Boston Red Sox: 5 Ways to Fix the Clubhouse
Both Terry Francona and Theo Epstein have left the organization, so the season will begin with a new manager and general manager.
But those aren't the only changes that need to be made.
The Red Sox will need changes in personnel and rules, as well as management, in order to get a healthy clubhouse culture back at Fenway Park.
Hire a Hard-Nosed Manager
No matter how successful Terry Francona was in Boston, it was clear that his managing style did not work with the current 25-man roster.
Francona chose to manage with a laid-back attitude, but these players needed someone to lay down the law.
Two guys who fill the hard-nosed characteristic are Bobby Valentine and Joe Torre, although neither of them are likely candidates for the Red Sox job.
So, whether they hire a guy like Dave Martinez, A.J. Hinch, or whomever, upper management needs to make sure they are hiring a no-nonsense manager who will get in the players' faces when need be.
Impose New Clubhouse Rules
The truth finally came out yesterday: Jon Lester told the Boston Globe that the Boston Red Sox pitching staff would drink beer and eat fried chicken during games.
Whether is was just a ninth-inning rally beer, like Lester said, or full-on drinking during the games, things need to change.
The new Red Sox manager needs to impose new rules about pitchers heading into the clubhouse during the games while the other players are working their tails off on the field to win a game.
Yeah, they may not be pitching that day, but it is good to be on the bench and support your teammates.
Maybe the Red Sox should impose a bathroom pass rule, like Jack McKeon did back when he coached Josh Beckett on the Florida Marlins, because it appears that Beckett has issues with not drinking during games.
Get Rid of the Problem
When you have a guy like Josh Beckett—who is supposed to be one of the veteran leaders on the Boston Red Sox—drinking beer in the clubhouse during games, you have a problem.
In order to fix that problem, you get rid of the guys who caused it.
It would be wise for the Red Sox to put Beckett's name out there and see what kind of interest he would warrant from other teams.
The Red Sox should also try to get rid of Lackey at all costs, as he was not only a member of the drinking brigade but he was also demonstrative on the field and showed up his teammates.
Name Dustin Pedroia Captain
With Jason Varitek's time seemingly up in Boston, the Red Sox captaincy will be a vacant position.
Who better to fill that void than Dustin Pedroia?
This is a guy who took ground balls from his knees after getting a screw put into his broken foot.
A guy who plays his tail off, no matter what time of the year it is.
A team with Pedroia as captain could be a very successful one and, although he is little, Dustin would not allow any nonsense to go on in the Red Sox clubhouse.
Hire a New Bench Coach
By all accounts, DeMarlo Hale is a great guy and a great coach, but isn't his job as a bench coach to keep tabs on the bench during the game?
If that is the case, more blame should fall on his shoulders for not stopping the pitchers from heading into the clubhouse to drink beer and eat fried chicken.
Many outlets named him as a candidate for the manager position, but if he can't monitor the bench, then it seems as if he should not be given approval to be the Red Sox manager.
Hale will likely get a job managing in baseball somewhere down the line, but it won't be with the 2012 Red Sox and he shouldn't be retained as the bench coach either.