C. Trent Rosecrans had this interesting piece in the Enquirer recently. The Reds evidently sent some minor leaguers to a leadership retreat:
The exercise was part of an obstacle course in the two-and-a-half day leadership training event that 12 Reds players attended at Thayer Leader Development Group at West Point, N.Y., this past week.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Leadership is obviously a hot topic in all of sports. The age old question is how do you develop leaders?Ã¢â‚¬Â said Reds director of player development Jeff Graupe. Ã¢â‚¬Å“There’s a lot of methods you can try – a lot of things you do within baseball – but with the investment of putting these guys on field, we wanted to match that off the field with the nutrition program, with sports psychology, with all the sports science initiatives. This is one that bubbled up to the top. Once we researched and found a program, we were pretty excited about it.Ã¢â‚¬Â
I encourage you to read the whole thing; Trent has the details of what the players — some of the club’s top prospects across all levels — endured during the event.
A lot of people poked fun at the idea of a leadership retreat for baseball players, because that’s what people do on the internet: poke fun at things. But I’m all about outside-the-box thinking, and this certainly qualifies. It also seems to me (and to some of our astute commenters) to be an indication of changing times and changing attitudes within the Reds front office (now that Dick Williams in the GM in charge). Can you imagine Walt Jocketty signing off on something like this?
I particularly liked this quote from Reds minor league pitcher Rookie Davis:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m all in on what we’re doing. Very rarely in minor-league baseball do you feel like you’re a part of something bigger than yourself, and I honestly, truly feel that I am,” Davis said. “I know that these guys are all in as well. We were talking about it during the World Series about how can we get there and stay there like the Cubs? Just talking about it, you’d see guys light up, that’s what they want. We want to win championships and win it with the guys around us. Honestly, I couldn’t ask to be put in a better position than I am right now and I’m happy I’m going to do it with these guys.”
Who knows? It certainly can’t hurt.