Boston Red Sox: Kevin Millar Asks, "Who Is the Leader on This Team?"
In every professional organization there is some form of hierarchy. Some code of conduct and order is retained through the oversight of a leader.
For fans of Sons of Anarchy, Clay is that individual.
For wrestling fans, Vince McMahon was that individual.
For Red Sox fans... well... who is that individual?
This afternoon, while making an appearance on WEEI-FM's Mut & Merloni show, former Red Sox dirt dog and party starter, and current analyst for the MLB Network, Kevin Millar, weighed in on all things RedSox, including Josh Beckett, the lack of leadership—and even Bobby Valentine.
When asked his thoughts on Josh Beckett and, specifically how Beckett responded to the criticism in his post-game press conference, Millar had this to say:
"The off-day comment, he's 100 percent right. He's not just kind of right, he's 100 percent right," Millar said. "It's no one's business how we spend our off-days as a major league player…He went golfing. The judgment's not great and it wasn't a good idea because of the lat issue that he had to skip a start. So, you're correct right there, Josh Beckett probably could have chosen to do something a little bit in better taste at that time, maybe. If he was with the trainer getting rehab, it would have made more sense."
Added Millar: "If Beckett probably had to do this over again, I'm going to say that he wouldn't have done it. But it is what it is. It's not the end of the world. He wasn't driving on the street corner drunk. He went golfing and skipped a start with a sore lat."
While I disagree with Millar's response, I can least accept it because of who the source is: a man vastly considered a clubhouse guy.
A more pressing point was raised by Millar: The lack of a true leader in this clubhouse is alarming.
"Why do we care more than somebody in that clubhouse? Stand somebody up," he said. "Who's leading that team? We can't do it on the radio lines. Right now the volumes are turned up, people driving their cars. Why do we care more than those people in the clubhouse? That's my point. It needs to happen internally. Somebody needs to lead the team. That's my question from last year: Who is the leader right now?"
While David Ortiz or Dustin Pedroia may be leaders in the minds of some fans, their actions—or lack thereof—speak volumes.
Ortiz and Pedroia come across more as the faces of the team, not leaders. If they had control of the clubhouse the antics would have ceased by now.
Ortiz appeared to be the leader back around the 2004 season—really from 2003 through 2008—until Pedroia gained a more prominent role on the club.
While neither the play nor the heart of either man can be questioned, their desire to lead can be.
Please don't mistake me. I am not blaming just these two. I am placing blame on every single member of this team that is allowing the hole in the ship to go unrepaired.
The problem is not Bobby Valentine. The problem is the players and their clubhouse mentality. Millar added:
"The bottom line: Something needs to happen internally, not through the media. We don't need to hear Bobby Valentine's voice. He needs to address these guys in that clubhouse right now…If I'm a manager, we're for sure having a team meeting. And it's not going to be fun."
No, Mr. Millar, it isn't going to be fun, just like this season been neither fun nor tolerable for fans of their beloved Red Sox.
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