Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Asbestos Pants

It hasn't taken Terry Francona long to enter the fray concerning the free-for-all that has been the Red Sox clubhouse. He has the opportunity to wear two hats, his ESPN Commentator hat, and the jilted manager cap.  Everyone recognizes that with more freedom (alcohol, curfew, miscellaneous rules) comes great responsibility. Invariably, if one asks adults to behave in a mature, considerate, responsible manner, we sometimes err. Of course, the old saying, "it is easier to ask forgiveness than permission also applies."

When we look historically at the adults called professional ballplayers, referencing timeless classics like Jim Bouton's "Ball Four", we know that baseball clubhouses involve not semantics, but some antics.

“Throw him low smoke and we'll go pound some Budweiser.”

As the new Skipper, you can't take the "boys will be boys" approach. Red Sox management made the traditional "managerial alternans" choice, of a 'task-oriented' leader from a 'relationship oriented' one. That happens because, while nice guys may not always finish last, narcissistic multimillionaire athletes tend to walk over, not around them.

Bobby Valentine has already mused that he may have to confront some residual anger. So, wearing my Sox jacket, contemplating my Beckett-autographed Wheaties box, I wonder whom he might be thinking about.

Terry Francona took some heat from Major League Baseball about its dress code, demanding that he be in full uniform under his outer attire. Cup check? Well, Bobby Valentine probably has to come to the park not with body armor yet, but at least with asbestos pants.

No comments: