Bobby V is a Constant Practice in PR
Bobby, Bobby, Bobby, what are we going to do with you?
I thought our little discussion after you marched into Spring Training, guns ablaze, stating that all players, veterans and otherwise, would take buses to and from Spring Training games, would assist in acclimating you to your new job with the one team that all New Englander’s live and die with.
I see now that it had little effect. Following that discussion, in which we focused on “knowing your audience,” we had to come to the table again in the wake of the comments in which you stated Kevin Youkilis wasn’t “as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past.”
That conversation focused on “messaging,” but I’m not sure if you really grasped the concept. To be totally honest, I’m not sure you understand the concept at all about the various aspects of PR that we were hoping to instill in you.
Later in the summer you went totally off script when you couldn’t answer a simple question as to who would be the starting pitcher for a particular game. And you swung and missed completely when the issue of Josh Beckett golfing the day after he couldn’t pitch due to a pulled lat muscle came up.
After that blockbuster trade last month, I thought I saw a more relaxed Bobby V, a manager who was finally understanding how PR could effectively work in his favor. You were starting to communicate better with members of your staff, upper management, players and the Red Sox loyal supporters. I was ready to graduate you from PR 101, but then you flunked the core function of PR – media relations.
Please, explain to me what came over you when you recently told WEEI’s Glenn Ordway that you’d punch him “right in the mouth” for asking a simple question.
Now I know he asked if you had “checked out” in regards to this season, and it came amidst a losing streak, so I’m sure you were frustrated, but after hearing your response, I have to ask, “what were you thinking?”
I could see if it were Dan Shaughnessy, but Ordway? If you had threatened Shaughnessy most of New England would’ve supported you, but you’d also have fewer witnesses, because barely anyone listens to Shaughnessy.
I suspect what you meant to say to Glenn was, “That’s an interesting observation, but what I think is the important issue here is that my focus is on keeping these players healthy as we wind down what has been a grueling season. At the conclusion of which, I’ll be more than eager to come onto your show and demonstrate to you how that season has affected me personally. Does that work for you, Glenn?”
That’s called a bridging technique and it’s used in interviews to acknowledge you’ve heard the question, but shift away from the issue to another point you’d like to make. It oftentimes allows you to walk away from the media unscathed.
I bring all this to your attention because it’s likely your tenure as Red Sox manager won’t last one full year. In fact, I believe you’ll be able to dress up as Ichabod Crain for Halloween, because your head is going to roll right after this season ends. You assured that when you threatened violence on someone. But you’ve got some baseball years left in you, Bobby. While it might be coaching a team in the Minnetonka, MN, Little League, you’re going to need to sharpen your public relations skills if you want to land that next job. I know you’ve got it in you, Bobby, now you have to put it to practice.