Saturday, May 12, 2012

Culture Club

As fans we are outsiders. The saying goes, "what you see here and what you hear here, stays here." That is, baseball players must respect the sanctity of the clubhouse.
Of course, sometimes we get the tiniest glimpse of what happens there. Chicken and beer isn't as important as the will to prepare, leading to success on the field. Preparation might be mental or physical, watching film or lifting weights, spending ten minutes a day on sports psychology.  One Red Sox employee told me, the all-too-common attitude migrates from "whatever it takes" to "I've got mine." And that doesn't translate to winning baseball.

New players on the Patriots talk about doing whatever it takes to contribute to winning, to working toward a common goal, to get to the Super Bowl. Is that what we SEE with Ye Olde Towne Team?

Currently, the Red Sox have one of the worst records in baseball. WYSIATI. What you see is all there is? Fans want players who care as much as they do. If I were Ben Cherington, I would call every player on the forty man roster in, and get a read on what is important to them. If your first priority isn't doing everything possible to create team success, then I'd offer each player the option (behind the scenes) of another baseball destination.

The organization used to talk about The Red Sox Way. Frankly, that has become a joke with a continual stream of bad baseball, with bad execution (defensive mistakes and errors, balks and fat pitches) , a litany of excuses, self-centered behavior and attitudes. Fans don't tar every player with the same brush, and recognize the role of injury and special circumstances (e.g. playing out of position, reserves asked to play daily). The manager has to tread lightly among big egos, some of whom are living off declining reputations.

But what fans find unacceptable is the perception that neither management nor many of the players care about more than taking their money. As long as the corporation keeps generating cash flow and puts fannies in the seats and Red Sox gear flies off the shelves, it's all good. Any concept of 'quality control' and accountability just goes out the window. The new motto, "Every Game Matters" has become the big lie.

1 comment:

Faithful to Fenway said...

I don't know Ron Sen, I think this team has a lot of culture and just has not yet had the opportunity to embrace it. Also, we must remember that the team we have on the field is not the team that was expected to be on the field April 1st.

Give this new group of guys time to mesh. The offense, I think, has been incredible to start the year. So good, in fact that I question why they went after Podsednik as he's not an upgrade over any of the 5 guys that currently roam the outfield.

Overall though, great post and I agree that there are some guys who need to be asked, "Do you want to play in Boston?" If the answer is no, it's time to find another place to play. Some of this is self-induced by the media, such as the Josh Beckett golf incident.
Faithful to Fenway