February 24, 2009

A Challenge For Tony Massarotti

Less than two weeks into spring training and Tony Massarotti sees "continuing signs that interest in the team is waning ... [camp is] devoid of any real buzz".
Could it be that the Red Sox are getting -- dare we say it -- relatively boring?
Mazz was, of course, a central part of the media horde that wanted Manny Ramirez (who he still refers to as "immature and irresponsible") dumped at nearly any cost. Now he laments the lack of drama?!?!?

Check out his latest column:
Before 2004, we never really had such a long-term outlook when it came to the Red Sox. The absence of a world title for 86 years understandably made us short-sighted and impatient. Burdened by past failures, we placed undue emphasis on relatively meaningless events and melodramas, from the late arrivals of spring to ordinary stints on the disabled list to the frustrating losing streaks that are part of any season.

But now? Now we shrug it all off because we know the Red Sox will be good. We just don't know if they will be great. And because that answer will not begin to come until Aug. 15, at the earliest, we chalk up most of the early developments to an accepted part of the journey, only fueling the theory that the Red Sox and their followers finally have reached an emotional maturity.
I followed the Red Sox last summer -- and I recall several "melodramas" during which "emotional maturity" was sorely lacking.

But the bigger point is that Massarotti is claiming that since October 2004, "we" (meaning both the media and the fans) now see these various melodramas as "meaningless events". Fussing over those soap operas (like when someone is due to arrive in camp) -- giving them "undue emphasis" -- is passe, part of the world we inhabited in 2003, 2002, 2001, etc. We have left that old-fashioned thinking behind, however. With the clarity of a world championship in 2004 (and another one in 2007!), we have evolved, and come to understand that "shit happens". We no longer let those silly issues clutter our mind.

Are you f#@%ing kidding me?

Some people think Manny lives in his own dream world, but it looks like it's Massarotti who has no clue what goes on around him.

There is also a subtle subtext of annoyance that Mazz can't simply file gossipy crap. He ends his column:
At this point in time, and in this day and age, the Red Sox are nothing short of a well-oiled machine operating at peak efficiency. They have good ownership, good management, good big league players, and a good minor league system. None of that is really debatable anymore. The entire clubhouse generally seems like a collection of good guys genuinely interested in each other's well being, which makes them all very easy to like and root for.

At the moment, it just makes them challenging to talk about.
So, without the swirling melodramas, doing his job has now become a "challenge". ... Maybe that subtext is not so subtle, after all.

It's not that uncommon for Boston sportswriters to whine about having to actually go out and find some baseball stories. But it's usually CHB who is complaining that he simply can't cut and paste his old material and mail in: "Manny's At It Again #8,306" or "My New Nickname for Carl Everett" or "Stats Are Weird/Bloggers Are Nerds".

There may not be any controversy in camp at the moment, but something will happen this season. Many things, actually. And they will fit Massarotti's definition of a "meaningless event" to a T. And I can pretty much guarantee that Mazz will ditch the wisdom that it's all "part of the journey" and give the issue far more attention than it deserves.

Will he take his own advice? Will he do what he believes has already been going on for 4+ years? I say no. Prove me wrong, Tony!


L-girl said...

Great post!!!

Pepe Lepew said...

I'd just as soon leave the maelstrom of drama to the Yankees.

Patrick said...

I'm more psyched about the Red Sox than I have ever been.

We have so many new potentially high impact players, and so many young players that just plain kick ass.

If he wanted to write about any of them, that would be fine with me.

9casey said...

He is an idiot who should be fired now, right now, Jere mentioned this last night as well...Mazz is terrible........

Benjamin said...

Massarotti's just trolling, and lazily. Well, he got you riled up, so I guess it was good enough.

Line by line rebuttals of people who aren't arguing in good faith are somewhat silly.

L-girl said...

Line by line rebuttals of people who aren't arguing in good faith are somewhat silly.

The man writes for the city's major paper. One has to assume he means what he writes and is writing "in good faith", then proceed accordingly.

There's nothing silly about holding people accountable for what they write and what they say. It's one of the least silly functions of blogging.

Benjamin said...

I'm not complaining about what Allan posts on his blog, though that isn't clear. (And I still miss FJM's rebuttals.)

I'm really just complaining that Massarotti's wasting everyone's time and insulting his readership. Allan should send him a bill.

dj1480 said...

A newsman who writes a story about writing a story is a newsman with his head up his exhaust pipe.

andy said...

With the absence of FJM we need this kind of thing to entertain us in the same way FJM did. Thank you Allan. Did I mention I am horny for baseball now?

redsock said...

Did I mention I am horny for baseball now?

You may have mentioned it once or twice.


By the way, I wish I could do FJM-esque stuff. Any attempt would be watered-down and not nearly as funny. The idiocy makes me too angry.

Ish said...

If Mazz wants real melodrama he should put in for a transfer to the New York Times. Mr. Lepew's got it right. If you really want to write about all this stuff, just take I-75 north for an hour or so present your creds to Steinbrenner Field