It happens every year. Early in the season I lament off-days because I want to watch baseball…later in the season, I’m happy for them. I’m excited to get back to the games tonight, though.
Two interesting pieces in the Globe yesterday.
The first one was Jason Varitek taking part in a Q & A on boston.com. Some of his answers were really interesting. One person asked him who his favorite coach was, and he responded with "Dale Sveum". Now, Sveum was much-maligned around these parts (‘these parts’ being Boston), but here is what Tek had to say about him:
"He has a great ability to teach. He is a switch hitter so that has been very beneficial in my learning. He is also very knowledgeable in fielding and base running which gives me great insight. "
There is so much more going on than the fans get to see. That’s why all the second-guessing cracks me up. "Oh, we shouldn’t have traded Sanchez for Beckett" based on one game. "Oh, we shouldn’t have picked up Crisp!", based on an underperforming year that started with an injury. And so many more.
I can’t go that route. No one could have predicted the way this season has gone for the Red Sox. Not Theo, not Tito and certainly not the fans.
Tek had one other response that I absolutely loved. A parent asked how he/she could ‘showcase’ his/her son’s baseball talent to the school he’ll be going to. Tek’s response?
"I would say that the best way to showcase him would be that he doesn’t forget about his school work and he keeps up his grades."
Jason Varitek knows what’s important. So does Terry Francona.
In a story about Francona, Jackie MacMullen writes about how the season has ‘taken its toll’ on Tito, but how he doesn’t present that to the team. A few important points were made. One is how Francona hasn’t given up on the season – and how he doesn’t ‘blame’ Theo for any of it. But more importantly, is how he handles the players. This man obviously LOVES his players. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t a good manager.
"I don’t watch a lot of television, but I laugh when I see the perception that I’m too soft on the players. That’s not a very informed opinion."
This is something I’ve discussed a lot with folks. No one knows what goes on in that clubhouse except the players and the coaches…not event the sportswriters, who claim to have such amazing access. Just because Francona has a good relationship with his players, something, according to the article, that he ‘prides’ himself on, doesn’t mean he can’t be their ‘boss’ and get tough when he has to. He just feels like acting like Lou Pinella or Ozzie Guillen isn’t quite the way to go. I like Tito. Even though I sometimes bang my head at some of his decisions. I think he’s THE man to have running that clubhouse.
This morning I leave you with a quote from ME. I wrote this on another blog yesterday and it bears repeating. Especially since I’m getting the ‘ha-ha’ comments and emails once again. Try what you will, but nothing will stop me from enjoying the rest of this season. Have a great day, folks. And now, ME, on the Red Sox final run for the post-season:
"EVERYONE knows how improbable it is. That’s what makes it FUN!"