The latest offering from ESPN in their never-ending quest to jam all things Sawx in everybody's facehole might just be one of their worst. It's a story by Joe McDonald about the amazing, incredible, unbelievable, outstanding 2-week rookie development program the Sox run for fringe guys that actually does nothing to develop them as players. IT'S FACKIN' INCREDIBLE, I TELL YA. THE HAHHT AND GRITTINESS OF THIS OAHGINAHZATION TRICKLES DOWN FRAHM THE VEH-REE TAWP!!
"The Boston Red Sox have made their Rookie Development Program an annual rite of passage for prospects in the organization. Each winter a dozen or so prospects are invited to Boston for a two-week course that covers everything related to the Red Sox, both on and off the diamond."
Topics such as "Scrappiness And You," "Becoming a Peter Gammons Favorite," and "Bad Facial Hair."
"It's designed to help the young players make the transition to the big leagues and ease any anxiety they might have, whether they're called up on an emergency basis or as a full-timer."
Because a two-week course will cover everything these kids will encounter when they become Major League Baseball players.
"Mostly, the players learn the non-baseball aspects of playing in the Red Sox organization... "
Those being... ? And how, exactly, are those non-baseball aspects more important than actual baseball aspects, like situational hitting, facing better pitchers, and shit like that. Stuff that actually, you know, matters.
"... and even live with a host family during their winter stay."
Because that's just what it will be like when they get to The Show! Mrs. McCarron packing bag lunches for them, family game nights, and sleepovers. YAAAAAYYYYY!!!!
"Barring any unforeseen circumstances, such as last season's deluge of injuries, the Red Sox roster is set for a long time and there aren't too many openings."
So naturally it makes perfect sense to bring a bunch of untested rookies in and attempt to get them used to a Major League lifestyle that they may not even get to experience for years. Yeah, lotta value added in doing that.
"A young player in the organization can see that logjam, but the Red Sox try to communicate with these prospects that it doesn't mean there's a dead end on their career path to the majors."
Just a major roadblock, complete with police cruisers, spike strips, and SWAT vans on standby.
"'If you're good enough to play, we will find a place for you to play on this roster,' Hazen said."
"Except, of course, if you aren't good enough to beat out all the guys we already have on our roster and we don't get hit by a freak rash of injuries that leave us no other choice but to call your asses up."
"During this winter program, the players also are schooled in other opportunities the Red Sox are involved in on a yearly basis -- the trade market. As much pride as the Sox take in scouting, drafting, signing and developing homegrown talent, Epstein & Co. aren't afraid to pull the trigger on a major transaction that could include many of the organization's top talent."
So part of this 2-week training to get them ready to play for the Boston Red Sox includes talking about being traded to another team who is not the Boston Red Sox and then playing for that team? Am I understanding that correctly? Makes perfect sense.
"'That's part of the job and part of the business,' Hazen said. 'We talk to the players about that as well. You're in Boston and sometimes we need to make a deal to get a player like Adrian Gonzalez and you may get put into that deal. It's not always a fun situation, but for those younger players, it may be a better and quicker opportunity to get to the big leagues.'"
But what about the host families? What about their feelings? You don't think the McCarron family of East Boston wasn't devastated when their precious little Casey Kelly got ripped from their home and shipped off to San Diego? They didn't even get to say goodbye. WHY AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO CARES ABOUT THE FAMILIES?!?!?!
In all seriousness, this story is a bunch of bullshit. In fact, it's a non-story. So the Red Sawx have a cute little 2-week camp to teach all their young players about the Majors? Big fucking deal. Does anybody honestly think that each and every team in MLB doesn't have all kinds of similar programs in place for their players coming up from Triple-A to the Majors? Between the language barriers that can exist with some Latin players who have yet to master English to the simple fact that the lifestyle change from Triple-A to the Majors is like night and day. Any team that doesn't do shit like this would be wasting the time, energy, and money they put into developing their top prospects by just throwing them to the wolves. So is this "program" that the Red Sawx do special or supremely groundbreaking in any way? Fuck and no.
In fact, this piece makes the Sawx look stupid for talking about how they explain to players that they might be traded. "Hey guys. While we spend all this time teaching you the ins and outs of being a part of Fraud Sawx Nation, remember that all of this might not mean a fucking thing if we think we can package you to bring in a better player." Yeah, great, good thinking. At least the Yankees have the decency to just completely blindside their prospects when they trade them instead of building up false hope.
Somebody should probably tell Joe McDonald that in order to truly "get" the ESPN idea of fawning all over the Red Sox at every opportunity, even when it's not warranted, he should probably leave out the parts that make them look stupid.