Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Grumpy Old Men

The Red Sox rallied from a 5-0 deficit at the new House of Horrors, to split their two game set with the Yankees.

The "bridge" Red Sox, with young veterans like Dustin Pedroia and Jon Lester, contends with the older, more often disenchanted, "expendable" Red Sox, the Wakefield, Varitek, Ortiz, and Lowell class...

The 'generational' conflict breaks no unique ground. In business, young turks find ways to push old lions aside, and I've seen (in the military) a figurative coup d'etat where a young Navy Captain managed to displace by politics and title an older statesman physician.

The 'victim' in this Greek tragedy isn't ownership or Theo Epstein, but one Terry Francona, whose legendary 'closed door scrubbing' has kept the family laundry presentable for years, even with the challenges of Hall of Fame bound prima donas surrounding him. But when the 'family' starts throwing mud pies, then the only rational policy becomes sending the axeman out. The Patriots have never lacked the ability to throw a veteran overboard as a matter of example or principle. Football, of course, excels at brutality, while baseball prides itself on more pastoral leadership.

Of course, that is more fiction than fact. Baseball has produced many of the most defective managerial personalities around, ranging from legendary figures like John McGraw and Billy Martin, to lesser known Massholes whom I will leave unnamed.

So, if you want to feel sorry for someone, forget about the Massachusetts city squad, Lowell and Wakefield, and focus on the skipper, Terry Francona.

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