May 23, 2010

The Calmest Man In The Clubhouse

" Let go once in a while, you're a loose lily floating down an amber river. Ahhh. ... When you're feeling under pressure, do something different. Roll up your sleeves, or eat an orange."

Terry Francona:
We're supposed to be good, and it's hard to be good. There are times when it wears on you, especially in this town. ... I like coming to work. It's a hard thing to explain, but I like it and it's hard. There are times when it feels almost overwhelming ...

I want there to be an atmosphere where they want to show up every day and do the right thing. We can have rules out the [expletive], but if they want to do the right thing, we'll be a better team. It's about consistency. If they win the other night or if they don't, they don't need to come in here and see me either bouncing off the walls or dragging my tail. It doesn't work. It's got to be the same every day.

I know there's a segment of our fan base that wants to see Billy Martin come out and scream. That doesn't help. My job is to not make life more difficult for our players. I just think that whenever there's a big urge in me to lose it, that's probably the time for me not to lose it. The guys are losing their poise anyway. So I've got to rein myself in, because that's just the way our team works better.
Example
On Saturday, as reporters were talking with David Ortiz about his upcoming debut at first base that night, Dustin Pedroia walked by:
I'll be taking everything in the air, and on the ground. He's just going to stand there. I'll take everything. I'm playing second base and first base tonight.
Example
Kevin Youkilis has 35 walks -- tied with Justin Morneau for the MLB lead. That puts Yook on pace for 126 BB, which would obliterate his career high of 91, set in 2006. And while it would be the most walks by a Red Sox player in 40 years, it would barely crack the team's single-season Top 10:
 1. Ted Williams     162   1949
2. Ted Williams 162 1947
3. Ted Williams 156 1946
4. Ted Williams 147 1941
5. Ted Williams 145 1942
6. Ted Williams 144 1951
7. Ted Williams 136 1954
8. Carl Yastrzemski 128 1970
9. Ted Williams 126 1948
10. Kevin Youkilis 126 2010
Jesus, did that Ted guy ever bother to take the bat off his shoulders?

12 comments:

FenFan said...

Jesus, did that Ted guy ever bother to take the bat off his shoulders?

I'd be curious to know how many of those were IBB. I looked at his B-R.com page and only see numbers in that category from 1955 onward. Interestingly, in 1957, when he batted .388 at the age of 38(!), he had 119 walks that season, and 33 were intentional.

If they walked him intentionally that many times at age 38, it would be interesting to know if it was about the same ratio when he was the league leader year after year (not including the years lost to service in WWII).

Amy said...

Wow, how the hell did Willams get SO many BBs? Were many of them intentional? I guess he is the true (non-Greek) god of walks.

I love the Zen of Francona.

Michael Holloway said...

Barry Bonds 2004 232 BB

By this time were the steroids everyone assumed were coursing through this guy's at-bats a factor in IBB decisions?

redsock said...

Yook ain't Greek, either!

That year with 33 really stands out, though. TSW had led the AL the previous two seasons with 17 and 11. Then he had only 12 the year after the 33.

Also, in 1953, 12 years after his most famous batting title, Ted hit .407!

Amy said...

Yes, I am well aware of Youk's Rumanian Jewish background, same as my grandfather! :)

L-girl said...

Amy always calls Yook the "Non-Greek god of walks". This time it's Allan's memory that's going! :)

Anyone else get the Black Books reference?

Amy said...

What Black Books reference?

And who is Elle Grrl? Another version of L-girl?

L-girl said...

Yes, Elle Grrl is one of L-girl's alter egos.

Black Books is a hilarious, short-lived British comedy staring the Irish comic Dylan Moran. This post makes reference to it.

Amy said...

I guess I missed the reference since it did mean anything to me!

Amy said...

Did NOT mean anything to me.

johngoldfine said...

Legend has it that Williams--notoriously or admirably, depending on your POV--refused anything outside the strike zone, even when it might have made sense in a game situation to swing at a bad pitch.

johngoldfine said...

Francona is so fucking impressive when he talks like this--and he does regularly. That's real leadership as opposed to all the counterfeit styles sports coaches and managers are so often exponents of.