Then he got a phone call alerting him to an article in that day's Boston Globe. On the front page of the paper's sports section was a Dan Shaughnessy column entitled, "Let's Iron Out Some of This Dirty Laundry." When Epstein began reading, he felt his stomach drop. After weeks during which he'd talked with Henry, Werner, and Lucchino about his unease about the organization, here was confirmation of his worst fears. In his column, Shaughnessy, who'd known Lucchino since the 1980s, when both men worked in Baltimore, chided Epstein for not properly respecting his superiors. After all, Shaughnessy wrote, it was Lucchino who'd "discovered" Epstein and "held his hand" during his first years in baseball. Now, Shaughnessy wrote, Epstein was exhibiting an "alarming . . . need to distance himself from those who helped him rise to his position of power." Epstein, according to Shaughnessy, didn't even know all that much about baseball. "It's a mistake to say [Epstein] knows more about baseball than Lucchino or anyone else in the Red Sox baseball operation," he wrote.Duh. Okay. Most of us have seen this crap enough times already, including in the article on Friday. Sorry for repeating it . I just didn't feel like the next part flowed very well without a brief intro.
Either Lucchino or Red Sox executive vice president in charge of public affairs Charles Steinberg, Epstein felt sure, had prompted the column. Both men, after all, had been heard saying lines almost identical to some Shaughnessy had used. (About a week earlier, several sources confirm, Steinberg had a conversation with Shaughnessy and another reporter in which he said many of the things that ended up in Shaughnessy's column. Steinberg says he never "spoke ill against Theo." "Nor would I," he says, "because that's inconsistent with how I've felt about him all these years, and I still know, with the grace of God, he's destined for more greatness.")Mystery solved. There it is, right there. We all knew CHB was a tool, right? This is all the proof you need. It's amazing how poorly done the whole job was, too. If you're going to do it right, at least make a token effort to have it seem balanced. Instead it came out like some editorial in the Pyongyang Times. So it was the Minister of Fun, eh? This was already called at the time:
FWIW the article didn't make Theo leave, but if you were gonna bet on it, I'd tell you to bet that it was the proverbial "straw" given the load of BS in it, and the 100% blatantly obvious "industry source" who uttered, OUT LOUD, some of the EXACT comments that were IN the article on Sunday, verbatim.Curt Schilling on SoSH, ladies and gentlemen, on November 4, 2005. As a side note, I call BS on Steinberg's comments about Theo, as an acquaintance of mine worked with both of them in Baltimore and says they haven't been on the best of terms since Theo was 18 years old (1991). I wouldn't say that it was anything like what apparently happened last fall, but let's not pretend they were buddy-buddy. Steinberg is a PR guy, after all, which means that you really can't take anything at face value.
Does it seem to anyone else that by printing this excerpt of the book in the Globe, somebody may be trying to throw Shaughnessy under a bus? He comes off really, really badly here. It's one thing to talk to a source and write something based on what he says. Quite normal, actually. It's another to not even bother to investigate any possible agenda behind it and make any sort of attempt to get the other side. I know it was a column, not a news story, but let's please have some standards here. This just smacks of laziness and malevolence. I guess I shouldn't be surprised. Perhaps the 17% Globe is trying to make itself appear more objective. Or maybe they're just trying to make themselves the story again. Note to the Globe: It's not always a good thing.
If this is all the mention CHB gets in the book, rest assured that I will say as much when I finish it and post no more about it. I know some of you have to be getting tired of it. But I fully expect him to be mentioned in conjunction with Nomar and some others, so there will probably be more. Hey, it's not like you're actually being forced to read his writing, just Mnookin's and mine.