If it’s December 10th…

December 10th, 2006 → 9:53 am @

“Amazing team, these Red Sox. We’re busy digging out from yesterday’s snow, the Patriots will probably clinch the division title tomorrow, and our winter sports teams are struggling below .500, but everywhere you go folks are talking about the local baseball team. Never out of season, the Sox have produced a staggering amount of news and speculation, and fans are scratching their heads trying to figure out who’s coming and who’s going. … The hot stove has never been hotter.”
“This Team is Never Out of Season”
By Dan Shaughnessy
December 10, 2005

“Hot stove? It’s a scalding griddle for young Theo Epstein. He could get burned. … It is Dec. 10 and the local football team is possibly bound for its fourth Super Bowl in six years. The Bruins are on the rise, the Boston College football coach bolted with a bowl game still on the calendar (Chuck Fairbanks-like), UMass is playing for a national championship in football . . . and we’re still wall-to-wall Red Sox. 24/7. … [The Red Sox are] never, ever, out of season.”
Hits of Errors for G.M.
By Dan Shaughnessy
December 10, 2006

Post Categories: 2006 Hot Stove Season & Boston Globe & Dan Shaughnessy

The cartel: at war with itself! (Even the Globe is shocked at Chass’s shoddy work)

December 9th, 2006 → 1:17 pm @

Much is made in Boston of the way the connections between the Globe and the Red Sox influence coverage of the team. (The New York Times Co. owns the Globe as well as a minority stake in New England Sports Ventures, the holding company that owns the Red Sox.)

At least we know the Globe and the Times aren’t all lovey-dovey. In today’s Globe, Gordon Edes gives the Times‘s Murray Chass a little lesson on what, exactly, it means to be a responsible journalist. (For some reason, I don’t think Chass is real open to these kind of constructive criticisms when they come from me.)

“Epstein had little to say about a column by Murray Chass in yesterday’s New York Times that raised the issue of whether the Sox were guilty of tampering in their pursuit of free agent outfielder J.D. Drew,” Edes writes. “In a story headlined, ‘Talk of Misconduct Swirling Around the Red Sox,’ Chass, relying primarily on anonymous sources, suggested that the topic was a popular one at the winter meetings, and that it was possible the Dodgers would file a charge of tampering with the commissioner’s office.” And then Gordo goes on to lay out who exactly hasn’t heard anything about the subject that Chass says was “a hot topic of private conversation at the general managers’ meeting” as well as the winter meetings: Bob Dupuy, MLB’s president and CEO, who told Edes he “has not heard of anything” about possible tampering. (Of course, if Chass had bothered to check with Dupuy it might have poked a hole in his anti-Red Sox fervor.) If there was a tampering charge, Dupuy’d be the guy to handle it.

Gordo also quotes — on the record — a number of people who directly refute the entire contention of Chass’s article, including:

* Scott Boras, Drew’s agent: “I did my due diligence. There were a number of teams that need ed a 3, 4, or 5 hitter, and J.D. was the only center fielder. I went to the Dodgers a week before the opt-out date and had lunch with Colletti. I had not yet met with J.D. I said if you want to talk about it, we are prepared to talk because J.D. has enjoyed his time in LA.”

* Dodgers GM Ned Colletti, who, through a spokesman, “refuted Chass’s allegation that there was a rift between Colletti and Epstein, and that he refused to take Epstein’s phone calls in Orlando. ‘They probably talked about 20 times last week,’ said spokesman Josh Rawitch. Indeed, when Colletti arrived at the meetings late last Sunday night from the Dominican Republic, one of his first orders of business was to conduct an hourlong face-to-face meeting with Epstein on a possible deal for Manny Ramírez.”

* Edes also points out that, in the silly world of tampering charge threats, the Red Sox could hypothetically charge Dodgers manager Grady Little of tampering when he told a reporter Manny would “make a nice Christmas present” for the team.

* And finally, “one other component of the Dodgers-Red Sox relationship not mentioned in the Times article: Sox owner John W. Henry and Dodgers owner Frank McCourt have a relationship that Henry in the past has described as close, and while Henry would not comment on the Times piece, it is known that he and McCourt have spoken on several occasions since Drew left the Dodgers and did not raise the issue of tampering with the Sox owner.”

I’m not saying Chass made this story up out of whole cloth. But he sure as hell seemed pretty determined not to do a lick of reporting that might uncover anything that would possibly go against his thesis (Theo is bad, the Red Sox suck), which he seems to have come up with about, oh, three years ago.

There aren’t any corrections about Chass’s story in today’s Times; I wouldn’t hold my breath for any in the next couple of days either. I doubt, too, that Barney Calame, the Times independent, internal policeman, is going to be launching an inquiry anytime soon. But maybe he should. Let him know what you think: his contact info is below…

Barney Calame
E-mail: public@nytimes.com
Phone: (212) 556-7652
Address: Public Editor
The New York Times
229 West 43rd St.
New York, NY 10036-3959

Post Categories: Boston Globe & Gordon Edes & Murray Chass & New York Times

More good news for Cardinals fans

June 25th, 2006 → 11:24 am @

The Cardinals have lost five straight, Mark Mulder is out of commission until at least the All-Star break–and possibly much longer–with a frayed labrum, and Jim Edmonds has missed three straight starts with a concussion. At least Albert Pujols is back from his oblique strain. How could that not be good news?

Here’s how: in today’s Boston Globe, the always enterprising Gordon Edes–a reporter whose columns are full of interesting scoops and tantalizing nuggets–has a quote in his Baseball Notebook from a Buzz Bissinger interview on XM Radio. Bizzinger, the author of Three Nights in August, about the Cardinals, says the following: “One thing I remember about Pujols is he was…a little bit overweight as a minor leaguer, and he came into camp the following spring looking like a million bucks. Unfortunately, because the owners allowed drugs in the game, you just have to wonder, and it would be an absolute tragedy. I hate to say this…but no one is immune from this stuff, including Albert. It’s an unfortunate aspect of the game, and it may take a generation of baseball, baseball players, a generation of testing to get rid of steroids, HGH, and everything else.” It’s not the first time a journalist has questioned Pujols’ transformation, but it’s the first time someone who had such prolonged access to the Cardinals raised the issue.

I think the players union is more at fault for the current mess, but certainly there’s plenty of blame to go around. Bizzinger’s quote is more evidence that regardless of who is eventually revealed to have been using and what revelations are still to come, there’s going to be a lot of speculation and a lot of finger-pointing until a relaible testing program is put in place.

Post Categories: Albert Pujols & Baseball & Boston Globe & Gordon Edes & Players Union & Steroids

Group hug in the press box

June 15th, 2006 → 11:56 am @

Awww: Dan Shaughnessy proves he’s not an incorrigible curmudgeon with this big wet kiss to Chris Snow. Obligatory quote from Manny, who has spent approximately 1,000 hours in the same room as Snow over the past 16 months: “Who’s Chris?”

Post Categories: Boston Globe & Chris Snow & Dan Shaughnessy & Sports Reporters

Gentlemen, update your resumes…

June 14th, 2006 → 3:35 pm @

Chris Snow began covering the Red Sox fulltime less than a year-and-a-half ago. His first stint with the team came during spring training, which, especially for reporters who’ve been on the beat for a while, can be a slog: the hundreth article on a crusty veteran’s hopes for the coming year, a bunch of plus ca change pieces…and on and on and on. Snow worked the hell out of the job from day one, always looking for different angles and always coming at stories with fresh reporting. In the regular season, during the soul-crushing hours reporters spent idly wandering around the Sox’s clubhouse before and after games, Snow was always politely excusing himself to go buttonhole a player about a story.

Today, the Globe announced that Snow was leaving the paper for a job as the director of hockey operations for the National Hockey League’s Minnesota Wild. At age 24, Snow will be one of the youngest executives in professional sports—but then, he knows all about the pressures of being a young executive.

In hiring Snow, Globe editor Marty Baron showed he wanted young, hungry reporters covering some of the paper’s most important beats. It’ll be interesting to see who ends up filling Snow’s spot: there’s the equally precocious Amalie Benjamin (a Newton North High School alum; go Tigers!), along with all the Herald scribes worried that the city’s tabloid is about to go under. And, of course, there’s Chasing Steinbrenner author Rob Bradford, who’s been cleaning up on the beat this season while toiling away for the Eagle-Tribune and its criminally difficult to navigate website

Post Categories: Boston Globe & Chris Snow & Red Sox & Sports Reporters