Nice articles out today in both the Globe and Herald pertaining to Terry Francona and Wes Welker, respectively.
The article on Tito (HT to Joy of Sox), "The calmest man in the clubhouse", is by Charles P. Pierce (of "Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me" fame, for my fellow NPR-listening hippies in the audience), and is a polished, nuanced, magazine-style profile on the manager that captures his humor and wry wisdom, and includes a number of positively Angellian descriptive passages such as the following:
Here, though, his teams have won the only two World Series championships the franchise has captured since the days of silent movies, and have done so without ever losing a World Series game. (Note: The Globe’s corporate parent,
The New York Times Co., owns about 17 percent of the Sox.) Under Francona, they have made the playoffs every year save one. His teams have won nearly 60 percent of the games they’ve played, and they have not all been the same type of team, not even close. In winning each of his two world championships, Francona has had to establish normality among distinct groups of individuals with individual quirks and problems. He has won with the loud, raucous crew of “idiots” in 2004 and with a quieter, younger bunch in 2007. He has handled the many voices in the head of Manny Ramirez, and the one, single, stentorian bellow of Curt Schilling’s ego. He finessed the end of Pedro Martinez’s glorious career here in 2004, and he nurtured future MVP Dustin Pedroia through a horrendous slump when Pedroia first entered the starting lineup three years later.
The article on Wes Welker is a much quicker news story about the various injuries Welker is currently rehabbing, as well as a reminder of what a complete freak of nature he is:
It was never a question of whether he could play. Wes Welker felt “something” in his shoulder last season, but the Patriots receiver never deemed it painful enough to keep him off the field.
“I didn’t really tell anybody about it,” Welker said. “It was bothering me, but it wasn’t to a point where it was like, ‘I can’t go.’ ”
Instead, Welker never missed a snap because of what turned out to be a torn rotator cuff.
Welker discussed his shoulder injury for the first time with the Herald during a break in the Old Spice Wes Welker Football Camp yesterday, describing concurrent rehabilitation efforts aimed at healing his torn left-knee ligament and his torn right rotator cuff.
“We’ve been rehabbing two things at once,” said Welker, whose knee was the more publicized ailment. “We’re making a lot of strides in both places. We had to (operate on) the knee, but we couldn’t do ’em both at once, because I had to use crutches. So we had to wait until I could walk to do the shoulder.”
On the field and off, his level of pain tolerance and physical toughness, even among the other tough SOBs in the NFL, is nothing sort of jaw-dropping.