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SBD/August 28, 2012/Franchises
Red Sox Sellout Streak Grows To 782 Games Despite Empty Seats At Fenway
Published August 28, 2012
END OF AN ERA: In Boston, Gerry Callahan writes of the Red Sox' trade that included sending 1B Adrian Gonzalez to the Dodgers, "This is only the greatest trade in Red Sox history." With one transaction, with one "misguided trading partner, the Red Sox essentially slammed the door on the [former GM Theo] Epstein era and ushered in a new day." Callahan writes "just like that, everything changed" for GM Ben Cherington. The "toothless Larry Lucchino sock puppet who couldn’t even hire his own manager was suddenly the bold, bloodless triggerman the Red Sox desperately needed" (BOSTON HERALD, 8/28). ESPN BOSTON's Gordon Edes wrote, "If we can take Cherington at his word that the Sox are not just intent on shaving payroll and prepared to tolerate a 'bridge year' until their top prospects have ripened, the Sox will have no choice but to spend." If the Red Sox "expect to address their most pressing needs, like the starting rotation, they may have no choice but to target at least one big-ticket player" (ESPNBOSTON.com, 8/27).
EARNING BACK THEIR TRUST: In Boston, Michael Silverman writes, "As giddy as everybody got, Red Sox fans should keep that 'Mission Accomplished' banner in storage." Fans are "expected to trust and believe the franchise has ... not only repudiated the decision-making process that went into all of those massive deals, but also replaced it with something better." The Red Sox have "a ton of bridge building to do with their fans to make them understand not only what went wrong, but also why the same people who made the mistakes can be trusted to have learned from them" (BOSTON HERALD, 8/28). The NASHUA TELEGRAPH's Greenwood writes, "History will consider it one of the greatest transactions in franchise history." The trade was "cleansing for the front office's collective soul." But the Red Sox "have a few more things they can do to finish wiping their slate clean." Greenwood: "First, give Bobby Valentine a raise and say that he will be the manager of this nine in 2013" (NASHUA TELEGRAPH, 8/28).
SPORTS GUY'S INTROSPECTIVE: GRANTLAND.com's Bill Simmons wrote of the Red Sox, "We started spending money like the Yankees. Our charming, broken-down, illogically constructed museum of a baseball park was overhauled and turned into a cash cow (same for the streets surrounding it)." The owners "relentlessly pimped the Red Sox brand inside the stadium, on their website, on their 24-hour TV channel, on your street, in your house, on your forehead and everywhere else you could imagine, only we looked the other way because they kept funneling so much of their profits back into the team." Not long ago, the Red Sox organization "ranked among the most thoughtful in baseball." Simmons: "So what changed? Everyone else in baseball started emulating what the smarter teams were doing, leaving [Epstein] without any real market inefficiencies to exploit other than defense and this one: He could simply outspend 95 percent of the league." But after the deal with the Dodgers, the Red Sox front office "might put some actual thought into 2013 instead of settling on being Yankees Farther East" (GRANTLAND.com, 8/27).