Like some of you, I listened to Dan Shaughnessy defend his column this morning on EEI. To be fair, I have to agree that there is a slight possibility that he is being singled out as the one and only reason behind the fizzling of the deal. I hardly think this is the case, but I am angry about the article for other reasons.
He claims that there is nothing in the article that hasn't been written before and that he is having trouble wrapping his head around the notion that a "smart guy" like Theo could be swayed by his piece to the point of putting the kabash on an all-but-done deal. Both of these comments are valid, but don't think for a second that he doesn't have an agenda here. The problem is, I am not sure what that agenda is, exactly. To stir the pot? To douse an already volatile situation with gasoline? Why? Does Dan get off on this? Was it not tense enough without him making Theo out to be nothing more than some schleppy kid who needed the guidance and power of Lucchino in order to achieve?
Excerpt 1 (on Theo's perceived advantage)
Lucchino and Dr. Charles Steinberg are a pair of Red Sox executives who ''discovered" Theo when he was a student at Yale. They picked him out of thousands of wannabe interns. They hired him in Baltimore and then took him to San Diego with them. They held his hand and drove him places during his Wonder Years. They urged him to get his law degree. And when they set up stakes at Fenway Park, they fought vigorously to bring him home.
Excerpt 2 (Larry vs Theo: Who is the real baseball guy?):
Let's start with Theo being a ''baseball guy" while Larry is a lawyer with a lofty title (CEO). Granted, Epstein is a student of the game, but it's a mistake to say he knows more about baseball than Lucchino or anyone else in the Red Sox baseball operation. Theo is 31 years old and did not play baseball past high school. He spent four years at Yale and three years at law school. That hardly leaves time for much more than rotisserie league scouting. He can read the data and has a horde of trusty, like-minded minions, but we're not talking about a lifetime of beating the bushes and scouting prospects. Lucchino was a good high school baseball player and made it to the NCAA Final Four with Princeton's basketball team. He came to baseball as an executive in 1979, when Theo was 5 years old. That doesn't make him George Digby or Ray Boone, but he's not Les Otten, either.
Then, this morning, he talks out of the other side of his mouth and says that he can't believe that the deal went bad and he prays that Theo announces that he is staying at the 1:00 press conference. Hmmm ... feeling guilty? Just a little? Oh, Theo, I didn't mean it. Come on, can we still be friends?
Why on earth would a journalist who wants Theo to remain in the organization publish (or in this case re-publish) such demoralizing things about him at a sensitive time? This is my question. What can be gained by doing this?