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Lack of leadership and toughness more than it is lack of talent


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#1 AZBlue

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 05:22 PM

The floundering by the Red Sox since September 1 of last season may have more to do with a deficit of the intangibles that are so important to a championship level team than it is attributable to a shortage of talent. As the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, I would urge that (in addition to addition by subtraction), there be a focus on bringing tough guys with leadership skills to this Red Sox team.

Consider the impact of losing two tough guys since the 2011 season--Jason Varitek through retirement and Kevin Youkilis by virtue of a trade that was necessary for both the player and the team. Who are the remaining talented, hard-nosed leaders? Dustin Pedroia is clearly in that category. He has talent, toughness and heart. He truly cares more about winning than his own statistics. A step down from that level is David Ortiz, who is performing well and has respect in the clubhouse. However, Ortiz has an unfortunate tendency to whine about his stats and his salary and seems to be more focused on how things are going for him than for the team. Granted, Ortiz wants to win, but how much of a leader are you when you interrupt your manager's press conference to complain that he was not going to bat for you with the official scorer and when he somewhat condescendingly scoffed at the idea that Jacoby Ellsbury could wind up with more home runs last year than Ortiz would (How did that work out, David?).

Third on the leadership rankings (from the perspective of this fan, who has no idea what goes on behind closed doors in the clubhouse) is....well...it might be....uh. Who is it?

On the pitching staff, Terry Francona attempted to anoint Josh Beckett as the leader. That clearly did not work out well. Texas Conman II has shown no accountability and a questionable work ethic. That attitude seems to have affected others on the pitching staff (Jon Lester in particular). Perhaps John Lackey was also responsible for the poisoned attitudes among the pitching staff. At least, he is the favored whipping boy. Who are the leaders among the pitchers? Who are the tough guys?

Aceves and Padilla are very tough customers and I like having them on the pitching staff. They do not back down from any situation. They lead by example. The performance and accountability of most of the relievers has been very professional. But, who among the starters has the potential to step up this season? Buchholz is a follower. Doubront is virtually a rookie. Cook is new and was all too full of giggles about his terrible pitch location in the Friday game against the Yankees. Virtually all of the others on the staff have no significant history with the team and do not overtly show leadership qualities. Lester has shown zero ability to be a leader. You cannot fault his toughness and courage during his fight against cancer, but where are his confidence, determination and poise on the mound? No one is going to look toward Lester (at least the 2012 version) for leadership.

Position players? Salty has significant future leadership potential, but he does not yet have enough experience, confidence, consistency and willingness to assert his will with a pitching staff during his first year as the main catcher. Middlebrooks is only a rookie. Aviles, Ross, Shoppach, Punto, Sweeney and Nava have no real history with the Red Sox or credibility that comes with performance at an elite level in the majors. Ciriaco is just thrilled to be in the majors.

So, who have I left out…oh…Adrian Gonzalez--who would like to be the Invisible Man, Jacoby Ellsbury, who IS the Invisible Man, and Carl "I have never heard a racial slur in my life before my rehab assignment” Crawford, who I WISH was the Invisible Man.

There could be a fire bombing in the clubhouse and Adrian MIGHT call 911. He wants to get his at bats, play (excellent) defense and attribute everything to “God’s will.” Without getting into a theological exchange, it has always raised a question in my mind about accountability and responsibility when athletes suggest that they are merely actors playing a part in a play that has been written by the Man Upstairs.

Ellsbury? Great player. Really good person. Has a hard time staying on the field. Can anyone remember thinking of him as a leader? I have never seen him challenge someone on the bench or say ANYTHING about the team or his teammates or show a flicker of leadership qualities. Not everyone can be a leader, and you cannot force something that is not in your personality. He is what he is.

Then there is Carl Crawford. The Yankees had Mr. October and Mr. May (my all-time George Steinbrenner comment). The Red Sox now have “Mr. Deer in the Headlights.”

Crawford claims that he was trying to hit home runs and suffered a drop in his batting average in 2011 because the “Red Sox obviously wanted me to hit more home runs because they dropped me to 7th in the batting order.” No, Carl, you could not get on base when you were in the 2 spot in the lineup and they hoped to take pressure off you and help the team by moving you down in the order. They were not hinting that you should stop trying to get on base, should not attempt to steal or try at all when you played left field. You were not performing. It was your fault. It was not Terry Francona’s fault that you were terrible last year. It is not Bobby Valentine’s fault that you “aren’t comfortable” this year. Accept responsibility.

Crawford acts like he is being asked to field live hand grenades in left field. The player who Don Zimmer called the “best defensive left fielder that I have ever seen” has been horrid on defense. Crawford is tentative on line drives. He misreads balls hit over his head. He is timid when balls are hit into the corner, apparently fearing that the ball will bounce past him. He has let many fly balls hit the ground in front of the Green Monster or hit low enough on the wall that it obvious that the ball was catchable if he had been aggressive. He has overrun several balls hit to his right and had to lunge back to make (or try to make) plays. He has a below average arm when healthy, and now has to come out of games in the 7th inning if the score is close.

He thinks he needs surgery on the UCL (The Red Sox say that many players have played several years with this condition and do not envision him needing surgery.) . Crawford does not want to risk making a throw that would tear the ligament. Carl, if you want to have surgery now and you think that you may be one throw away from tearing the ligament and having to undergo surgery…well…let it rip (so to speak). If it tears, you will get your wish and get to rehab and come back as healthy as you can expect to be. Maybe you will have the same upgrade regarding arm strength that many pitchers have experienced and have an average arm.

In summary, he’s afraid to throw the ball hard, terrified of making mistakes, is hyper-sensitive to fan and media criticism, and has only rarely shown himself to be the aggressive base runner that used to terrorize the Red Sox. Leadership? Heart? Courage? Aggressiveness? To be fair, his teammates like him and he works really hard on conditioning. He is a nice person. He does not hang out with a bad crowd. He does not abuse animals. He is, however, the "Anti-leader."

Championship teams have strong leaders and some depth of leadership. Other than Pedroia (who has the heart of a gladiator), who else has the potential to step up for this Boston team? The team is going nowhere unless several players do so. I do not see those leaders on this roster (and with respect to the young players, at least during this season). It is unlikely that a big trade or trades will happen by the non-waiver deadline, but if something happens, I hope that it brings players will strong leadership qualities, which will be desperately needed by this team in 2012 and 2013.

What about leadership from management? Larry Lucchino appears to have a tight leash on his general manager and manager. Does either have the authority to act courageously and decisively? I have looked for indications and see none. Organizations are powerful or weak from the top down. John Henry and Tom Warner have entrusted Lucchino with the reigns. Lucchino is VERY unlikely to accept the inadequacies of this roster, to acknowledge that this team has only the smallest chance to make it as far as the AL championship series or to give his GM or manager the freedom to do their job until they show they cannot get it done. I hope that Larry gives Ben some freedom and urges him to do what is necessary to bring in leaders as well as good players.


Edited by AZBlue, 28 July 2012 - 05:29 PM.


#2 tims4wins


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Posted 28 July 2012 - 06:49 PM

Or Lester and Beckett could pitch better. The Sox are 13-24 in their starts coming into today. Make that record a mere 19-18 and the Sox are tied with the Angels for the first wild card. Make it 24-13, where everyone probably expected it to be, and the Sox are tied with the MFY. It is all about pitching. Always.

#3 AZBlue

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 07:30 PM

Injuries and poor performance by Beckett and Lester are clearly additional major issues.

#4 Hendu for Kutch

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 08:46 PM

Doesn't the presence of both Varitek and Youkilis last September sorta kinda maybe undermine your entire point?

#5 MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 08:49 PM

Who knew AZBlue was Nick Cafardo? I didn't.

I really just don't understand this line of thinking at all. Did you not watch the 2007 playoffs? Josh Beckett wasn't a "leader" then? You think he just stopped caring sometime around Sept. 1 of last year? Because up until that time, he was a Cy Young candidate.

Last year, when Ellsbury was the runner up for the MVP award, he wasn't a "leader"? Was Adrian a "leader" today when he hit a double and a three-run bomb to beat the Yankees, and will he go back to not being a leader tomorrow if he goes 0-4?

Yes, baseball players are human beings and I'm sure their performances are affected by outside factors like camaraderie and leadership, but by all accounts this is the closest-knit clubhouse in years.

Further, remember the time Manny Ramirez punched Youkilis because he was being a dick throwing his helmet around all the time? You're looking for more Manny-like leadership? Most teammates backed Manny in that episode and distanced themselves from Youk in his criticism of Ellsbury. If you think he was a leader in that clubhouse, you're crazy.

And where were those leaders last September? Tek and Youk and Wakefield bear no responsibility, I'm sure.

This is nonsense of the highest order.

#6 El Tiante

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 08:54 PM

I think it is more performance based than leadership based. Wins=leadership and leadership=wins! If the starting pitching was performing better this would be a better team.

#7 DeJesus Built My Hotrod


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Posted 28 July 2012 - 08:58 PM

Leadership and toughness are what win baseball games?

First, we can assume that the vast majority of the guys who play in the majors are competitive types. As we all know, its extremely difficult to make it on to a major league roster so its a fair bet virtually every player on the Red Sox wants to win. In addition, I suspect that these most of these guys are fairly tough as well. The pressure in getting to the majors is immense.

Setting aside leadership, because its unclear how that really correlates to winning in baseball, the only thing that's left to question is the talent level of this ball club. In short, the difference between consistently winning and mediocrity/losing is talent.

But go ahead with the leadership and toughness questions. Perhaps the Sox will fill their roster with Navy Seals for 2013.

#8 Alcohol&Overcalls

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 10:06 PM

September totally wouldn't have happened on Varitek's or Youklis's watch!

WE. DO. NOT. KNOW. THE. PLAYERS. We watch the players - and even worse, we believe what other idiots write about the players.

#9 JimBoSox9


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Posted 28 July 2012 - 10:38 PM

(Pedroia) truly cares more about winning than his own statistics.

(Ortiz) seems to be more focused on how things are going for him than for the team. Granted, Ortiz wants to win,

On the pitching staff, Terry Francona attempted to anoint Josh Beckett as the leader.

(Beckett') attitude seems to have affected others on the pitching staff (Jon Lester in particular).

(Aceves and Padilla)do not back down from any situation. They lead by example. The performance and accountability of most of the relievers has been very professional.

Buchholz is a follower.

Virtually all of the others on the staff have no significant history with the team and do not overtly show leadership qualities.

Lester has shown zero ability to be a leader.

No one is going to look toward Lester (at least the 2012 version) for leadership.

Salty has significant future leadership potential, but he does not yet have enough experience, confidence, consistency and willingness to assert his will with a pitching staff during his first year as the main catcher.

Ciriaco is just thrilled to be in the majors.

Adrian Gonzalez--who would like to be the Invisible Man

Carl "I have never heard a racial slur in my life before my rehab assignment”
(Editor's note: this one deserves more attention)

There could be a fire bombing in the clubhouse and Adrian MIGHT call 911. He wants to get his at bats, play (excellent) defense and attribute everything to “God’s will.”

Without getting into a theological exchange, it has always raised a question in my mind about accountability and responsibility when athletes suggest that they are merely actors playing a part in a play that has been written by the Man Upstairs.
ED: ibid.

(Ellsbury) Not everyone can be a leader, and you cannot force something that is not in your personality. He is what he is.

Crawford acts like he is being asked to field live hand grenades in left field.

(Crawford) apparently fearing that the ball will bounce past him. inning if the score is close. <o:p></o:p>[/color]

(Crawford) thinks he needs surgery on the UCL

Crawford does not want to risk making a throw that would tear the ligament.

(Crawford is) afraid to throw the ball hard, terrified of making mistakes, is hyper-sensitive to fan and media criticism

Leadership? Heart? Courage? Aggressiveness? To be fair, his teammates like him and he works really hard on conditioning. He is a nice person. He does not hang out with a bad crowd. He does not abuse animals. He is, however, the "Anti-

Lucchino is VERY unlikely to accept the inadequacies of this roster, to acknowledge that this team has only the smallest chance to make it as far as the AL championship series or to give his GM or manager the freedom to do their job until they show they cannot get it done.


Dude, the amount you know about what's going on in their heads is AMAZING! You're like the Sox Whisperer. Can you help out some of our teams in other sports, or does it only work in baseball?



Real excited to see how long the mods let it go without locking it.

#10 Ed Hillel


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Posted 28 July 2012 - 11:17 PM

September totally wouldn't have happened on Varitek's or Youklis's watch!

WE. DO. NOT. KNOW. THE. PLAYERS. We watch the players - and even worse, we believe what other idiots write about the players.


We even believe what the coaches and players themselves say sometimes. It's abundantly clear there were issues with last year's team, based on comments from players and coaches, personnel moves, and results. But who really wants to re-live that? Yuck.

This year? Other than Bobby V yapping incessently and some early spewing back from a few guys early in the year, we don't know much. But, given the makeup of the team, the clown of a manager, and the results, it really wouldn't surprise me at all if there was a lack of leadership/team unity negatively affecting the team again. Take the whole Crawford fiasco. How could any player not be affected by that situation? It's a joke.


Leadership and toughness are what win baseball games?


Leadership affects people in all aspects of team-oriented sports. It varies with different sports, but there is some effect. The problem is that it is immeasurable, so we can fight all day here about it. What's strange to me that so many people rail on leadership, but then will turn around and mention it as a strength of someone. We love Belichick, Brady, and Garnett for their leadership and work ethic, but then it can't possibly have an impact on performance here? Odd.

Hell, who here hasn't worked harder in a class for a teacher they liked more than in one for a teacher they didn't? That's an impact on performance, is it not?

Who knew AZBlue was Nick Cafardo? I didn't.


I don't believe he is Nick Cafardo, but I do believe he has been a coach at a major Division 1 school. He may know a thing or two about the subject, and may have even coached a player or two on the team. Doesn't mean he is omniscient, but maybe the theory ought not be so clearly dismissed (sorry if I have the wrong guy here).

Again, though, it's not really a topic that can be discussed here, since nobody can show much evidence one way or the other. Still, I think the general theory certainly has merit.

Edited by Ed Hillel, 28 July 2012 - 11:46 PM.


#11 Hendu for Kutch

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 12:05 AM

Again, though, it's not really a topic that can be discussed here, since nobody can show much evidence one way or the other. Still, I think the general theory certainly has merit.


The theory is that the absence of leaders like Varitek and Youkilis caused this, despite the fact that it started while they were both there. I'm not sure how it can be attributed to their absence when they weren't even absent when it started. The evidence seems pretty clear, to be honest.

Besides, what does being a D1 coach have to do with his ability to read the minds of Crawford, Gonzalez, or Ellsbury? This type of analysis seems one step away from the "ugly girlfriend" analysis in Moneyball.

#12 Ed Hillel


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Posted 29 July 2012 - 12:14 AM

The general theory is that a lack of leadership and cohesion can negatively affect on-field performance. I actually think it's pretty obvious that is the case. How much, and whether it applies here (which I think it probably does, based on my personal opinion of Bobby V and the prior words of players and managers) is up for endless debate. Nobody will get anywhere with this.

Edited by Ed Hillel, 29 July 2012 - 12:15 AM.


#13 reggiecleveland


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Posted 29 July 2012 - 12:20 AM

edit
Never mind. I was being a dick. But this mind reading stuff is dumb.

Edited by reggiecleveland, 29 July 2012 - 12:22 AM.


#14 Soxfan in Fla


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Posted 29 July 2012 - 02:42 AM

Who knew AZBlue was Nick Cafardo? I didn't.

I really just don't understand this line of thinking at all. Did you not watch the 2007 playoffs? Josh Beckett wasn't a "leader" then? You think he just stopped caring sometime around Sept. 1 of last year? Because up until that time, he was a Cy Young candidate.

Last year, when Ellsbury was the runner up for the MVP award, he wasn't a "leader"? Was Adrian a "leader" today when he hit a double and a three-run bomb to beat the Yankees, and will he go back to not being a leader tomorrow if he goes 0-4?

Yes, baseball players are human beings and I'm sure their performances are affected by outside factors like camaraderie and leadership, but by all accounts this is the closest-knit clubhouse in years.

Further, remember the time Manny Ramirez punched Youkilis because he was being a dick throwing his helmet around all the time? You're looking for more Manny-like leadership? Most teammates backed Manny in that episode and distanced themselves from Youk in his criticism of Ellsbury. If you think he was a leader in that clubhouse, you're crazy.

And where were those leaders last September? Tek and Youk and Wakefield bear no responsibility, I'm sure.

This is nonsense of the highest order.


The fall off of Beckett and Lester from September 1 of last season to now is a true mystery. I don't think it has anything to do with leadership. If these two didn't fall off a cliff, or into a bucket of chicken and beer (lol), the collapse doesn't happen and this season is much better and likely doesn't include Booby V. These two are an absolute mystery. At least Clay had an injury that explained his issues for awhile. Are these two suddenly cooked? Out of nowhere?

#15 Eric Van


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Posted 29 July 2012 - 05:34 AM

There may be something wrong with the makeup of this team, but it's certainly not a lack of leadership.

When a team is playing badly, they have to feel that there is no correlation, no predictive value whatsoever, to last night's crappy play when it comes to tonight.

How many players, if they're slumping, remain convinced that tonight is the night they start hitting well again? That's the attitude you need to get out of a personal or team tailspin. Fuck yesterday, yesterday doesn't matter.

Kevin Millar famously had that attitude and communicated it well to his teammates. Damon seemed to have it, too, and Schilling and Lowe (the latter probably because he was carousing before his last "yesterday" but not today). That's how 2004 happened.

The only guy on this team that seems to have that attitude is Pedroia. The rest seem to be conscientious guys who, when things are going bad, tend to overthink, doubt themselves to at least some degree, and put too much pressure on themselves. All of which, of course, is normal human behavior. I think the guys who are resistant to that mindset are rare, and they may constitute the one and only character type you need on a team in order to have good "chemistry," because it helps inoculate you against debacles like September 2011. And this team could maybe use one or two more.

#16 absintheofmalaise


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Posted 29 July 2012 - 08:35 AM

Dude, the amount you know about what's going on in their heads is AMAZING! You're like the Sox Whisperer. Can you help out some of our teams in other sports, or does it only work in baseball?



Real excited to see how long the mods let it go without locking it.

We aren't going to lock this thread. Add content to make your point next time please.

#17 fineyoungarm


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Posted 29 July 2012 - 10:33 AM

The fall off of Beckett and Lester from September 1 of last season to now is a true mystery. I don't think it has anything to do with leadership. If these two didn't fall off a cliff, or into a bucket of chicken and beer (lol), the collapse doesn't happen and this season is much better and likely doesn't include Booby V. These two are an absolute mystery. At least Clay had an injury that explained his issues for awhile. Are these two suddenly cooked? Out of nowhere?


When it comes to Beckett "absolute mystery" seems too strong to me. At the risk of entering the dangerous realm of semi-educated speculation, if we "agree" that his late season 2011 collapse was due to a lack of conditioning, a reasonable assumption is that he is no better shape this year (by way of example). We know that he is as stubborn as a mule and laid last year's issues at the feet of a "snitch". Tie that to an enormous ego (does he still have that "Phenom" jacket from high school?), then why should we conclude he would report in better shape (in any meaningful way) in 2012 than he was at the end of 2011? Maybe there have been news stories about him being an off season work out animal, but I have missed them.

Then there is - it's been a few seasons now since he reinvented himself from the younger pitcher that appeared to reach his peak in 2007 (although, those 2006 stats are just "OK"). I know he is only 32, but Beckett has thrown, what, 2,000 innings of ML baseball, since he came up in 2001 (I think that is right)? Even a "craftier" Beckett may be wearing down - permanently - by this point. In sum, there are observable indications that he is an old 32 and may be closing in on being washed up.

#18 geoduck no quahog

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 11:04 AM

When it comes to Beckett "absolute mystery" seems too strong to me.


I've said it before. I don't think there's any mystery. I think it's no coincidence that the dropoff coincides with the birth of his baby.

"Baseball isn't my No. 1 priority anymore," he {Beckett} said. "Everybody goes through that change. Some people might go through that change before that even happens, but I definitely find myself thinking about [Holly and the baby] whereas a lot of times I used to be thinking about how I was going to get this guy out, or what I needed to do that day. They're my central focus."

Baseball isn't my No. 1 priority anymore...

#19 Alcohol&Overcalls

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 11:28 AM

We even believe what the coaches and players themselves say sometimes. It's abundantly clear there were issues with last year's team, based on comments from players and coaches, personnel moves, and results. But who really wants to re-live that? Yuck.


Right - but players almost never say things like "[So-and-so]'s lack of leadership torpedoed us", so we're left to read into their quotes - which often requires filtering through our own biases, not to mention the media who reports those quotes (and, necessarily, chooses which to push, and a narrative structure to surround them).

(And that's without getting into self-reporting of this type of information, and its failings ... )

This year? Other than Bobby V yapping incessently and some early spewing back from a few guys early in the year, we don't know much. But, given the makeup of the team, the clown of a manager, and the results, it really wouldn't surprise me at all if there was a lack of leadership/team unity negatively affecting the team again. Take the whole Crawford fiasco. How could any player not be affected by that situation? It's a joke.


It's certainly possible that this team suffers from a lack of leadership, and the team has suffered as a result.

It's also very likely that the effect of this lack of leadership is dwarfed by injuries and 'down years' (which might have a leadership component, but might not, and the extent to which they are preventable is certainly an open question).

Leadership is certainly not 'nothing' - it exists, and it can have positive or negative effects on people, and I think everybody will agree there. However, three things make this something of a moot point when discussing a team like the Red Sox:

1 - a 25-man roster means you really can't carry somebody solely, or even primarily, for "leadership" purposes, and teams tend not to do this either way, which indicates that even teams themselves - the most likely to see the day-to-day effects - think that it is trumped easily by talent.

2 - we simply don't have a complete enough picture of the locker room to know what's missing, and in what quantities, making long-winded love letters to Dearly Departed Dirt Dogs mostly unnecessary, and rooted as much in personal feelings as factual information.

3 - leadership is largely temporal - there are people with natural leadership skills, of course, and people who purport to teach those skills, but leadership seems to be often a product of time and place. Guys "step forward" to fill a void, and similar. There's likely no useful model for us to examine all of the moving pieces.

In light of those three things, you can probably see how I agree with much of your premise, but still feel this kind of 'examination' of leadership failings is largely onanism.

Edited by Alcohol&Overcalls, 29 July 2012 - 11:30 AM.


#20 JimBoSox9


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Posted 29 July 2012 - 01:12 PM

We aren't going to lock this thread. Add content to make your point next time please.


I'm not sure there's a point to be had in a thread that starts off this way, but I'll give it my best.


Leadership and toughness are intangibles. Intangibles exist, obviously, and are just as obviously impossible to quantify (forgive me some captain obvious moments here). Some would like to see any discussion of these factors suppressed - why waste our time feeling our way in the intellectual dark when there are so many more concrete factors worth focusing on? That makes a ton of sense, and if a message board were a bit more like a think tank might be the way to go. As it is, the reality is we are going to get sucked into this sort of thing quite often, especially when the ship is sinking.

So, with the thread OP as a case study, how is it possible for a collective to discuss something that we can't see or touch or measure, is highly dependent on our individual prejudices and preconceptions, and is emotionally charged, without flying completely off the handle? It's maybe possible to put these talks in a couple buckets, going from least value to most value.

1) Sox Whispering - starting from the inside out, saying "This is what Sox Player X thinks, and that's why Thing Y is happening". I almost always tune fans out when they start by telling me what's going on inside a guy's head. It's completely spinning in circles for need to have something to say, and never adds value. Unfortunately I think the bulk of AZBlue's post falls here.

1) Mountains out of Molehills - I think this is the largest bucket. Classically, Player performs outside his baseline over a small sample, and we read a larger macro point into the change instead of tipping our hats to variance and BABIP. Dives everyone crazy because your explanation of the anomaly has to pass my own individual smell test to make sense, and vice versa. If it doesn't, we think you're an idiot. This is when threads end with two posters screaming "HOW CAN YOU BE SO BLIND" at each other when they both actually have plausible points. It may be blind squirrels, but some nuts get found here.

3) At this point, I was hoping if I wrote out a couple different degrees of bad thoughtcasting could be, it would point me backwards towards to a way we can talk about this without sounding like deranged fanboys, but now that I'm here the answer still escapes me. Is there something to the idea that which direction you start from matters? It feels like anything that starts from a concrete reason and works backwards towards an intangible narrative is more likely to add value than anything that starts off with the macro of what kind of person a player is. The latter is going to have more personal-perspective hoops to jump through, more opportunities to derail off logic.

Pretty good chance I really regret posting this when I look at it again, but its worth throwing some shit against the wall to see what sticks to figure out how we can discuss things like leadership and intangibles in a productive way.


Edit: want to pre-emptively add that I'm at least as much a part of the problem as I am part of the solution, so please disregard any sanctimonious tone there may or may not be in this post.

Edited by JimBoSox9, 29 July 2012 - 01:15 PM.


#21 AZBlue

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 12:15 PM

It appears that some of the points in the orignal July 28, 2012, post turned out to be consistent with the view that Red Sox manaagement either had or came to have. The Punto Trade...the signings of solid players who are solid citizens and good clubhouse guys...deleting a manager who contributed to the fractures in the clubhouse...bringing in a manager who has the respect of players...all seem to be positive steps. We will see if those moves, comebacks by previously excellent pitchers and position players who had bad years (and/or missed many games because of injuries) and staying reasonably healthy will translate into a highly competitive team in a much tougher AL East.

http://bostonherald....racters_welcome

#22 maufman


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Posted 22 December 2012 - 12:27 PM

It appears that some of the points in the orignal July 28, 2012, post turned out to be consistent with the view that Red Sox manaagement either had or came to have. The Punto Trade...the signings of solid players who are solid citizens and good clubhouse guys...deleting a manager who contributed to the fractures in the clubhouse...bringing in a manager who has the respect of players...all seem to be positive steps. We will see if those moves, comebacks by previously excellent pitchers and position players who had bad years (and/or missed many games because of injuries) and staying reasonably healthy will translate into a highly competitive team in a much tougher AL East.

http://bostonherald....racters_welcome


Holy crap, that's an atrocious article. I, for one, am glad the Red Sox aren't stocking up on "All-Stars like Jose Reyes and Melky Cabrera."

The problem, of course, is that when major media outlets are churning out this garbage on a regular basis, it becomes the casual fan's perception of the team. And the Sox' FO must counter that perception for the sake of ticket sales and TV ratings. Let's hope the FO's efforts to win the battle of perceptions don't end up hamstringing them on the field.

#23 Toe Nash

  • 2759 posts

Posted 22 December 2012 - 12:37 PM

Except:
-Crawford and Beckett were bad contracts regardless of whatever leadership they had or didn't have.
-they wanted to keep Gonzalez even though he doesn't care!! but his inclusion was the only way to get the trade to happen.
-I never heard anything positive or negative about Napoli, Dempster and Victorino character-wise until they signed with the Sox and the press started making a storyline about it.
-Valentine was clearly a complete joke, but it's become clear that the team wanted Farrell in the first place -- and there are rumors about Farrell's handling of the clubhouse in Toronto that aren't great (and his team only had 4 more wins than the Sox). Also you could probably fire any manager after a 69-win season even if he was the best leader of men in the world.

You can explain every move without touching on any leadership or intangibles. You can also make leadership and intangibles fit whatever storyline happens. If Lester pitches better this year it will be about how Farrell helped him figure out what was wrong instead of him just outperforming his FIP. Or if Buchholz pitches better it will be because of Shane Victorino's veteran leadership instead of him just being fully healthy and not starting out with 6 terrible starts.




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