I don't post here often, but drop in from time to time to visit with my fellow sufferers ... I mean, Sox fans.
With last September's collapse, Francona's "non-renewal," the Hohler story, and this year's dreadful performances, the Sox have had lots of negative soap opera energy around them.
People blame an obsessive fanbase, immature players, and an intense media market. But if we are being honest and rational, we see that each of those things was a positive when we were winning. And in pro sports, you don't/can't win every year. But you can build an organization that is competitive every year.
Winning organizations work from strength, and embody values that allow them to gain an advantage. Examples:
* Yankees, "Spend, spend, spend"
* Raiders "Just win, baby"
* Patriots "No one bigger than the team"
* Bulls "Jordan Rules"
The point of that list is to show that it's not always the SAME values (imagine Al Davis with Hoodie as coach!) but that the organization understands why it wins, and sticks to that.
I think Larry Lucchino is the problem with the Red Sox, and I don't think we'll ever return to the 2003-2007 level of competitiveness as long as he's involved.
The Sox of that era, from the "Idiots" to the slightly more subdued champs of '07 were proud, obnoxious .... and hugely loyal to one another. Examples of how the team had each others' backs (for better and otherwise):
* the 'Tek/A-Roc brawl
* Terry defending Manny time and again to the media
* Bronson Arroyo feeling betrayed when traded -- think he'd leave town on a Jet, giving a double-thumbs up for Twitter?
* Just: Tim Wakefield. Forever bailed out his teammates, one way or the other.
* Nomar being shown the door when he started creating problems
If you can say the Raiders' key to winning was permissiveness, it seems to me that the Sox's key was cohesiveness. Who better embodied that than Terry Francona?
And who is a better example of lacking that very quality than Larry Lucchino? To whom is he loyal?
* the guy who brought you two WS championships? Nope! Let's get rid of him ... and tell Bob Hohler nasty things about him to put in the paper!
* The kid GM who brought respectability back to your franchise? Nope! He gets too much attention - I'll engage in power struggles with him, so I get my fair share of the spotlight, too!
* the League that gave you a great career? Hell, NO! I'll say crappy things about other franchises .... even though we are all quite literally employees of the same company, and benefit by our mutual success as well as competition.
* Your new GM after you pole-axed the previous one and ran the manager out of town? Nope! Can't let him have some control and hire the manager ... no, no can do.
We could go back years and years hashing over details, but I don't think anyone here would argue that Larry Lucchino has few friends and champions around MLB. He has been a lightning rod not only for negativity (which might be ok in a certain context) but for DISLOYALTY.
And now, he is "running the franchise." (wasn't that his quote?)
Leadership sets the tone in organizations. By changing the Red Sox from an organization that values loyalty to one where disloyalty is rampant, Lucchino has created a culture of losing.
We call Josh Beckett a clubhouse cancer? LOLOLOLOL!!! Josh Beckett is a player, but he doesn't run the Red Sox. I would have loved to see a player pull his stunts on the Braves during the Schuerholz/Cox era. LOLOLOLOLOL!!! Or the George Steinbrenner Yankees? "Josh, Mr. Schuerholz would like to see you in his office. Bring a stick for him to beat you with, please."
No, it's Lucchino who's the real clubhouse cancer. By demonstrating a willingness to throw others under the bus, he sets the tone. By failing to exact discipline (at least with regard to media leakage) he sets a tone. And by inserting himself when and wherever he feels like it, he sets a tone (in this case, of not having confidence in the GM, re: BV hiring).
What's the real message there? Larry first! Red Sox second!
to go. Larry, please resign -- and leave. Do NOT stay as a 'senior advisor' or in any role whatsoever. Take your need to accumulate power at the expense of winning and screw up another organization for a while.
But for the love of 2004, Carlton Fisk, Johnny Pesky, Pedro and Jim Rice and the Splendid Splinter and Yaz and Dewey, go. We don't demand the Sox win every year (and certainly the fair weather fans have lost interest by now), but we do want them to have a chance.
Please, please go away. We love our team more than you do, and would like to feel good about cheering for them again.