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Olney: Clubhouse is "toxic"


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#1 Smiling Joe Hesketh


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Posted 18 June 2012 - 10:27 AM

Buster throws gas on the fire.


Which brings us to the 2012 Boston Red Sox.

The unhappiness that exists among the Boston players and staff is multi-layered and deep. Calls and texts and complaints about daily events and exchanges are being sprayed all over the baseball landscape, as some involved share their frustration with friends and family and agents. Some are already talking about looking for work elsewhere down the road.

There is frustration about how individual situations have been handled, about communication. For those aware of the problems, there is bad body language on display during games, as the anger manifests.

"Did you see that?" an official texted during the weekend here, after some particularly egregious posturing.

Nobody's really gone on the record -- yet -- but it's clear that if the Red Sox are going to win this year, it'll have to be in spite of the bad feelings. This team isn't going to turn into Happy Town anytime soon. There are too many irreconcilable differences in place.


Now, there's a few issues here:

- insider only, so the full article may have more details than this, but right now Buster's extremely light on specifics.

- all anonymous attribution. Which official texted Buster? Sox? AL? Opponent?

- sounds like second- or third- hand knowledge.

And after all, we keep saying winning cures all. If the team is not playing well and the players are frustrated because of that....isn't that a good thing?

All that being said, the idea that this team is filled with unlikable jerks isn't going away soon.

#2 jon abbey


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Posted 18 June 2012 - 10:34 AM

I don't think it's second or third hand knowledge, he's been talking about this on and off all season. I think he can't print specifics as of yet for some reason.

What you posted is the 'meat' of it, here's the rest:

"But undoubtedly, the Red Sox can win; if you're looking for a parallel, think about the 1977-78 Yankees. Reggie hated Billy and Thurman hated Reggie and George sided with Reggie until he sided with Billy, until George fired Billy after what Billy said about George and Reggie.

Boston is now four games out of the Wild Card, and as manager Bobby Valentine noted before Sunday's game, there is a board in the clubhouse in Fenway that lists all the injured players, and in each case, there have been no setbacks. Cody Ross could be activated Tuesday, and Carl Crawford might be back in early July, and Jacoby Ellsbury isn't far behind. Andrew Bailey's rehabilitation is going well and he'll pitch this season, and it may be that Daniel Bard will go back to being one of the most dominant set-up men in the game. The Red Sox are looking for a starting pitcher, and if they landed someone like Ryan Dempster, that could stabilize the situation.

But if they don't win -- if the Red Sox don't make the playoffs -- there will be a time when all of the exasperation and frustration is going to spill out spectacularly. Most divorces get ugly."

#3 jon abbey


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Posted 18 June 2012 - 10:37 AM

Rosenthal alludes to something similar very briefly in his column today too, it's very odd that no one is printing specifics:

"I actually think the Boston Red Sox can still win the American League East.
The Sox will need to get past all of their agendas and egos, but they still have talent — talent in the majors, talent on the disabled list, talent in the minors."

http://msn.foxsports...w-tweaks-061812

#4 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 18 June 2012 - 10:41 AM

So, who are the problems? Half the staff (both on field, and coaches) is new. Beckett? Youkilis? Lester? Gonzalez?

These articles are just so vague to really be of any value.

#5 trekfan55


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Posted 18 June 2012 - 10:42 AM

I have an insider account.

The article does not go on to say much more except:

1. The Sox have a bunch of injuries but none of them have had setbacks yet.
2. If they don't win, this could turn into an "ugly divorce"

Like SJH said, there is very little credit given so we really do not know the sources.

#6 biollante


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Posted 18 June 2012 - 10:46 AM

Anyone could write an anonymous article about any team like this at any time.
I don't find it helpful or insightful. No specifics no reality?
Other than no one like to lose ?

#7 terrynever


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Posted 18 June 2012 - 10:47 AM

I have an insider account.

The article does not go on to say much more except:

1. The Sox have a bunch of injuries but none of them have had setbacks yet.
2. If they don't win, this could turn into an "ugly divorce"

Like SJH said, there is very little credit given so we really do not know the sources.

It's interesting that an ESPN columnist is stirring stuff up for his former ESPN colleague. I wonder if any of this stuff is coming from Bobby V himself. Off-the-record, of course.

#8 Toe Nash

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 10:49 AM

I don't have a big problem with lack of sources -- we saw last year that even with anonymous sources there was a decent element of truth in various reports. But these sources aren't even saying anything beyond "guys [not even which guys] are frustrated and upset and it's showing in their body language" which would happen on pretty much any team that was underperforming expectations.

Seems like a pretty worthless article. If Olney doesn't have enough to go on the record with even an anonymous source about who is upset at whom, or why (besides losing) or...anything...then why write the article?

#9 BannedbyNYYFans.com

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 10:50 AM

"Hey Buster, do you still beat your wife?"

Posted Image

#10 wutang112878


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Posted 18 June 2012 - 10:55 AM

- insider only, so the full article may have more details than this, but right now Buster's extremely light on specifics.


This is a very vague way to say the clubhouse sucks, and generally the clubhouse sucks and teammates dont get along when things are going well. Lets think about last year, when the Sox were on fire there werent any negative articles. After September we got the sky was falling stuff. Most times the negativity seems to be a product of the record, not necessarily reality. Its not like Beckett and Youk were the nicest guys ever in Aug last year.

- all anonymous attribution. Which official texted Buster? Sox? AL? Opponent?


Official seems so vague as well, at first I thought he was referencing an MLB official. Without something more specific this is kind of foolish, and probably more importantly the person was just commenting on the body language during a game. Thats seems somewhat trivial.

And after all, we keep saying winning cures all. If the team is not playing well and the players are frustrated because of that....isn't that a good thing?


Yup, if go say 20 and 5, we wont hear any of this. If its legit the one concern is the 'agendas and egos' but without specifics I am not that worried about it. Most professional athletes have agendas, egos and are thinking about their next contract, this isnt ground-breaking stuff.

#11 Monbo Jumbo


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Posted 18 June 2012 - 10:57 AM

... If Olney doesn't have enough to go on the record with even an anonymous source about who is upset at whom, or why (besides losing) or...anything...then why write the article?


To sell insider subscriptions?

#12 glennhoffmania


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Posted 18 June 2012 - 10:59 AM

Is anyone really shocked given how last season ended, Bobby's personality, the early incidents between Bobby and Youkilis, Pedroia and Beckett, and the way the team has played? It's certainly not all Bobby's fault but I can't imagine he's helping.

#13 wutang112878


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Posted 18 June 2012 - 10:59 AM

It's interesting that an ESPN columnist is stirring stuff up for his former ESPN colleague. I wonder if any of this stuff is coming from Bobby V himself. Off-the-record, of course.


I think it would make much more sense if Tito was the source of this. This article comes out the day after the Sox play the Cubs and Tito was working it for ESPN, and it paints the franchise is a negative way, so I dont see Bobby Vs motivation to leak this. But I could see Tito having some redemption reasons to do so.

#14 Smiling Joe Hesketh


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Posted 18 June 2012 - 11:00 AM

Is anyone really shocked given how last season ended, Bobby's personality, the early incidents between Bobby and Youkilis, Pedroia and Beckett, and the way the team has played? It's certainly not all Bobby's fault but I can't imagine he's helping.


The only legit thing I saw in the article which I'm genuinely concerned about is the allusion to communication issues between players and manager. That's on both sides (if true) and really needs to be cleared up soon if the team has a shot at making any type of run this year.

#15 Smiling Joe Hesketh


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Posted 18 June 2012 - 11:01 AM

I think it would make much more sense if Tito was the source of this. This article comes out the day after the Sox play the Cubs and Tito was working it for ESPN, and it paints the franchise is a negative way, so I dont see Bobby Vs motivation to leak this. But I could see Tito having some redemption reasons to do so.


Not really Tito's style. Plus he's barely been in the clubhouse this year; the article as written smacks more of a daily insider's view.

#16 wutang112878


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Posted 18 June 2012 - 11:02 AM

Is anyone really shocked given how last season ended, Bobby's personality, the early incidents between Bobby and Youkilis, Pedroia and Beckett, and the way the team has played? It's certainly not all Bobby's fault but I can't imagine he's helping.


That doesnt make any sense, Bobby was brought in here to get the house in order. It was my understanding he was going to correct the attitude problems, being an excellent in game manager and then we would be improved results. Wait, are you saying this hasnt completely worked out?

#17 wutang112878


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Posted 18 June 2012 - 11:03 AM

Not really Tito's style. Plus he's barely been in the clubhouse this year; the article as written smacks more of a daily insider's view.


Completely agree that its not Titos style, but remember he was pretty hurt by how he felt he was trashed on his way out of town. He was also in the clubhouse for the game he worked, and I am rather confident that he communicates with Dustin on a regular basis.

#18 terrynever


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Posted 18 June 2012 - 11:03 AM

I think it would make much more sense if Tito was the source of this. This article comes out the day after the Sox play the Cubs and Tito was working it for ESPN, and it paints the franchise is a negative way, so I dont see Bobby Vs motivation to leak this. But I could see Tito having some redemption reasons to do so.

Probably a better call than mine. Tito probably gets texts from a few of his former players. He mentions something casually over lunch with his network pals and eventually his words leak down the ESPN grapevine to Buster, who isn't very far from the root.

Edited by terrynever, 18 June 2012 - 11:04 AM.


#19 OCD SS


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Posted 18 June 2012 - 11:08 AM

Is the allusion to body language and posturing just the the on-field expression of calls that go against them (i.e. hitter grousing about being run up, pitcher staring in when a close pitch is called a ball)? As we've talked about in the other thread, the Sox have been doing that forever.

... And losing probably exacerbates the problem.

#20 Savin Hillbilly


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Posted 18 June 2012 - 11:24 AM

Is the allusion to body language and posturing just the the on-field expression of calls that go against them (i.e. hitter grousing about being run up, pitcher staring in when a close pitch is called a ball)? As we've talked about in the other thread, the Sox have been doing that forever.


Impossible to be sure, of course, but the quoted material in context sounds more like the "body language" in question is aimed at Valentine, the coaches, or other players. Showing up the umpires, as you say, is old news, and wouldn't in itself indicate clubhouse issues.

#21 bosockboy


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Posted 18 June 2012 - 11:32 AM

I think a lot of this might be cleared up by moving Youk; it relieves a log jam and gets Gonzalez out of RF. Obviously Youk and Valentine don't play well; I imagine that is the source of much of the tension.

This team should be close to full strength in 30 days.....winning cures most ills.

#22 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 18 June 2012 - 11:33 AM

I took the body language more in the context of how guys reacted after some of the botched plays last night, or how they act after they've made an error, get thrown out at home, etc. All really depends on what your preconceived notions are, those certainly effect what you think you are seeing.

This team is 33-33, and has been through a lot. i think they should be proud to be where they are, they can certainly be contenders. A big part of the success is really from the unexpected sources; the Doubront's, Atchison's, and Nava's of the world (guys who all seem pretty "likable" to me).

i guess all I'm saying is that it's one thing for a Youkilis, Beckett, Lester, Gonzalez (or whomever) to mope around when they are playing well, But, they aren't, so really, who needs to hear about any of this? What the hell is the problem here?

#23 Buck Showalter


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Posted 18 June 2012 - 11:39 AM

Is anyone really shocked given how last season ended, Bobby's personality, the early incidents between Bobby and Youkilis, Pedroia and Beckett, and the way the team has played? It's certainly not all Bobby's fault but I can't imagine he's helping.


I agree with this 100%.

Also, just as an aside.

What the heck were Beckett and Lester doing on the bench last night?

What good come come out of them accompanying each other on a road trip where neither is participating?



#24 TheoShmeo


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Posted 18 June 2012 - 11:39 AM

i guess all I'm saying is that it's one thing for a Youkilis, Beckett, Lester, Gonzalez (or whomever) to mope around when they are playing well, But, they aren't, so really, who needs to hear about any of this? What the hell is the problem here?

Honestly, how do you know? How could you possibly know?

And IF this stuff is real, then I do want to hear about it. I have no idea if it is real. But given the ending last season, some of the personalities involved and the team's record, I don't have a lot of trouble believing that there are issues.

#25 Pumpsie


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Posted 18 June 2012 - 11:40 AM

You see what you're looking for.

Bobby V. would be the LAST person this would be coming from, btw. A better guess is Tito, and he might be guessing just by looking at the players (body posture reference is a red flag here) or one or more of his ex-players is complaining to him, or has complained to him in the past.

But considering the influx of new people this year, the new players and coaches PLUS all the injury replacements, it's a wonder these guys can feel like a team at all. They need nametags just to keep things straight in there. With all these moving parts, with all the injuries to key players, and with so many vets underperforming for one reason or another (Youks, Gonzo, Lester, Pedroia, etc.) I think Valentine has done a more than credible job to keep them at .500 so far.

#26 reggiecleveland


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Posted 18 June 2012 - 11:41 AM

I would not be surprised if it was Tito. He himself said that if they won a bit more last year a lot of things would not have come out. During the game last night he talked about how "the best guy" was in triple A and it was clear he didn't like the Bard as starter move, but he seemed to catch himself. He also said "nothing is small in Boston" and talked about how if they didn't get it going something would become a big deal in the press.

As an aside I thought when Tito said Ellsbury was the best player in the league last year Heshrisier was a real dick emphatically stating he was just the best position player and that Verlander was clearly better. I would loved to have seen Tito's body language there.

I am not sure we know his "style" as well as we think. Sure he kept stuff in house as a manage and lead a "cursed" franchise to two titles, then was treated poorly on his way out the door. He has no reason to keep things in house now that he is an announcer. It benifited him to be private with the Sox, not with ESPN. Also though we find it was easy to pick on the nonphotogenic pair of the dentust and Lucino we don't know what leaks about Manny, etc Tito approved of and was part of. The stuff about Tito asking Manny to hit and then Manny taking all three pitches came from somebody in the dugout. Maybe part of Tito's success is nothing ever came back to him and he was careful to get the right story in the paper.

#27 ShaneTrot

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 11:42 AM

Who the fuck cares how happy they are? I certainly don't. I hope they are miserable. They are playing below their talent level. There are a lot of guys on this team that are cashing checks that they don't deserve.

#28 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 18 June 2012 - 11:46 AM

Honestly, how do you know? How could you possibly know?

And IF this stuff is real, then I do want to hear about it. I have no idea if it is real. But given the ending last season, some of the personalities involved and the team's record, I don't have a lot of trouble believing that there are issues.


I think you misunderstood me. I'm saying that it was tolerable to hear about clubhouse strife when the guys who were supposed to be leaders were playing well (last year). This year, they are almost all playing like shit. So, honestly, who cares if Youkilis, Gonzalez, Lester, Beckett, or even Pedroia aren't happy? If any of these guys are clubhouse problems, than they should be replaced, b/c none of their performance is worth the added trouble.

Maybe it's not those guys causing issues, but it probably is, b/c teams don't deal with that kind of shit from below average players.

Edited by Rudy Pemberton, 18 June 2012 - 11:49 AM.


#29 glennhoffmania


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Posted 18 June 2012 - 11:50 AM

As an aside I thought when Tito said Ellsbury was the best player in the league last year Heshrisier was a real dick emphatically stating he was just the best position player and that Verlander was clearly better. I would loved to have seen Tito's body language there.


This is the ESPN way. They hire "experts" who almost always only look at things from their former perspective. Golic is the go to football defensive mentality expert in the morning. Jaws is the expert on all things QB. Orel has to stick up for all things pitching. It's stupid and annoying but not at all surprising anymore.

#30 TheoShmeo


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Posted 18 June 2012 - 11:53 AM

Who the fuck cares how happy they are? I certainly don't. I hope they are miserable. They are playing below their talent level. There are a lot of guys on this team that are cashing checks that they don't deserve.

I care only to the extent that their happiness, and more to the point, the team's cohesiveness, impacts their performance. While there have been some champs who had famously difficult clubhouses (some of the A's and Yankees squads in the 70s come to mind for this), it's not a big stretch to believe that factors like team unity and a minimum of clubhouse drama make winning easier. There are of course other key factors -- getting the injured players back and Adrian untracked -- but that doesn't mean that clubhouse issues don't also matter.

#31 LeoCarrillo


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Posted 18 June 2012 - 11:58 AM

"The unhappiness that exists among the Boston players and staff is multi-layered and deep. Calls and texts and complaints about daily events and exchanges are being sprayed all over the baseball landscape, as some involved share their frustration with friends and family and agents."

This doesn't spell out whether it's staff vs. players or players vs. players, though at this point it's implied that it's plenty of both.

What baffles me about this situation is that all the presumed troublemakers are getting paid big money. I'd think nothing would create division in a clubhouse more than if young, underpaid guys were carrying the load for $1 million a year while the $17M or $20M guys were dragging the team down and goldbricking it. I could see that last year maybe, if say an Ellsbury is annoyed that he makes 1/10th of Crawford. But Ells makes $8M a year now.

That's just a hypothetical, and I've always heard Crawford works hard. But you could use Beckett and Lackey's $16M or so a year, and speculate that they're divas or dogging it, and who's gonna be pissed off about it -- over money, that is? Lester makes $7M and $10M next year, and Pedroia is about the same. Would they really be annoyed over the pay/effort disparity? Maybe not. Maybe it's just about effort and winning, and not the salaries. That would be encouraging, in fact.

My point is that it's hard to imagine why the players are at odds, where this year it's basically all high-paid fatcats and glad-to-just-be-up rookie types. Who's in the grousing middle ground of overachieving/underpaid, maybe Salty and a few bullpen guys, like Ace and Atch? Don't think that's enough to create schism.

Edited by LeoCarrillo, 18 June 2012 - 12:00 PM.


#32 EvilEmpire

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 12:22 PM

I think it would make much more sense if Tito was the source of this. This article comes out the day after the Sox play the Cubs and Tito was working it for ESPN, and it paints the franchise is a negative way, so I dont see Bobby Vs motivation to leak this. But I could see Tito having some redemption reasons to do so.


Sure, if you can believe that Bobby V is capable of keeping his mouth shut. Who would be surprised if Valentine was bitching to his buddys in the media about how hard this team is to manage? Seems like it might be his way of telling friends that it really isn't his fault that they suck right now.

That said, I'm sure there are multiple sources.

#33 joe dokes

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 12:23 PM

We probably actually know a few things and a few others are quite likely to be true:

Bard didn't want to go to the minors was public.
Aceves wanted to start was publc
Youkilis probably doesn't like not being given the opportunity to hit his way back into things.(Semi-edumacated guess)
While he had no beef about being sent down, Melancon probably didn't like being at AAA for almost two months.(maybe I'm reaching)
Shoppach wants to play more was public (via BV)
Lester seems to hate everyone, even though he's never been given shit about anything; not nearly as much as Beckett, who responded by pitching pretty well in all but 2 starts. (Reaching again)

That's at least 20% of the roster.

As to sources....I'm sticking with the tried and true source of all leaks throught the last 40 years of baseball -- clubhouse guys and traveling secretaries. If I'm not mistaken, the Sox switched up clubbies over the winter. And Jack McCormack has been there forever.

But on the other hand.....does Buster expect us to believe that the Twins and Cubs are singing kumbaya after every loss?

Edited by joe dokes, 18 June 2012 - 12:24 PM.


#34 maufman


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Posted 18 June 2012 - 12:27 PM

You see what you're looking for.... I think Valentine has done a more than credible job to keep them at .500 so far.



Who the fuck cares how happy they are? I certainly don't. I hope they are miserable. They are playing below their talent level. There are a lot of guys on this team that are cashing checks that they don't deserve.


Only one of these posts can be right.

If the Sox are "playing below their talent level," that falls on the manager, who gets paid millions because of his supposed ability to coax the best possible performance out of professional baseball players.

Inversely, however, if the Sox are currently not above average talent-wise, then you can't blame the manager for only getting average results. If players are paid more than they're worth, that's the FO's fault -- the manager can't make them better than they are.. And of course, if players are hurt, that's just dumb luck.

Although I seldom agree with Pumpsie, I lean towards his view here. The 2012 Red Sox are an average baseball team and are getting average results.

The gap between expectations and outcomes is, predictably, causing friction in the clubhouse. Given that Olney merely reports the existence of friction without hinting at its sources, this is the bottom story of the day -- and a reminder of why I no longer shell out for Insider.

#35 Saints Rest

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 12:29 PM

I think a lot of this might be cleared up by moving Youk; it relieves a log jam and gets Gonzalez out of RF. Obviously Youk and Valentine don't play well; I imagine that is the source of much of the tension.

This team should be close to full strength in 30 days.....winning cures most ills.

I agree with this. Best case scenario: this is Nomar 2004 v2, with Youks playing the role of Nomar. Addition by subtraction. Get Gonzo back to 1B where he is comfortable. Leave WMB alone so he can continue his growth. Get Youks and his attitude out of the clubhouse (and his attitude has always grated certain players even when he was a top-10 hitter in the AL -- you gotta think that the combination of his injuries, his struggles at bat and in the field, and the existence of his heir in waiting in WMB, that his attitude is unlikely to be a positive one.

I have no idea what could come back for him. Who is the 2012 version of OCab and Minky . . .

#36 wade boggs chicken dinner


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Posted 18 June 2012 - 12:31 PM

"The unhappiness that exists among the Boston players and staff is multi-layered and deep. Calls and texts and complaints about daily events and exchanges are being sprayed all over the baseball landscape, as some involved share their frustration with friends and family and agents."

Seems kind of amazing to me that "calls and texts" are apparently going out to all corners of our country, and Olney can't piece together enough of them to actually put specifics into the story.

Or, for the contrarian view, the fact that so many people have heard about them but no one is willing to talk about them is a remarkable sign of unity.

Although the Red Sox seem to have pieced together an historically unlikable team.

#37 E5 Yaz


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Posted 18 June 2012 - 12:37 PM

"The unhappiness that exists among the Boston players and staff is multi-layered and deep. Calls and texts and complaints about daily events and exchanges are being sprayed all over the baseball landscape, as some involved share their frustration with friends and family and agents."


This is the part that's interesting to me. If this stuff is truly being sprayed across the baseball landscape, as Olney suggests, then you'd think someone, somewhere, would have picked up on it in public. Isn't this the sort of thing Deadspin lives for?

All these family members or ex-teammates or agents are receiving this intel, and NO ONE has spilled the beans? Seems a stretch.

Folks have to get away from the Tito or BV angle. Highly possible the chatter is coming from neither

#38 LeoCarrillo


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Posted 18 June 2012 - 12:47 PM

I'm still struggling to figure out why these players would hate each other.

1. Money disparity envy (seems unlikely, the point of my above post)
2. Some players try harder than others and care more about team goals (entirely possible)
3. Players care about individual goals and others mess it up for them/are in their way (possible, but the latter would be more player vs. staff)

Can a clubhouse really just go to shit over a guy like Beckett throwing 'tude over not getting run support, snowballing it into pitchers vs. hitters schism, with Ace, Youk, Gonzo out-of-position issues adding on? Apparently so. Maybe they're just a bunch of 15-year-olds sending smarmy texts ripping each other.

#39 E5 Yaz


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Posted 18 June 2012 - 12:51 PM

Abraham had this observation after the game

Unlike some of the divas in the Red Sox rotation, Morales was a refreshing change. He worked at a quick tempo, threw strikes and never once pouted over an umpire’s call. he cheerfully answered questions afterward and seemed genuinely glad to be part of a victory


You do wonder whether Olney's toxicity comment is related to the starters

#40 Smiling Joe Hesketh


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Posted 18 June 2012 - 12:53 PM

The shot about "answering questions" is clearly directed at Beckett.

Hell hath no fury like a sportswriter scorned of a post-game quote.

#41 Adrian's Dome

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 12:55 PM

You do wonder whether Olney's toxicity comment is related to the starters


Given the stuff with Beckett that we've heard about (whether it be true or not,) Lester's body language, underperformance, and constant griping with the umps, and Lackey in general, I'd go out on a limb and say probably.

#42 E5 Yaz


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Posted 18 June 2012 - 12:59 PM

Olney on espn.com radio:

http://espn.go.com/e...play?id=8066567

#43 wutang112878


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Posted 18 June 2012 - 12:59 PM

Sure, if you can believe that Bobby V is capable of keeping his mouth shut. Who would be surprised if Valentine was bitching to his buddys in the media about how hard this team is to manage? Seems like it might be his way of telling friends that it really isn't his fault that they suck right now.

That said, I'm sure there are multiple sources.


I agree, its not in Bobbys nature to keep quiet. But if he is one of the sources here, he is really, really stupid. When we went from Kerrigan to Grady, the intent was because Grady was going to be able to calm the players down who hated their manager. We went to Tito because he was similar but a bit more analytical. We then went to Bobby and a huge part of his charter was to be to get the players back in line and under control. What this article suggests, in its very vague claims, is that there is just chaos across the organization. Considering Bobby just came in this year, I dont see this reflecting positively on him, unless the article also included some specific issues with players that would demonstrate how difficult they were to manage.

#44 glennhoffmania


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Posted 18 June 2012 - 01:06 PM

Although I seldom agree with Pumpsie, I lean towards his view here. The 2012 Red Sox are an average baseball team and are getting average results.


No. If the active players were all performing well and they were still an average team then Pumpsie would have a point. But when you have Gonzalez, Youkilis, Pedroia, Beckett, and Lester (and arguably others) all performing below their talent level we can't say that Bobby is getting the most out of this team. If he gets credit for the unexpected contributions in small bursts from people like Nava and Atch, why isn't he accountable for the shitty performances by other players?

This team as currently constructed may not be a WS team given the injuries. But so many key players are underperforming and their record should be better than it is despite those injuries. Once Ellsbury, Crawford, Sweeney, Ross, Bailey, etc., are back, this team should be great. We can blame the players for not performing and they certainly have a good chunk of responsibility. But this still isn't an average team and a .500 record doesn't get Bobby off the hook.

#45 AimingForYoko


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Posted 18 June 2012 - 01:09 PM

Is he really saying anything new here?

They suck and everyone is pissed. I am completely shocked.

The shot about "answering questions" is clearly directed at Beckett.

Hell hath no fury like a sportswriter scorned of a post-game quote.


Pretty much yeah.

#46 TheoShmeo


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Posted 18 June 2012 - 01:22 PM

I know this thread isn't about Bobby per se, but I'm trouble understanding why he's "on the hook" for veterans underperforming.

Is the manager to blame for Adrian Gonzalez's bizarre year? Or is it health? I don't buy what Tito was selling last night about playing RF being a factor, as Adrian's numbers have been down since last August, well before he spent time in the outfield.

Is Bobby to blame for the downward trajectory Youks has been on for a while? For Pedey's thumb?

I have less trouble pinning some blame on the man in charge for the apparent attitude issues exhibited by Lester and Beckett, as the manager is supposed to deal with such things. But then again, one of Tito's strengths was dealing with personalities and we know that Beckett and Lester had issues last year, as well.

My point is not to credit Bobby for the good things and hold him blameless for the bad. At the same time, I'm not sure what Valentine should have done differently with the vets. Even his pointless rip job on Youks seems unrelated to Youks' health and on field performance.

#47 glennhoffmania


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Posted 18 June 2012 - 01:26 PM

I know this thread isn't about Bobby per se, but I'm trouble understanding why he's "on the hook" for veterans underperforming.

Is the manager to blame for Adrian Gonzalez's bizarre year? Or is it health? I don't buy what Tito was selling last night about playing RF being a factor, as Adrian's numbers have been down since last August, well before he spent time in the outfield.

Is Bobby to blame for the downward trajectory Youks has been on for a while? For Pedey's thumb?

I have less trouble pinning some blame on the man in charge for the apparent attitude issues exhibited by Lester and Beckett, as the manager is supposed to deal with such things. But then again, one of Tito's strengths was dealing with personalities and we know that Beckett and Lester had issues last year, as well.

My point is not to credit Bobby for the good things and hold him blameless for the bad. At the same time, I'm not sure what Valentine should have done differently with the vets. Even his pointless rip job on Youks seems unrelated to Youks' health and on field performance.


My point is, Pumpsie seems to be saying Bobby is doing a fine job because, given their current talent level, .500 seems pretty good. I'm saying that's crap, because if all of these guys were playing at their expected levels, they'd be well above .500. If one doesn't want to blame Bobby for Gonzalez, Pedroia, Youkilis, etc., having shitty years, they can't turn around and give Bobby credit for managing an average team simply because all of these guys are having shitty years.

Unless, of course, the argument is that the great players are out of his control, but he's a master at getting the most out of shitty to average players like Nava and Albers. And in my opinion that argument is complete bullshit.

#48 Gene Conleys Plane Ticket

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 01:26 PM

So for the sake of argument, assume that the allegations in Olney's piece are true. What I want to know, then, is:

A) Is the clubhouse tension the CAUSE of the team's poor performance (in whole or to some significant degree).

or...

B) Is the clubhouse tension the RESULT of the team's poor performance (in whole or to some significant degree).

or...

C) Is the clubhouse tension IRRELEVANT to the team's poor performance (completely or to some significant degree).

If A, that's a real problem and I'd like to see some evidence for the connection. Identifying the problem is the first and most important step to fixing it.

If B, the story is minor at best. We'd expect this to happen. Hopefully the management at all levels will keep an eye on it and try to prevent and issues from becoming permanent.

If C, the story itself is irrelevant and just gossip.

This is what I hate about stories like this. They give you a bunch of vague but juicy-sounding details, but no context or meaning. All they do is stir up more trouble.

#49 ShaneTrot

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 01:28 PM

Only one of these posts can be right.

If the Sox are "playing below their talent level," that falls on the manager, who gets paid millions because of his supposed ability to coax the best possible performance out of professional baseball players.

Inversely, however, if the Sox are currently not above average talent-wise, then you can't blame the manager for only getting average results. If players are paid more than they're worth, that's the FO's fault -- the manager can't make them better than they are.. And of course, if players are hurt, that's just dumb luck.

Although I seldom agree with Pumpsie, I lean towards his view here. The 2012 Red Sox are an average baseball team and are getting average results.

The gap between expectations and outcomes is, predictably, causing friction in the clubhouse. Given that Olney merely reports the existence of friction without hinting at its sources, this is the bottom story of the day -- and a reminder of why I no longer shell out for Insider.

You think this is an average team? They have a run differential of +27. Cleveland is -40 and has a better record. This team never fires on all cylinders. The bullpen has been great and the starters have been pretty good for the last two weeks and the offense has sucked. This team is good and with Ellsbury, Crawford, and Bailey on the horizon they should be better. This is the most under achieving Red Sox team in a long time and strangely I don't blame Bobby V for it.

#50 Van Everyman


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Posted 18 June 2012 - 01:34 PM

Let's be clear: that this team is even at .500 is in large part due to Nava/Ross/WMB/Pods/Aviles/Salty/etc. and Doubront/Atch/Albers (and maybe Morales, now). Collectively, those guys have been an awesome story. The problem is, that other than Ortiz (and to a lesser extent Beckett), very few of the big dollar veterans are carrying their weight -- they're either playing poorly (ie, Gonzalez), on the DL (Ellsbury/Crawford) or playing poorly but probably should be on the DL (Youk/Pedroia). That guys earning the league minimum are outperforming perennial All Stars has to be burning the latter to no end -- and strikes me as pure Bobby V: encourage the kids and ride the vets hard. That's why:


What the heck were Beckett and Lester doing on the bench last night?

What good come come out of them accompanying each other on a road trip where neither is participating?

...makes complete sense to me. To me, that's BV telling Beckett and Lester, "You guys are part of the team." And I think if the goal is to change the culture, then there are naturally going to be uncomfortable moments and all this is probably a good thing.

Where this gets complicated is if the goal is really just to win. Now, in fairness to Bobby, he has to do both -- change the culture and get guys to play well/win. But let's be honest if they're going to win, the Sox need their veterans to perform. Nava/etc. have been a series of awesome stories -- but they ain't gonna take this team in this league to the playoffs. At a certain point, the guys need to do what they're being paid to do.