The Flyin’ Hawaiian Bombs the Monster!
Where do I begin? The 2013 Boston Red Sox should be in the dictionary as the living breathing definition of the word ‘phoenix’.
This year’s Cinderella team has risen from the ashes, literally, of a disastrous 2012 season with one-year (thank you, merciful baseballs gods and contract clauses) stint with manager Bobby Valentine. Before that, in the final month of 2011, a handful of players managed to help drive the bus off the cliff as a season destined for triumph died amidst a tornado of beer and Popeye’s chicken.
How did this (somehow still loveable) band of losers manage to stage the comeback of the millennium (so far) in 2013?
They got a new manager (John Farrell) and a new General Manager (Ben Cherington) who worked to assemble a collection of players who, beyond their statistics, created a ‘chemistry’ in the clubhouse which rivaled the wondrous championship years of 2004 and 2007…and many of them grew beards.
Yup…just look up recent team photos at RedSox.com for the furriest-faced roster in the major leagues.
They ran, they hit, they rocked, they rolled, they won (a lot), they lost (much less than last year), and they BELIEVED.
If a player was slumping, manager John Farrell worked the angle of the proud father who knows his son may be going through some tough times, but he believes in him and will stick to his guns (even as that son is firing blanks at the plate).
Entering Game 6 of the American League Championship series against the Tigers, Shane Victorino had only TWO hits and, as John Farrell shared in several press conferences, some fans were calling for him to be riding the pine.
Farrell stuck with his man, because he believed he could, and would, deliver.
And he did, BIG time.
The Red Sox managed to load the bases with one out in the 7th inning, down by a run. They were just 7 outs away from forcing a decisive Game 7 in the series…and Victorino came to the plate.
They first 2 pitches stymied him.
He put the next one into the Monster Seats for a grand slam.
A guy who was brought to this team by a General Manager who believed he’d be a good fit for the organization was allowed to take his swings, despite serious struggles, by a manager who continued to have faith in him…and the result slammed the door and is now bringing them to the World Series for the 3rd time in this still-young millennium.
Are you a manager, or a general manager, of a company, a family or some other collection of talents?
Or are you a player who’s scuffling a bit, wobbling off your game and striking out often?
Please do your best to stay in the game, to add value as best you can for the reasons you were brought into your situation in the first place.
Someone believes in you. I hope that includes the person in your mirror.
Maybe you need to remember that.
Maybe you need to keep swinging.
Maybe you need to grow a beard.