Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Red Sox Machine

There was one really bright spot that came out of yesterday’s repulsive “article” in the team-owned newspaper. (Well, the newspaper that co-owns the team, I guess technically.) It makes it very clear that the decision to leave the Red Sox really was Terry Francona’s choice. It means he wasn’t dumped because the ownership blamed him for the collapse. It clearly took ownership by surprise. How do I know this? This was by far the sloppiest and thrown together smear campaign they’ve launched. They obviously didn’t put the time into it that they did all the others. They had to do it quick and dirty.

I mean, with Nomar, they took their time. They used all their assets. They had their newspaper hint that he should be traded. It was leaked that he turned down a contract offer. The team-owned TV station showed endless clips of him sitting on the bench while other shortstops made foolish showboating plays. They took months to do this. They made it a lot subtler. Then, they saved just one nugget for when he was gone. The “threat” that his ankle would flare up causing him to miss games only if he was still in Boston. That was a much better smear.

Manny’s was better too. Again it was over months…even years. The team’s newspaper leaks clubhouse incidents. The teams TV station shows him scuffling in the dugout (ignoring that it was caused by the other player). The team’s flagship radio station rails on him over and over for nothing. Then, they save just one nugget for when he leaves. I admit it was a little lazy of them to use the same one from Nomar. Again, apparently, the player threatened to miss more games due to injury, but only in Boston. (I mean, really, say what you want about either player. But for both of them to actually voice that threat? How stupid do the Sox think fans are?)

But, there was none of that this season. The Machine was pretty quiet all year. I don’t remember any grumblings or leaks all of September. Nothing at all. Then, Francona says it’s time for him to leave. The only thing Francona did wrong? He hinted that he wasn’t sure the Sox wanted him back. Oops. Suddenly the ownership had to get into gear. There wasn’t time to do it slow and subtle. This had to be done fast. Plus, if Theo really was leaving, they had to prepare a second smear on the quick. It was, I admit, a stroke of genius to hang the Crawford signing on BOTH Francona and Theo. Two birds, one stone.

What will they do for Theo?

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