The most popular word in Boston this summer is dysfunctional.
Thanks to the Boston Red Sox, American League sports fans have a richer lexicon. We now know that when people talk, and no one is listening, that's dysfunctional.
When BobbyValentine and his pitching coach Bob McClure couldn't string two sentences together in response to each other, that was a sign of dysfunctional management.
When the bullpen coach refused to talk to the manager when he called to ask for a left hander to warm up, that was dysfunctional.
When a player sneaks up the backstairs to the front office, that's dysfunctional.
When an owner fails to answer his email, or ignores the turmoil all around his team, that's dysfunctional.
When a pitcher throws sunflower seeds in the face of a coach during a game, as an act of contempt-- that is dysfunctional.
When a pitcher takes criticism as of his expanding waistline and ERA as an attack on his manhood--that is dysfunctional.
When players call a meeting with ownership and forget to invite the manager-- that is dysfunctional.
When a designated hitter refuses to play because everyone making more money than he is on the DL, that is dysfunctional.
When a second baseman tells the media that his manager may have done things his way in Japan, but he won't be doing them that way in Boston…that is, you guessed it, a kind of dysfunction.
And when fans start to refuse to pay exorbitant prices for seats at Fenway Park, that is dysfunctional.
In the old days, we usually said it meant you had a lousy team with bad players, bad attitudes, and the management stunk.
But, we are now learning polysyllabic words like the graduates of Amherst College where Ben Cherington learned to say that this season has been subject to 'multifactorial' conditions.
That's next week's word.