What a farce.
What a rehearsed, posturing, Seinfeldian afternoon about nothing at Fenway Park yesterday.
That press conference could have been about a switch in beer vendors for the 2006 season and it would have been more meaningful than the waste of time the Red Sox gave us.
To sum up: Larry Lucchino introduced Jed Hoyer and Ben Cherington as the team's new co-general managers, a title that will be pretty much useless once Theo Epstein returns to the club as a vice president of baseball operations or some such nonsense. So, what was the point of yesterday, especially since Lucchino pretty much admitted without saying as much that Epstein is part of the plan for the future?
Maybe this can be a trend for the Sox this offseason -- push the Patriots off the front page by holding daily press conferences, trumpeting issues we really shouldn't give a damn about. But stamp it with a Red Sox logo, and voila. Big news.
Later this week, or next: Epstein returns. Couldn't do that yesterday of course. Why waste on one press conference what you can do in two. Shall we reconvene then Monday in the Crown Royal Room?
Egads. Pats play on Saturday. Better make that Sunday morning.
It's not like the Red Sox need these press briefings to make sure that the public knows they're not going away. Baseball remains king in this town, state, region. At one point it was the Bruins. At one point it was the Celtics. The Patriots have been a dominant presence in New England since 1993, the year the Tuna and Drew came to town, but they will never be the Red Sox. That's just the way it is.
I took a peek this morning, using Boston.com's traffic report software, and came up with some not-so-shocking results. Of all the sports content clicked on in the month of December, more than 50 percent was Red Sox-related. Less than 20 percent was Patriots-related.
The Celtics and Bruins also had a few faithful readers. Here and there. Six people read my poem: "Whoa, whoa, whoa, Billy Joe Robidoux." I'd like to thank them at this time.
Anyway, the numbers seem to indicate there's more than double the interest in the Red Sox versus the Patriots. And yet, there is this sneaking desire from somewhere within the public relations office over at Fenway to always push them off the front burner. News flash guys, there is no need. At this point, the Pats could win the Super Bowl, and I wouldn't be surprised to see a Monday morning press conference to announce the team will be demolishing Fenway Park.
Still though, that doesn't excuse one bit the way the Red Sox quite transparently trumped any Patriots discussion on the radio, water coolers, and taverns across the Commonwealth yesterday. I can imagine Pats PR directory Stacey James having to endure a 60-minute tirade from Jonathan Kraft after the Sox sent out their "Media Availability at 3:30" email yesterday around noon, channeling Roman Moroni into a "This is fargin war," speech.
Two years ago, the A-Rod debacle happened as the Patriots were putting the beginning touches on what would become a 21-game winning streak. This time around, the Pats aren't half as good, and the Red Sox have more story lines going on than "Lost" and "Syriana" combined. It's no contest where the general attention in New England is going to go.
So, when the Red Sox imminently announce that Epstein is coming back to the team in a VP role, if I'm the Patriots, as soon as that e-mail goes out, I send out another announcing that the team is ditching its Elvis uniforms in favor of the old Pat Patriot red ones. They can even tweak the Sox a bit, using Lucchino's "going forward," as the CEO explained was the timetable for Hoyer and Cherington.
The Sox announce a press conference on Jan. 8 to announce the signing of Johnny Damon, hours before a playoff football game is set to kick off in Foxborough. Patriots can respond with two words: Free beer.
Maybe we'll have our own New England sports civil war. Battle lines will be drawn, another unfair advantage for the Red Sox in that if done geographically, the Patriots start out short with Mason/Dixon Connecticut on their side.
Until then, the Red Sox will continue to make sure they grab headlines. Maybe they'll even create their own gun exchange program, where they'll give you a pair of tickets for every piece of Patriots paraphernalia you turn in. A guy returning from a stroke? Let's trump that by sitting on the Theo announcement. Co-GMs? On Friday? Eh, why waste the story on the weekend when we can steal all the talk on Monday. We'll tell them what to talk about, damn it.
And that's why today, we're all talking about the whole bunch of nothing that went on yesterday.
Whoever said Red Sox Nation was a democracy anyhow?