Ian Clark's On Baseball: Developing winning ways
DEVELOPING PLAYERS is the priority in minor league baseball. If you can develop a winning team at the same time, well, that's a bonus.
The New Hampshire Fisher Cats entered Wednesday night's home game with the Portland Sea Dogs with a seven-game winning streak and tied the franchise mark at eight with a 4-0 victory. (Story Page D5) The parent clubs of both teams, the Toronto and Boston organizations, place an emphasis on winning at all levels.
"We're trying to develop winning ballplayers. You're always looking to get guys to feel good about themselves and to have a quality clubhouse atmosphere, so I believe the winning and development go hand-in-hand," Boles said. "There's a balance there. We make sure that the guys are on the right path to the big league. That's our ultimate goal."
"It's definitely stressed (by the Red Sox). From our major league staff to our front office, it's definitely something that we want to feel good about and feel good about the organization," Boles said. "There's a lot of pride and a lot of history, a lot of winning history in this organization and we want to produce winning players that eventually get to the big leagues."
Not so in Portland, Boles said.
"I always tried to play the game where I wanted to show the other catcher that night on the other team that I was better than him. That motivated me," he said. "It depends on the individual. A lot of these guys already have that team concept of winning and it's not because of me. I played with some guys who were individual guys. They motivated themselves by what they did. If we didn't win, they weren't bothered. But they were really good players. You do your best you can to overlook that."
"If you concern yourself with the team and trying to win a ballgame on a particular night, the individual stuff tends to take care of itself," Allenson said. "If you were to go out and ask these guys in the clubhouse, they're all team guys here. It's not different in the minor leagues. Everyone wants to make it to the big leagues, but you can combine it with that team concept too."
Staff writer Ian Clark can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.