Wednesday, January 16, 2013


TNT, the cable network under the Turner umbrella, has a creative slogan that
defines their programming line-up. "We know drama." They should think long
and hard about adding the Boston Red Sox to their stable full of drama-filled
shows. The Red Sox not only know know drama, they seem to have invented it.

In 2012, they hired Bobby Valentine to manage their team. He was like Snooki
of 'Jersey Shore', a train wreck that you just couldn't take your eyes off. Every
time he opened his mouth, out came stupid. He offended his own players and the
players went behind his back to get a meeting with the owners to try to get
the self-absorbed and self-promoting fired. This reality show eventually ended
with Bobby V riding off into the sunset on his bicycle.

Now, with a re-birth of baseball just around the corner, there is more drama,
just the way the Boston Red Sox like it. They seem to be addicted to
controversy like most of us are to Facebook. It has become part of them.
A new supply of fuel has arrived to satisfy their addiction.

Terry Francona, the immensely popular manager who was unceremoniously
dumped after the 2011 season, is pimping a new book, "Francona: The Red
Sox Years." The book should really be titled, "Francona: Pay Back Is a Bitch".
There is little doubt that Francona is still sour after getting fired and being
a scapegoat for their historical collapse that cost the Red Sox a shot at making
the playoffs.

He has every right to be bitter. Francona should've been bronzed with a statue
on Yawkey Way. He led the Red Sox to two World Series titles in 8 years when
no other manager had ever hoisted a trophy that anybody cared about in the
history of the franchise. On his way out, there were leaks about his private life
and a smear campaign that was thinly-veiled and all signs pointed to the
ownership group as the villains who launched it.

This book is Francona's revenge. He says the owners were more concerned
about the team's image than actual performance. Tito shed light on how ownership
hired a consulting group for $100,000 just to find out the team should have
players who were more "marketable" and filled with "sex symbols" like
Dustin Pedroia.

OK, let me go off point here for a second. Dustin Pedroia a "sex symbol"?
Since when does a guy who is bald, stands 5-foot nothing, and doesn't
make anybody forget Channing Tatum be considered a sex symbol?
Derek Jeter is a sex symbol, Dustin Pedroia is Danny DeVito with eye black.

Second of all, it's laughable that the Red Sox would spend $100,000 to have
somebody tell them they need more stars to increase the television ratings
on NESN, their flagship network. That's like television stations hiring their
consultants just to tell them they should hire drop-dread gorgeous woman
who are surgically-enhanced to move the needle.

Ooooh, yes. It happens. And it's beyond comical spending all that money to
find out something that a circus monkey could figure out and tell you.

Francona reveals that the owners don't really "love" baseball and are only
interested in the game to make more money.  Why he feels this is a big deal is
beyond me. 90 percent of the owners in professional sports don't "love" sports
or even their teams like the fans do. Do you think James Dolan loves basketball?
Is Woody Johnson addicted to the New York Jets 24/7? I highly doubt it. He's
more interested in selling more Tim Tebow jerseys.

Owning a team is really nothing more than a hobby to most owners. It's
another way to make money and feed their monster egos. Most of them made a
gazillion dollars in the business world and had some disposable income
to buy a nice toy that brings them even nicer toys. Do you really think John

Henry would have any chance to date, much less marry a 31-year old beauty
like Linda Pizzuti if he didn't own the Red Sox and had the power to make
her an instant celebrity? Hell, no.

This is the opportunity for Francona to make the ownership group of Henry,
Tom Werner, and Larry Lucchino look bad at a time when they don't look
so good to the Red Sox fan base. They showed no loyalty to Francona who
showed them two World Series trophies and helped put rings as big as hub caps
on their fingers. This is Francona's revenge.

This is more drama for a franchise that seems to revel in it. This latest
controversy will carry the Red Sox right into spring training and feed the
monster that is the Boston fan base. You don't need to watch TNT, just
follow the Red Sox because they really know drama.

Less than 30 days until pitchers and catchers open spring training. Can't wait.

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