Friday, July 28, 2017

International Editor: PriceGate Reveals Leadership Gap

(EDITOR'S NOTE: This piece was submitted before Price hit the DL)

by Mark Lawrence, FN International Editor
Sydney, Australia. What in the world did David Price think he’d achieve by abusing Dennis Eckersley on the Fenway Flyer in front of God and everybody the other day? And what’s this nasty, new culture that prompted the team youngsters to cheer him on? There’s something rotten in that clubhouse, sports fans – something Valentine-rotten - and this correspondent can’t help but wonder if a little leadership might’ve choked the whole sorry incident off at the neck like a rabid woodchuck. Meantime, this is my next-to-last nail for David Price. He’s been an expensive disappointment pretty much from the start and he’s not been shy in blaming others and pointing the old middle finger at the Boston Media Pack, either. Smart. This has had the predictable effect of drawing the Pack even closer to him, needling him with a sharper scrutiny than usual and pressuring the guy even more. And this leads tyros like me to wonder if thirty million bucks is a tad too much to pay for a guy struggling to maintain an ERA that’s edging close to four and who disrespects those around him as simply a convenient matter of course.  

Now, none of us will ever know exactly why Price felt the need to abuse Eckersley – who can certainly be irritating, what with the 'cheese' and the 'gas' and the 'moss' and everything else, but he is a man who has definitely seen the elephant - a world class, Hall of Fame pitcher.  

David Price isn’t.

Now would this Mickey Mouse, bad boy behavior have even started if there’d been someone there with a big, red C on his jersey? Would Cap’n Varitek have just settled back into his seat and gone back to his Boston Herald and his ginger ale and peanuts if he’d been on that plane?

This is what’s missing from this team and it walked out the door with David Ortiz. Imagine it: Price is all ants-in-pants about Eckersley, hopping from one foot to the other in the aisle of the plane, muttering some gunnagetcha stuff and that rich, basso profundo voice pops up: “Hey David? Cool it, man.”     

And you can bet your ass he would’ve.  

As a former member of the profession of arms, it’s been my experience that without leadership your enterprise – whatever it is – is pretty well screwed. Without leadership – formal or informal – your team is not going to pull in one direction towards one goal. Au contraire, as they say in France and parts of Canada. Without leadership, you’ll wind up with fractious people in factions and fractures – especially with younger, inexperienced guys who don’t know any better. John Farrell’s been pretty much emasculated by idiot reportage from certain idiot reporters, so his leadership credibility in that clubhouse is pretty fragile at the moment. Someone needs to assume the mantle or have it thrust upon him, because without some kind of positive leadership soon, this team of ours will be playing golf come October.