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The Red Sox beards are magical or something

Sep 16, 2013, 11:09 AM EDT

Jonny Gomes, Jackie Bradley Jr., Shane Victorino

I’ve noticed the Red Sox’ beards for a while now. Haven’t said much about them because I was waiting to see if there was some higher purpose to them beyond team bonding and image-crafting. Maybe some charitable thing? Maybe solidarity with a friend or fan suffering from some illness? I don’t know. Stuff happens and you don’t want to mock things if there is a deeper story behind it.

Nope. No deeper story. John Tomase of the Boston Herald talked about the beards yesterday, and it’s just about team bonding and image crafting. Jonny Gomes says it like this: “We have the beards. It’s not surprising at all that winning teams have some kind of quirky chemistry.” Then Tomase takes it here:

In the wake of 2012’s natural disaster, the Red Sox replaced half their roster. They jettisoned the dour, know-it-all Adrian Gonzalez and the overwhelmed Carl Crawford and imported half a dozen veterans who knew how to win, and who not only weren’t afraid of the pressure of playing in Boston, but wanted to be there.

Thus Gomes.

Who, yes, has been a nice addition. And it’s certainly the case that the Red Sox have been a fantastic team this year thanks in part to all sorts of good moves and good fortune in the form of players getting healthy. Where would this team be without Clay Buchholz and John Lackey? Where would it be without a healthy Dustin Pedroia? How great a pickup has Shane Victorino been? There is all sorts of praise to be thrown around.

But I guess it’s not enough to praise the moves of the front office and the execution of the players and their new manager. We have to go through “get players who know how to win” stuff. But of course Tomase is right. Just look how bad off that Dodgers team is with Gonzalez and Crawford. They’ve infected the whole bunch!

Or maybe winning is about more than one, easily identifiable thing like beards and losing is about more than one easily identifiable thing like “dour, know-it-all” attitudes.

  1. whitdog23 - Sep 16, 2013 at 11:27 AM

    LOL it’s a copycat of duck dynasty. ..just admit it dudes. why anyone would copy it is beyond me….but that’s how it started

  2. Caught Looking - Sep 16, 2013 at 11:33 AM

    The Dodgers started winning once that other infection (Beckett) went on the DL.

  3. Jack Marshall - Sep 16, 2013 at 12:03 PM

    The fact that the over-stocked Dodgers can win in the lousy NL West despite pills like Gonzalez and Crawford doesn’t mean they weren’t part of the problem in Boston.

  4. Jack Marshall - Sep 16, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    You mean you haven’t heard the “They’re growing beards to hide the mass ‘steroid chin’ side effects of all the PEDs that account for the team’s turnaround” theories? They’re out there.

  5. pastabelly - Sep 16, 2013 at 12:28 PM

    The only player on the Sox having a career year is Uehara and it’s not as if he’s throwing in the high 90s. Cherrington got rid of the malcontents and stocked the roster full of depth and personalities who can handle sharing playing time like Carp and Gomes.

    • mornelithe - Sep 16, 2013 at 12:30 PM

      Pretty sure Nava’s having a career year. It may not be as amazing as other super-stars, but for someone who’s MLB career started with a $1 contract, it’s a career year.

  6. thebadguyswon - Sep 16, 2013 at 12:28 PM

    I sure hope the Red Sox complete their rise from the ashes of despair and win the Series. Their fans have been through such hell.

  7. shaggylocks - Sep 16, 2013 at 12:49 PM

    If they had been playing like this in 2011, they’d be selling “powered by beer and chicken” t-shirts at Fenway. To paraphrase the great Crash Davis, when you’re winning 90+ games and leading the division by double digits you’re colorful. Otherwise, you’re a slob with fungus on your shower shoes.

  8. petey1999 - Sep 16, 2013 at 1:14 PM

    Not that “Executive of the Year” is an award we think about very much, but, jeez, how can it not be Ben Cherington?

  9. Carl Hancock - Sep 16, 2013 at 1:50 PM

    Image crafting. Boston always has to use that “scrappy working man upstart” who’s out there “fighting the evil empire” with their MLB Top 5 payroll. Not working anymore. Surprised they are doing good and didn’t expect the moves to pay off like this, but this isn’t the Royals we’re talking about. Pay no attention to the deep pockets behind the scenes.

    • aceshigh11 - Sep 16, 2013 at 2:19 PM

      I don’t think the Sox or their fans have played that card against the Yankees in a LONG time…certainly not since 2007.

      No one who’s intellectually honest, anyway.

      Yes, they’ve always tried to contrast themselves with the buttoned-up, clean-shaven Yankees by being scruffy, but let’s not kid ourselves: despite last year’s debacle, they’re one of the richest teams in baseball.

      • bruininnh1984 - Sep 16, 2013 at 2:28 PM

        they have been since henry and werner took over, not that there’s anything wrong with that. the only thing it means is that they have the money to go after high-priced free agents, which they shouldn’t by the way, cause we’ve been down that road and it’s not very pretty(though to be fair, the red sox traded for gonzalez first and then signed him to that contract).

  10. aceshigh11 - Sep 16, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    This team is way too fun to watch.

    Maybe not QUITE at the level of the Cowboy-Up team of ’03 or the Idiots of ’04…but very close.

    Gomes has that Kevin Millar / Johnny Damon level of goofiness and enthusiasm that has seems to positively affect the rest of the team.

    The playoffs await…it’s gonna be fun…

    • jcmeyer10 - Sep 16, 2013 at 4:00 PM

      It’s refreshing to have a bunch of guys treat it more like the game it is. They seem to like each other for the most part which is also refreshing and makes the team more fun to root for overall.

  11. cogitobaseballergosum - Sep 16, 2013 at 2:18 PM

    They’ll be spending the off-season on a quest to the Lonely
    Mountain to reclaim their ancient kingdom from Smaug.

    • bruininnh1984 - Sep 16, 2013 at 2:20 PM

      they do remind me of dwarves lol. well at least napoli and gomes definitely…

  12. rjostewart - Sep 16, 2013 at 5:03 PM

    Of course, if the team wasn’t in first place, the beards would be a sign of how they are a bunch of undisciplined slobs who aren’t serious about winning.

  13. doublezero74 - Sep 16, 2013 at 7:55 PM

    Leave it to Craig to give the sox a backhanded compliment. Do you really dislike that team so much?

  14. pastabelly - Sep 16, 2013 at 8:04 PM

    Wake up Craig!!!!!

    The Sox lost their ace for three months, two closers, Ortiz, and Ellsbury for a while and Pedroia has been playing hurt and his numbers are down. They were preseason favorites to finish in the AL East basement. They proved you win with depth and with guys who check like Carp and Gomes who check their egos before entering the clubhouse. That doesn’t work with last year’s cast, even if healthy. Write about things you are comfortable understanding like like the Yankees and Mets.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Sep 16, 2013 at 8:18 PM

      The Sox lost their ace for three months

      Buccholz has pitched over 175 innings once in 7 seasons. If you expected any more than the 95 he’s pitched so far, you haven’t been paying attention to his career (this is already his third highest amount in MLB).

      two closers

      You can make an argument that Uehara is better than both of them

      Ortiz, and Ellsbury for a while

      Ortiz – 127 out of 150 games played
      Ellsbury – 131 out of 150 games played

      Pedroia has been playing hurt and his numbers are down

      Pedroia 2013 OPS – 112
      Pedroia Career OPS – 116

      Only thing that’s really down is his power (.409 SLG vs career .453), but he’s leading the league in games played (150) and PA (681).

  15. titansbro - Sep 16, 2013 at 8:42 PM

    Call me crazy, but I enjoy watching guys play who seem to enjoy the game they play & don’t take it for granted.

  16. pastabelly - Sep 16, 2013 at 8:54 PM

    Nope, Craig seemed to say the Sox had a healthy Buchholz. Read the article. Nobody expected him to miss three months. Pedroia’s power is down because he’s playing hurt. Craig’s point was that the major difference between this year and last year is health. That’s a joke.

  17. jachaiss - Sep 17, 2013 at 10:09 AM

    Red Sox nation misses AG. But it was more Crawford and Beckett

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