Photo via @si_vault
See that picture of Fenway above? Remember those days, decades ago, when the Sox had a gracious relationship with current and former players and team personnel? Ah, what a simple, innocent time it was.
OK, those days never really existed. As a whole, the Sox organization has been anywhere from catty to downright cruel to its former players. Ironically, it seems that the bigger the star, the worse their treatment. But I don't think we've ever had a situation like whats unfolded today.
You don't need to look hard to find someone bashing Henry, Lucchino or the other nameless "sources" in the Sox front office. They went for an unprovoked kill shot on Francona. They didn't miss.
One has to assume it all stemmed from Francona's remark about the ownership not having his back. I'm sure in Henry's eyes, Tito started the fight. John was the one to finish it. Mark October 12, 2011 on your calendar. Today is arguably the lowest point this Sox franchise has dipped this decade. I'd take 400 Aaron F'n Boone home runs before I'd take the Sox trying to destroy their recently departed skipper's reputation and life. The man gave 8 amazing years to this organization, and this is how he was rewarded? Well, this and millions of dollars.
WEEI's Kirk Minihane does an excellent job taking Henry and his ilk to task in the aptly titled, "Ownership shows true colors after disaster". As always, go read the whole thing. But here's a tasty tidbit to whet your Henry-hating appetite:
Is this how you treat an employee who helped you win two World Series? If you really like the guy -- as we've been told countless times over the last couple of weeks -- is that the kind of stuff that you leak? Is that how management is supposed to behave when things don't go their way? And if all that stuff was such a problem, why would you ever leave the decision about coming back to Francona himself, as Tom Werner suggested was the case at the press conference? This is Smear Campaign 101, nothing more and nothing less. And worst of all, it's being done in an attempt to save the unsalvageable.
A few months back, when the McCourt situation was unravelling in LA, a handful of "experts" suggested that perhaps Werner might be interested in purchasing the Dodgers. At that time, the prospect terrified me. If he was to leave, would he go it alone? Would the whole ownership group pack up and move across the country? What would happen to the Sox?
Now? Please go. Be sure to take Henry with you. I hear LA is beautiful this time of year.
I'm not going to not like the Red Sox anymore. But I've lost mountains of respect for this group. It's not the first time they've gone out of their way to try to take someone down. But this time... I don't know. It was just so unnecessary. And cruel. And personal. The Sox haven't done themselves any favors with this stunt.
If Tito is able to sleep tonight -- hell, who am I kidding? The guy is on so many pills he's spent the last 7 months barely awake! AMIRIGHT John Henry?! But if he can, I imagine he'll have sweet dreams of taking the helm of the Yankees dugout, burying the Sox in the basement of the AL East. Playing in front of an empty Fenway.
He doesn't seem like a vengeful man, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him want to stick it to the Sox somehow. Some way. And I wouldn't be all the disappointed to see it happen. As long as these ass clowns are still at the helm of the franchise.