The Red Sox need a new strength and conditioning coach after September's collapse that helped lead to the end of Dave Page in Boston. They seem to have found their man in Mike Boyle, who, in the world of strength and conditioning, is no stranger to tough cases. John Tomase has the details at the Herald today; select points for your reference follow:
In the world of strength and conditioning coaches, there are few celebrities. But during the last three decades, Boyle has forged a resume that qualifies.
He has worked with baseball All-Stars like Carlos Pena, NFL Pro Bowlers like Darren Sharper, hockey Hall of Famers like Neely and Ray Bourque, and championship boxers like Micky Ward. He has even dabbled with comedians Denis Leary and Lenny Clarke, actress Jennifer Garner, country star Jo-Dee Messina and WROR radio personality Hank Morse.
That's an impressive collection of names, and that's not even mentioning the others Tomase brings up, such as mixed martial artist Kenny Florian, Ivy League football player turned pro Zak DeOssie, or his time in this role for the 1998 United States women's Olympic hockey team (who won gold that year).
Boyle apparently uses the competitive edge of athletes against them (and in their own personal favor). Neely recalls that Boyle would, "challenge me against things I had done in the past, challenge me against him. He'd turn our workouts into a competition that he knew I'd hate to lose."
For a Red Sox team that reportedly had issues (some players, anyway -- let's not generalize) motivating themselves to stay in shape, that kind of attitude might be the perfect fit. And if the conditioning problems in the clubhouse were overblown, at least the Red Sox are replacing their previous coach with one of the best in the business.
Injuries have been a problem the last two years for the Red Sox, and if Boyle's program causes some of that to slow, allowing the Red Sox to field their most productive lineup and rotation for the duration of the season, then it can only mean good things for Boston on the field and in the standings.