The Achilles Conspiracy, Part II:
Reader No. 1 thinks I’m misreading the signals coming from Yawkey Way. I’m not so sure, but:
“I do agree with you on the Kraft-analogy. Gammons has been trying to get across a clear message to Lucchino & Henry with his ‘it’s a mistake to let the Yankees dictate your strategy’ line for weeks now. I heard a reporter note on WEEI yesterday that this is the 3rd time the Sox have changed strategy in the last year. That could be a sign of desperation, but it also could be a sign of fast learning.
“With all due respect, I think you have missed the boat on the Red Sox spin story in today’s post. What you describe as 3 different explanations for Nomar’s departure are three separate and mutually reinforcing reasons for the trade, and all three reasons are cited in Lucchino’s official press release
at the Reds Sox site released the night of the trade. ...
“Theo articulates how these reasons played out in his remarkable interview Monday on WEEI, available in audio at the station web site.
He also resists more than one opportunity to trash, not crush the guy on the way out of town.
“Now you certainly can argue whether or not we got value in this deal. It’s plainly obvious the team put itself behind the 8-ball with Nomar not being able to pull off the Manny-A-Rod deal last winter. But did Nomar put the team in an even more terrible negotiating position at the trade deadline with his injury claims, precluding for example the possibility that he was worth Matt Clement in a swap? ...
“Lucchino, Henry et al may be due for a knock by the media rules of this town, but step back for a second and consider something else. Why is it OK for Nomar and Arn Tellem to exercise their own interests by holding out on a $60 million offer, but not OK for Red Sox management to exercise its own interests by pursuing A-Rod? If Nomar had obviously not taken this so personally, he’d still be in local uniform for at least 2 more months.”
The Achilles Conspiracy:
We’re now at explanation No. 3 from Sox management on the Nomar trade: 1.) It was about defense 2.) It was about the Achilles injury 3.) It was about Nomar all but asking for a trade.
Or at least Nomar saying no more.
... It’s becoming abundantly clear Nomar was dragging his ass in a sort of one-man work slowdown. But he’s gone. The trade is done. What are we left with? Three Wizards spinning away and losing credibility by the minute. They’re covering their butts for their own misteps in this saga. ... Theo’s call for everyone to shut up
is laughable. This allegedly media savvy ownership thrives on media attention, making media hipness almost mandatory for working and playing here. ...
... Well, there’s hope. Hub Blog is hoping we’re witnessing a Bob Kraft-like rough early years of ownership. Recall the brouhaha with Bill Parcell, the accusations and counter-accusations, followed by the dull Pete Carroll years, followed by the Brilliant New Bill Era. ... Hey, I’m a Sox fan. I’m entitled to Walter Mitty dreams of triumphant Sox and the hero Hub Blog on Duck Trucks.
-- You're simply not going to find a better account of the Nomar saga than this morning's Howard Bryant column
(sub. req. -- get a print copy if necessary). A balanced, sad tale of mistakes on both sides.