(Ben and Jen at October Yankees Game / AP Photo)
Cambridge Homeboy Turned Hollywood Heartthrob
Won't Be Coming Home to Run the Red Sox
Red Sox Apprentice: It was two years ago that Theo Epstein delivered Curt Schilling to Red Sox Nation after a Thanksgiving dinner recruiting trip. Tonight it was a starring role in “Guess Who’s Not Coming to Dinner” for the man who hoped to replace Epstein as Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino decided to pass on casting Boston’s own Ben Affleck as the next GM of the Olde Towne Team.
Affleck was stunned by Lucchino’s late night decision as he hoped to leave the acting profession, where he has struggled for nearly two decades, and return home to take the helm of the team he grew up rooting for. Most in the industry believed he would be one of the final four candidates for the position.
One well-placed industry source familiar with Lucchino’s thinking told BDD that “Larry spent countless hours this week reviewing film of Ben’s past work: "Jersey Girl," "The Sum of All Fears," "Changing Lanes," "Daredevil," "Pearl Harbor," "Reindeer Games," "Armageddon"… and "Gigli," after which he told John Henry that he 'had seen enough.'” Henry, who refused to watch any of Affleck’s big screen work, concurred with Lucchino’s decision as he was also completely underwhelmed after suffering through Affleck’s act at the Red Sox Foundation Welcome Home Dinner for two years in a row. Tom Werner hoped to make it up to Ben by offering him a brief cameo in “That 70’s Show.”
Affleck, who is expecting his first child with wife Jennifer Garner (who also received bad news today as her show “Alias” was cancelled) released a brief statement to the media:
“I’m kinda bummed out about this latest setback with the Sox. Jen’s show just got the ax today. I’ve got three new movies coming out next year, and naturally they all stink. This baby thing is really going to cut into my social life. Some weirdo criminal stalker creep just apologized for having Jen and me in his fantasies… and he called me a pool boy to boot. Talk about your “Surviving Christmas.”
Larry Lucchino was available in the Crown Royal room at Fenway just before midnight, but most of the media was away for Thanksgiving break. He did speak to NESN’s Hazel Mae regarding his decision to drop Affleck from GM consideration:
“Another one bites the dust I guess… Ben considers himself numero uno 'celebrity' Sox fan, but c’mon, Jimmy Fallon might be a better actor than this guy. I mean 'Pearl Harbor' makes 'Fever Pitch' look like 'Citizen Kane.' I know he watches all the games out there on the West Coast, and follows the team on the Internet, and donates his time to our charitable endeavors… but fer chrissakes, we give him those those freakin' front row seats whenever he’s in town with his girl-du-jour. He doesn’t pay a dime for them… so anyway on the GM gigli… err gig, we just didn’t think he could be our leading man so to speak… we probably should have had Matt Damon in before he committed to his next project, but hindsight is 20-20… we still have 10 candidates left, so…”
Q: How do you balance the reader's need to know in a very competitive media market versus journalistic credibility and accuracy of sources?
"You ask a question we could probably spend another entire chat discussing. I've got a lot of thoughts on the subject; it hits very close to home. I'll share a few ... First of all, this is baseball, not politics or the military. IMO, some baseball people get overly obsessed about being secretive. They've forgotten the enjoyment they used to get when they'd read all the hot stove rumors. They've also evidently forgotten how good that is for their business, too...what a great way to keep your sport in the news and relevant, discussing this trade or that free-agent signing. Reams of free publicity, IMO... Accuracy? Every journalist should strive for accuracy. But some of the people making the most noise about inaccuracies want it both ways. They refuse to confirm anything, saying it's private, then belittle as inaccurate some of the reports that do not come out. Hey, I hate to be responsible for the publication of inaccurate info, and I have a responsibility not only to be as accurate as possible, but not to be reckless with publishing info if there's some question about its accuracy. I made mistakes in the course of the Theo coverage, none bigger than writing that the deal was done when it wasn't... But there were a lot of things I wrote that were accurate, too accurate for some people's comfort. And I will also say there have been some ridiculous accusations about us being "spoon-fed" info by the Sox because of the NY Times Co investment in the Sox. Have you heard of anyone more unhappy with the media coverage than John Henry? Does that sound like the Sox have been spoon feeding the Globe stuff? Every good reporter has sources --I had sources, and I used them. That's what reporting is all about... OK, I can climb off my soapbox. I love the passion of the fans here, I love knowing that many of you folks care about what we write and what we say about the team. It's what drives me, and I thank you for that. No one is more upset when I've let you down with a faulty story, and I assure you, my colleague Chris Snow is just as fiercely committed to getting the story right, and telling it well, as I am. Have a great Thanksgiving all, and thanks for listening." -- 11.23, Gordon Edes, chat wrap