guys who couldn't get it done on the field. Huge payroll, but very little to show for it. Did they ever give Bobby Valentine a chance?

* Injuries: Who can blame the Sox for struggling when so many key players were injured? Not once did the team field its projected Opening Day lineup. They used 56 different players this season, which is the most players used in a single season in franchise history.

* Theo Epstein: Yes, he was gone before the season even started, but the former Boston GM saddled the Sox with some pretty hefty contracts (think Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, John Lackey) that handicapped their ability to spend big last offseason.