Spring training is barely a week old and we've already got ourselves a Boston Red Sox manager cat fight!
In one corner, former BoSox skipper Terry Francona, who said on ESPN (via Boston.com's Extra Bases) that new skipper Bobby Valentine's move to ban beer from the clubhouse and on certain team flights was done for the sake of "public relations."
Oh, yeah? Well, Valentine has something to say about what Francona had to say (via USA Today):
"Remember you get paid over there [TV] for saying stuff; you get paid over here for doing stuff."
Oh, snap! It's on. The telekinetic energy was so powerful, it started a fire at Fenway Park 1,500 miles away from spring training that cost $100,000 in damages. OK, that's an overstatement — we can't prove the heated language had anything to do with the fire. But it's still the first case of Tito stepping on the toes of the man who came in afterward. Well, Bobby V. can stomp right back.
Each guy is just protecting his turf. Francona is defending himself, his policies and his stewardship — essentially saying that it's not all his fault that the Red Sox turned into a bunch of beer-drinking, chicken-frying fiends during the Great Collapse of '11.
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Valentine hears "public relations" and not only does it make him sound frivolous, he takes it like a direct slap on his authority. Valentine made it sound like the beer ban was all his idea (regardless if it was or not). Francona is implying it was more of an organizational decision in the wake of what happened in Boston.
Valentine does have the higher ground at least one place: TV personalities do get paid for "saying stuff." Baseball managers actually get paid for getting out of the way and not constructing so many rules and gimmicks that it impedes the club the GM put together. First do no harm, like a doctor.
We'll see if Valentine's "doing stuff" will help the Red Sox win more World Series.
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