Great stuff from Red Light Schilling on the state of the Boston Red Sox, via ESPN -
ESPN Boston baseball analyst Curt Schilling was on ESPN Boston Radio with Adam Jones on Friday afternoon…
[Schilling said,] “The days of the manager running through the clubhouse and turning stuff over and fearing guys into performing is gone in baseball. It’s been gone for a long time. The smarter managers understood it before a lot of the other managers did: You need players that will police themselves and police each other. We always had that here.
“It’s very clear, when you look around this team, you’ve got some guys—the Pedroias, the Ellsburys, the Papelbons, the Variteks—they’re not guys who are going to stand up in the clubhouse. That’s not their makeup. That’s the big piece. You can’t have a guy be that because he’s your best player. You have to have a guy, multiple guys in the clubhouse who do that, regardless of what their batting average or ERA is. That’s the challenge.
“Doug Mirabelli was a tremendous clubhouse presence. He wasn’t an everyday player, but Doug Mirabelli was not afraid to talk to anyone based on their status on the team. Orlando Cabrera’s first week in this clubhouse, he marched back to Manny Ramirez’s locker and, literally, they almost got into a fight because Manny asked himself out of the lineup. Orlando said, ‘Listen, no, you’re playing.’ Mike Lowell, another one. Those guys, I don’t know that they have those guys.”
The Red Sox might as well start from scratch, says Schill, because they’re be [sic] losing the one guy with the makeup to handle that clubhouse.
“I would argue that with this… group of players in this market, that Terry Francona is one of the few guys that can manage this team,” Schilling said. “If you’re going to get rid of him I think you have to blow it all up.”
Schilling also called Adrian Gonzalez’s comments blaming injuries, schedule and “God’s plan” for the team’s collapse “embarrassing” and an example of the type of excuse-making that he doesn’t think is tolerated by Sox fans.
“God’s plan was to put a test in front of him that they did not pass, in my mind,” Schilling said. “Don’t embarrass yourself and disrespect the game, the organization and the fans by making excuses.
Have to admit, I like what Schilling is saying here. And, as much as I love and respect Sabermetrics, this is a huge part of having a winning team, in my opinion, having enough “character” guys on the roster. That was a huge part of why the Yankees did so well from 1996 to 2001. New York had such players in the clubhouse.