For some, the jury is out. For others, the case is already made and evident. We have heard much ado about David Wright’s ability to be a leader on this team. I’ve even posted that the leader of the future is not even on this team yet. Amazingly, in posts all over this site and a few others, the question of leadership continues arises in conversations and debates. We still talk about defense, front office hi-jinks, and managerial changes but leadership still seems to rise to the top. Clearly, the fan base must think it’s that important so let’s take it to the people. Make your case.
Is David Wright or any member of the Core able to be leaders on this team or do they not just not possess the character and makeup for such a role?
Leadership is defined as “has been described as the “process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task.” Leadership is supposed to be the creation of methods and ways to open the door for people within the organization to do something unique and extraordinary in their performance. The leader’s emotion and vision are inspirational, motivational, and a driving force within the organization, charisma and self confidence not withstanding. One thing that seems to be lost in the leadership theorem is vocal articulation.
Can you have a strong leader without being a vocal one? Some seem to think so. They call them “the strong, silent type”. Is this effective in an organization like a baseball franchise or any organization for that matter? In football, on teams like the Vikings, Colts, Patriots, and Chargers, the quarterback is confrontational, in your face, and challenges his team when he thinks it’s required. Any one of these can be seen yelling at his teammates on the sideline and even right outside of the huddle. Like it or not, there isn’t any doubt who the leaders of these teams are. On championship teams such as the Lakers (Kobe), Heat (Wade/Shaq), Celtics (Garnett/Pierce), and the Spurs (Robinson), there were also clear, vocal leaders. What about in baseball?
Case For: When Boston lost their MVP and most vocal leaders in Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis, their season practically went down the toilet. I don’t believe that his production was the only thing that was missed during that stretch. The Angels have Bobby Abreu and Torii Hunter. Ian Desmond and Brian McCann are other examples for.
Case Against: On the other side of the coin, Johnny Bench wasn’t a vocal leader but sparingly but he led the team with his play and was known by his peers as an outstanding leaders, Gold Gloves and MVP awards not withstanding. Derek Jeter was never a true vocal leader but he was surrounded by them: Tino Martinez. Paul O’Neill. Jorge Posada. Mariano Rivera. Roger Clemens. Especially Posada but Jeter was still considered the face and leader of the franchise.
So which side of the topic are you on and why?