At The Ballyard ... with Steve Weissman

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Prophesy of Red Sox Demolition: Tell Me This Isn't Happening!

Tell me this isn’t happening. Tell me that the people running the Boston Red Sox – who in prior baseball lives separately engineered the dismantling of the Florida Marlins and the San Diego Padres – aren’t about to fulfill the prophesy of micro-meddling and team demolition I floated when they bought entry into the Fenway Park executive suite four years ago.

I freely admit that John Henry and company have done a great many things right, starting with the reinstatement of Johnny Pesky as a member of the uniformed staff, moving through the reconstruction of the minor league system, and culminating in the signing of Curt Schilling. But as soon as they won the franchise’s first championship in – all together now – 86 years, they abruptly terminated team doctor Bill Morgan despite the magic he famously wrought on Schilling’s ankle. And in the back of my mind, old doubts stirred anew.

So tell me now that they didn’t just up and fire physical therapist Chris Correnti, who’s been with the team for 11 years and who apparently is treasured by the players. And tell me now they didn’t first lowball general manager Theo Epstein, whose contract expires in five days, and aren’t now apparently stuck on control/authority issues that may yet chase the young genius from his home-town team. Tell me instead that history will not repeat itself, and that this ownership group will not sacrifice games in the standings for enforced control of the clubhouse or misguided approaches to economy. Then perhaps I – and we all – can put our fears to rest.

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