EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

May 13, 2012

Red Sox failing chemistry test

BOSTON — Red Sox players back then were constantly joking around on and off the field and frequently meeting up for lunch at restaurants around town.

"We rode motorcycles to the ballpark," ex-Boston center fielder Johnny Damon said, discussing the unity of the 2004 World Series champion Boston Red Sox.

The '04 Red Sox were easy for fans to cheer for — not like this year's team.

Those players were fun. They loved being with one another and even outsiders knew it. They didn't put individual stats ahead of the team. They respected manager Terry Francona and the front office. They did the jobs they were assigned. They policed one another and themselves. Almost anybody would stand up to anybody. Yes, they were that comfortable with one another.

They were a pack of self-proclaimed "idiots" who knew the exact formula of winning: That the team — and not the individual — had to come first.

"That team changed the culture of how teams should be," said Damon who is in town with Cleveland this weekend and chatted one-on-one with The Eagle-Tribune on Friday. "And you see the teams that are winning now are teams that have very good chemistry. And I think when all of us left, they (the Red Sox) kind of lost something."

The Boston Red Sox — who sit in last place in the AL East here on May 13 — have lost their way from ownership down to the players, who think they can get away with whatever they want — and they actually do because ownership seems scared of upsetting them.

"It's always easier working together," Damon explained.

Together? What?

Hey Johnny, why don't you share that concept with these current Red Sox players.

Not all but some of the 2012 Red Sox players seem like they would rather sit in the clubhouse checking their own statistics on their iPads and focusing on what they need to do to earn their next big-money contract rather than riding motorcycles together to Fenway Park or even partying together like the 2003 Sox did by jogging in full uniforms and cleats from Fenway to the nearby Baseball Tavern and pouring (and buying) beer for fans after clinching the AL Wild Card.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports

Local Sports Videos
Sports Videos
Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft NHL playoff preview: Boston Bruins vs. Detroit Red Wings NHL playoff preview: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Montreal Canadiens NHL playoff preview: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Carolina Panthers NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Atlanta Falcons Too Hot or Too Cold: Brewers and Rangers NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Baltimore Ravens NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Arizona Cardinals NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs – Oakland Raiders NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs – Houston Texans NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs – Jacksonville Jaguars Olympic Great Michael Phelps Ending Retirement Draft Preview: Chris Davis Draft Preview: Jay Prosch Watson: 'I'm always going to cry' Is the use of pine tar considered cheating? Draft Preview: Jake Matthews Draft Preview: L'Damian Washington
Boston Sports
Iginla hungry for first Stanley Cup Running Strong: How the Bruins National Anthem brought Boston together Patriots Talk TV: Should the Pats abandon the 2 TE system? Brad Stevens: Hopeful season was a 'learning experience' for young Celtics Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft NHL playoff preview: Boston Bruins vs. Detroit Red Wings NHL playoff preview: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Montreal Canadiens NHL playoff preview: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday McAdam: MLB replay system already affecting Sox Running Strong: Marathon Sports Manager, Shane O'Hara reflects back on Marathon bombings Merloni: An imperfect game we're trying to make perfect Felger sounds of on the MLB replay system McAdam: Pedroia D.L. stint 'not hard to imagine' NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Carolina Panthers NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Atlanta Falcons Too Hot or Too Cold: Brewers and Rangers NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Baltimore Ravens NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Arizona Cardinals NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs – Oakland Raiders