Chemistry or Talent?

The Red Sox remarkable turnaround this season has made for good sports radio fodder in the shape of trying to debate whether improved chemistry in the clubhouse is responsible for the turnaround or whether it is simply better baseball players up and down the roster.

As with most things on sports radio, gray area is not allowed. You are not permitted to say that it is a mixture of both – the Red Sox have improved the talent on the club while at the same time putting together a group that enjoys playing together and has come up with a gimmick that they can sort of rally around. For this club it is the beards.

No, on sports radio, you must take a side and stick with it to the death. This is effective because it makes for compelling radio, with the bonus that when you’re eventually proved wrong, you’re already onto a new topic, and your incorrect previous stance is largely forgotten. (For instance, Tony Massarotti spent the better part of August squealing that the Rays know how to win in September and the Red Sox don’t, so he said Tampa would run away with the AL East in September. Now that September is here, and the Red Sox are the ones running away with the AL East, Tony has moved on to screaming “This thing has completely blown up on the Patriots!!!”)  Nice gig.

So when it comes to discussing the Red Sox right now, you’re either a chemistry guy, or a talent guy. Gerry Callahan is a chemistry guy. The Toronto Blue Jays he says, have more talent than the Red Sox. The Red Sox have better chemistry.

The 2012 Red Sox had the worst chemistry ever, and won 69 games. The 2013 Red Sox have awesome chemistry and could still win 100 games. Easy, right?

Craig Calcaterra of Hardball Talk doesn’t think it is that simple. (Neither does John Farrell, for that matter.) Calcaterra appeared on Dennis and Callahan this morning, and it wasn’t a pleasant experience for him.

Great Moments in talk radio: talking team chemistry with some Boston yakkers

At one point they said that Adrian Gonzalez is magically no longer a team cancer because he’s back in California and players from California are happier in California. I pointed out that Jonny Gomes was from California but that didn’t go over too well because, you know, facts.

You can get a glimpse there of how the segment went.

They also discussed this today:

Tomase is a talented writer, and he’s actually a likeable guy. There is a huge segment of the Boston fandom however, who will never, ever forgive him, no matter what he goes on to do. Tough to be the best in town with that working against you.

 

  • Mike

    I am one of those people that will never, ever, ever forgive Tomase or the Herald for that story.
    But it isn’t even because they got it wrong, it was how they got it wrong. It was piss poor journalism that you learn about in your first journalism class. They didn’t have the sources, they didn’t have the confirmation, and, as Tomase admitted in his horrendous “apology,” they ran with the story because they were petrified they were about to be scooped.
    Shotty, reprehensible “reporting” that also managed to take a shit all over what, at the time, had the chance to be the greatest achievement in football history, while shitting all over that amazing first Superbowl title. Really quite an achievement of awfulness.
    I would have hated it as a Pats fan if they got it wrong and it turned out they had legitimate sources lie to them, or if someone showed them a doctored tape. But no, just terrible journalism, all because they were afraid someone was going to beat them to it.
    John Tomase should seek work in another city. I wouldn’t click on a link of his if the article was about how handsome I am.

    • brickseller

      Tomase should beg John Henry for a job in Sox PR , that’s the best use of his limited talent. Reporter, you got to be joking.

  • andy

    Bruce

    I am not surprised as to what happened to Calcaterra. His column is a must read for all baseball fans (and yes we are still here) as he has the ability to mix “old school” with statistical analysis. Moreover, he is one of the more reasonable voices regarding the moral hypocrisy that is the steroid issue.

    In a real discussion, he would absolutely crush the neanderthals on that show. Recognizing that, they resorted to what cowards/bullies always try to do, dominate the conversation and/or change the subject.

  • jtmgolf

    I have not read, nor ever will, anything written by Tomase after his bs article – He should have been fired – How can anyone trust this ahole?

  • smack_libs_around

    The city of Boston is filled with ‘September Will Spell Thy Doom’ media hacks who had that stance etched in cement, and are now essentially saying, “Look!!! Over there! See what I see!!!”

    • HomerGreenz

      exactly.

      • brickseller

        A boring team in a snoozeball sport.

  • DryHeave

    “No, on sports radio, you must take a side and stick with it to the death”

    and unfortunately, to a large group out there this is, “entertaining radio”….I’d rather listen to nails on a chalkboard

    • aikman9

      Tel that to Mike Salk. Idiot changes his mind every few seconds – as soon as Holley voices his opinion, Salk agrees completely (even when it is diametrically

      opposed to his original thought). Idiot makes me ill. Will they please get a drive host?

  • brickseller

    Why, Bruce has no one mentioned Welker’s three drops on Sunday (5 for the year) and the poop face that Peyton twice gave him after Welker killed two promising drive,

    • bowltr

      What are you talking about? Welker doesn’t drop passes!

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