Tomorrow’s Hall of Famers, today

January 10th, 2007 → 11:59 am @

Okay, fine: that was a cheap and easy transition. But at least I’m trying…

Anyway. Lost in all the HoF commentary/hand wringing/debates is the opening today of the Red Sox’s annual “Rookie Program,” in which — and I’m quoting the press release here — “twelve of Boston’s top upper level prospects” will be exposed “to the expectations of being major leaguers for the Red Sox.” (This year’s participants: pitchers Kason Gabbard, Craig Hansen, David Pauley, Nick Debarr, Clay Buchholz, Kyle Jackson, and Edgar Martinez; outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury, Brandon Moss, and David Murphy; catcher George Kottaras; and third baseman Chad Spann.) Besides your normal workouts, the program includes (and I’m quoting again) “seminars that will focus on the assimilation into major league life off the field. A number of individuals from both in and outside the Red Sox organization will speak to the group, including President/CEO Larry Lucchino, General Manager Theo Epstein, manager Terry Francona, major league coaches John Farrell and Dave Magadan, catcher Jason Varitek, and longtime baseball writer and ESPN reporter Peter Gammons.”

I’ve written before about the ways in which the team tries to prepare rookies for the weird and wooly nature of playing in Boston (Cla Meredith could probably have used some more of this), and I don’t have a whole lot to add to that. It is worth re-recounting a conversation I had with Papelbon in ’05, in which he talked about his participation in the Rookie Program: “In January, I did the media development program. A lot of the subjects we went over in that time period are coming up now, and I’m able to go back to that and rely on it and say, ‘Hey, what did I learn and how can it help me?’ So in terms of dealing with the press and everything else that comes with playing major league baseball, yeah, it’s helped.” Not to get down on my knees — which is something I’m accused of vis a vis the Sox baseball ops folks with some regularity — this really is exactly the kind of stuff the public rarely hears much about, but really is important.

Post Categories: 2006 Hot Stove Season & Red Sox front office & Red Sox rookie development