Well on ESPN, it was discussed that the possibility behind the Red Sox's collapse was because of lack of team chemistry, obviously. However, one analyst cited that it seems like since the Red Sox won their first world series in decades under Francona that they abandoned their identity; which inevitably lead up to this point. She later cites that how they used to have this "anti-Yankee" identity of team chemistry of a group of guys that were essentially outcasts that won the world series. But, after they won, she claims the Sox tried to adopt more and more of the Yankees' identity; which led to their downfall, as the Yankees are used to always buying the best players that money can buy. Whereas the Red Sox are NOT used to always being the bully that buys the best talent that money can buy. Anyway, what are your thoughts on this? Did the Red Sox abandon their outcast team chemistry identity after they won their first world series in decades? Or is it something else?
I think their identity has deffinitly changed since completly humiliating the Yankees after being up 3-0 and then Boston winning their first world series. They deffinitly would not be considered the under dog any more - I do still think they have the anti-yankee attitude but something else is missing over there - not sure what it is - but what a collapse.
well the more and more that I think about it, i think that commentator on espn was right in her assessment about the red sox situation, as they certainly lost their edge once they started to win world series titles. In fact, watching them almost reminds me of the movie "Rocky III." Where in the earlier rocky movies, Rocky was always hungry to defy the odds against the infamous Apollo Creed. Yet once he won his belt, he started to lose his edge to the point that he lost his killer instinct, and started to buy into the hype of how great he was that he didn't bother to notice that this would all be his downfall. Granted, later in the movie, Rocky bounced back, but you get the idea. The point is that the red sox lost their edge once they started winning titles. No longer were they the hungry under dogs that they once were, but they slowly started to become mere posers and become more like the same enemy they swore they'd never become. it's sad.
I think they got old, made some bad moves (lackey for 1), brought in some guys who destroyed the team chemistry, had many injuries and they ran out of steam at the wrong time!Wost of all there pushing Froncona out! Well you can bring back John Ferrel or chip hale, if the whitesox screw him over joey cora for a new manager.
I had not thought of it from this perspective, but now that I have I do believe it is a valid theory in regards to the Red Sox. And by that, it probably was not a good strategy at that. Afterall, The Yankee way of spending money does put them in contention as one of the top teams to beat every season, it gets them a lot of attention, and is probably intimidating for many opposing teams when they have to face a team with so many big names. However, interestingly enough, the Yankees have only won one World Series in the last 10 years. Granted, most teams would love one W.S. every 10 years, but one out of ten is not good enough for a team that spends over $200 million every year, which is 4-5x times more than most smaller market franchises. Heck, the Rays payroll this year was just over $40 million.
Being from Minnesota, I have seen first-hand how important fundamentals and team chemistry is. Before the Twins re-signed (cough: overpaid) Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau in the last two years, they had always been a team with one of the lowest payrolls in the entire MLB, but yet were able to manage two W.S. titles in '87 and '91 and also won 5 division titles (and lost another in a one game playoff)since 2002. Now that the Twins spent all of this money on Mauer and Morneau, those guys don't even care anymore and the team stinks. The (moneyball) Oakland A's of the early 2000's were another example of a team that had a ton of success by spending little money and winning by fundamentals and chemistry.
I'd bet it helps a team's chemistry when they don't have grossly overpaid players. That way there's no jealousy or players upset because they believe they are better than the next guy who makes x amount more money than they do.
I think there are a few different reasons why they ended up losing. It's hard to say it's only because they lost their identity because for a moment they actually had the best record in baseball. Had they started the season bad and just stayed bad, I might have bought the identity argument on its own.
I think injuries were a pretty big part of their problem over the past couple of years. It seems like the people they depend on the most can't stay on the field long enough to help them over the long term.
I agree that some of the free agency pick-ups were a bit Yankee-like, but Boston has always had a pretty large payroll behind the Yankees. It's not like they suddenly started paying mega-bucks for people. From what I can tell, a lot of the guys that ended up as Yankees were also on the Red Sox radar as free agents. I could be wrong though, I'm not the biggest baseball fan.
I think they'll be back. After all, in the grand scheme of things it really hasn't been that long since they last won a World Series. They just need to keep their core healthy, keep their starters on the mound, and stay hungry. Getting embarrassed like they did in September can be a huge motivator for the next season.
I think the whole "team chemistry" theory is nonsense. I'm sure the chemistry could have been better, don't get me wrong, but the reality is pretty simple: if Bucholz stayed healthy and Lackey pitched tolerably well, they're in the playoffs and contending for the whole thing.
Not being a Yankees or Redsox fan I dont buy the chemistry thing either. I would rather say they were complacent and then the pressure just got to them. Not many teams can turn it off and on. This time had the talent to make the playoffs,win it all I am not sure of that. Instead of the media bashing the sox. Lets give credit to the Rays. They were as good as dead in September and if they dont turn up the heat the last month then this conversation would be much different.
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