Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here... highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
“The thing this winter that we realized is, look, we kind of hit bottom last year,” general manager Ben Cherington said at the Hot Stove roundtable over the weekend. “When you hit bottom in a place like Boston and you’re trying to rebuild something on and off the field, you’re going to have a lot of attention on it. If you’re building something in that environment where you know there’s going to be scrutiny, we’d like to have people involved we can feel confident can get through those tough days, battle through it and pick each other up.”
One of the misconceptions about last year’s Red Sox was the clubhouse was poisoned with a bad mix of players and coaches.
The reality was the toxicity was a virtually united front among players and coaches against manager Bobby Valentine. Players last year got along very well and worked very well with each other. Playing well was a different story and, ultimately, the most important story there is to tell.
Herald | Red Sox make good mix a priority
The seeming contradictions in those paragraphs are exactly what makes defining and building a good clubhouse culture so different.
It's not just having the guys like each other -- by all accounts the teammates got along both of the last two years.
It's not just having a manager you like -- the players, for the most part, loved playing for Terry Francona. They hated Bobby Valentine. Neither year was a success.
It's some weird amalgammation of all these things. But the number one ingredient for a happy clubhouse is good performance on the field. You don't often see stories about dysfunction and bickering with teams that are going to the playoffs. Maybe small issues here and there, but not the crippling ones we saw here in 2012.
I think we can all agree that it was good to get Bobby V out of town, and also to bring in a couple of new faces and personalities to -- if not lighten -- change the mood from last year. The team is probably still several players away from being a legitimate contender, but they're on their way. And this team should be easier to tolerate than the last.
ESPNBoston | Doc Rivers inspires Jackie Bradley, Jr.