SBD/October 9, 2012/Franchises

Red Sox Hold Fenway Open House To Appease Season-Ticket Holders After Dismal Year

The Red Sox opened up Fenway Park for fans after a "very disappointing" year
In a "good-will gesture to fans who suffered through the worst Red Sox season in decades, the team opened up Fenway over the holiday weekend to season-ticket holders, giving diehard fans a chance to sit in the dugout, snap pictures in the clubhouse, and take aim at the Green Monster," according to Peter Schworm of the BOSTON GLOBE. It was the "first time the team has held the three-day open house, and fans were well aware the timing was no coincidence." Frustration is "running high, forcing the team into the unfamiliar position of having to appease its loyalest fans." The Red Sox said that "2,000 season-ticket holders -- out of about 22,000 -- had signed up for the family-oriented event." With the team "far from contention, the Red Sox began planning the open house in mid-September." Red Sox Corporate Communications Dir Zineb Curran said, "It was a unique situation. It was the first time in many years we knew there would be no games in October." Curran said that the offer "was meant as a token of appreciation for the fans’ support during a 'very disappointing' year." Fans said that the event "would not affect their decision to renew their tickets either way, but they appreciated the gesture" (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/9).

POWER STRUGGLE SOLVED? In Providence, Brian MacPherson wrote Red Sox GM Ben Cherington is "as empowered as he has ever been." If it "wasn't Cherington's team before, it's Cherington's team now -- and with all the responsibilities thereof." Since the departure of former GM Theo Epstein, "perception has persisted" that Red Sox President & CEO Larry Lucchino had "taken on a greater role" with the team. As a result, it was believed that Cherington "didn't have the autonomy Epstein had." This offseason, the Red Sox "are making sure everyone knows Cherington is empowered to run the team." A "cynic might wonder where that confidence comes from." Like recently dismissed manager Bobby Valentine, Cherington "hardly had a banner first year as the Red Sox general manager" (PROVIDENCE JOURNAL, 10/6). In Massachusetts, Christopher Smith writes issues of "power and chain of command became a huge reason why" the Red Sox went 69-93, "why players ended up going behind Valentine's back to ownership to hold [a] team meeting regarding Valentine and why Alfredo Aceves demanded a meeting with Cherington when he lost his closer job" (North Andover EAGLE-TRIBUNE, 10/9).
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