Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Backpedaling Weasels

Damage control has already begun. After figuratively knifing Theo Epstein in the back with his Sunday column, Daniel Shaughnessy (anagram DAN LIES AS HE HUGS NY) laments the GM's departure. He writes that Theo is too mature to be affected by a few lines in a newspaper column.

Is this the first time that Shaughnessy has trashed local sports figures? Hardly. Robert Parish 'enjoyed' target status for the Globe scribe while in Boston, and 'mean-spirited' sums up Shaughnessy's general approach, as in "I'm a columnist, not a reporter." That's for certain, as reporters report the news, eschewing insinuating themselves into the news.

Now I'm not suggesting that there's a special section in hell for sports writers, or worse, sports bloggers, but did Dagger Dan willfully ingratiate himself to Sox management with the hatchet job on Theo Epstein?

Theo Epstein wasn't perfect. Chad Fox, Jeremy Giambi, Wade Miller, Matt Mantei, and (so far) Edgar Renteria either didn't work out or contributed far less than expected. But the GM's job remains a bottom-line business, and Epstein had one hand on the wheel when the Sox' ship came in.

Any new candidates for the GM job have to be aware of the backstabbing atmosphere currently at Fenway, "America's Most Beloved Ballpark." Landing at Logan, the Towers, Hunsickers, Sabeans, and others won't be rolling over and fawning over the President and the CEO. Maybe they won't have to, because the Powers That Be sought only to knock Theo back down to size, not shove him out the door.

So, we won't need a GM who can schmooze Curt Schilling into Sox whites, or convince David Ortiz that Boston's the place to be. We won't need a new Red Sox media guide with Ortiz, Manny, Schilling, and Wakefield on the cover. John Henry, Larry Lucchino, and Tom Werner can start posing now, because it's all about them.

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