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It's Red Sox vs. YankeeZZZzzzzz: Rivalry's Buzz Takes a Beating
38Pitches: 'Umm, no.' | Wilbur: Space Shot | Yankee Swap
Video: Big Papi Explains Reason for Hitting Woes
Nov 30, 2005:
(Getty Images and AP Photos)
It's Down to the Final Four as Lucchino Bounces
Millar and King from GM Contention
Red Sox Apprentice: With the winter meetings in Dallas only five days away, the Sox have narrowed down the field to the final four GM candidates. CEO Larry Lucchino dismissed former Sox first baseman Kevin Millar and longtime Red Sox fan and author Stephen King today.
Millar, reached at his home last night in Beaumont, Texas, was upset with the late scratch. “I realized I was a long shot of Jack Daniels (to get the GM position),” said Millar. “But after all I’ve done for the team ... the whole ‘Manny being Manny,’ ‘Cowboy Up,’ ‘Skin it to Win it’ 'Tell 'Em We're Coming and Hell's Coming with Us'... that’s all me. You’d think they’d want more of that in the front office. Where are they gonna get their t-shirts like ‘#@%! Everybody. All We Have is Each Other’ now? I don’t know squat about general managin’ but I would have been the face of the organization. They got plenty of guys down in the bowling alley to figure out who to bring back. But the one move I was going to make was to sign a first baseman. A guy who’s ready to have a big year, loves playing in Boston, a guy who knows how to win, a guy who knows how to work the media up front and behind the scenes if you know what I mean ... that’s right, me, Kevin Millar, right back at first base. And for a whole lot less that Konerko, too. I love it. I loved the move ... apparently Mr. Lucchino had other plans so it looks like this cowboy is riding off into the sunset once and for all but ...” Millar went on for another two hours talking about his past, his future, and anything else that popped into his head.
One well-placed anonymous industry source familiar with Lucchino’s thinking told BDD that “Larry (Lucchino) spent most of Thanksgiving weekend knee-deep in the works of Stephen King, reading 'The Tommyknockers,' 'Pet Sematary,' 'The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon,' all of 'The Dark Tower' stories and 'Faithful,'" which King wrote with Stuart O’Nan. "Lucchino then declared to John Henry that he was 'scared as hell' to hire King, fearing most that he would re-sign the ancient Tom Gordon as the team’s closer and write another snoozer with O’Nan."
Henry, who’s not a big fan of King’s writing anyway, agreed with Lucchino’s decision to block the writer. King would not comment on the decision but is planning to write about the interview experience in an upcoming book, “The Real Green Monster.”
Lucchino spoke in the Crown Royal room at Fenway just after 2 a.m. regarding not only King and Millar’s departure, but also Katie Couric, Grady Little, Dan Duquette and George W. Bush, who are all out of the running.
“The good news is we’ve got four extremely strong and qualified candidates remaining in El Tiante, Ms. Damon, Wally, and that Hall of Fame writer,” said Lucchino. “We are continuing with the interview process and still hope to make a decision before the winter meetings to give the new GM plenty of time to familiarize him or herself with the history of Boston, the organization, the baseball ops personnel, our players, the free agents, our plans, our budget, how we work together, etc. We’ve got plenty of time. No need to worry.”
“Regarding the candidates who are out of contention, we were deeply disappointed that Ms. Couric decided to drop out and yes, it’s true, the sticking point was the money and Bud Selig flatly rejected the $15 million annual salary it would have taken to hire Katie. Does anyone want to pay $100 for bleacher seats? Well, that’s what would have happened if we hired her for the money she was looking for. Tom (Werner) communicated to us that she would not be available for the compensation we had offered which was slightly over Billy Beane money ($2.5m per year).”
“Dan Duquette? Puhleeze. We interviewed him as a courtesy,” said Lucchino. “And now he’s taking credit for the (Josh) Beckett trade. Frankly, he’s been out of the game too long and in the twilight of his baseball career if you will. His big idea was to keep Manny happy by giving him another $5 million a year in salary. And he wanted to sign (Johnny) Damon for eight years at $20 million a year ... bidding against himself again. It’s the only game the guy knows. Is it any wonder we decided to go with Mike Port over him when we first came in?”
“Grady as you know now realized he wasn’t qualified to become GM of the Boston Red Sox, he was only hoping we’d rehire him and fire Francona. We decided not to do that at this time so Grady’s legacy in Boston remains sealed. John Henry reminded me that he wanted to fire him after his first season as manager, but Theo and I voted to keep him on the job for the ’03 season ... and he burned us. I won’t be fooled again. But we all wish Grady the best of luck in his interview with the Dodgers today.”
“As far as President Bush goes, he would have been eliminated if he didn’t bow out to fix the mess that he’s created in Washington,” said Lucchino. “Maybe if I was still dating Mrs. Arnold Schwarzenegger I could be convinced to change parties, but John, Tom, and I are lifelong card-carrying democrats as you all know. It (Bush as GM) simply would not have worked. And if the President can’t find any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, it’s highly unlikely he’ll be of any use in helping us find a replacement for Johnny Damon in center field. I’m sure Curt Schilling, Josh Beckett, Mike Timlin and the rest were very disappointed to see the President bow out, but up in the Ivory Tower, we all had ear-to-ear grins.”
“I think we all just grew tired of Kevin Millar’s act. He’s fine in small doses, but the prospect of having him run amok in the front office every day was just too much to take. He can certainly talk the talk, but rarely walks the walk. And his ‘grand plan’ of re-signing himself to play first base again, while palatable to Francona, was unacceptable to Jeremy Kapstein and the rest of the brain trust here.”
“As far as Stephen King goes, I read a lot of his books over the weekend trying to get a feel for the guy. What I came away with is that he knows very little about baseball. I know he has great seats to all the games, but he doesn’t actually watch the games, he just catches up on his reading. If any of you read ‘Faithful,’ you’d realize that the book’s co-author Stuart O’Nan, the guy who grabs foul balls from kids at Fenway, is the one who actually pays attention to what’s going on in the field. King said he hoped to bring Tom Gordon back to close for us, mostly so he could write ‘The Guy Who Loved Tom Gordon.’ I think I liked Duquette’s plan better.”
Wilbur: Keeping It Surreal
Nov 29, 2005:
Sox GM Hunt: Kapstein Sounds Off
4/05 Pawtucket Times: Kapstein Has Done It All
ProJo: Don't Bet Against Kapstein
Bradford: Sox Seem in No Rush for GM Search
"I know when a trade is made, the general public thinks, 'Well, I could have done that,'" said Detroit Tigers scouting director David Chadd. "But the job is so big it's hard to comprehend unless you are actually in the position to do it."
"A GM does need to make the final decisions and dictate the pace of business," said Arizona general manager, and former Sox assistant GM, Josh Byrnes. "As much as a lot of people have a say in a dynamic baseball setting, a GM is able to filter out the lesser opinions, clears the more valid opinions and has a good sense of timing. It is a big team effort, but I do think one person needs to lead the charge."
-- Rob Bradford, Eagle-Tribune
Gammons on The Trade, Damon, and Manny
"The major gamble in the Boston trade for Josh Beckett, Mike Lowell and Guillermo Mota is that all three break down, one way or another... Recently departed GM Theo Epstein always planned to use (Hanley) Ramirez as his ultimate chip. Hanley was going to Tampa Bay (and Anibal Sanchez to Cincinnati) in the four-way concoction they worked on at the July trading deadline if the Sox could have gotten Mike Cameron, Aubrey Huff, Aaron Heilman and Adam Dunn with Manny Ramirez going to the Mets... Boras will be patient in his handling of Damon, and if the Yankees drop out of the running, Boras will wait for Paul Konerko to sign, try to get the Angels and Dodgers in on Damon, and play off what he and Damon felt was an initial (and unnecessary) lowball offer of three years and $27 million from the Red Sox... Owners John Henry and Tom Werner and president Larry Lucchino have made it clear to Ramirez that they want him, but Manny's friends this weekend reiterated that he wants out, period, and that he might act irrationally if he is not traded... Mets slugger Cliff Floyd was in the proposed deal last December, and the Red Sox covet top Mets prospect Lastings Milledge. But if something happens, Boston would need the time to find another right-handed bat (such as Troy Glaus)."
-- 11.28, Peter Gammons, ESPN.com Insider (subscription required)
Wilbur: Six Steps for Sox at Meetings
If Only It Was This Easy to Keep Manny
Red Sox 2006 Spring Schedule is Out
Pitchers and Catchers Report 2/18; Full Squad 2/22
Is Manny's Crib Cramped?
(Boston Globe Staff Photo / David L. Ryan)
With No Room for Balls and Bikes at the Ritz,
Maybe Manny's Just Joining His Fenway Friends
and Buying a Big House in Newton
Manny's Pad is For Sale, Have a Look, Take the Tour
Sox Interested in Shinji?
(Nikkan Sports and Sponichi Annex Photos)
Japanese Righty Setup Man Shinji Mori
Could Be on the Red Sox Radar for 2006
Update: Peter Gammons adds "I talked to Ship (Craig Shipley, Red Sox special assistant to the GM) about him (Mori) a while back. OK, not great. Nero insists Ishii won't come."
The following report is from Boston Dirt Dogs contributor and founder of JapaneseBallPlayers.com, Daigo Fujiwara:
Here is yet another Japanese bullpen possibility for the Red Sox.
According to Nov. 28 issue of the Sports Nippon newspaper, anonymous Red Sox club personnel told a reporter that they are interested in pitcher Shinji Mori of Seibu Lions (original story in Japanese.)
The 31-year-old righthanded setup man is said to have a good sinker, fastball in the high 80s, and a two-seam fastball. The Seibu Lions' 1997 second-round draft pick was converted to a full-time relief pitcher in 2000 and had 23 saves that year. He was awarded the "best setup pitcher" award in 2002 and 2003, posting 2.07 and 2.31 ERAs. He has a 44-44 career record with 50 saves and a 3.39 ERA in nine years in Japan. He has been requesting to be moved to a major league club since 2001, and was finally granted his wish (Mori will be free agent next year, so the Lions decided to try to get something for him while they can.)
Mori may not be as good as Yakult Swallows' lefthanded closer Hirotoshi Ishii, in whom the Red Sox also reportedly had interest (and who I still think can come to the majors), but perhaps similar to Akinori Otsuka of the San Diego Padres, who came into the majors at age 31. However, Otsuka was already an established closer and had 2.39 ERA in seven years in Japan. Mori would be certainly better and younger than Denney Tomori with his 3.96 career ERA, who was 37 when he signed with the Sox last year.
The Lions will be using a transaction method called the "Posting System" -- players like Ichiro came to US using this system. More about it here. The Japanese team submitted the necessary paperwork to the Japanese Professional Baseball commisioner's office on Thursday, and it is expected that major league clubs will hear about it in a few days (if not already). Once posted, major league clubs have four days to place a sealed bid for the rights to negotiate with Mori.
The Sports Nippon newspaper also mentions the Padres, Angels, and Cubs as possible clubs who might be interested in Mori.
Nov 28, 2005:
Four Gone Conclusion
It Was Never Meant to Be for New Gang of Four
(Katie, Grady, Duquette, and Bush / Boston Globe and Wire Photos)
Couric, Little, Duquette, and Bush Say Bye
Red Sox Apprentice: Suddenly there are only six Thanksgiving leftovers in the hunt for the next GM, as Katie Couric, Grady Little, Dan Duquette, and George W. Bush are all out of the running. Couric wouldn’t work for Billy Beane money; Grady is putting all his eggs in the Dodgers' basket; Duquette “is in the twilight of his career;” and Bush decided to focus on his final three years in Washington.
Katie Couric, an admitted Yankees fan, was considered a strong possibility to become baseball’s first female GM. However, according to a person with knowledge of the interest, the Red Sox were never planning on paying her the “plus Johnny Damon money” she was looking for to leave NBC.
"People who know Katie Couric" say they don't know what she'll do now -- and suggest that Couric doesn't know yet, either. She may allow herself to be wooed for a while. Her agent, Alan Berger of Creative Artists Agency, has been suggesting around town that his client is seriously weighing the possibility of moving to CBS, according to Media Bistro.
“And it's conceivable that CBS would commit to the $15 million-a-year salary it would probably take to hire Couric, as well as the additional millions she would demand that the network pump into the news division to support her. One rival network estimate put the CBS bill for hiring Couric at $50 million, which would include the cost of grabbing talent from other networks, Roone Arledge style."
Too rich for the Red Sox blood.
Former Red Sox manager Grady Little bowed out of contention before the Sox had a chance to remove him from the GM process. Grady “the ghost fully capable of haunting” knew all along that he did not have the business experience or evaluation skills necessary to become the team’s general manager. His hope was that the team would reconsider and hire him back as the field manager, replacing the popular Terry Francona. When the current roving catching instructor for the Cubs realized there was no chance he could oust Tito, who was then recovering from surgery at Mass. General, he set his all his sights on the Dodgers, who recently added Little to their list of managerial candidates. Part of Little’s Dodgers plan is to convince Frank McCourt to sign Nomar Garciaparra to a 4-year, $60 million deal to play third base for the club. Grady said, “I just love that kid.”
Word filtered out of Sox camp that Dan Duquette was told he would not be back for a second interview. In an effort to strengthen his candidacy, Duquette recently took credit for the deal that landed the Sox Josh Berkett: "The Red Sox are just executing a plan we put in place, which is to go out and sign as many good arms in the international free-agent market as we could," explained Duquette to the Eagle Tribune’s Rob Bradford. Duquette pointed out that his regime inked three of the four minor leaguers sent to Florida in the Marlins' salary dump (he really said this).
Duquette went on in the article to dissect the current Red Sox roster: "You need a marquis name on your staff in Boston every year," said the former Red Sox GM, who was saddled with Tom Gordon as his Opening Day starter in '97 after Roger Clemens left for Toronto. "The current pitching staff has some age on it. You have (Curt) Schilling and (David) Wells, and (Matt) Clement isn't the caliber of pitcher you need to beat the Yankees in the playoffs. It's a good gamble trading minor leaguers for a premium major league pitcher."
An anonymous industry source familiar with the thinking of Larry Lucchino said the Sox CEO feels Duquette "is in the twilight of his career" and has been out of the game a little long “unless he’s been scouting major league free agents over at his sports academy,” said Lucchino, according to the source.
According to anonymous White House sources, President George W. Bush will inform Red Sox brass that he wishes to remove himself from GM consideration. Bush learned during the interview process that he would have to be available before the winter meetings in Dallas next week but he did not think he could not fix the problems with the deficit, health care, energy, climate change and Iraq before that time. He is expected to be tied up in the Oval Office until 2008, completing his second term. Bush also continues to hold a grudge over John Henry’s having his planes ready to fly to Ohio on the night of the last election. Bush determined that he was not a good fit with the current Red Sox administration, although he remains popular among the players, including the newly-acquired Josh Beckett, who is a “Bush conservative.”
The Red Sox are expected to release a statement today regarding the four former candidates.
Minaya Still Going After Manny
Nov 26, 2005:
Josh Beckett Talks About Coming to Boston,
His Shoulder, and Those Pesky Blisters
“I’m excited about the trade. I think it could be a good thing for me. I think you get several chapters in your life, and certainly high school’s one of them. It’s going to be a nice change for me just opening a new chapter up in my life."
"“Every time we think we got it figured out (blister problem), another one pops up. Maybe just getting out of heat and getting out of that humidity maybe that might help a little bit… We’ve tried a lot of stuff, the one that I’ve found that’s been the most productive is some stuff that’s called Stan's Blister Ointment in between starts and keeping it shaved down with a callous shaver. That’s been the most helpful thing. What was happening earlier in my career is that I wasn’t developing a callous. Whenever I would get a callous, I would let the callous get so big that a blister would develop underneath the callous, and then we’d have to cut the whole callous off and start over again. Whenever you start all over again with unhealthy skin, it’s almost like starting at a negative number instead of starting back at zero."
"I would have done the same thing (due diligence before the trade). If you’re invest this kind of money that they’re investing and getting rid of players that they were counting on, I would do all the due diligence that I could. I definitely would. Did I foresee that? No but I didn’t foresee a trade even. It was kind of a deal where I like to go see Doc (Dr. James Andrew)] at the end of every season just to see where I’m at. So it was more of a checkup for me. I had some shoulder stiffness, I had several doctors look at me ‘eh you’re fine.’ I’ve got great strength in all my muscles. It was just kind of tired." -- 11.26, Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett
Nov 25, 2005:
Mike Lowell Talks About Last Season,
and Turning it Around in Boston
"I think I dug such a deep hole in those first three weeks and I started to just tinker with my swing, trying to do too many new things. I think looking back on it now if I maybe took a more intelligent approach maybe I just would stayed with what had been working but I think as a competitor you don’t want to just keep waiting to see if things are going to get better, you want them to get better right away and I think I was just trying to make too many adjustments and doing too many different things and I think doing that it kind of snowballed and my mechanics were thrown off."
"I do intend this year to start much earlier and come into spring training in a much more ready sense from the velocity standpoint, not so much the mechanics, I hope the mechanics are there definitely but not using the game so much to get into shape, more like coming in much better shape and using the games to fine tune myself to get ready for the season."
"I’m making sure that I’m preparing myself for a successful season. I’m not… I can’t believe the six years prior to last year are a fluke and the last year was what I really am. I believe more that the type of player I am are the three years that preceded last year, so that’s what I expect out of myself and I hope I can do that."
"I’m a pull hitter and I think the dimensions of park favor myself, the way I am as opposed to where I’m coming from. I don’t think Pro Player was very much of a hitter’s park. Hopefully a couple of those balls that normally go to the track can be either doubles off the Wall or steal a few home runs." -- 11.25, Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell
Sox Don't Need GM to Deal
Nov 23, 2005:
(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…”
Wilbur: Manny and the Mets
Woodfork Joins Byrnes in Arizona
Select Red Sox Tickets Going On Sale, All the Details
Chat Wrap: Gordon Edes on the Latest Moves, Manny, and the Media
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
So Why Was Theo Hanging Out at Fenway?
Nov 22, 2005:
Mahow? Not Now.
(Nelson de la Rosa and Pedro Martinez / Reuters Photo)
Former Red Sox Good Luck Charm Nelson de la Rosa
Pulls Out of the Race to Replace Theo Epstein as GM
Pedro Martinez on September 28, 2004: "My friend is Nelson. His name is Nelson. He's 36 years old. He's from the Dominican Republic and very funny character, and very animated… We met through Franklin's friend in Providence. Since then we became friends and I hang out with him now… Everybody's happy with him. He's our lucky charm now. Now a days. The guys are falling in love with him."
Pedro Martinez on April 13, 2005: "Nelson needs help. He is a special human being. I haven’t seen him in a while… He was angry that I signed with the Mets. He wanted me to stay with Boston. He was not my lucky charm. I’m not superstitious like some guys. It was Kevin Millar who thought this. I met Nelson through mutual friends and he asked to come to the game. I gave him tickets… Since we won some games, Millar started saying that he was the team’s lucky charm. But I am not superstitious."
Red Sox Apprentice: On a day when most of Red Sox Nation was celebrating the news that Marlins ace Josh Beckett appears to be headed to Boston, the team encountered another stunning setback as another qualified candidate dropped out of the GM race.
Nelson de la Rosa, creator of the Mahow-Mahow dance and former best friend of former Sox ace Pedro Martinez, withdrew from Sox GM consideration earlier today much to the chagrin of Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino, who was due to sit down with de la Rosa over Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday.
One well-placed industry source familiar with de la Rosa's thinking said he was crushed by the announcement of the Beckett-Lowell trade last night because for all intents and purposes, it means that Pedro Martinez will not be returning to Boston via a trade and Kevin Millar has also played his last game in a Red Sox uniform.
De la Rosa confirmed those concerns when he spoke to the media about his decision today via a translator:
"Hola… I had a dream yesterday. That one day soon I could make a triumphant return to Boston and lead my beloved Red Sox as their new GM. I had a dream that one day on the green lawn of Fenway my old friend Pedro Martinez would take the mound again in a Red Sox uniform. I had a dream that my favorite cowboy, Kevin Millar, would stand proudly at first base with his golden glove on opening day, batting fifth in the order again. I had a dream yesterday. I had a dream that one day this Red Sox Nation would rise up and take pictures with me, their new GM, during the games at Fenway for $10 apiece again. I had a dream yesterday.
"But that dream was dashed when the Red Sox made a deal for Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell yesterday. So my dream, of trading for Pedro Martinez and being reunited with him, and re-signing the clown Millar, is gone today. Therefore, I see no point to continue vying for a job that I no longer want.
"I will return to New York with the hopes that Pedro forgives me, and invites me to the stadium Shea to be with him again in the spring. If not, I’ll go wherever Millar ends up, as long as he stays in baseball.
Oh, and my decision has nothing to do with Larry Lucchino. Even though he banned me from Fenway Park two years ago.
"Bueno... estancia fuerte (stay strong and keep rooting)."
Lucchino was not available to the media for comment, but issued a statement regarding de la Rosa's decision:
"Although we are deeply disappointed with the outcome, we respect Nelson’s decision to move on from consideration to be the general manager of the Boston Red Sox… ahh actually, the truth is, it wasn’t a good fit. Nelson wasn’t really all that qualified and even though we both wanted Pedro to come back to Boston, it’s probably best that Nelson moves on to whatever it is he does. Luckily, we have 11 other prime candidates remaining to consider, hopefully one of them still wants this job.”
Oh My Josh!
(Getty Images Photo / Jamie Squire)
Sox On Verge of Reeling in Beckett
"'This is a no-brainer for Boston,' said one American League GM of the deal that, barring some problem with medicals, will send Beckett and Lowell to Boston for Ramirez, prized pitching prospect Anibal Sanchez and a Single-A pitcher not on Boston's 40-man roster. 'Beckett is a premier player, 25 and entering his prime. He could go win the Cy Young award in the next two years.'
"At the end of the season, Boston's rotation had three 39- to 42-year-olds -- David Wells, Curt Schilling, Tim Wakefield -- along with Matt Clement and Bronson Arroyo. Now if they can sign Beckett, who is two years from free agency, to a long-term deal, they'll have three premier power pitchers in their rotation in Beckett, Jonathan Papelbon (24) and left-hander Jon Lester (21), plus two premier young power relievers in Craig Hansen and Edgar Martinez. That's pretty good work from Boston's GM-by-committee of Jed Hoyer, Craig Shipley, Ben Cherington, Peter Woodfork and Bill Lajoie." -- 11.21, Peter Gammons, ESPN.com Insider (by subscription only)
"'Everybody in the game would love to have him,' said a major league executive, who added that most teams stayed away from Beckett because they were unwilling to take on Lowell's salary. 'He's got a plus fastball, a plus breaking ball, and a plus changeup, and he comes right at you. He's a horse.'" -- 11.22, Gordon Edes, Boston Globe
"'I haven't heard anything yet,' said Beckett, who added he would welcome the chance to pitch in Boston. 'Actually, I'm a little excited about it.' As for his arm, Beckett pronounced himself healthy, boasting, 'I don't need any physical.'... Lowell did not return calls from reporters Monday, but Beckett reached him by phone and said Lowell was happy with the trade. 'I told him he's going to hit 40 homers, 38 of them when I'm pitching,' Beckett said." -- 11.22, Miami Herald
Wilbur: Grin and Beckett
Snow: Sox Closing in on Beckett
Schilling: 'Next to Burnett, He's as Electric as They Come'
What Do You Think of the Big Deal?
From the Wayback Machine...
"With all due respect for the future of Josh Beckett, after beating the 21-year-old right-hander, (the Diamondbacks) Curt Schilling told the media, 'It just goes to show it's not as easy as pure stuff. It's more than that. At midnight before the game, I was on my computer, preparing and reviewing video and scouting reports. He was probably sleeping. I was on the computer at 8 the next morning, preparing my game plan. He was probably sleeping. What is he, 13?'
"Ask Schilling's teammates. The day after beating the Braves, he was talking in the clubhouse about how he wanted the outfield positioned for Cliff Foyd, his next start being against the Marlins." -- 05.04.02 Peter Gammons, ESPN.com
11.22.05, Curt Schilling: "But see if you don't take those (comments above) in context they sound bad. I was complimenting him on his stuff, and the differences in where we were. Next to Burnett, he's as electric as they come imo."
And About Those Blisters...
"One of the best examples is Josh Beckett, who has 10 major-league wins at 23, yet remains healthy and a near sure-fire bet for stardom. Beckett was rushed up to the majors with less than 200 professional innings. Then last year, he was bothered all season by blister problems. 'We tried everything,' Marlins pitching coach Brad Arnsberg said. Indeed, Beckett tried superglue that tore off the skin. He tried rice, cow urine and, finally, late in the season he got hold of a vial of dermabond called 'Stan's Rodeo Cream.'
"And Stan's Rodeo Cream worked. Beckett applies a vial of the cream the three days he throws between starts. It is expensive since each vial costs $40 and he uses the entire vial every time he throws. But the investment is worth it to the Marlins, who appreciate that Beckett has the stuff and the makeup to be a star." -- 2003, Peter Gammons, ESPN.com
Some Fun Facts About Beckett
The Owner Owns Up
John Henry Talks About Perceived Media Conflicts, the Payroll, Free Agents,
Lucchino, Leaks, Theo, Pedro, the Bigbie Trade and the GM Hunt on SoSH
"There were times in the recent negotiation when Theo was not sure he wanted to do this for the long-term – that was an issue. And there were times he felt we did not value him enough. There were times we felt he was ambivalent and we did not want a GM who did not crave the position. There were times late when we weren’t on the same page monetarily. There were a number of reasons that although I thought for many months this was a slam dunk like the LL negotiation, it became apparent that there were issues...
"Theo was clear in his press conference when he opted not to close the door to the future. But life is constant change and for the most part it is exceedingly unpredictable. He is not going to return as our surprise GM in this process. We are proceeding carefully to make the right choice. There are more potential candidates than is known simply because a number of people prefer to avoid, if at all possible, a highly charged, circus atmosphere that ends with only one candidate being chosen." -- 11.21, John Henry on the Sons of Sam Horn website
Nov 21, 2005:
(Fallon in Red Sox shirt with Rachael Dratch (L), Kate Hudson, and Nomar Garciaparra / NBC Photo Mary Ellen Matthews)
'Fever Pitch' Star Drops Out of the Running to Replace
Theo Epstein as Red Sox General Manager
Red Sox Apprentice: Even as they try to attend to such pressing offseason business as making a trade for Josh Beckett, dealing with Manny Ramirez, and trying to get Johnny Damon re-signed, the Red Sox encountered another setback today in their search for a general manager.
Jimmy Fallon, Hollywood actor/comedian, converted Yankee fan, and minority owner of the Brockton Rox, withdrew from consideration. Fallon had been asked by CEO Larry Lucchino to come to Boston this week for a second interview and was considered one of the strongest candidates for the job. Fallon's decision came just hours after he was selected to play the role of Major Tony Nelson in the remake of 'I Dream of Jeannie,' which is due out in 2006 and, according to well-placed industry sources familiar with the motion picture academy's thinking, "has Oscar written all over it."
With baseball's winter meetings in Dallas just two weeks away, the Red Sox are down to 12 candidates to consider for the position. If they cannot reach a deal with one of the final 12, it's conceivable that the team may elect to operate with some type of interim arrangement in which Bill Lajoie continues to work in tandem with the key members of the baseball operations staff who had served former GM Theo Epstein.
Fallon called the Red Sox yesterday afternoon and said he made his decision after meeting with his agent and "Fever Pitch" girlfriend Drew Barrymore. He was unavailable for comment but issued a videotaped statement to the media:
"My decision not to return for a second interview for the Red Sox general manager position is an extremely difficult one. I will always cherish the relationships I developed here while filming 'Fever Pitch' and am proud to have worked side-by-side with so many great people in Boston, in and out of uniform, as together we brought a world class movie to Red Sox Nation.
"During the process leading up to today's decision, I came to the conclusion that I can no longer give my heart and soul to this process. In the end, my choice is the right one not only for me but for the Red Sox.
"My affection for the Red Sox did not begin 18 months ago when I was cast as 'Ben' in 'Fever Pitch,' it started when I was starring as 'Sully' on SNL, and it does not end today. I will remain a Red Sox fan whenever I'm in Boston but will remain a Yankee fan everywhere else I travel.
"My passion for and dedication to the game of baseball remain strong as I will work to bring a championship to my team in Brockton (Rox) and am working diligently to bring Oil Can Boyd back for another season once he is released from jail. I look forward with excitement to the future."
One well-placed industry source familiar with Fallon's thinking said "Jimmy's decision was based on the fact that 'I Dream of Jeannie' will require all his energy and focus over the coming year, and he is also reluctant to leave the comedy profession, the only profession he has known, and to uproot his family (even though he is single). Sony Pictures gave him more money and also promised him that he will have more romantic scenes with 'Jeannie' than were originally written into the script."
The source said Fallon asked himself "Who would you rather have right by your side for the next 12 months, Lindsay Lohan or Dr. Charles Steinberg?" That comparison, according to the source, made the decision to drop out of the Sox GM hunt a no-brainer.
Fallon did say the decision had nothing to do with his relationship with Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino. "Larry's a really great guy, funny too," said Fallon. "And he was very accommodating to us during the shooting of 'Fever Pitch.' You'll remember that he let Drew and I go on the field to celebrate with the team right after the clinching Game 4 win over the Cardinals so we could shoot 15 seconds of meaningless footage for the movie. And he also let us take advantage of Dr. Charles Steinberg's acting talents for Drew's office scene (in 'Fever Pitch,' too."
Fallon, reading from a piece of paper, reiterated, "So again this is not about Larry Lucchino, he's a really great guy to work with."
Lucchino was not available to the media for comment, but issued a statement regarding Fallon's decision:
"Although we are disappointed with the outcome, we respect Jimmy Fallon's decision to decline a second interview. We worked hard to convince him to come back and reconsider, but he has decided to take another path. Jimmy was one of the best and brightest candidates that remained in consideration. He won the respect of the organization for his early work as the Nomah fanatic 'Sully' on Saturday Night Live back in the 1990s and most recently won the hearts of Red Sox Nation when he played 'Ben', the passionate Red Sox fan in the universally-acclaimed 'Fever Pitch.'
"People have asked me to speculate upon the reasons for Jimmy's decision. I shall not do so. Jimmy correctly characterized our meetings as 'honest discussions that are private;' he made it clear that his decision was based upon factors that are 'very personal.' I respect Jimmy's privacy, and I will not speculate publicly about the reasons for his decision. The media has had, in my view, ample opportunity to ask him, and I decline to say more than he chose to say about what are, in fundamental ways, matters personal to him.
"His departure from consideration, however, does not terminate the upcoming season. John, Tom, and I are optimistic about the future of this franchise. The Red Sox are in an excellent place, with outstanding people filling roles throughout the organization. There is every reason to look forward to exciting and, I predict, successful seasons for years to come.
"While, as I stated above, I shall have no further comment on Jimmy's decision to decline another interview, I shall, of course, be available to the media to address Red Sox issues, including, most immediately, the process that will culminate in our selection of a new general manager.
"I wish him all good luck wherever that path may take him. Jimmy and I have known each other for nearly 14 months. Let there be no doubt that I am fond of Jimmy, and I have developed over the months great respect for his mind, his energy, his work ethic, and his overall ability."
NY Times: Lucchino's Just a Soul Who's Misunderstood
Fair Trade?: Texas Has Better Beckett Package Than Sox
Klapisch: Johnny and the Yanks
Nov 20, 2005:
(Dukakis in very nice shirt on left / Boston Globe File Photo 2002)
Former Massachusetts Governor and US Presidential Candidate Comes Up Short in Bid to Succeed Epstein
Red Sox Apprentice: Former Massachusetts governor Michael Dukakis has come up short in his bid to succeed fellow Brookline native Theo Epstein as general manager of the Boston Red Sox. He was eliminated from the competition by Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino late last night.
Lucchino was not available to the media for comment, but issued a statement regarding his decision:
“As I said at the beginning of this process, we’ll leave no stone unturned when it comes to finding the next general manager for the Red Sox. And that includes scouring the world of politics where we have interviewed mayors, senators, governors, and even presidents.
“Unlike front-running Red Sox native son John Kerry… you all remember the ‘Manny Ortez’ gaffe I’m sure… former governor Michael Dukakis is a longtime, legitimate Red Sox fanatic. He saw his first game in 1938 when Jimmy Foxx smacked a ball off the Wall against the Yankees’ Lefty Grove. He saw young pitching sensation Boo Ferris light up the Fenway scene in ’45 and ’46. He was in the stands in ’67 to witness the ‘Impossible Dream.’ And for those of you still pining for the previous general manager, the former governor is also a Distinguished Alumni of Brookline High School, class of ’51.
“It’s also important to note that Dukakis and his team went down the tubes together. When the Red Sox blew a 14-game lead to the Yankees in ’78, Dukakis was busy blowing a 40-point lead in the governor’s race to Ed King with just five weeks to go.
“Unfortunately in this campaign, the former governor was running on a platform of ‘progressive spending and big payroll,’ much like he did when he ran for president, in the hopes of creating what he called another ‘Red Sox miracle.’ And as you all know, our passion is to reduce spending and lower the payroll over a period of time that enables us to sell the team at an enormous profit. Therefore, it was unanimous between John, Tom, Charles and I that it would not be prudent to place the stewardship of the Red Sox baseball operations in the hands of Michael Stanley Dukakis at this time.
"I would like to point out that the former governor did leave us with an innovative idea which we will pursue with the state legislature for a program called 'Soxachusetts,' whereas the working citizens of Red Sox Nation residing in Massachusetts, including non-cardholders, would be levied with a 7 1/2 percent annual income tax payable to New England Sports Ventures, the partnership that owns the Red Sox, Fenway Park, and 80 percent of NESN. Surprisingly, this was something we hadn't thought of to raise additional revenue prior to the former governor presenting the idea to us during the interview process, and we are grateful to him for that.”
Other well-placed industry sources familiar with the thinking of the Red Sox brass suggested that Dukakis’s downfall began when he was awkwardly photographed wearing a construction helmet, much too big for his head, while at the helm of a Caterpillar 5090 front shovel being used in the demolition of the .406 club at Fenway Park.
Dukakis, speaking during his ride home from Fenway on the green line, said “I have run what I called a marathon for the highest honor that the Red Sox can bestow on anyone, and even though the marathon was not won, it was completed and should lead to the continuation of a strengthened Red Sox front office.” Whatever that means.
Dukakis will now return to his passion of lobbying for a $200 million high-speed rail system between Belchertown and Boston, a program the former governor said the Commonwealth “desperately needs.”
Nov 19, 2005:
Omarosa is Out!
(Boston Globe Staff Photo / David Kamerman 2004)
Original Apprentice Castoff Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth Gets Voted Out By The Nation
Red Sox Apprentice: The always scheming and repeatedly obnoxious Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth was dismissed from the field of 15 Red Sox GM finalists today. In a first for the selection process, the crack Red Sox marketing department allowed Red Sox Nation to dismiss a candidate via the BDD elimination poll, where Omarosa was overwhelmingly selected (22.6 percent of the vote) as the candidate to no longer be considered to follow in Theo Epstein's footsteps.
Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino was not available to the media for comment, but issued a statement regarding The Nation's decision: “I applaud Red Sox Nation in its decision to say buh-bye to Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth. Frankly, she made my skin crawl, and like Donald Trump, I found her repulsive. She did however show great enthusiasm throughout the interview process and impressed John, Tom and I with a vivid example of her scouting prowess, which included her grand plan of recruiting fellow Surreal Life 5 cast member Jose Canseco to replace the soon-to-be-traded Manny Ramirez as our left fielder, a plan we are still considering. We wish Omarosa all the best in her too-many-to-list-here future endeavors."
Manigault-Stallworth, visibly upset after losing yet another high profile competition, had a few words for Lucchino when she exited Fenway Park last night. "I told Mr. Lucchino I thought it was ridiculous that he allowed these idiot fans to vote me out of the process," said an annoyed Omorosa. "I found the Red Sox management to be very disorganized and unprofessional in all my dealings with them. In addition, I have a terrible headache because I was hit in the head with a piece of cement that fell from the scaffolding behind home plate during a tour of the stadium. They can expect to hear from my lawyers and doctors on their negligence. And I'm telling Jose (Canseco) to stay away from these people, too."
Nov 18, 2005:
(Boston Globe File Photo / Frank O'Brien 1996)
Boston Mayor Tom Menino is the First GM Candidate Dismissed from the Sweet 16
Red Sox Apprentice: Boston Mayor Tom Menino became the first casualty of the final 16 candidates vying for the vacant Red Sox GM position last night. Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino was not available to the media for comment, but issued a statement regarding his decision: “Mayor Menino is a longtime Red Sox season ticket holder and passionate Red Sox fan, and he controls a lot of the land that we plan to conquer as we build our Red Sox Nation theme park. However, the fact that he won the recent mayoral election in Boston, which he seems committed to until at least 2009, would make it difficult for him to devote the time necessary to cut the payroll here on Yawkey Way. Therefore, I bid my fellow Italian-American arrivederci!”
Menino, who was disappointed at losing his first competition since the mid-1980s, said “they’ll do it through teamwork” for now in describing how the Red Sox will do business until a GM is found. The mayor did promise to have a parade through the city once the Red Sox GM is eventually named and added "much like a cookie, my candidacy crumbled."
Premiering Tonight on NBC
(BDD Photo Illustration)
Just When You Thought It Was Hopeless,
16 New GM Candidates Emerge
"For the first time, I hand-picked the GM candidates and I'm thrilled with the results," said Larry Lucchino, Red Sox chief executive officer. "This is the best reality show cast I've ever encountered. They have it all: beauty, brains, and they don't want the big bucks."
Sox Brass Has Created
a Public Relations Monster
Opening, and No Closure
"So the Sox aren't saying yes or no on the Theo rumor that won't go away.
"Meanwhile, there is the ball club's public relations nightmare of the last two weeks and the perception of chaos at the top during a critical time in the calendar. The Red Sox are the only team in the majors without a general manager. They obviously waited too long to negotiate with Theo and now they look like George McGovern trying to find a running mate in 1972.
"Lucchino assured fans the Sox will have a general manager before the winter meetings commence in Dallas Dec. 5. He also disputed the notion that the Sox are falling behind because of their situation.
'''The business of our baseball operations department is going along. Bill Lajoie is functioning as kind of an acting general manager down there. If you go back to 2002, when we conducted the search, we started it right at the end of the season and we hired someone -- Theo Epstein -- at the end of November. That was a much longer process than this one will be, but it is more important for us to find the right person than to do a rush job on the search.'" -- 11.18, Dan Shaughnessy, Boston Globe
Mets Want Their Manny-TV
"LASTINGS' IMPRESSIONS: Lastings Milledge, the center-field prospect who could get traded should the Mets obtain Ramirez, said he isn't fazed by the rumors. "It's not like I'd be getting released," Milledge told MLB.com. "I'd just be in another uniform. It's not a big deal. I can't say having me makes a team better than having Manny Ramirez. It's hard to say I'd make the Mets better because I'm still in the minor leagues. I can say, though, that I'd be playing longer." Milledge, 20, is currently participating in Olympic qualifying in Arizona. He homered in Team USA's 7-4 win over Nicaragua yesterday while committing an error playing left field." -- 11.18, NY Daily News
Lessard In, Rowe Out as Head Trainer
Newsday: Yanks Like Damon at 4/$44M
Daily News: Manny is Minaya's 'Holy Grail' While Sox Long for Lastings
Star-Ledger: Yanks, Mets, and A's Interested in Mike Myers
NESN: Bill Lajoie on Sox GM Search
Gammons: 'Epstein Has No Regrets'
"Henry clearly wanted Epstein to continue to run the baseball side of his operation, and thus attended the Brookline ceremony. But Epstein reiterated what it would take for him to go back to his office in the cellar of 4 Yawkey Way: resolving issues and priorities within the organization. Lucchino and Tom Werner chose not to address them during the contract negotiations, and Epstein will not discuss them publicly. Lucchino and Werner stated in Palm Springs, Calif., last week that they had "turned the page.
"Epstein insists to friends, many within the game, that he has no regrets. He had his reasons, and to run back without resolving issues is not something he would consider. He has told friends and other general managers that he is very comfortable with his actions, hopes to be in the game a long time from now, and hopes stepping back like this will only help him in the long run." -- 11.16, Peter Gammons, ESPN.com Insider (subscription required)
FORTUNE: Letting A Star Slip Away
"By his own admission, the owner had allowed a critical management process to spin out of control. As a result, Henry had lost the man hailed for assembling the first Red Sox championship team in 86 years. The ultimate systems guy had trusted the system—and it had blown up in his face. Most agreed that the result would have been different had Henry relied on himself rather than his hierarchy. As Red Sox star Curt Schilling put it in an e-mail to FORTUNE: 'In my opinion, had Mr. Henry handled the negotiations, Theo would still be the GM.' But Mr. Henry hadn't, and Theo wasn't.
"Henry still pines for his old GM, so the story may have a happy ending. However it concludes, the Red Sox have been battered by bad press, hamstrung without a GM during baseball's trading season, and riven with turmoil. What's easy to miss is that those problems far exceed the damage from losing Epstein. They reveal a paradox: It may have been a mistake to let Epstein leave, but it could be an even bigger one to bring him back.
"Epstein insisted that his much dissected, 14-year relationship with Lucchino was not the problem. Yet moments later, Epstein grimaced when Henry insisted there had been no 'trust issue' between Epstein and Lucchino. Was that a telling slip? Epstein won't say—he did not respond to numerous e-mails and phone calls seeking comment. Nevertheless, Henry wasn't surprised when told of Epstein's body language. 'There was a trust issue, and after I read through the transcript, I realized I should have just said, 'No comment,'' he concedes. 'But I was trying to be very careful about not giving away his reasons. I felt like that's up to Theo.'
"Henry viewed Epstein as Lucchino's responsibility. That may explain why Henry brushed off a direct warning. Epstein told him in August that negotiations were floundering and 'could take a bad turn.' Henry says he told his general manager 'to just communicate more, to be forthright.'
"Epstein acted immaturely at times. According to Andrew Zimbalist, a Smith College economics professor and a well connected sports business expert, Epstein was angered by a Boston Globe column that revealed that it was he rather than Lucchino who reneged on a trade with the Colorado Rockies in July. In the columnist's telling, Lucchino was the hero: 'Lucchino took the fall, killing the deal and saving Epstein.' Epstein was outraged by the article. During his press conference, he denied that the column affected his decision to resign, but Zimbalist isn't buying it: 'It's unlikely you would own up to that because it does seem a little bit callow and precipitous.'" -- 11.28 issue, FORTUNE magazine
Nip is Back (Can Clemens Be Far Behind?)
Nov 16, 2005:
(Boston Globe Staff Photo / David L. Ryan)
What Would John Do (to Get Theo Back)?
Would He Put Larry in a Corner (Office)?
Would He Ask Dr. Steinberg to Make Some Other Appointments?
Would He Pull the Plug on 'Tessie,' Sod, and Red Sox Nation Cards?
Would He Give Theo Carte Blanche to Rebuild the Red Sox?
Roche to John Henry: 'Make Things Right with Theo'
"I am asking you to do one thing. Invite Tom Werner, Larry Lucchino, Theo Epstein, and Charles Steinberg down to your home in Florida. I want you to all "air out" your feelings about what happened and how things fell apart. Don't hold anything back. Promise each other that there will be "better and more open lines of communication" within the front office. Make sure all of you... from John all the way down to the baseball operations personnel, manager, and players are on the same page and are there for each other. Get it all off of your chests. Put your egos aside. Say what you need to say to each other, swallow your pride... and then fix it." -- 11.16, CBS4's Dan Roche, Hit and Run Blog
Wilbur: A General Refusal
"Imagine the job listing for this one: "Run the Boston Red Sox! Must possess passion for baseball, capitalism. Duties include revitalization of city streets and possibly minor leagues. Must have a cunning knack of dealing with know-it-all columnists, scathing talk radio, and fickle public as well as a willingness to succeed in a fromage-filled environment where finding the next 'Tessie' is just as important as finding the next 'Rocket.' This job requires that you fire your agent so we can lowball you with an offer far short of what the last guy had tried to squeeze out of us." -- 11.16, Eric Wilbur, Boston Sports Blog
Mazz: GM Bungling Leaves Brass Empty-Handed
"First Epstein leaves Fenway Park dressed in a gorilla suit. Now the Sox can’t even find a monkey to take this job. All of this looks very, very bad for Sox president Larry Lucchino, owner John Henry and chairman Tom Werner, whose offseason is rapidly going from bad to worse. Sox officials have attempted to offer some explanation for the debacle that was the Epstein negotiation, but there are still questions that remain unanswered: Why did they let it come to this? Why did they wait until the 11th hour to address Epstein’s contract and turn the start of this offseason into an elementary school fire drill?" -- 11.16, Tony Massarotti, Boston Herald
Three Cheers for the New Steroid Policy
New Policy is Not Too Little, But It's a Little Late
Jason Giambi already hit two homers to beat the Sox in Game 7 in 2003
Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, and Mark McGwire have shattered Maris's home run record
And masking agents, new designer steroids, and HGH remain ahead of the game
Yanks Done with Damon?
"The Yankees were discouraged by Scott Boras' asking price of $84 million over seven years for Johnny Damon, so they will look seriously at signing Brian Giles with the thought of using a rotation in centerfield." -- 11.16, New York Newsday
(Meanwhile, the Sox are expected to offer Damon $25-27 million over three years)
Jagger Goes to Bat for Wells
"During Friday's concert at Petco Park, the venerable voice of the Rolling Stones made note of the pains taken to protect the playing field and its possible bearing on Wells' future in San Diego. 'I told management you'd be careful with the sacred dirt of Petco Park,' Jagger told the crowd, 'or else David Wells may never return.'" -- 11.15, San Diego Union-Tribune
Nov 15, 2005:
11.15: Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino was at a Children's Hospital fundraiser Tuesday night and spoke with Boston's Fox25 News: On Dayton Moore, Lucchino said "He's a real evaluator, a scout's scout... the Braves realized what they have... he won't be available to us." On GM interviews, Lucchino said they will not be "going into that second stage yet, we have the interruption of the owners’ meetings in Milwaukee for the next couple of days, but we’ll keep moving forward after this Wednesday-Thursday break. I’m eager I would say to resolve it, but as I’ve said before, we’re able to continue moving along and I think it’s important that by the winter meetings in December that we have this issue resolved." Regarding Buster Olney's report that Theo Epstein had contacted the Red Sox regarding a possible return, Lucchino said "No, first up I’m gonna have no comment on that matter, I don’t think that’s… I just have no comment on that matter."
Dayton Moore Drops Out of GM Hunt
"Certainly, when Dayton Moore is looking at the places he could end up working… ‘Do I want to work for an organization that I helped build, under a guy that I really liked?’ And then he’s going to leave and I’m going to take over, or am I going to go into this situation that by all accounts is kind of a mess right now?"
"Certainly there’s this great unknown about the Lucchino factor in this all and it was interesting. I heard you guys talking about the Buster Olney story earlier and that Theo wants to come back and we don’t know if that’s true or not but I think you’re going to be seeing more and more of the opposite angle. We’re waiting for the other side to come out, not you’re starting to see it, maybe the Red Sox taking their point of view of things and because they’ve gotta have some kind of defense in this whole thing, because the fact of the matter is it’s been a one-sided thing since Theo left about how this organization is to work for and you’re talking to people around the game and you do hear it ‘Why would anyone want to go into that?’ And I’m not just saying that, this is what people… (it’s) their first words out of their mouth." -- 11.15, Rob Bradford, Eagle Tribune, on WEEI
(BDD Photo Illustration)
Young T. Epstein
Report: Theo Having Regrets
“Clearly, the best possible way for this to come back together is if Larry Lucchino is the guy who stepped forward and made the phone call to Theo, made the phone call to John Henry, and said ‘let’s work this out.’ Because John Henry is kind of in a tough position because if he simply brings back Theo, despite what took place without really getting approval from Larry, he essentially undercuts Larry, who is an important guy to the organization. And that’s the one way it could work out where it would be comfortable for everybody, if Larry was the guy out there saying ‘we love you Theo, we want you back, I want you back, look, we’ll work it out, I know we had problems but we’re gonna solve this and we’re gonna make sure that we get you back and get the best organization possible.’
“If I’m guessing (about the possibility of Theo returning to the Red Sox), and I have not spoken to Theo or John Henry, based on what I heard yesterday and this morning I think it’s 5-10 percent (chance Theo will return to the Red Sox). It’s not zero, it’s not great, it’s not completely shut off from what I’ve been told, but it’s still alive.” -- 11.15, Buster Olney on WEEI
"In conversation with folks in the game yesterday, this is what they hear: Theo Epstein, feeling great regret over walking away from the Red Sox job, sent feelers through channels to Boston ownership that he's interested in talking about coming back -- and so far, that overture has been rebuffed... To bring back Epstein now, after all that has transpired, would be another blow to Lucchino, because it would create the perception that Epstein had won out in his request for a change in how some decisions are made within the front office." -- 11.15, Buster Olney, ESPN.com blog (subscription only)
Report: Epstein Offered LA Job
Recapping Sox GM Candidates: Who's Still In? Who's Out?
Red Sox Ready to Deal
with the Devil for Damon
Sox Offer to Boras for Damon in the Works
How Scott Boras Adds Value to Baseball, Teams,
and Fans by Selling 'Icon Players'
The Dodgers thank Scott Boras for convincing them to sign J.D. Drew for 5 years, $55 million and for getting them to sign Derek Lowe for 4 years, $36 million. They previously thanked Boras for Kevin Brown's 7-year, $105 million deal and the venerable Darren Dreifort's 5-year, $55 million contract.
The Seattle Mariners are grateful to Scott Boras for getting Adrian Beltre for 5 years, $64 million.
The Detroit Tigers are equally blessed to have Magglio Ordonez at 5 years, $75 million.
Looking further back, the Devil Rays were fortunate to pay Matt White $10.1 million to not play while the Texas Rangers were lucky to get Chan Ho Park at 5 years, $65 million and
saved the franchise by signing A-Rod for 10 years, $252 million.
(BDD Photo Illustration)
Nov 14, 2005:
Nov 13, 2005:
Who's the Boss?
(BDD Photo Illustration / Peter Stasiowski)
A Look Back at Papi, and Slappy
It's Fair to Share
Edes: Ortiz Hopes He's Still in Position for MVP
Mazz: No Doubt Who's MVPapi
The Best of Both Worlds
A-Rod pros and cons; Papi pros and cons
Wilbur: True Value
Oil Can Charged with Making Phone Threats
Cubs Saying Buh-Bye to Nomie?
Shaughnessy Taking His Big Bat to BC
NY Times: Pecota Says Buyer Beware on Damon
Edes: Ramirez Decision Tough One for Sox
Arizona Republic: Whatever You Want, Manny
"He's not that kind of guy. We have a certain kind of chemistry." -- 11.10, Kenny Williams, White Sox GM on Manny Ramirez being a fit for the White Sox
Take on Moore
"This from Dayton Moore, the only candidate for the Sox GM job known to be asked back for a second interview: 'You need three things in this game: You have to have passion, you have to have intelligence, and you have to have integrity. You can’t be a success with two of those three.'
"Moore mentioned that in the halcyon days of the Braves, they had dirt-dog role players such as Jeff Blauser and Mark Lemke.
"'The Red Sox have (second baseman prospect) Dustin Pedroia, I don’t know his makeup but he seems to be a grinder,' Moore said."
-- 11.13, Michael Silverman, Boston Herald
"Atlanta assistant general manager Dayton Moore's candidacy for the Red Sox' position could be picking up speed after a very impressive interview last week, according to sources familiar with the interview.
"Moore, 38, said he's declined opportunities to interview for GM jobs the past two years, but felt the Boston job was ''very special."
"He seems to have the right mix of what the Sox are seeking -- someone who has coached and managed the game as well as scouted. One thing that came up at the interview was the use of statistical data.
'''We use statistics to support our evaluations of a player or we use statistics as a reason to go out and look at a player,' Moore said. 'We certainly use stats; I'm not sure what the Red Sox use or whether they have any double-secret stuff. But we certainly want to build our teams on a lineup that gets on base and scores runs and hits for power. For us, chemistry in the front office and chemistry in our clubhouse is very important.'"
"Moore, a Wichita, Kan., native, has no ties to Boston. He has hesitated to leave Atlanta because of the superb farm system he helped build there.
'''We had a lot of kids come up this year and we have more coming,' he said. 'We're not done. My philosophy is you should have three or four kids a year competing with your 25-man roster every season. If you don't have that, I think you're going to run into trouble as an organization.'" -- 11.13, Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe
LA Daily News Sources: Epstein Offered Dodgers GM Job
"There were strong indications on Sunday night the Dodgers have offered their vacant general manager's position to former Boston GM Theo Epstein and that they had sweetened the deal by offering Epstein a small ownership stake similar to what Billy Beane has in Oakland." -- 11.14, Tom Jackson, LA Daily News
Black Cloud Over Boston
"There was a cloud of sadness banked over the Red Sox contingent attending the meetings, as there had been such a passionate, defined mission statement building a long-term organization with Theo Epstein that did not fit upper management's interest. So Epstein, Josh Byrnes and the remarkable Peter Woodfork (the assistant GM in Arizona) are gone, as Larry Lucchino seeks a GM and yet another restructuring of the organization after only three years.
"Fair or not, it speaks volumes about the industry-wide perception of the Boston structure that the two people they most wanted to interview -- Cleveland's Chris Antonetti and Toronto's Tony LaCava, both surefire general manager stars of the future -- declined the opportunity to even interview. Antonetti did, however, interview in Philadelphia. Most likely the rest of Boston's baseball operations staff will leave as soon as Epstein lands another job. The most uneasy remaining employee on the baseball side is manager Terry Francona."
-- 11.12, Peter Gammons, ESPN.com Insider (subscription required)
Nov 12, 2005:
Nov 11, 2005:
(BDD Photo Illustration)
Moore Gets Another Interview
"Dayton Moore may be the wild card in the first round of negotiations, but by all accounts he is a star in the making, the product of an Atlanta Braves player development system that may be second to none, as the 18 rookies on the Braves' big league roster this season would attest. Moore, 38, is smart and serious and with a background in talent evaluation that has always attracted Lucchino. The biggest question with Moore is whether the Sox will be able to wrest him away from the Braves, who may promise him that he will succeed John Schuerholz, who will be 65 next season." -- 11.10, Gordon Edes, Boston Globe
More from Lucchino on Theo
Striking Comments from the GM Meetings
Nov 10, 2005:
Nov 9, 2005:
(Roberts: Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis | Wells: Getty Images Photo / Donald Miralle)
The Sox Could Steal Dave Roberts Back from San Diego
in a Trade for David Wells
New GM Candidate Interviews:
Braves' Dayton Moore Interview Set
Twins' Krivsky's Turn is Coming
Good GM Candidates Dropping Out Like Flies
First Antonetti, Now Tony LaCava
"Tony LaCava, the Blue Jays director of player personnel, is 44 years old and considered one of the rising front office stars in baseball. Yet he has informed the Boston Red Sox that he does not want to interview for their general manager's opening, after passing a similar message on to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Blue Jays G.M. J.P. Ricciardi granted the Red Sox permission to speak to LaCava on Tuesday at the G.M.'s meetings in Indian Wells, Calif., and LaCava took the night to think it over after heart to heart discussions with both Ricciardi and Oakland Athletics G.M. Billy Beane. 'I might be the dumbest guy in baseball, but I have a great situation with the Blue Jays - it's the best job I've ever had,' LaCava said in a telephone interview Wednesday afternoon. 'It (the Red Sox) job would be a great challenge. To be able to work with that payroll? But just as I did with the Devil Rays, I didn't want to go through the process of interviewing knowing I wanted to stay here.'" -- 11.9 Jeff Blair, Toronto Globe and Mail
The King is Dead?
(BDD Photo Illustration)
Don't Rule Out Theo
Stranger Things Have Happened... Especially with This Team
Gammons: 'Lucchino Wants Epstein Back'
"Some in the ownership group hold out hope that Epstein can resolve his differences with Lucchino and return as the GM. Contrary to some reports, Lucchino has not rejected that idea, and wants Epstein back." -- 11.9, Peter Gammons, ESPN.com
Shaughnessy: Time to Kiss and Make Up
"It was Bill Parcells who reminded us that he reserved the right to change his mind. Billy Martin left and came back. Michael Jordan left and came back. Muhammad Ali and Frank Sinatra left and came back. Harry Sinden and Ray Bourque left the Bruins and came back. Bob Kraft left for Hartford and came back. Red Auerbach even thought about leaving the Celtics for the Knicks for a few hours before he came back to Boston for keeps. Now Red has his own statue in Faneuil Hall.
"Theo Epstein can come back. It's not too late. The Red Sox are looking for a general manager and he's clearly the best man for the job." -- 11.9, Dan Shaughnessy, Boston Globe
Return Rumors Abound...
"I'm gonna put this at 90 percent right now (that Theo returns)" -- 11.9, Tony Kornheiser on ESPN's PTI (His co-host Michael Wilbon had the chances of a Theo return at 100 percent)
"A very high-ranking official, very close friend and baseball insider, says with Theo, money was not the issue, there was a tantrum thrown... Theo absolutely returns (to the Red Sox)." -- 11.9, Rob Dibble, XM Radio's "The Show"
"...Reports continue to steadily trickle in at these general managers meetings that the Red Sox have not yet given up hope (however unlikely) that they can convince Epstein to change his mind.
"Multiple Red Sox personnel, several prominently placed in the organization, have quietly been trying to talk Epstein into rejoining the ballclub he left on Halloween when he rejected a three-year, $4.5 million offer. Retaining credibility for Epstein in case he changes his mind remains a significant hurdle to overcome, plus a multitude of organizational issues would have to be resolved." -- 11.9, Michael Silverman, Boston Herald
"The Theo-back-to-Boston rumors? Right now, it remains only wishful thinking, even if 99 percent of the Sox organization would take him back in a heartbeat. Nothing has been set in motion that would lead to Theo's return." -- 11.8, Gordon Edes, Boston.com Extra Bases blog
"The hotel lobby here at baseball's general managers' meetings buzzed with speculation that Theo Epstein would be returning to the Red Sox -- a rumor repeated by some team personnel but unsubstantiated by anyone in a position of authority on Yawkey Way." -- 11.8, Gordon Edes, Boston Globe
From the GM Meetings:
Sox-Yanks Could Wind Up Battling for B.J. Ryan
Indians' Antonetti Turns Down Sox' Interview Request
Finally, Some Frontrunners for Sox GM:
Toronto Grants Permission for Tony LaCava to Interview with Sox
The Braves' Dayton Moore Should Be a Candidate
Recapping Sox GM Candidates: Who's Still In? Who's Out?
Mr. Epstein Goes to Washington?
Are the Cardinals Stealing a Page from the Red Sox Marketing Book?
Lucchino Confirms Manny's Trade Request
One Team Inquires About Trade
"He (Manny Ramirez) has made it clear that he would like us to consider a trade... He has asked us before, and it's only reasonable that we explore possibilities, particularly at this time of year when all types of trades are considered and kicked around. So it seems respectful of him, and it seems our job is to consider these kinds of possibilities... I don't think it's appropriate to discuss individual clubs, but one club has made preliminary suggestions about discussions." -- Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino, 11.9 New York Times
NY Post: Mets Talking About Manny
Nov 8, 2005:
Nov 7, 2005:
Did Bruschi's Return Sack Theo's?
(Bruschi: Getty Images Photo / Nick Laham | Epstein: Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)
WEEI’s John Dennis Believes That Theo Epstein Would Be Here if the Sox Scheduled a Press Conference Announcing His Re-signing Sooner
"What a fine mess you've gotten us into!" -- Stan Laurel to Oliver "Ollie" Hardy, 1932
Could it be that a public relations mistake and a football player’s return to action resulted in the Red Sox being without a GM today? WEEI’s John Dennis thinks so and told his audience that on last Friday’s Dennis and Callahan program.
Dennis, who refers to an “inside source” who gave him information throughout the Theo Epstein negotiations, described what could be called a fatal public relations miscue by the Red Sox.
“John Henry loves Theo Epstein. And somebody in his business ran this kid out and he’s not firing anybody? Off with no heads. And I know he’s a gentle, quiet, calm man, but doesn’t it seem like somebody really screwed up?
“It will be interesting to find out. People in this organization will be dispatched from it or big time players -- partners and limited partners -- in this organization bail before the likes of a Charles Steinberg might get fired. Word has it there are at least a couple of limited partners who are pissed to a fare-the-well about this. Not big fans of Theo either. They are very angry at Larry Lucchino and Dr. Charles to the point that they might be considering bailing. Two, in fact. One that’s a limited and one that’s much bigger than a limited (partner).
“…(Henry) knows who took a tactical mission, regarding the release of this whole story and screwed it up and out-thought himself and the entire organization. Did it occur to you when you read or heard Dan Shaughnessy talking about the conference call he had with Theo and Larry simultaneously …. they were (celebrating). (The deal) was all but done. They were presenting a united front. Dan even describes the conversation as hunky-dory, everybody’s happy.
“Now the second thing is that sometime on Friday, maybe the Red Sox public relations staff, or maybe The Maestro himself, put out the word that there would be no announcement about Theo’s future with the club over the course of the weekend and Monday would be the first time we hear anything. That’s weird that they would put out a statement that they’re not going to make a statement until Monday rolls around.
“Here’s how The Maestro, Charles Steinberg, out-thought himself. My guy tells me that Dr. Charles went to Larry and said, ‘Listen, we have this all done, we could announce this Saturday and have a press conference or we could do it Sunday, but there’s something that’s going to blow us off the pages of the newspaper, that’s going to happen this weekend, that’s going to make Theo’s re-signing with the Red Sox a one-day story.’
“Charles, being the bright guy that he is, says, ‘If we announce on Saturday that it’s all done,’ and it essentially was, ‘it will get lost in the Bruschi (return story) until Sunday night. Then we won’t get any publicity out of this deal. I got an idea, Larry. Why don’t we do the little conference call, we’ll make nice with Dan on the phone. Don’t agree that it’s done… just sort of hint that we’re moving that way. We’ll have a press conference on Monday, and the best thing is, we’ll cut the Patriots off at the knees, so the Bruschi story will be a one-day story, Sunday, Sunday night, I guess a little bit on Monday, but on Monday afternoon, we’ll trump the Bruschi story, and stop it in its tracks, with the Larry Lucchino jack-o-lantern smiles sitting next to Theo announcing Theo’s continued employment with the Boston Red Sox.’
“The little fly in this big time pile of ointment was the fact that more leaks happened. Shaughnessy writes on Sunday, and then the stuff happened on Monday, and between Friday night’s hunky-dory conference call and Monday morning’s discovery of ‘Hey, it’s all but done, it’s gonna happen whenever’ in the Boston Globe, Theo changed his mind, got pissed off, realized the circle of trust had been broken, and walked away.
“So in the interest of extending this story a little bit longer, delaying it until Monday, getting Bruschi off the front or back pages, this thing fell apart. That’s called out-thinking yourself from a public relations standpoint.
“So this takes you back to your question: Does John Henry look at the people he is paying good money to, not to leak, not to spin, not to smear, but to create, you know, publicity to get him on the back page, and they screw up this badly, is that person’s job in jeopardy?
“You know what the irony is? If Dr. Charles wanted this Red Sox-Theo story to be longer than a one-day deal, he sure as hell got his wish.”
Today Dennis added that his source, whom he described as a limited partner, told him that John Henry said, “It’s a good thing we left on good terms with Theo, because we don’t know how long Larry Lucchino is going to be around,” lending credence to the theory that Epstein may return to the Red Sox someday in a larger capacity than general manager.
On a related note, Murray Chass wrote in Sunday’s New York Times: “In seeking to be his own man, Epstein felt he had outgrown Lucchino and wanted to get out from under what he felt was Lucchino's suffocating oversight. Lucchino was willing - reluctantly - to give Epstein the money he wanted but wasn't about to relinquish the control he felt was his as team president.
“In addition, Epstein was upset with Charles Steinberg, the executive vice president for public affairs for the Red Sox. Steinberg was conspicuously absent from the Epstein news conference, lending credence to that aspect of the story. For Epstein to turn on Steinberg is especially strange because Steinberg was perhaps more responsible for his career than Lucchino.
“Steinberg hired Epstein as a public relations intern in Baltimore, took him to San Diego, then steered him to law school with the idea of getting him into baseball operations after he graduated.
“Like Lucchino, Epstein and Steinberg did not return calls seeking clarification of the circumstances of Epstein's departure.”
Nov 6, 2005:
All Dressed Up and Still
No One to Replace Theo
(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Bill Brett)
Theo Accepts a Brookline High Alumni Honor
(Herald Reports that Steinberg and Lucchino Were No-Shows)
"By this time next year, I would hope to be a general manager somewhere... Who knew that on Nov. 5 I’d be a Red Sox alumnus, too?" -- 11.5, Former Red Sox GM Theo Epstein
... So There is a Chance
Lloyd Christmas: What are the chances of a guy like you and a girl like me...ending up together?
Mary Swanson: Not good.
Lloyd Christmas: You mean not good like one out of a hundred?
Mary Swanson: I'd say more like one in a million.
[a long sad pause]
Lloyd Christmas: So you're telling me there's a chance? Yeah! I read ya.
-- From the movie Dumb & Dumber, 1994
"There are those in and out of the Boston organization who hold out hope that Theo Epstein and Larry Lucchino can be reunited with some negotiation of in-house structure... The Dodgers still want Epstein to at least listen to them, and there are many who feel that if the Frederick Malek group gets the Nationals, Epstein will be their first choice.
"Lucchino has been killed in Boston, but this is far more complicated that some Zoroastrian good/'n/evil thing, and repairable because of Henry and the fact that Lucchino clearly wanted Epstein back. There is also too much at stake in the franchise to spend this winter making risky decisions." -- 11.5, Peter Gammons, ESPN.com Insider (Subscription Only)
Lucchino May Be Naming Names; LaCava Not Asked to Interview... Yet
Indians Talked to Sox About Trading for Manny;
Sox Haven't Asked to Speak to Antonetti About GM Job... Yet
Sox GM Candidates Dropping Out Like Flies
Ho-Hum, Lucchino Sending GM-by-Committee to Meetings
Look on the Bright Side: We're Not the Dodgers... Yet
Nov 5, 2005:
Here's Looking at You Kid
(BDD Photo Illustration)
Theo: A nickel for your thoughts.
Larry: At Fenway they'd bring you only a penny, and, huh, I guess that's about all they're worth.
Theo: Well, I'm willing to be overcharged. Tell me.
Larry: Well, I was wondering...
Larry: Why I'm called Lucky. Why I should find you waiting for a big contract to come along.
Theo: Why there is no other team in my plans?
Theo: That's easy: there was. And the deal’s dead.
Larry: Last night we said a great many things. You said I was to do the thinking for both of us. Well, I've done a lot of it since then, and it all adds up to one thing: you're getting on that plane with Bill Lajoie where you belong.
Theo: But, Larry, no, I... I...
Larry: Now, you've got to listen to me! You have any idea what you'd have to look forward to if you stayed here? Nine chances out of ten, we'd both wind up in a minor league camp. Isn't that true, Charles?
Dr. Steinberg: I'm afraid John Henry would insist.
Theo: You're saying this only to make me go.
Larry: I'm saying it because it's true. Inside of us, we both know you belong with McCourt. You're part of his plan, the thing that keeps him going. If that plane leaves the ground and you're not going to see him, you'll regret it. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life.
Theo: But what about us?
Larry: We'll always have St. Louis. We didn't have, we, we lost until you came to Boston. We’ll get it back another night.
Theo: When I said I would never leave you.
Larry: And you never will. But I've got a job to do, too. Where I'm going, you can't follow. What I've got to do, you can't be any part of. Theo, I'm no good at being noble, but it doesn't take much to see that the problems of three little owners don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy nation. Someday you'll understand that. Now, now... Here's looking at you kid.
Nov 3, 2005:
Now Playing at Fenway
(BDD Photo Illustration)
John Henry Clears the Air Red Sox Style on WEEI
'He Left for a Reason to Be Named Later'
(Or Maybe a Deep Throat to Be Named Later)
The Leak Stops Here!
(err, not exactly...)
“Unfortunately we had a lot of contention at the end (of the negotiations). Anytime you have unnamed sources driving the media and there’s a media frenzy, it’s difficult to have a negotiation in which things are leaking our accurate, things are leaking out inaccurate things are leaking out, and that does cause problems in any negotiation and has been a problem in the past in prior negotiation. And it certainly, it creates a trust issue when that’s happening. Well who’s leaking this?...
“You have to have it (unnamed sources) in a free society. I guess you have to have that, after all if you remember Watergate, the problem… that all was about trying to eradicate leaks in the White House, that’s how that all began. And if there hadn’t been an unnamed source, Nixon probably would have gotten away with some things that were going on at that point.
“When I first met Larry Lucchino, one of his aphorisms when I first met him was 'there are no secrets in baseball.' So things have a tendency to leak out… They (the leaks) have done damage, and they have done damage in the past and there’s not a law against it. The unfortunate thing is that when someone calls you for a comment they will say ‘well we won’t use your name, we’ll protect you, we won’t say, for instance, it came from the Red Sox and then the person has no risk. He can put forward his agenda with no risk and… it may not be an agenda, it may be a simple stab at the truth, but it may not always be 100 percent accurate because they may not be involved in a particular negotiation. It’s an issue and it certainly was an issue near the end because we had a number of leaks that were inaccurate, at least I felt they were inaccurate, I remember one week reading something in the paper and thinking it was highly inaccurate and finding out well maybe it wasn’t that inaccurate but generally the early leaks weren’t that accurate at least in regard to the things I was looking at… but near the end they were and that really causes people to say to each other ‘well what’s going on here?’
“I didn’t necessarily agree with everything he left over, but I think I understand…”
“I think they (leaks that caused things to unravel at the end) were significant (part of the breakdown)
“They’re still happening, there still happening. Today I read on the front page of a newspaper that I didn’t get involved in the negotiations until after Theo quit, and this was an unnamed team source it said… It’s a continuing thing, it’s not going to stop. We can all whine about it that unnamed sources suck but it’s part of baseball.
“You’re right, late in the process, there were leaks that were more accurate and unfortunate. And where did they come from? I don’t know where they came from. I actually tried to find out where they came from. Yes (they were destructive to the process). The problem is the story is being driven by leaks. It’s not being driven by Theo or Larry himself. It’s being driven by people that don’t necessarily have all the facts… but near the end there were some leaks, but only some leaks, that were accurate and those were the ones that would drive us up the wall… $1.2 million for instance. That I saw 20 minutes after the meeting. Yes (that drove Theo up a wall). It drove all of us up the wall. That was a huge irritant at the end.
“What can you do (about the leaks)? You can’t pass a law against unnamed sources. You can try to route them out and make sure that you don’t have them but you don’t really want to go on a witch hunt." -- 11.3, John Henry on WEEI
A Few Bad Men
Spin Doctor: You want answers?
Fanboy: I think I'm entitled to them.
Spin Doctor: You want answers?
Fanboy: I want the truth!
Spin Doctor: (shouting) You can't handle the truth!
work in a front office that has thin walls. And those walls have to be guarded by men with big
mouths. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Mr. Beat Writer? I have a
greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom.
You weep for
Theo and you curse the front office. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of
not leaking what I know: that Theo's leaving Boston, while tragic,
probably saved the team money.
And my existence, while grotesque and
incomprehensible to you, makes money...You don't want the truth.
Because deep down, in places you don't talk about on Lansdowne Street, you want
me in that office. You need me in that office.
We use words like leak, spin, smear... we use these words as the
backbone to a life spent dropping dimes. You use them as a headline.
I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain
myself to a fanboy who rises and sleeps in a $150 player jersey of the not-exactly-free agent I provide, then questions the manner in which I provide him! I'd rather
you just said "thank you" and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you
pick up a Red Sox Nation card and buy some Championship Sod. Either way, I don't give a damn
what you think you are entitled to!
Fanboy: Did you break the circle of trust?
Spin Doctor: (quietly) I did the job I ....
(shouting) Did you break the circle of trust?
Spin Doctor: (shouting) You're goddamn right I did!!
Nov 2, 2005:
THEO AND JOHN HENRY'S PRESS CONFERENCE
'And In the End'...Nothing Was Said
(Boston Globe Photos)
"You have to believe in the people you work with... There were some breakdowns in the end, and that was unfortunate."
-- 11.2.05, Theo Epstein, Former Red Sox GM
"Maybe I’m not fit to be the principal owner of the Boston Red Sox"
-- 11.2.05, John Henry, Red Sox owner... for now
Q: Theo, do you believe that in any way that the confidentiality of certain issues concerning whether it was baseball decisions or a player’s desire to keep something private was breached by upper management either in the papers or on the talk shows?
You know, whenever you have a negotiation, an internal negotiation, management negotiating with one of its employees, there’s the possibility for it to get contentious. There’s the possibility for it to become public. And we took steps throughout the process to protect against that, and it worked for a long time. There were some breakdowns in the end, and that was unfortunate.
Q: (John) Do you believe there’s a trust issue?
A trust issue? Between Theo and us? Between Theo and Larry? Again, I… you know… if there are reasons that Theo had… if there was a trust issue from Theo’s perspective, he should be the one to tell you that. I don’t believe, as I said before, that there was one issue. Was that an issue? I don’t believe that was an issue.
Sox Try to Take Your Mind Off Theo Fiasco by Making
Timlin Signing Official
"But the fact is, Greg, with the knowledge you've been given, you are now on the inside of what I like to call... "the Byrnes family circle of trust." I keep nothing from you, you keep nothing from me... and round and round we go. Okay. Understood. Okay, good. Come on. Let's go inside and have breakfast…
"Did I not clearly explain the circle of trust to you, Greg? …See, if I can't trust you, Greg, then I have no choice... but to put you right back outside the circle. And once you're out, you're out. There's no coming back." –- Jack Byrnes (Robert De Niro), Meet the Parents
Schilling, Shaughnessy on Sources and Stories
11.2: WEEI’s Dennis and Callahan covered the ongoing Theo Epstein situation and had the Boston Globe’s Dan Shaughnessy on the program followed by Curt Schilling.
John Dennis: My source, who’s been on target the last few weeks, tells me there’s a rogue CIA agent, this person describes as acting like a rogue CIA agent, that gets outside the organization and just sort of gets drunk with power, acting on his own, and a woman plays a significant role (Dennis alleges Theo’s girlfriend is uncomfortable with the fishbowl environment in Boston)... So here’s the deal, my friend tells me the following: Everything you’ve heard about in the past is pretty accurate, allowing for some spin in one direction or the other, but there was sort of air of uncomfortability about Larry planting the seed, Theo’s tree growing next to Larry. Larry not wanting the kid to get more money than he, or get more power. All that stuff we told you in the past exists but individually, the money, the chain of command, the kid growing up and looking his dad straight in the eye and saying “I’m as good as you and I don’t need you to look over my shoulder.” All of that is true but individually, none of that would be deal-breaker stuff. The person that I talked to last night said no matter what you think of Larry, if you like him, if you hate him, if you’re indifferent about him. The one thing that you could never call Larry (GC: is ineffective) or stupid.
Here’s the deal, if you allow for the intelligence, the perspicacity, and the effectiveness that Larry Lucchino has brought to this organization… keep in mind, Larry and Theo with a little help from John Henry got the deal essentially done. They settled on money. They settled on length of contract. They settled on the chain of command issues.
Gerry Callahan: Hey, yesterday Michael Holley walked in here and said "What is wrong with you guys, can’t you just say the name Charles Steinberg (was the source of a Red Sox leak)?" And I said, we have been saying it. Weren’t we saying it yesterday? Hasn’t everyone been saying it? Charles Steinberg. And everyone knows Charles and Dan (Shaughnessy) are tight, we can ask him at 8:00 how tight, but, and that’s probably why that rogue-CIA agent isn’t out on his ass already because he’s an important guy and he’s a valuable guy.
Dennis: There you go… Now Larry is looking at Theo and Charles and says “I’ll guess I’ll stick by this guy, he’s done a lot for me, he’s done a lot for the organizations I’ve been involved in. He’s been a very loyal servant to me, and in some cases, a little too loyal or a little too involved. And I think this is one of those cases.
Callahan: He’s Smithers and Larry’s Monty Burns. And if you’ve ever seen that show (The Simpsons), that’s the same dynamic. Has Monty ever fired Smithers? He might have every once in a while. (JD: What can I do for you? What can I do for you? Can’t think of anything? I’ll go do it myself.) Do you think Larry took him over his knee and spanked his bum-bum?
Callahan: But he would never fire him.
Dennis: He would never fire him.
Callahan: Isn’t Charles smarter than that? …The best part of that (Shaughnessy Sunday) column is "Charles Steinberg and Larry are responsible for Theo." And people out there in Red Sox Nation are going “who’s this Charles guy again? His adopted father? His big brother from the Boy’s Club?"
(Dan Shaugnessy called in during the next segment)
Dennis: By all accounts Dan, the only thing that changed after the deal was all but done was you’re column that insulted and incensed Theo, it wasn’t necessarily the specifics that you wrote, I think it was an overall feeling, from what I’m able to find out, of a violation of trust. Theo agreed. Larry agreed. The parties involved agreed that this was how it would proceed (“radio silence”) until this thing got done. Somebody violated that trust and that’s what essentially pissed off Theo to the point of saying, “I can’t work in this environment.”
Dan Shaughnessy: Well, if that’s true, they have to work this out among themselves, all I did was write what I know. That’s what we do. It’s not my job to decide “oh better not write that because it might cause a strain there.” We’re not in the business of filtering out that stuff. I’ve observed these guys for four years. I’ve known Lucchino since ’79. I met Theo in 1993. This is my take on the situation and all of it is true in my view and some of it is my opinion. The stuff that is fact is in my view, true.
Callahan: So you don’t feel like that Larry looks bad here?
Shaughnessy: Oh I think Larry looks like the guy who tied the girl to the railroad tracks. Of course he looks bad. Everybody loves Theo. This isn’t even like Parcells-Kraft where people take sides, or Nomar-anti-Nomar, people take sides. No one’s taking Larry’s side in this. That’s obvious. He’s the perfect villain in this thing and I understand that.
Dennis: When you have a committed source, a mole, over a long period of time, is it easy to be less vigilant in checking the voracity of what that mole is saying if the relationship is long-standing and you’ve never been burned before?
Shaughnessy: I suppose that’s true but you have to guard yourself against that. If you’re talking about the Colorado trade situation, that’s been checked way beyond one source.
Callahan: That’s not what Peter Gammons says.
Shaughnessy: Peter Gammons went on another station that I work for and said some very…almost ridiculous stuff which he did apologize to me for the other day. It’s preposterous, you know I understand Peter’s very involved in this and Peter’s… hey Peter Gammons is the greatest there ever was. He’s a Hall-of-Famer for a reason, but you gotta admit, he’s pretty much been on one side of this issue.
Callahan: But is he wrong? We talked about it with Larry after Peter wrote that Larry was the bad guy, that Larry threw Josh Byrnes under the bus. Larry fired back at Peter. Are you saying Larry’s right, Peter’s wrong?
Shaughnessy: Yes. On that one? On the Colorado deal? Yes.
Dennis: Sourcing your Sunday column, even as I read it Dan, before I knew that this thing was going to fall apart, seemed to me not to be the smartest move by whoever it is the source happened to be if they really were intent on getting the deal done. With that as a background, did it occur to you, and I know it’s not your job, but did it occur to you, as you wrote that Sunday piece, that this was going to at least get the attention of, if not piss off, and who knows, maybe Theo, and as a result kill the deal.
Shaughnessy: Well that was one of the things that was in the column. I think at the very end of the column it says “we know too much.” I guess too much was out there. Maybe I knew too much and too much was out there for the good health of the relationship with these guys. They’d have to answer that but again, most of this stuff, I’ve been down this path before, it’s just that this thing was coming to a boil and so much had been written about and talked about these two guys over the last week, I thought “hey I know both of these guys pretty well and I don’t think Larry’s side, if you want to call it that, has been represented very fairly in recent weeks, now I remember he did get killed over that Colorado thing, what’s up with that? And who’s the baseball guy and who’s not and Theo wanted to distance himself from the San Diego days a little bit, and maybe that’s what this is about. I did (think the deal was done). Absolutely. Again, I can’t make my son take the trash out, I can’t believe that I can write something that’s going to make the general manager of Red Sox change his mind about a great job here. Yeah, I can’t believe that.
Dennis: Well I don’t think it’s you that Theo is pissed off at, I think it’s the violation of the trust that he thought he had fixed. There were some conversations after the very first story that you were not involved in, the story that he turned down three years at $1.2 million, feathers needed to be smoothed then. Then yours came out and I guess there was a lot of acrimony, and they thought he went to bed at least willing to think about it, and gets up Monday morning and reads yet a third story, sourced I supposed by the Red Sox to the Globe, and that was finally the straw.
Shaughnessy: Again, you said sourced by the Boston Red Sox to the Globe, that’s unfair. (Well where did it come from? They didn’t get it from Theo?) Where do stories come from? Where do your stories come from? (From people who have a reason to want to get them out Dan) It’s not fair to people’s reputations to assume that because of this relationship, every story that’s in the Globe is given to them by the Red Sox.
Dennis: I didn’t say that every story…
Callahan: I didn’t say given, there are two sides to this and it definitely didn’t come from Theo’s side because he hadn’t decided yet.
(Curt Schilling called in during the next segment)
Dennis: Curt do Red Sox players believe that spin or smear campaigns are liberally used by Red Sox ownership and management?
Curt Schilling: They’re used by every club in the history of professional sports. Why would it be any different here? I don’t know about smear campaigns but, I mean, the bottom line is Dan Shaughnessy got used. And because he got used, Theo Epstein’s no longer the general manager of the Boston Red Sox. I really feel that that was the final straw in all of this.
Gerry Callahan: You said to me the other night that everything you read in the Sunday Globe was wrong. We just talked to Shaughnessy, he defended most of it. (CS: Of course he did). What specifically was wrong and what do you think set Theo off?
Schilling: You know what I can’t… I’m not going to go into detail on what I know to be not truthful. I don’t think it was any one thing. I think there’s a lot of things. If it was me, and I’m Theo, I would have been incredibly offended at somebody that I obviously trust because it’s obviously somebody above Theo leaking stuff to Dan Shaughnessy to make a point. I was pissed for Theo. You know what, that happens. It’s big business and I guess you deal with it on a case-by-case basis. Obviously Theo felt that moving forward there were going to be tremendous issues. If that stuff could come out at that time, given the situation and the circumstances and how, I think he had gone out of his way to stay away from the media, and stay out of the media, and the Red Sox were going to do the same, I think he felt that moving forward, there were going to be a lot of issues.
Callahan: Colorado (Bigbie trade) being one of them, you mentioned that earlier, do you think that the version that Dan Shaughnessy wrote…
Schilling: No, I know that’s not how it happened (GC: That’s wrong?). Yeah.
Callahan: In other words, it’s wrong and someone… (JD: Fed it to him).
Schilling: Yeah. Yeah. Again, that happens all the time.
Callahan: Someone gave him the wrong version to make Theo look bad?
Dennis: Not I’m not sure that it makes any difference, but Dan said not once but twice in that last half hour together that Larry was not the source of that Sunday column and, and I find this even more important if it’s true, Larry neither approved, nor knew of, the sources action in talking to Shaughnessy.
Schilling: That’s what Dan Shaughnessy says. Take that for what it’s worth. I don’t know.
(Replay tape of Shaughnessy from earlier)
Shaughnessy: You got Curt Schilling’s take on this thing the day after it comes down. Why is that? Is that because you guys have a relationship because of the show? And I got to read Curt say that he picked up the Sunday paper and knew that was a lie. Tell Curt to go ask the people who paid him $13 million to win eight games last year about that situation. Maybe they can explain it to him.
Schilling: Wow… that’s awesome. (Shaughnessy tape: Tell Schill I love him). That’s good stuff. You know what… I mean Dan knows that I think he’s a tired act and I don’t like him and he doesn’t like me, so take that for what it’s worth unfortunately or fortunately I’m not in the minority in that situation. Dan is Dan.
11/2 WEEI: Dan Shaughnessy on with Dennis and Callahan
Shaughnessy Takes Calls and More
Is Theo a Better Man?
"Theo needs his space -- he might go to South Africa with Pearl Jam (appearing at a special benefit for Molo Care, an organization that Theo added to his charity foundation -- A Foundation to be Named Later) and do social work -- and the Red Sox will find someone who wants to accomplish what he accomplished." -- 11.1, Peter Gammons, ESPN.com Insider (subscription only)
LA Times: Manny to Angels, Glaus to Boston in 3-Way?
Nov 1, 2005:
Let the Finger-Pointing Begin
(Larry Lucchino / AP Photo | Dr. Charles Steinberg -- Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)
Time for The Blame Game in Boston
Somebody Gotta Pay for One of the Biggest Fiascos
in the Fiasco-Filled History of the Boston Red Sox
"I'm not sure [Theo's contract extension] will be [finalized on Monday]. It's up to Theo ... I don't think the money is the issue here. I think the question is: Is this what he wants to do for a living?
"And I don't think this is Larry's doing ... it's not about the Red Sox; it's about Larry Lucchino and a lot of Dan Shaughnessy's [column about the Colorado trade where Lucchino supposedly fell on his sword to kill the deal at Theo's request] ... was lies ... because Dan doesn't know; he was just told that by Charles [Steinberg] ... a lot of inaccuracies in there. I said to myself, "You know, there’s a lot of issue here."
"And there's no respect for baseball people. It's all about selling sod and Red Sox Nation hysteria and making money, and it's not about practical baseball ... I think he will end up staying, but I'm not sure he will. I'm not sure that he won't just take some time off and go to a place where baseball actually matters and that egos and hype and hysteria don’t matter as much, which would be tough because Jed Hoyer and Peter Woodfork ... there wouldn't be anybody left because they'll all go immediately to Arizona with Josh Byrnes ... but they don't care about that upstairs. There's such a disconnect in this front office between the upstairs offices and the people downstairs in the bowling alley, the baseball [people] ... They don't think the baseball is important." -- ESPN’s Peter Gammons on 96.9 WTKK-FM Calling All Sports program Sunday night
"What is alarming -- for the future of the Sox franchise -- is Theo's sudden need to distance himself from those who helped him rise to his position of power. Lucchino and Dr. Charles Steinberg are a pair of Red Sox executives who 'discovered' Theo when he was a student at Yale ... And now Theo 'bristles at the notion of Steinberg and Lucchino taking credit for his success.' The above sentence appeared in a book I wrote on the 2004 Red Sox championship season and it was the only line Theo objected to. He thought it would get him in trouble with Lucchino. But it didn't. Lucchino laughed when he read it, and seemed genuinely amused that Theo would worry about any publicity regarding their relationship. That was in March. And now we are in October. And a considerable amount of misinformation has been spilled." -- 10.30, Dan Shaughnessy, Boston Globe
"The Red Sox are in the recommendations stage, with Hunsicker, Kevin Towers and Doug Melvin in the rumored stage and Toronto assistant GM Tony LaCava recommended by a number of personnel voices...
"Towers has worked for Lucchino. Hunsicker is one of the game's best general managers. So is Milwaukee's Melvin, who worked for Lucchino in Baltimore. If the Red Sox decide they want a pure talent man -- and with the Yankees adding the revenue from their new ballpark, talent evaluation is the way the Red Sox have to beat the Yankees in the future -- the name of LaCava (Toronto's director of player development) will be at the forefront. And if they want an organizational baseball mind with a huge reputation in the business, they will interview White Sox assistant GM Rick Hahn." -- 11.1, Peter Gammons, ESPN Insider, (subscription only)
Survey: Theo's Answer Leads to Some Questions...
WFAN: Dan Shaughnessy Talks About Theo Leaving
A Gold Glove: Varitek Gets One; Renteria Does Not
Jacobs: Lucchino's Mess | Wilbur: He'll Dodge LA
Bradford: Theo Hates Red Sox Nation Cards Too
Wilbur: Epstein's Trick is on the Red Sox
Snow: Epstein Leaves Sox
Survey: Now What?
Recapping Theo's three years as GM: 2005 | 2004 | 2003
FENWAY SHOCKER: THEO GOES
"'Who is the GM going to be?" (David) Ortiz asked. 'And who is going to want to become GM of our team to work for somebody else? A GM wants to be somebody in a position [of power]. If you're going to be the GM, just to get orders from someone else, it's something they aren't really comfortable with.
"'We need Theo. Hopefully, they put it together to keep Theo.
"'I think the problem is Theo is not getting enough of a position to say, 'I'm going to do this, if I [mess] up, I [mess] up.'" -- 11.1, Chris Snow, Boston Globe
A Dirty Trick
Gammons: Dream Job No Longer Right for Epstein
"New GM has to try to trade Manny, Wells for the same reasons (as Theo)
of claustrophobia." -- Peter Gammons on ESPN Sports Center
"(Red Sox VP and friend Sam) Kennedy talked to Epstein every few hours trying to convince him to stay. Red Sox ownership, specifically Larry Lucchino, tried to convince him to stay, offering more money than they ever dreamed of paying. But Epstein chose to move on, because while he loves the Red Sox, baseball and running a baseball operation, he did not love this job -- the hype, PR, spin-doctoring, leaks and rock-star status it entailed... As for a successor, it would seem that the line would start behind Gerry Hunsicker, unless the Tigers would let Dave Dombrowski out of his contract in Detroit." -- Peter Gammons, ESPN Insider (subscription only)
So Who's on Deck?
(Padres GM Kevin Towers and Larry Lucchino -- AP File Photo)
Can Lucchino Control Towers?
Don't Rule out Milwaukee's Doug Melvin
Can Dave Dombrowski Get Out of Detroit?
Gerry Hunsicker Should Be in the Hunt
Can They See David Forst Through the Trees?
Could Gillick Stick? Sabean There? Hello Hoyer?
Edes: One Name to Circle is Towers
McAdam: Duquette on the List
Silverman: Hunsicker, Gillick?
'Over Here! Over Here!'
(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Nancy Palmieri)
...And Let's Bring Back Nomar Too