Talking Baseball

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Posted by Mike on Friday, February 20, 2004

Mediot (n.) - an ignorant or foolish member of the mass media

I will get to the mediots by the end of this post but first I have to talk about the press release George Steinbrenner made earlier this week. Here is what he said:

“We understand that John Henry must be embarrassed, frustrated and disappointed by his failure in this transaction. Unlike the Yankees, he chose not to go the extra distance for his fans in Boston. It is understandable, but wrong that he would try to deflect the accountability for his mistakes on to others and to a system for which he voted in favor. It is time to get on with life and forget the sour grapes.”

What a nice little statement. These are the thoughts I was left with:

1. I’m sure John Henry is frustrated and disappointed by this trade. In fact I knew he had to be upset before he even bothered to comment on the trade publicly. There was no need to question the current economic system in baseball because the only way that he could appear was exactly how he did, hypocritical. The Red Sox are well behind the Yankees in team salary they are well ahead of every other team in the major leagues. I don’t think there is much sympathy around the country for the financial woes of second richest team in baseball. It hurts to say this but Steinbrenner was correct in saying that Henry’s comments were, “sour grapes.”

2. Either Steinbrenner was unaware of the circumstances that prevented Alex Rodriguez from becoming a member of the Red Sox or he is purposely misrepresenting the facts. Much has already been said here and elsewhere about why the deal failed but the underlying problem was that the Red Sox could not come find a compromise that brought Rodriguez to the Red Sox without financially restraining the club in the future.

3. Apparently making a smart business decision and refusing to be pressured into compromising situations qualifies as betraying the home town fans in George’s book. Considering his lack of financial restraint and deep pockets he obviously does not understand that other teams must show some care when committing their money.

4. George Steinbrenner is a prick. I know this is a position taken by many other Red Sox fans but even Webster’s Dictionary supports my arguement.

prick (n.) - a person, especially a man, regarded as contemptible, obnoxious, etc. 2. to spur or urge on; goad; incite.

Is Steinbrenner regarded as contemptible and obnoxious in Boston? Yep. Did he attempt to goad the Red Sox fans and try to incite further animosity between the two teams? Yep. Does my position have some grounding in reality? I certainly think that it does. He certainly could have taken the high road and shown some class by not responding to Henry’s statement but I guess Steinbrenner just has too much pride and too big an ego.

In any event both Henry and Steinbrenner were both wrong in saying anything about the matter. By directing personal and public attacks at each other they allowed the mediots to come out of the woodwork and do their best to push the Red Sox – Yankees rivalry to the breaking point.

When the media decides to intervene it appears that all hope of truth or unbiased information is destroyed. Recently this problem has gotten much worse. In the last week ESPN has been plagued by reporters and analysts trying to portray the Yankee’s acquisition of Rodriguez as not so much a gain for the Yankees but rather as a loss for the Red Sox. The view that the mediots have taken is that the Red Sox did this to themselves by not spending the extra $16 million that would have brought Rodriguez to Boston. It is true that the Red Sox could have had Rodriguez for $16 million more dollars on top of Manny Ramirez and the huge chunk of his contract that they were already willing to pay. What is also true is that the Red Sox reached the point where the trade was no longer beneficial and would have actually resulted in putting a worse team on the field if it had indeed happened.

What may be the saddest part of this entire affair is that the mediots have managed to tear apart the Red Sox management for doing the best that they could in a catch-22 situation. Had Rodriguez joined the team then the Red Sox would have paid for it in the future so instead they decided to make a rational business decision and have only begun to pay for it dearly because of the ignorance and self-serving nature of the media.

Once again I am going to state the fact that the Red Sox have a team that overall is almost as talented as the Yankees if not equally as talented. I suppose there is nobody left to listen but the Red Sox still have one of the best pitching staffs in baseball and a very strong lineup. So do the Yankees. There are 162 games to be played and even as it stands now I still love the position in which the Red Sox will start the season.

One last thing.
Due to a number of requests all of our articles have been archived by author and by date for convenience. The link is right above the previous archives in the sidebar on the left.

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