The media, particularly ESPN, are dumping praise on the Red Sox for hiring Bobby Valentine as their next manager. With a hyperfocus on the beer and chicken clubhouse reports, writers and talkers are telling us that Bobby V won’t stand for that stuff – that he’ll whip this team of veterans into shape and won’t take no guff in the process. We’ll that all sounds nice. Except that Bobby V was fired from his last MLB gig for ‘losing control of the clubhouse’.
It only took the Sox about 100 years to deliberate on this one. After Tito was canned for continuing to be the players’ manager that won two (2) World Championships in eight years, Dale Sveum was scooped by the exiled Theo Epstein. We were told that the choice was down to two guys- Gene Lamont and the inimitable Bobby Valentine. Gene Lamont is a steady, if somewhat boring, baseball lifer. The charming Bobby V is a dynamic, charismatic genius that adds 20 wins to teams through a combination of drill sergeant and stand-up comic tactics. Gosh, he sounds dreamy. Info leaked from chatty anonymous sources indicated that newly promoted Theo clone, Ben “Old School New School Blend” Cherington really wanted Lamont. The same faceless sources said that Larry Lucchino really wanted the dashing Bobby Valentine. Obviously, ownership won that argument – emasculating their new wonder-GM in the process. The team will continue to spin the facts to project one big happy family that thrives on vigorous debate.
So the media are telling us that everything will change in Boston. No more chicken and beer. The Play Station will be unplugged. The pitchers will get in shape. Everything will be fixed. The problem is that this hiring is evidence that things are exactly the same – maybe even more exactly the same than a month ago. The ownership is a dictatorial three-headed monster driven by image and headlines. Bobby Valentine is another effective strategy to achieve those gains. He’ll wow the fans with his take-charge-with-a-smile attitude and feed the insatiable local media with his post-game charades. Don’t be fooled again Sox fans – you are being used. Your emotional connection to the perceived problems with this team (not the real problems) make you vulnerable to the mind-control tactics of radical capitalists at the top. Stop buying it. They’re eating your hard-earned money. Beer and chicken are only problematic when the 95-win formula falls a game or two short.
But if you’re OK with all of that, if you feel like owners that hate the people buying their tickets acceptable, then you’re not alone! Luckily for me, my three decades of well-honed hatred for the enemy (formerly the Yankees) is being transformed to a new target in front of my very eyes! Already annoyed with the national media’s love affair with Tony LaRussa and his gigantic brain (as evidenced by his ability to change his pitcher several times, in one game!), an article was brought to my attention a couple weeks ago. Bill Dewitt (the third…), President of the St. Louis Cardinals, was part of a group that organized the violent destruction (and theft of property) of the otherwise peaceful Occupy St. Louis demonstration in Kiener Plaza. Demonstrators that were representing the concern and interests of the vast majority of baseball fans (and Americans, in general…) were forcibly removed from peacefully gathering in a park. Apparently, the only park gatherings Bill Dewitt (the third…) supports are those that involve personal profits by gouging regular working people for admission and through corporate advertising (to take more money from regular working people).
While St. Louis manages to keep their Major League payroll toward the middle of the pack (averaging 11th in the league over the past decade), they seem to have some similarities to the team in Boston. The payroll patterns are remarkably similar to the AL East. The Cardinals maintain a payroll slightly below their archrivals in Chicago, but markedly ahead of everyone else in the division (except for a few years of drunken spending in Houston). I don’t know if they maintain the inability to financially compete with the ‘larger market’ rival like the Red Sox, but if they do my transfer of hate will be easier. They spend twice as much as the Pirates every year in order to add 15 wins to their record. Seems hopeless, eh? But no! As the Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays have risen from the ashes of our burnt capitalist democracy, the Pirates too shall rise and conquer! They will overspend in the draft and develop the best young talent in the world and topple the corporate demons lording over the masses!
Now about that new CBA…
Oh, and Fredbird Sucks!