Wednesday, March 24, 2010
3 Reasons I See:
1. - It's All Business
Yes, all of the owners are running a business. But Wyc and Kraft were fans before they were owners. They have a passion that can't be bought. Remember when the Patriots won the AFC Championship in 1997? Bob Kraft made a speech at the end of the game, in the freezing cold, and everyone thought he was sauced. How about Wyc's green suit? What sort of passion does the Red Sox ownership display? And is that a fabricated display? It's robotic, with metrics to defend everything. Everything is calculated. Whether you liked it or not, George Steinbrenner was the opposite of Red Sox ownership. Outspoken, passionate, and dies with his team. It's admirable. The Red Sox ownership seem more like people who were never fans of Boston teams but merely identified the Boston Red Sox organization as an excellent business venture with which to seize. It represented profits. And the best way to achieve profits is to have a good product. So they manage well. They run a good crisp business -- congratulations.... I guess.
2. The Facades
I'm not here to say Nomar got screwed or Nomar was a fraud. But it was as clear as can be that neither sides liked each other at the end. The Red Sox were leaking stories and reports about Nomar not wanting to play, not accepting the contract. It was as bitter a divorce as I recall in Boston sports at the time. Credit due to Theo and the brass, they dealt an extremely popular figure and the move panned out. But who's idea was it to have a one day signing so that he could retire a Red Sox player? I'm confused by that. For if it was Nomar's decision, then shouldn't that be an indication that he never wanted to leave? And wouldn't that imply that back in 2004, Red Sox ownership was telling people only part of the story -- the part that makes them look good? What if it was Red Sox ownership's decision to have the retirement day? Why would they want to do such an event to a guy who didn't want to be here back in 2004?
As big as Nomar was to Red Sox in the late 90's, Drew Bledsoe was just as big to Patriots fans. So why didn't Bill Belicheck, and Bob Kraft roll out the carpet for Bledsoe to sign him for a day so he can retire? Maybe because it didn't end well, and there is no need to have such a charade. Make no mistake, Bledsoe was the biggest thing in this town in the mid 1990's. Yet the Red Sox love the pomp and circumstance. And in some circumstances, it looks as phoney as Heidi Montag. The Nomar day is just one of a collection of these events. Terry Cashman's horrible song on 2005 opening day is one I try to forget.
3. The Spin
Sometimes I feel like I'm listening to a politician position his agenda when they explain why they did what they did. I get that they don't want to admit they blew it on Matt Holiday. It's a funny coincidence that they roll out this strategy to go with pitching and defense. And hey, I'm not one to dismiss that strategy as it's preached throughout the game. However, Rob Bradford's piece with Jason Bay some time back told a completely different tale of the Jason Bay negotiations. A side of the story that was not even close to being exposed by Red Sox brass. How they made the offer, how he accepted the offer, how they changed the parameters and that he had to take a physical for a non-existent injury, how he passed said physical.
Red Sox management leaks information about certain things with their team. There is no doubt about it, and it's used to position themselves or the player in a different public light.
Have we seen the Celtics or the Patriots do this? Sidenote -- in case you're wondering, yes, I am leaving the Bruins out of the conversation. Last week's Pittsburgh game was so embarrassing on so many fronts, I almost burned my Bruins hat in effigy and mailed it to Peter Chiarelli. So they won't be granted acknoweldgement for an undetermined period of time.
When the rumors of Ray Allen being traded lit up the boards, were there ever any reports that painted Allen in a negative light? Or some comments about him not wanting to be here? When Adalius Thomas, Randy Moss, and others were sent home for being late to practice, and Adalius Thomas was given the right to speak his mind, did Patriots brass leak some information that would incriminate Thomas in any capacity. When Adalius Thomas publicly said that he wanted to play for the Jets and sexy Rexy, did New England respond. How about the Kevin Garnett injury last year -- when questions came out about whether or not he should have tried to play with the injury. This is as close as it came to a public confrontation, as even Danny Ainge questioned it. Yet, it wasn't as though a story was leaked. Ainge actually publicly commented on the situation. And then they stood by the guy in the offseason. He's one of us. That's what we do, right?
When it comes to Red Sox and their players, stories occur regularly. And while I know the Pats are in lockdown and it's difficult to get insider information, doesn't it just seem convenient that insider information is easier to get from the Red Sox -- and usually it's information that doesn't paint the owners in a bad light. Pay close attention to Josh Beckett this year. His contract is coming up and it'll be interesting to see how this negotiation goes both in the conference rooms and in the papers. You'll see what I mean. Vince Wilfork's contract was up this year, and nary a peep came out of him.