First of all, let me say that it's good to be back.
My laptop is fully functional and behaving in a predictable manner, and I even found time to re-optimize my phone so that it works as originally intended. All in all, it was a pretty good weekend in technology for me.
A lot has happened since the last time I wrote, so I won't bother trying to recap all of it. Instead, let's focus on the here and now:
Various team and media sources have reported that captain Shalrie Joseph and all-star defender Kevin Alston were sent back to Boston from Orlando for "disciplinary reasons."
The team won't comment further, but obviously the speculation machine has been operating at full capacity. More on that after the jump.
After last season's suspension for breaking the league's substance policy (read: he was apparently busted for marijuana), the announcement that Shalrie was being booted from camp for breaking the rules has every heckler from here to LA cracking weed jokes. Known MLS twitter comedian @ZombieJaqua even started using #ShalrieSentHome to keep the joke running (his first one was the best, though: "Shalrie Joseph sent home from Revs training camp already? Too much "puff puff" not enough "pass" to satisfy coaching staff apparently.")
It turns out that we can't claim something so high-profile as being busted for smoking illegal substances, because Shalrie himself cleared up the confusion via twitter. Through his account, @ShalrieJoseph21, he said: "All day at the movies hanging with @D_Barnes25 n @Kalston30 just got busted waiting for da second movie, so we had to buy new tixs."
It hasn't been confirmed (or denied) by the team that this is the actual reason for his and Alston's dismissal, but at this point it's the only plausible explanation we have. This raises obvious questions, not the least of which being: "why didn't Darrius Barnes get in trouble as well?"
One also has to wonder if this is something that really warrants a dismissal from camp. Even if the team wanted to keep this internal, their absence from the training center was always going to be noticed by someone and then reported, and now the organization's silence is allowing the peanut gallery all the free space it needs to fill with meaningless conjecture and possibly-insulting foolishness. Does punishing two grown men for trying to sneak into a movie seem worth the possible backlash?
That said, this is a massive gaffe from Shalrie and not the sort of behavior the Revs are looking for out of their captain. The team is coming off of an abysmal year and describing the squad as "in flux" would be far too kind. Let's not forget that, until the final few weeks of the season, Shalrie himself wasn't exactly having a banner year either.
Plus, not to beat a dead horse, but this looks especially suspect after last season's suspension. Joseph is a 32-year old man and entering his ninth year in the league – he needs to be better than this. There has to be some kind of situational/contextual awareness. Alston's mistake can be explained away as immaturity, but Shalrie should be one of the leaders showing him that such actions are not the way to conduct yourself as a professional, not functioning as an active participant.