Just got off the conference call with John McLaren. As usual, he was candid and honest and emotional.
Most of the stuff was pretty standard and I'll get to them later.
Unlike Bill Bavasi, who took a few shots at Erik Bedard on his way out, McLaren didn't do that. But he did mention that the clubhouse wasn't a functioning Utopia.
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"I think there is a little tension, friction in there and a little jealousy. That's for those guys to work out on their own. We tried to and we weren't very successful. I think the players have to do it on their own."
Not to deter criticism from myself, but to make this team better - this is only reason I say it - if they can get in that room and work some issues out I think they'd be better off. I care about all of those guys. I think they're good people. Sometimes we get caught up in our own world and this is a team sport.
I think there is some issues in there, if they can take care of them. They'll be a lot closer to going where they want to go than they are now.
Do these issues affect the overall performance?
I don't think so. I just think maybe there was times when we weren't hitting and pitching well. It got really tough hitting at one point. I think we got a little divided pitchers against the hitters. There was tension tried too hard.
If I could put my finger on one thing, I think some of hitters tried too har d and when they do that they swing at more bad pitches than they normally do. We're a free swinging club to start with.
I'm not calling anybody out, I'm putting something on the table I just want them to know. There is an issue there.
Will these issues hold the team back overall?
Whenever you see a good team, these things are overlooked, when you're losing they have an effect. Basically, most of the players are good guys, there's some issues in the clubhouse, if they could iron out, talk out some things, they'd be better off. maybe they've tried, but in private meetings.
I got some feedback about this, we tried to some things behind the scenes, but it's something the staff can't do on their own."
McLaren was also asked about if Richie Sexson needed a change of scenery with a new team to find success.
He's another one that tries so hard and it kind of works against him. I like Richie a lot. It's hard to put a finger on what happened, in spring training he worked hard, he's playing hard and really bearing down in the field, he just needs to hit a relaxed stage, I don't know if he's able to do that with everybody looking at him and all the speculation. It makes you wonder if a fresh start some place if wouldn't be better for him.