SBD/August 20, 2012/Franchises

Red Sox Front Office Under Fire Over Its Lack Of Accountability

Critics say Lucchino (l) and Henry (r) blame the media for their poor season
Red Sox President & CEO Larry Lucchino has gone into "blame the media" mode recently, a “good diversionary tactic and befitting of his law degree,” according to Peter Abraham of the BOSTON GLOBE. However, Lucchino “has to know that Red Sox fans are smarter than that.” Fenway Sports Group co-Chair John Henry is “controlling the message,” which is “filtered through” Senior Advisor Dr. Charles Steinberg. Henry would be “wise to take unfettered questions at some point and let fans hear his answers.” That “hasn’t happened since spring training” (BOSTON GLOBE, 8/17). Manager Bobby Valentine, when asked if the media was to blame for the team’s struggles, said, “No. The media had nothing to do with this season.” In Boston, Dan Shaughnessy wrote, “My skull’s been imploding as I read and hear the ridiculous spin from the Red Sox front office.” Former Red Sox strength and conditioning coach David Page was “one of several individuals blamed for last season’s epic fold, and was fired in the offseason.” Unlike a “lot of his fellow fall guys, Page has chosen not to go quietly into the night." On July 8, Page tweeted, “20 players on the DL 23 times in 1/2 a season and I was the problem last year.” Page then responded, “There are times when I’m pretty bitter and I have trouble holding back. I need to vent” (BOSTON GLOBE, 8/18).

KING OF WISHFUL THINKING
: Also in Boston, Ron Borges wrote Lucchino “runs the Red Sox, but only when things are running right.” But when things are not, “the media’s running the Red Sox,” and the players “see it the same way.” Borges wrote, “It’s the media that decided to charge $75 for a brick, 7 1⁄2 times what a bottle of water costs anywhere else on the planet and to quadruple the cost of pink hats. … It’s the media that keeps saying the place is sold out when it isn’t, thus causing heightened performance anxiety all around” (BOSTON HERALD, 8/19). USA TODAY’s Paul White in a sports section cover story notes the Red Sox “have spent most of a week trying to navigate the latest crisis to engulf an already underachieving team” (USA TODAY, 8/20). Red Sox GM Ben Cherington said, “Things aren’t going the way you want them to, so you’re scrutinized more. We sort of made that bed ourselves and it’s up to us to make it better. When we make it better there will be less scrutiny and probably fewer distractions” (BOSTON GLOBE, 8/20). FOXSPORTS.com’s Ken Rosenthal wrote Lucchino should “open Fenway Park for a town-hall meeting and listen to what fans think of the 2012 Red Sox.” Since the Red Sox are “so big on group discussions, ownership should require the players to attend and hear how they’ve alienated Red Sox Nation every bit as much as Valentine has alienated them.” Then ownership can “do something completely different, and acknowledge its own role in helping create this mess” (FOXSPORTS.com, 8/17).
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