Strikes to Stop the Clark
Real rough cut from Thursday's 'Executive Report' on WEEI's Dennis
and Callahan Show with. John Dennis (JD) and Gerry Callahan (GC):
JD: You're comments duly noted that performance is unacceptable to
owners and management...
LL: We wanted to communicate that we've done our job, time for
players and coaches to step up. 39 games left, let's not sit on
our duffs here...
GC: You must feel like, you've got all the pieces...
LL: Wouldn't say we've got all the pieces, and I wouldn't overlook
Bobby Howry, great last night..
GC: Still shoring things up?
LL: We met yesterday about Sept. call-ups, relief pitching, waiver
JD: What does it say about team with record in one run games, no
LL: There's a randomness to this game you have to recognize... the
ball is small, the field is big, a lot of randomness
Stay close for seven innings and I'll think of something,
hopefully that's more than a sense of bravado... I get
disappointed as much as anyone, I think the game is about two out
hitting, if it's not about pitching, it's about two out hitting.
JD: But when you spend $110 Million, Best players, etc. doesn't it
take some of the randomness out of it?
Nothing makes mgr. look smarter is good bullpen, nothing makes mgr
look dumber than bad bullpens. Very few late inning comebacks,
last night's game was a good start.
GC: When your team keeps it close, has Grady done enough?
LL: That's tough, I can't fault Grady's strategic decisions at
all, when Grady puts in Embree... when a guy throws one pitch? LL:
Must admit that did bother me, but it's a rest issue... what's
GC: That wasn't rest, just manager inclination to go with closer
in that situation.
LL: Little of both. He had pitched a couple of days, he didn't
want to stretch it out.... have a little faith in the players and
LL: I'm way into this game and the LL series, I want to make clear
that we are going to celebrate the Worcester team when they come
JD: Value of leadership and passion, nomar last night, why 120
games into season.
LL: Quite high in every endeavor. It is mitigated to some degree
with length of season in baseball, constancy... you've got to do
it 6-7 games a week, nonetheless, leadership by example... I
attributed a fair bit of it to Lou Merloni last night, clutch
hits, playing with some intensity... "this is a big game, I'm
going to play with some intensity and passion"... you need some
guys wearing the uniform that get on their teammates, get on them
to play a certain style... based on the different personalities we
have, we need that.
LL: You're not going to get me to criticize NG, he has a certain
role on this team. Least of our problems. Manny. Cal Ripken was a
leader on O's for many years w/o being loud vociferous type. Nomar
does his job and he does from time to time project the kind of
leadership issues, he has called meetings, spoken out on team
issues, it's just more private than you'll see.
LL: Ken Caminiti is not someone I have fond feelings for as far as
someone who conducted his life and ended his career, but in '96
someone who led that team someone people looked up to.
GC: Love their concessions: steroids and WW draft...Americans
already in the game.
LL: Glad you put it that way, there is a sense that they have
given concessions... I think it's possible that a strike will be
averted. The issues are not philosophical. Talking about two
issues. Luxury tax 34, 34, 35%, Rev share w/ certain structure.
Didn't do enough, Need to improve, enhance, fine-tune change. BRP
recommended trying other avenues, compromisable. Old theory you
have to destroy village in order to save it.
JD: Owners of Sox appear to be siding with players union and
Yankees... argued that higher
LL: That article mischaracterizes state of affairs. We work with
baseball to consider point of view of Boston Red Sox. Gross
overstatement, headlines quite misleading... solid citizens of
Callahan missed boat on Bud Selig, not a West Wing style leader,
if John Wayne you're missing something. There's an effective way
to lead. Selig may not suit up that way, but the work he's done to
lead this industry is masterful behind the scenes.
GC: If it becomes personalities in the forefront, Fehr Orza vs.
Selig, you're going lose... right.... both sides should change
their guy out front, let Selig do his work behind the scenes.
LL: You do have a point there on PR.... demonization of BS is
easy, cheap, and misses the point. Not the contribution he's made.
GC: How bout you? Put LL out front. LL at mike every day vs. Bud
Selig. LL: A leader can be effective even if his hair is messy and
his posture isn't good. Public is aware of need of reform, grown
weary of ideological intensity of players leadership, escalation
of salaries... public and media recognize that, let's hope
LL: In the minority, there are a few willing to burn down the
village. When you fail to be competitive year to year, owners all
over America writing checks every quarter. We've got a system that
works for one of the 30 teams. One that can make money. Sport
should be competitive and profit making. I can see how people can
feel a sense of desperation. You make a significant step forward.
JD: In quiet moments, do you wonder how Player's Assn. now have a
say in how you run your business?
LL: People in other sports shake their heads in puzzlement as how
this player's union is so involved in everything. Back then the
pendulum swung way too far b/c they've had better labor lawyers
and litigators. Not best way to organize an industry, who has
better labor lawyers.
LL: I don't think it has penetrated top of association like it has
the rank and file. These guys are not tone deaf, they can hear the
political tune, opportunity for change, sr. leadership of PA,
another matter. If there is a strike, baseball is not going to
just bounce back,
GC: Has Tony Clark's role with Player's Association contributed to
the lack of success he's had with the Red Sox this year?
LL: Here's something I never use, "no comment"...GC: but it's not
in your contract to say that... LL: Alright then, "no
GC: Should Frankie Flynn drill one of these Harlem kids in the ass
if they start moonwalking?