For a group that has been touted so highly as being PR conscious and purports to care about the fans and what they think, the Red Sox ownership group just continues to be completely tone-deaf, clueless and more interested in selling merchandise than the actual baseball product they are putting on the field.
Yes, they’re putting big money into the payroll, they can’t be faulted for the amount of money they’re spending there. (Though the quality of what they’re getting for that money can certainly be questioned.) But, their handling of the Terry Francona situation threatens to put a black cloud over the celebration of the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park.
It’s not often that I tell you that you need to read Dan Shaughnessy, but today is one of those days.
Francona and Shaughnessy are working on a book together, so expect Dan to be Tito’s mouthpiece for the foreseeable future. Shaughnessy talks to Francona today about why the manager who led the team to two World Series championships does not feel comfortable coming back to Fenway Park for the 100th Anniversary of Fenway Park.
From today’s column:
“Larry called me yesterday,’’ Francona said Tuesday. “I was in a phone store in Arizona. I had three people standing around me. I was at a little bit of a disadvantage. He got a little perturbed at me, telling me I was being unfair to them. I called him back last night and left him a message. He called me back and we ended up getting into an argument. I just feel like someone in the organization went out of their way to hurt me and the more we talked I realized we’re just not on the same wavelength. They’re probably better off going forth and leaving me out of it.’’
Lucchino actually had the nerve to argue with Francona, and tell him he wasn’t being fair to them? There are no words. Unbelievable. After the slime job they did to him on the way out the door? (In Dan’s own paper, which makes this whole situation even more unbelievable.)
For me to go back and start waving and hugging, I’m just not comfortable doing that. I made it pretty clear to John Henry. When I told Larry that, he said, ‘Well, I haven’t talked to John about it.’ I said, well then how [expletive] important could it be?
“When I spoke to John he made me think they were going to make an effort. John and Larry made it clear to me they weren’t responsible for what was said [in the Globe article]. I thought they owed it to me to get to the bottom of it a little bit.’’
UPDATE – Interestingly, the Globe has cut out the last two sentences of the first paragraph above. (in bold) Hmmm, why would they do that? Seems rather important to Francona’s case for not showing up.
So after arguing with Francona about why he’s not coming, Lucchino tells him that he and John Henry haven’t even talked about the source of the Bob Hohler story?
This is a disaster. I sincerely hope that if Lucchino and Henry show their faces at the celebration that the crowd gives them an extended boo. A few “We want Tito!” chants would be nice too.
Fair or not, in 25 years, all people are going to remember about the Fenway 100 Celebration is that Terry Francona wasn’t there because ownership trashed him to the Boston Globe on his way out the door.
Meanwhile, the team on the field continues to struggle, losing to the Blue Jays 7-3 last night. Manager Bobby Valentine appeared on Dennis and Callahan this morning for what can only be described as a very terse interview. At the end, they insisted on pressing Valentine about their buddy Curt Schilling, and Valentine refused to be drawn in, only saying that Schilling’s comments didn’t have credibility with him. He refused to elaborate, leaving a nice 10-second silence before saying “next question.” The interview ended right then and there. Valentine signed off with a “You guys are great!”
Callers afterward accused D&C of being in the bag for Francona, which they denied, and then the third caller said that D&C were tweaking Valentine because their ratings are horrible. He then noted he had no wait in calling in and getting on the air. Callahan shouted that they have 12 phone lines and that’s the reason he got right through.
Over-the-hill newspaper columnist proclaims the Red Sox are, like, SO over… – Fenway Pastoral looks at Brian McGrory’s Red Sox column today. Dead on.
That’s about enough on the Red Sox for me. The Celtics once again got the better of the Miami Heat, running out to a big first half lead, and then keeping the Heat at bay the rest of the way for a 115-107 win down in South Florida.
Check all the coverage at CelticsLinks.com.
Are the Celtics legitimate contenders? – Paul Flannery wonders if a strong showing in the second round is too conservative a hope for this team.
Celtics show off muscle at beach – Gary Washburn says that the second half of this game was especially telling.
Brandon Spikes, Stevan Ridley Gearing Up for Promising Patriots Season and 19 Other Thoughts – Jeff Howe has Patriots players drifting back to Gillette for offseason workouts.
Brown a no-brainer for Hall – Mark Farinella says that Troy Brown is an easy pick for the Patriots Hall of Fame.
Spotlight shifts to Seguin – Mick Colageo says that the postseason could be Tyler’s time if he wants it to be.