Sunday, October 19, 2008

Evidence of Clubhouse Chaos

There was a lot of talk, and a lot of rumors about clubhouse malaise this past season.  I rather scoffed at the idea, and didn't really see any evidence of it.  Jim Leyland darn near bit Jason Grilli's head off for suggesting it after his trade to Colorado.

Now there's some pretty convincing evidence that the clubhouse was indeed troubled.

In an article in today's Freep, Jon Paul Morosi chronicled Jair Jurrjens' recent visit to his host family from his days with the West Michigan Whitecaps.  Jurrjens was quoted in the article as saying:

"When I came  up, the team was so united.  Everybody was getting along with each other.  I can't remember who I was talking to, but they said it's not the same thing (as) when I came up.  I didn't ask who--they just said it wasn't the same environment.  I think everybody was trying to press so much-- be the leader, be the superstar."

The scenario described by Jurrjens is very plausible to me.  I don't think guys were in there all disgruntled with each other, but I sure believe that many of them were trying too hard to do too much.

I think (no, hope) that after the past year of adjustment, the clubhouse will be just fine.  Guys will feel more comfortable in their roles, with their teammates, and positions (think of those shuffled mercilessly around the diamond).

It's telling to me that Edgar Renteria wants to return next season, despite a very sub-par performance, a lukewarm to angry fan reaction, and the rotten egg of a season overall.  There must be something there worth coming back for.  I believe it's there, too.  I'll be looking for it next year.

No comments: