But some of it came from Farrell himself. Unlike Valentine, Farrell never publicly called out his players. Farrell treated his players with respect and professionalism, and his players did the same.
Farrell’s class showed itself even as his team played a potential championship-clinching game, with him ending his mid-game interview to congratulate retiring Fox baseball commentator Tim McCarver.
Seriously, how often do professional athletes or coaches actually take time to thank the press?
Because fans still pay a portion of players’ salaries — ticket sales, merchandise sales, advertising revenue, etc. — they want to believe just making millions of dollars is enough to motivate players to fight through adversity and give their best effort. But anyone working in almost any industry knows that a bad boss or a bad atmosphere at work can drain productivity faster than Jacoby Ellsbury stealing second base.
The Sox didn’t bring in the highest-profile players or coaches — they brought in the personnel best-suited to creating a new atmosphere at Fenway Park.
Even at the highest levels of sport, the team concept still matters. The Red Sox proved that Wednesday night at Fenway.
Contact Matt Goisman at firstname.lastname@example.org.