OPENING DAY HAS A NICE RING TO IT!
Sox Three Ring Circus is Over
Brass Ring Decision Has Been Made
Internet Tail Wags the Dog Again
2.21.05: Boston Dirt Dogs has learned that Fenway Park will host a World Championship Red Sox ring ceremony on Opening Day when the Olde Towne Team faces the New York Yankees.
Owner Tom Werner had told WEEI's Dennis and Callahan this morning that Charles "Lord of the Rings" Steinberg would make the decision on the ring ceremony and that "Ring-gate would go on for a few more days." But it was Werner who was instrumental in finalizing the decision to have a ring ceremony at Fenway on April 11. The California-based owner had been on record as saying he "was looking forward to the ring ceremony on April 11" shortly after the Sox won the Series last October. Late Sunday night, Dr. Steinberg was on CBS4's Sports Final still dancing around the issue, blaming fans who he thought misinterpreted Jeff Horrigan's crystal clear column in the Herald last week. Steinberg continued to hide behind The Red Sox Foundation fundraising idea (Don't we do enough as a fanbase? Aren't we the most generous?) as the reason to change gears and have a separate ring ceremony. Chief Operating Officer Mike Dee was actually the first one to champion this idea in a Red Sox fan brainstorming and feedback session at Fenway Park back on February 10. (Remy Report message board link) A separate ceremony may also take place which will fund The Foundation after the home opener.
Ultimately it was the hundreds of angry phone calls that flooded the Red Sox offices last week that drove ownership to step in and get the ring ceremony back to its original scheduled date. Curt Schilling and the players also stepped up this week to let their voices be heard that they wanted to have the ceremony in front of their fans on Opening Day at Fenway. The official announcement from the team should come Tuesday or Wednesday.
"Rings Will Be Ready for Opener"
Josten Denies Henry Claim Rings Won't Be Ready
Big Dog Not Expected to Get Ring Despite Yeoman's Work on Nomar, Pedro, D-Lowe, and World Series Ball PR Campaigns on Behalf of Organization
No Progress Made in Ring Talks
Nation, Sox to Meet on Monday
Negotiates with Boston Dirt Dogs to "Call off the Dogs"
Special to Boston Dirt Dogs:
Late Friday afternoon, Red Sox EVP Charles Steinberg contacted a highly-placed
intermediary to negotiate with Boston Dirt Dogs in an attempt to halt the
hundreds of protest phone calls on BDD's behalf that had besieged and crippled
operations at the Red Sox Yawkey Way offices. While the hired gun negotiator
revealed that the good Dentist regrets his initial decision to change the ring
ceremony date in deference to the Yankees, and Big Dog ensured him that inciting
the Nation was nothing personal, those talks broke down at 6:00 p.m. Friday
evening without resolution as Big Dog said "I'll make Bob Goodenow look like a
"yes man" before this Nation rolls over for the New York Yankees."
Red Sox Plant Supermodel Ambassadors at Fall
River Trophy Celebration to Break Down Big Dog
supermodel Red Sox ambassadors who broke down Big Dog in Fall River
late last night.
In a bigger surprise than the NHL
talks being revived, Ring talks resumed again later last night due to an act
that Big Dog described as "dirty pool." Upon his arrival at the Fall River
Maplewood Babe Ruth Baseball League’s annual awards banquet and World Series
Trophy celebration in Swansea, MA last night, Big Dog was immediately greeted by
banquet organizer and Babe Ruth league president Norman Yelle who had a message
that "there's some people from the Red Sox who would like to meet you." As Big
Dog wandered over to the Red Sox table he was greeted by two Red Sox supermodel
ambassadors who immediately exclaimed "so you're the one who's been driving all
the calls" that nearly shut-down the Red Sox offices on Thursday and Friday.
Both representatives said they had spent the better part of Thursday and Friday
answering and returning calls from fans angry about kowtowing to the New York
Yankees. Knowing that the two blond bombshell ambassadors would be BDD
kryptonite, Steinberg's strategy was ultimately successful as Big Dog agreed to
"call off the dogs" in the Nation until Wednesday next week with the hopes that
the two sides could strike a deal. BDD asked for the concession that Steinberg
stop pretending that the website doesn't exist, as he has for three years, and
stop attributing the BDD driven activity to radio stations and random emailers.
Big Dog also foolishly agreed not to post pictures of the two special agents on
the "popular fan website" (Thanks Dan Shaughnessy... that nameless reference in
your column today never would have happened if Champ were still alive) as
the Sox starlets indicated that it was against department policy for their pictures to
appear on "popular fan websites." A lousy policy Dr. Charles if you ask us.
Stop Calling the Red Sox Front Offices Until
John Henry Don't Know Much About Red Sox
The venerable Red Sox owner, citing
popular internet message board fodder, asks a tired Nation "When was the last
time a team gave out the rings on Opening Day?" Well John, Red Sox Nation is not
concerned with the practice of other teams who chose to hand out their rings on
other random dates in order to boost attendance and pump television ratings. The
Boston Red Sox have a tradition of handing out their championship rings on
Opening Day. Respected Red Sox broadcaster Joe Castiglione confirmed Friday on
WEEI's Dale Arnold show that the Red Sox tradition is to hand out rings at the
home opener. Joe Castig witnessed the celebration and ceremony on the field for
the home opener on April 10, 1987 when the team handed out the American League
championship rings prior to the first pitch against the Toronto Blue Jays. John Henry also
went on in a popular newspaper column to make this amazing statement which shows he
ain't from around here "I don't think it's necessary to do anything in anybody's
face," said the polite owner. "Just to try to do something like that ...I can't
imagine feeling any worse than we did in 2003, except for the way they felt in
2004. I think 2003 plus 2004 equals a very interesting 2005. We still haven't
finalized the ring decision. I have no idea if they will be ready." Yikes.
That's some scary thoughts there John. Don't even know where to begin on that.
Regardless of the fact that a huge majority of Red Sox Nation has no problem
rubbing the Yankees noses in it for once, and Dr. Charles did say they would do
what the majority of the fans wanted, THIS ISN'T ABOUT THE YANKEES, it's about
what you said you were going to do, i.e. give out the rings on opening day,
which is well documented and was well-publicized on broadcast outlets (not everything is a link), contrary to some beliefs. The dugout cop was expecting his ring on April 11. A MLB/RedSox.com article/announcement last December, whatever that site is, was under the impression, as everyone else was, that rings were to be handed out on April 11, regardless of the opponent. And
it's about following Red Sox tradition, not what any other teams have done to
raise additional revenue or sell out their stadiums.
Deep Throat Tells BDD: "Follow the Money"
As usual, this is about money
according to Deep Throat.
Brass Ring Position Unchanged
At the timing of this update on
Saturday afternoon, an agreement had not been reached, and no major progress was
made today, although the sides agreed to continue the discourse through their respective representatives on Monday. We expect Charles Steinberg ("others had these other ideas, it's not
about the Yankees") and John Henry ("rings might be late and we can't make the
Yankees feel bad") to actually get on the same page by next Tuesday. Then we'll
see where we're at. Former WEEI talkmaster Bob Neumeier, vacationing in Tuscany with
Angie Dickenson, also said it would be "beyond the pale" not to give out the
Rings on Opening Day as had been planned since last October.
Ring it For...
WEEI callers were also
overwhelmingly against moving the ceremony as Ring talk dominated the airwaves
all day. And if it is about the Yankees, longtime caller Paulie from New Bedford
said that the Red Sox should give out the Rings "for Bill Lee who was
sucker-punched by Mickey Rivers in Yankee Stadium... for Jose Offerman's phantom
tag in Yankee Stadium... for Ted Williams who was forced to take a back seat to
Joe DiMaggio..." With apologies to SoSH, who do you want to Ring it For?