Theo? Your Bus Is Here!

My prediction is that by this time next week, one of the Red Sox owners will have come out and announced “Fenway Park sucks! It’s the reason we didn’t make the playoffs this year! I never wanted to move the team  out of the Huntington Avenue Grounds in 1912 anyway! It was all J.D. Drew’s idea!”

I told you it was ownership that trashed Terry Francona early in the week to The Boston Globe. Now the Excuse-a-Thon has apparently grown so urgent that the Boston moguls aren’t even bothering to go off-the-record any more. John Henry went on local radio this afternoon and absolutely trashed Carl Crawford and whoever signed him. Can’t remember the guy’s name exactly, used to work there. What was it again? Epstein? Juan Epstein?

…anyone involved in the process, anyone in upper management with the Red Sox will tell you that I personally opposed that. We had plenty of left-handed hitting. I don’t have to go into why. I’ll just tell you that at the time I opposed the deal, but I don’t meddle to the point of making decisions for our baseball team.

OK, John, who does meddle then? Who could overrule Theo Epstein? Any ghosts or deities?

And if you’ve set up a system in which the VP/General Manager is accountable to nobody every time he wants to spend $142,000,000, if you’re not responsible when it’s spent badly – who exactly is accountable for that systemic unaccountability?

What’s more, what exactly do you think is going to happen when you trash Carl Crawford before the second year of his seven year contract? Do you think Stu Sternberg is suddenly going to say “We want him back! Here are Matt Joyce and Matt Moore for him, and we’ll soak up the $140 million in the difference in their salaries”? Do you think, John, that the Yankees will suddenly come back and say “We know he proved himself the absolute opposite of a clutch player, and down the stretch he looked like he was terrified, even in the outfield, of making a mistake, but any Red Sox enemy is a friend of ours – here’s Montero for him”?

So the longer we go into this, between the massive disaster of the last month, the startling admission to the Globe that the owners didn’t know anything about their more dysfunctional players (hell, they never met Josh Beckett?), the inept handling of the Francona departure, and the now glacier-length negotiations to off the most successful executive in club history, the more it becomes obvious that the success of the Red Sox for the last ten years was the result of a couple of geniuses, a lot of good luck, and in spite of the Three Stooges who own the shop. And just as obvious, it’ll be back to Boston’s glory days, like the winter of 1980-81 when Haywood Sullivan forgot to send contract offers to Carlton Fisk and Fred Lynn and had to watch both of them leave, virtually without compensation.

That’s the true heritage of Kenmore Square. That and things like one owner (Buddy LeRoux) co-opting Tony Conigliaro Night to announce he was suing the other owner (Jean Yawkey) for control of the franchise. So that’s why within a week they’ll be blaming Fenway.




  1. Kirsten M. Berry

    “…things like one owner (Buddy LeRoux) co-opting Tony Conigliaro Night to announce he was suing the other owner (Jean Yawkey) for control of the franchise.”


    (I remember Tony C as the sportscaster at my local ABC affiliate when I was a kid; he was obviously beloved by the staff, and his heart attack in ’82 was a tragedy. To think that anyone would do that to his memory infuriates me.)

  2. Jen

    In Sox ownership sins, don’t forget forcing Ted Williams to play on a team that did not have the best talent around him that could be found because they were the last team in the American League to integrate, and then committed to only a token number of African American players….

  3. Sam

    I just read on Hardball Talk that Jack McKeon had to lock the door to the clubhouse in order to keep Josh Beckett (and Brad Penny) in the dugout, and he even made them use a pass if the wanted to go to the bathroom. These are the things that go on behind closed (and sometimes locked) doors. However, in my tradition (or anti-tradition) of being liberal and not saying someone is all good or is all bad, I have to read what Keith wrote about John Henry with a grain of Salt(alamacchia). Francona is gone, Epstein is gone– the ownership has to stay. So it’s understandable they would be a bit defensive right now. Having all of New England hating them might be bad for their health, not to mention business. Still, what Henry said about Crawford was inappropriate. It reminds me of the Mets’ owner Wilpon publicly criticizing Reyes, Wright and Beltran. Crawford still has a chance to be great in Boston, if the fans and owner don’t completely demoralize him.

  4. Justin

    I don’t know, a smart GM would offer to take Crawford off Boston’s hands for about 40% of his salary. He’s better than he was this year, even if he’s not going to be as good as he was in Tampa Bay again.

  5. Thirdpig

    I have to say that Carl Crawford seems like a real competitor, and while I agree he had the bad body language and deer in the headlights look at times, he HAS to know he can dominate a baseball game- he’s been doing just that for too long now. He’ll play with a chip on his shoulder like Ellsbury did this year and LOOK OUT, baby. I’m saying it RIGHT HERE on KO’s blog – Crawford will be in the top five of the MVP vote next year.

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