Doug Bailey is a writer who spent two decades in journalism before being bought out by the Boston Globe. Soon after, he would take a leap into the sincere world of public relations where he would find himself in a dream job, driving to Fenway Park every morning to advise Boston’s new ownership group of John Henry, Tom Werner and Larry Luchino on media strategy. He did so from the winter of 2001 until the end of the 2007 season.
Bailey has since decided to share his personal diary with all of us via Boston Magazine, though after reading it, I’m not so sure you’ll come away with the “tell all” you were seeking, especially since there is nothing in the neighborhood of binge drinking, drugs, hookers or clubhouse brawls.
The most tragic snippet of information in Bailey’s piece was learning of Les Otten, Tom Werner’s original partner in the bidding process to purchase the Red Sox. Otten, who was described as a “ski bum,” became an overshadowed, forgotten piece to the puzzle once John Henry, Larry Lucchino, and the New York Times Company thrust themselves into the bidding process, and was eventually given severance and sent on his merry way a short time after they took over as the team’s new owners. Part of the reason for that stemmed from Otten’s strange behavior like “arriving uninvited for management meetings” and “showing up at spring training in full Red Sox uniform to take grounders from Johnny Pesky.” Based on that information alone, Less Otten is quite possibly the greatest thing to ever happen to the Red Sox organization, so it’s only fitting he was unceremoniously let go.
We also received stunning confirmation that Nomar Garciaparra is somewhat of a Carl Everett disciple. You see, after watching a special on Fox during the 2003 season, the All-Star shortstop came to the conclusion that we never really landed on the moon. It was all a fake. Even better, he presented this idea to two female astronauts from NASA who were at Fenway to throw out the first pitch in honor of those lost in the Columbia space shuttle disaster earlier that year. I like the idea that Nomar was so thoroughly transfixed by a special on Fox that he brought it to employees of NASA for a spirited roundtable discussion. I will be stopped in my tracks with my mouth agape if we later learn that Nomar Garciaparra did not watch Paradise Hotel and is fully aware that Stewie from Family Guy is simply an animated baby with an English accent.
Most baseball fans have known that Theo Epstein and Larry Lucchino never really saw eye to eye, but now we can mark a trade with the Colorado Rockies back in 2005, one that never happened, as the source of the heat. This sadly turned out to be Larry Bigbie’s signature moment as a major league player:
My understanding was that it was Epstein himself who’d wanted to back out of the deal, but that he and Lucchino had cooked up a face-saving cover story that involved upper management supposedly overruling the trade. Soon after, I was in Lucchino’s suite overlooking the park during a rare weekday afternoon game, watching Epstein being interviewed on TV about the deal. Epstein put the blame for its collapse squarely on Lucchino’s shoulders, which sent the CEO into red-faced paroxysms. Lucchino apparently wasn’t expecting to be so directly and completely thrown under the bus.
Sounds like Theo was pulling the George Costanza “please fire me” routine, unfortunately stopping short of driving around the parking lot with the 2004 World Series trophy dragging from his bumper. The more I read about Theo, the more I like him.
Other sizzling “leaks” you may or may not care about:
*The beautiful grass at Fenway Park is actually wretched looking grass until it’s sprayed with a liquid that instantaneously transforms it into “healthy-looking green.” It’s top shelf spray paint, allegedly.
*John Henry was concerned about how he was being portrayed in the press following his divorce and subsequent rumbles of him running around town with Playboy bunnies. A billionaire enjoying the company of hot chicks? Now that’s a game-changer.
*John Henry spent a day with Bailey doling out championship rings to the Red Sox minor league affiliate but just a couple weeks later introduced himself to Bailey again, as though the two had never spoken. An aloof billionaire? No. Way.
[Via Boston Magazine; photo via Getty]