October 7, 2017

It’s a beautiful weekend here in the Valley of the Sun. While the nights have cooled down nicely into the 70s, the days still feel pretty damned warm and the sun’s angle, while noticeably different than it was even just a month ago, is still hot on the skin.

This week I’ll be turning 62, and, as I was saying to Tracey while we had morning coffee at the Tiki bar, it’s time to start actually playing more golf instead of just hitting balls. Playing weekends on uber-crowded courses isn’t a lot of fun (at least to me), so I’m thinking of taking advantage of my ability to work from home and start getting out on a weekday mid-morning after working a few hours, play a round, and return back to the office.

…which means, I feel I’m at a point now where I like the changes I’ve made to my swing and know what I want to do going forward, so I feel comfortable working on those aspects of my game in earnest that I’ve never been able to do before: situational awareness, course management, etc. etc. For some people that kind of thing comes naturally and easy, but for me it’s something I need to work on. Fortunately, it’s a skill that can be learned. As Ben Hogan once said, the longest difference in golf is the one between one’s ears.

The Boston Herald’s Steve Buckley has been pretty spot-on when it comes to the Red Sox and manager “Accountability John” Farrell all year, and today’s column is devastating. I was saying to my dad after yesterday’s second-in-a-row trouncing by the Astros that the team looked tired, unmotivated, unprepared, and overmatched. Farrell’s choices in the lineup were (as usual) questionable, and he can’t strategically manage a short series if his life depended on it.

…but beyond that, I just don’t like the way this club seems to go about it’s business. There are a bunch of veteran prima donnas in the clubhouse, and when an up-and-coming star like left-fielder Andrew Benintendi blows off reporters after the game instead of doing the professional thing and answer questions, well, that tells me that the players aren’t going about things and learning to do things the right way, both on and off the field. And while “Accountability John” may not be the one who hits and throws, he is responsible for how this team ultimately performs day in and day out. And what’s going on right now is, to be honest, an embarrassment.

…which is why I think the whole Dennis Eckersely / David Price incident this past summer seems now like a defining moment, as when a patient finds out that the cancer growing inside his body is no longer treatable. This was an opportunity for “Accountability John” to take control of the clubhouse and show both stars and rookies how things should be done as professionals and how you treat people with respect. Instead, Farrell blew the whole thing off as a clubhouse matter and refused to even apologize to Eck on behalf of the team, thus revealing to everyone the kind of “bunker mentality” that’s in place at Fenway Park by the manager.

…and maybe that’s why the Sox have looked so poor in the post-season: they don’t know what it means to step and perform when the pressure is on. Instead, they come across as prickly, self-centered, and unprepared for the spotlight. Watching the way the Astros, Indians, and Yankees not just play baseball, but play the game vs. the way the Sox do, you can see that, as Buckley writes, they truly are nothing bunch a bunch of frauds.

October is when it always feels right to start listening to the music of Pink Floyd again. It is universally believed that in terms of a pure concert experience – sights, sounds, effects, set list – the 1994 “Division Bell” tour was the best the band ever did. I’m so fortunate to have had a chance to see it. If you haven’t got a couple of hours to have a cocktail, crank the computer up loud, two examples that give you an idea of just how cool the experience was: “Astronomy Domine” and “One Of These Days”.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 12:04 | Comments (0)
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