Some Red Sox thoughts

Here are some thoughts on the current state of the Red Sox as I sit here and watch a beautifully played baseball game between the Rangers and the Cardinals…now I’d almost resisted writing anything about the Sox because of the possibility of going off on a tangent about the Sox, the Boston media, or both.  But I am going to try anyway.

The latest chapter in the texas rednecks saga is that the three pitchers were drinking beer in the dugout out of solo cups.  Judging by the quick and stern response from the Red Sox brass and all involved I would say that it’s a pretty sure bet that this one is false.  So clearly false that Josh Beckett and John Lackey basically validated everything else was true by breaking their vow of silence and denying the report.  Not to mention the fact that the dugout is in an open area, otherwise known as Fenway Park, and would probably not be that easy to hide.  Remember the Sox play a ton of nationally televised games, you don’t think an ESPN cameraman would kill to get a shot of Lester, Lackey, and Beckett playing beer pong in the dugout?

So how did this report get published and then picked up by so many reputable outlets?  Well, to be honest it’s nothing more than a game of grown-up telephone.  I guess WHDH can be counted as a reputable source since they don’t really have a reputation of reporting bunk stories, like a Mike Lynch, but at the same time they don’t exactly have a reputation of breaking stories.  Nonetheless they felt it was their time to shine and took the story they heard from a source or sources and ran with it and as a rule other outlets rush to pick up the story.  They do this for a few reasons…first is so they have it in case even more news breaks and the second is more bigger outlets like ESPN to carry it so to give the illusion that it’s their story, although they give due credit at the beginning of the story.  It really is a reactionary thing and I don’t blame so much the other outlets as I do the original source.

So what went wrong with WHDH’s report.  Really it’s all in the vetting.  A good journalist would properly vet the story and they’d probably see some red flags.  First and foremost the attention is not in the details when you are writing on anonymous sources.  The less detail, the more mystery.  Take the now infamous Hohler article.  He vaguely pointed to many things but didn’t give too much detail.  The WHDH proudly references that the Sox pitchers were drinking Bud Light.  Why would you even reference a beer?  What does it add the the story?  The next detail they laid upon us was Josh Beckett’s favorite pre-beer quote that came right out of the beer-swilling redneck handbook – “Well, it’s about that time!”  What’s next, “Beer O’Clock!”?  It didn’t exactly take a beautiful mind to come up with that one.

Now my wish is that the Red Sox take care of the Theo deal, let Ben Cherington get to work and hire a manager to start to pick up the pieces and we can all get back to the business of baseball, but I know better.  Not in a town with the character assassins from WEEI, 98.5, and our beloved curly-haired bastard himself, Dan Shaughnessy.  These guys are going to milk the rating, site hits, and subscriptions for another four months.  That’s fine I guess, let it all out.  Let the chips on these shoulders grow.  I guess we can let the media have their fun before another dreaded 7 year winter.

Next time I write about the Red Sox it will be about Ben Cherington, who will be the new General Manager of the Red Sox.  Until then enjoy my writings on football and hockey.  Oh yeah, and the World Series, which focuses on the part of baseball that reporters loathe.  You know, the actual baseball.

Twitter @ErikVenskus

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About evonsports
30 year old sports enthusiast and aspiring writer from Boston.

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