Thursday, January 15, 2004

Daubach Backlash

Todd is none too happy with my take on the Daubach signing:

I completely disagree with your Daubach comments. A few years back, when the Sox were mathematically out of the race on the last day of the season, Jimy Williams asked the starters if they wanted to sit out a game of the double header. Most of them volunteered, much to the chagrin of the two guys who refused to sit. One of them was Trot Nixon, the undisputed leader of that team, and the other was his good friend Brian Daubach. He's the guy that's always standing and yelling at the top of the dugout steps in a close game, whether he is playing or not. Sure, the impact that his kind of energy and passion has on a team is hard to support with empirical evidence, but there is a reason why the terms chemistry and leadership are talked about so much in sports. Championship teams usually have them. And on a team with guys like Pedro, Manny, and Nomar, superstars that don't really shoulder the leadership burden, a guy like Daubach is invaluable. What do they lose in signing him to a minor league deal?

And the fans love him. He is the passionate, team oriented role player, in a city that truly appreciates those kinds of guys. You see him out at the bars in Boston, usually talking to one of the youngest and hottest ladies in the place, and you just have to smile. He's not great looking, not tremendously athletic, and nobody's sure why that passion doesn't translate into a rigorous off-the-field regimen, but the fans love him anyway. When most of the people at Fenway look out on the field and think of the player they once were (or even speak of it quite loudly), they may want to think of Manny or Nomar, of monsterous home runs or five tool talent. But in their hearts most of them know that they were probably more like Brian Daubach. And that's a good thing.

Bambino's Curse is another Red Sox fan that's high on this chemistry idea - and high on Daubach. He says it well here:

While there is no statistical veracity to it, I think a metric for "good karma" can hold its own next to "win shares." And Brian Daubach's good karma number is very high. (emphasis added)

I'm surprised that the enlightened Bill James-powered Red Sox front office would buy into this, but as Todd points out, it wasn't too expensive.

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