Captain my Captain


Feb 23, 2014; Ft Myers, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell poses during photo day at JetBlue Park. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

Recently the media and blogs have been inundated with several articles on anointing a captain to your Boston Red Sox. So, not to leave the parade behind, I will join in.

The last one to wear a “C” in Boston was Jason Varitek. Seems that designation did little in the fast fading 2011 season as Varitek did his best Sergeant Schultz when beer, chicken and extended lengths of otiosity became an apparent condition of certain members of the team. The latter half of that ignominious 2011 was, apparently to some “professionals,” a frat party. The Great Diaspora of 2012 by management became a key ingredient to the Great Revival of 2013.

What exactly is a captain suppose to do? Other sports do have a limited job description but what about baseball?

When examining the various additions to 2013 it seems terms were tossed around that highlighted their ability to being great “teammates” or “clubhouse” guys. Obviously Red Sox management scoured the potential resumes for those that possessed qualities that would infuse the team with a personality transplant. The results showed an astute ability for management to act on the obvious in a positive way.

For this observer, 2013 had many a captain. I am not privy to the inner workings of the day to day activities among the players but I assume that a captain would lead by example. Several on the team filled that role. Or just maybe say the right thing at the right time such as David Ortiz and his demonstrative dugout speech urging the boys on. And lest we forget there may have been more than a few players who would pull a mate aside for a little talk on professionalism or, just maybe, a word or two of encouragement.

So I see no need to honor someone with a specific designation. I’m sure the players have their own pecking order where some voices certainly get rapid attention. The real joy is for manager John Farrell. Having the gents take care of business themselves is certainly a burden removed or diminished that any manager would relish.