Friday, October 14, 2011

Nothing But the Truth: Clubhouse Drinking, Back to the Future

Drinking before or during a game isn't against the law for adults, but is it conducive to optimal performance? We know that alcohol impairs higher order brain function, and one would think that would apply to doing "the hardest thing in sports, hitting a round ball with a round bat."

Years ago, a Red Sox writer (not employed by Red Sox) spotted a Red Sox player drinking hard liquor before a game. The story was never written, never published. The player told the writer, "I am never going to talk with you again." Life went on, and the Red Sox and the player continued to have success.

More than anything else, education is about affecting change in behavior. I don't believe that players succeed or fail because they're not trying hard enough. You can't pitch better by gripping the ball tighter or hit better by holding the bat tighter. To succeed in baseball you need the right combination of God-given talents and inspiration-driven practice...and some luck.

Red Sox fans simply must ask whether management and players have done everything possible to allow the team and players to succeed. Have they looked in the mirror and said my prior is having the best quality process to yield the best outcome. If they haven't, then they must ask themselves, am I prepared to do make that commitment. If not, then those individuals must go, move on.

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