Friday, August 27, 2004

Team Play

I'm pretty tired of columnists writing about the soft side of sports. You know, team play, emotions, chemistry.

Morrissey writes in his column today that the Sox struggle because they don't know how to play like a team.

Please. I'm not buying it.

First, there is not much team play in baseball. Most situations call for individual effort by players. And nothing I have seen suggests to me that players are trying to pad their stats instead of winning ballgames.

While this group has underachieved, but they haven't has a losing record since 1999. The reason they haven't done better has nothing to do with teamwork, or lack of offense, but some bad luck and less than stellar pitching.

Morrissey also thinks that the Sox need to become more like the Twins. While it would be great to have some of the talent that the Twins do in the farm system, the last thing they need to do is become more like the Twins. I mean for crying out loud, the Twins about to win their division and they trade away one of their veterans for a minor leaguer. You think they would try and get some people to help them in the playoffs. Their conservative tendencies have given them the Central crown the last three years, but has left them behind other contenders like NY, Boston, Oakland and Anaheim.

The bottom line is that this season would have been much different if Maggs and Frank didn't go down with injuries. But those are the breaks. I don't want to make excuses, but I don't see how you can blame their struggles on a lack of team play while ignoring the effect of these injuries.