Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Memo to Andre Ethier: Red Sox May Not Be the Players' Paradise It's Made Out to Be

"Hell Yeah, I Like Hubris."

From "Inside the collapse" by Bob Hohler at the Boston Globe:

As Hurricane Irene barreled toward Boston in late August, management proposed moving up the Sunday finale of a weekend series against Oakland so the teams could play a day-night doubleheader either Friday, Aug. 26, or Saturday, Aug. 27. The reasoning seemed sound: the teams would avoid a Sunday rainout and the dilemma of finding a mutual makeup date for teams separated by 2,700 miles.

But numerous Sox players angrily protested. They returned early that Friday from Texas after a demanding stretch in which they had played 14 of 17 games on the road, with additional stops in Minneapolis, Seattle, and Kansas City. The players accused management of caring more about making money than winning, which marked the first time the team’s top executives sensed serious trouble brewing in the clubhouse. [...]

Sox owners soon suspected the team's poor play was related to lingering resentment over the scheduling dispute, sources said. The owners responded by giving all the players $300 headphones and inviting them to enjoy a players-only night on principal owner John W. Henry’s yacht after they returned from a road trip Sept. 11.

But the gestures made no difference. The hapless Sox became the laughingstocks of baseball as they went from holding a two-game divisional lead over the Yankees after the Aug. 27 doubleheader - and a nine-game advantage in the wild-card race over the Rays - to finishing a humiliating third in the AL East.

While the seeds of failure were sown long before the shame of September, other foreboding signs emerged earlier. In springtime, there proved to be regrettable irony in the entire starting rotation - Beckett, Lackey, Lester, Tim Wakefield, and Clay Buchholz - donning Sox uniforms and hamming it up in front of the Green Monster for a video of a country music ditty, "Hell Yeah, I Like Beer."

Drinking beer in the Sox clubhouse is permissible. So is ordering take-out chicken and biscuits. Playing video games on one of the clubhouse’s flat-screen televisions is OK, too. But for the Sox pitching trio to do all three during games, rather than show solidarity with their teammates in the dugout, violated an unwritten rule that players support each other, especially in times of crisis.

And that's not all — be sure to read the entire article. Of course, none of this really explains the Sox's spectacular September crash, but still, the arrogance and sense of entitlement of these ballplayers is astounding. To be sure, all teams have ballplayers who are arrogant and entitled, but I guess collecting $164 million of them in one clubhouse can lead to issues. At least the Dodgers will never have that problem.


Nostradamus said...

I call BS on this. If they had won, everyone would be talking about how "loose" they were. Hell, that's exactly what they said in 2004.

This isn't the first time a team has tuned a manager out or gotten lackadaisical in the midst of a losing streak. I've watched it happen the last three times the Dodgers changed managers.

Shit happens in Boston too.

Nostradamus said...

I guess you can count me in the "Team-chemistry-is-a-cop-out" crowd. Sometimes, you just suck. I'll grant you that meathead clubhouse antics can amplify that, but suck must first exist to be amplified.

Nostradamus said...

Wait, the Astros are likely moving to the AL?! Why am I the last to know EVERYTHING?

Josh S. said...

The Brewers are in the NL now??!!

Nostradamus said...

I'm still holding out that the DH is just a passing fad.

DodgersKingsoftheGalaxy said...

lol let me guess, beats by Dre? I would be psst too if i got such crappy headphones.

Fred's Brim said...

Cripes, I guess the Astros moving to the AL means there will be at least one interleague series going on at all times

Paul said...

This article is not complete and full of holes. Was it KFC? Popeye's, Churchs????

What Video games did they play? If it was baseball then is that considered practice?

People bitch no matter how much money they make. It is just happens.

Paul said...
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