There's nothing quite like the media complaining about a subject's lack of press.
Dan's take today on the departure of unsung Red Sox 3B Bill Mueller is characterized by a pair of eyebrow-raising comments:
"How could anyone fly this far under the radar while playing a big role in the success of the Red Sox at a time like this?"
"The Sox manage to make big news almost every day, even when they do nothing but turn the light on for Theo."
No kidding. Remind me, how many times has Dan mentioned Bill Mueller during his three years in Boston? (Answer: Sixty-seven.) Of those, how many were anything more than a shoehorned-in afterthought? (Answer: One. Today.)
Let's look at a recent sampling of Dan's Bill Mueller mentions:
*Oct. 9, 2005: Tony Graffanino certainly deserves another look, and the Sox may try to work out a short-term deal with Bill Mueller, though that's unlikely.
*Oct. 8, 2005: The Sox are bound to undergo a major makeover before they next meet in Fort Myers, Fla.; well-known characters such as Johnny Damon, Kevin Millar, Bill Mueller, Mike Timlin, and maybe even Manny Ramirez are likely to be gone.
*Oct. 7, 2005: If the Sox lose today, it could be Damon's last game with the Red Sox. Same goes for Bill Mueller, Millar, and maybe even Manny.
*Sept. 3, 2005: If not for a tough error on Bill Mueller, all four Oriole runs could have been earned.
Why so little press for the man the CHB calls the "Sox' Stealth Star?" We need look only to Aug. 14, 2005, when one Dan Shaughnessy wrote: "Sorry, Bill Mueller fans. Your guy is simply too boring for words."
That one instance in three years that Mueller rated more than a footnote in a Shaughnessy column? July 25, 2004, after he hit a walkoff homer to beat Mariano Rivera and the Yankees.
In fact, on the Dan dedicated column count, Mueller is tied (at one) with hitting coach Ron (Papa Jack) Jackson, one behind Framingham Lou Merloni.