November 1, 2005

Fenway Fiasco

No time to do anything online today except clip two quotes that sum up my attitude perfectly.

The first one is from the Herald's Tony Mazzarotti, who I have been quick to fault in the past, but who hits the nail on the head:
Larry Lucchino botched this from Day One, plain and simple, no ifs, ands or buts. The Red Sox can spin, distort and disguise the reality all they want, but the departure of the talented Theo Epstein will go down as one of the great management blunders in the history of the franchise. ...

Red Sox management, which once trumpeted Epstein as a member of their team, treated him like a wide-eyed intern who should have felt blessed to kneel in their presence. And when Epstein responded by biting the Sox in the kneecaps, they fired up the propaganda machine and leaked information, tried to make him look bad, did their darnedest to put him in his place. ...

So now Lucchino, like Lucille Ball, has some serious ’splaining to do. How could you let this happen, Larry? How could you chase away one of the best things to happen to Red Sox management in its frequently misguided history? How could you take a young man with so much energy and passion and competitiveness and destroy his spirit like some unrelenting, overbearing father?
And because John Henry has seen fit to extend Lucchino's contract in the Sox front office to 2010, he must share a huge part of the blame.

SoSH member Kevin Mortons Ghost:
It is absolutely disgraceful that the Red Sox as an organization would allow their president to use a troll like the CHB to torpedo a vital negotiation with a valuable and successful senior member of their team. If Lucchino couldn't work with Theo, he should have had the guts to make the decision and stick with it - not force Theo's hand through the media and then rev up the spin engine. Henry should be ashamed that his enterprise would treat Theo in this manner. ... Why would anybody else choose to work for an organization that treats its top performers this way? ...

While I agree that Theo is not irreplacable and that life will go on, it is SOOOOO disappointing that the soap opera around this team never ends. Yawkey, Sullivan, La Roux, Harrington, Duquette, Kerrigan, Grady, free agent departures too numerous to mention, Epstein, Lucchino, Manny, Pedro, Crazy Carl, it just goes on and on and on. And worst of all, winning a championship makes no difference whatsoever.
So who wants this job now, with limited power and knowing he'll be regularly undercut by press leaks from Lucchino?


Anonymous said...

Sorry, Redsock, you and Tony are all wet. Theo's action just wreaks of a 31 year-old who has risen beyond his maturity level. For the salary he was asking, Luccino and Henry had every reason to play hard ball (Imagine low-balling in contract negotiations! The Horror!) and assume that he could handle it. I guarantee you that every other GM is scratching his head and saying, "What a silly thing for the kid to do!"

As for Kevin's whining: hey, that's your team, it's always been your team, and always will be. What, you thought winning would turn the Sox into the Cardinals? Maybe you like the Yankees culture better? The soap opera IS the Red Sox, year to year, game to game. My God, if you don't know that by now....

allan said...


i don't agree. no one wants to work in a situation with severe office politics that hamper your ability to do your job properly -- and in this case, the sniping and battles end up on the front page of the paper. and recent history has shown that lucky can be a real shit (as per his comments during the arod negotiations).

that type of behavior isn't contract hard ball. theo didn't want to play that game. the novelty of the job wasn't enough.

re the soap opera: just because the past has been full of drama doesn't mean the future has to be. (similar to the fact that just because we hadn't won a title in 86 years was no reason why we couldn't win at some future point).

Jeff said...

What's amazing to me is that people don't seam to appreciate the hurt that the soap opera has on the team. Fans and media alike pass it off as just being part of baseball in New England.

Well, that may be true but has anyone ever considered that the soap opera might also be the source of many woes in New England baseball.

No one can seem to figure out why players like Manny Ramirez would ask to be traded or Theo might want to leave. They say, "well, they should just get used to it. This is Boston after all." Would any of them get used to it?

Maybe the culture of Red Sox baseball needs a change. Maybe if we could kill the soap opera, the Sox could get players, coaches and managers to stick around. Of course, without the soap opera, what would we write about in the offseason...

Anonymous said... politics is part of the mix about 95% of the time; the more intense the business, the bigger the egos and stakes, the more office politics are. If there's a single high-salaried job in the US without intense office politics, I never heard of it.

allan said...

yes, but most times those battles are not played out in the newspapers, talk radio, TV, etc.

with the sox (and many other sports teams), all that crap gets a good airing every day.

clearly theo knows this, and he knew it when he first took the job (and he knows Lucchino), but perhaps he was just sick of it --or it has gotten worse.

Anonymous said...

Guys...come on! You know why the Sox are a soap opera: US! Look at all the blogs...look at the importance to the city of everything the Sox do. I have a friend who thinks of himself as a big Indians fan, and he doesn't know who the Cleveland GM is. Here we're acting as if a front office change is the end of the world. So Manny wants to play where he can go out to dinner and not attract a crowd. Now, I think part of his 20 mil a year pays for that, but his objections are linked to the fact that people care here. If Boston was a place where its left fielder could go out in public and not be harassed, Manny wouldn't be the left-fileder, would he?
Theo doesn't like the circus...well, the circus is smelly and dangerous and absurd, but it's a lot of fun. Gene Conley and Pumpsie trying to go to Israel, Stuart and Pesky feuding, Dick Williams being an SOB, Tony C goind down anf Harry Agganis and Lonbog's sking accident and jensen refusing to fly and Pedro feeling "disrespected" and Jack Clark's vintage auto collection and Oil Can and Spaceman and all the tragedies and all comes fromand adds to the intense scrutiny and the tradition of a club with a century of heroes, goats, high drama and high comedy. You think you'd be posting on this blog if the Sox had won three more World Series but had half the intrigue, shocks and suspense?

Baloney. Life is a soap opera, and the Sox have always been the most addictive soap opera around.

Embrace it, or fix it, because right now, you're part of the problem.

Anonymous said...

While I don't agree with you about the office politics in this situation being on the same level (mainly, no one gives a damn who the top 20 people in any other major company are), I think your final few paragraphs at the bottom are dead on. Yeah, I'm pissed about theo leaving, but it's what the Sox are all about. The patriots are great, but they just don't capture my interest anywhere near as much because it's just not as exciting. It means something when the Sox do well just because they're so freaking screwed up and backassed in everything they do.

I think that's why most of the bandwagoners will be gone soon, because it's not an easy team to follow. I'm in it for the long haul, even if it is warping my mind and I scream and say how much I hate them every few weeks.

Freaking Red Sox, gotta love 'em.

Geopat said...

jack, thanks for stirring the pot. it's obvious that you have as much at stake as the rest of us... you didnt go out and research those names and fiascos for the sake of a quick blogging. i agree that theo may be burned out by the in-fighting, but to insinuate that he "has risen beyond his maturity level" seems a bit silly. .....agree that he stood on the most visible and critical stage in sports and made some of the most emotional and controversial decisions in recent memory... and still stands as the acknowledged architect of the real impossible dream. that seems to me to be well above the maturity level you are willing to credit him with. and, why or how are "we part of the problem"? if we didn't exist (the way we do), then there would be no red sox, literally

Anonymous said...

Hey, Geopat...I didn't research those names, I lived with 'em! They are tatooed on my soul....forever.
In 1971, a huge soap opera over so-called warring "cliques" with Yaz and Reggie Smith on one "side" and Billy Conigliaro and others on the opposition blew up into a huge controversy. A local TV "special" on the fight ended with several sportwriters agreeing that the Sox were facing years and years of losing records; the cupboard was bare, and the dugout discord had destroyed the team.

The Sox lost the division by a half a game in '72, blew a late season 8 game lead in '74, and made the Series in '75.

Unknown said...


Clearly you have a pretty poor understanding of how corporate culture is supposed to work if you think that office politics are supposed to be a part of the package of working for a large company. They're not - they only come up when a poor company setup creates the sort of culture where backstabbing and politicking is expected. It's always unhealthy and it always ends up costing company as a whole in the long run.

As for using the media to score debating points...take what I said about the perils of office politics and double it. Absolutely despicable.

Anonymous said...

Gee Eric, somehow I don't think a life's career with Fortune 500 companies, major associations and the US Chamber of Commerce, founding and running four corporations and now a corporate consulting business, left me with a "poor understanding" of how organizations work.
I didn't say office politics were good; I said they are unavoidable, (and they are), and that anyone who works with an organization bigger than two employees needs to learn how to deal with them. And as a general rule, organizations with no office politics are either just getting over a bout of them, going into one, or just dead in the water.

Anonymous said... is now live. Join the movement. Boycot the Globe and email the Sox to voice your anger over losing Theo!

Anonymous said...

As a lifelong Pats fan, believe me when I tell you, I don't miss the bungling, stumbling and overall embarrassment of the 70's and 80's Patriots. Yes there were a few good years back then too, but those years were marred by fiasco after fiasco.

I'll take exhilaration of my 'state of the art' team winning championships over the soap opera any day. That's the kind of 'drama' I want to see from The Sox. I thought that we were headed in the right direction till this happened...