Even though I don't necessarily agree with everything in them, the following pieces keep coming up, being referenced by virtually every blogger I read:
Written by Sheriff Sully, who has both inside knowledge of and personal experience with the ins and outs of the Globe newsroom. Sully's piece was the first to connect all the dots related to Shaughnessy's column, Lucchino, the Globe, and the Herald. "Only one man on this planet could’ve given Shaughnessy the information he had," was Sully's line, Sully's line first and best, and one often repeated across the Web throughout this past week.
The dirt Sully has on the Globe is something I've always taken with a grain of salt, given he has a personal history--and therefore personal issues--that influences his take. I don't assume he has a vendetta, but I remain aware that "insider dirt" is not necessarily the only side of the story. Meanwhile, his highly dramatic closing line--"How anyone could root for a franchise controlled by the likes of Larry Lucchino and Dan Shaughnessy is beyond my mind capacity," definitely earned an eye-roll from me.
But the aftermath of this situation, with the way the darker workings of the Globe newsroom came into play, was right in Sully's sweet spot. He may never write a more valuable and seminal encapsulation of his perspective--or see it so widely read.
I have serious issues with Bill Simmons' piece. After the very second line--"From a pure baseball standpoint, I thought Theo Epstein was a little overrated. Just a little."--the first time I saw it, I stopped reading. But I saw it linked and linked and linked and then linked again, so I went back and disciplined myself to read it.
The rest of that first section is a lot of stuff that makes me want to set my hair on fire, oversimplifications and misinterpretations, in my opinion, and one glaring omission--Theo's incredible work with the Sox' farm system that was nothing less than the hope of the franchise. As Sam pointed out, it also reads like a piece written from a "How can I distinguish myself?" view by Simmons.
The second section of the piece is one big long "I called it!"
The third section is further analysis of the whole cartel / cabal / Lucchino situation, but I did find this part valuable, as Simmons' writing is simply so compelling.
Instant classics in the Sox blogosphere.
I'm still calling it a disaster, and adjusting my expectations for the Red Sox accordingly (read: down to zero). But I want to also say that unlike Sully and Brian (at least as far as they say), I'm not leaving.
I'm not going to criticize them for leaving the Sox fold--I'd be lying if I said I hadn't seriously considered it myself. This is the kind of thing that calls for any serious fan to take a long, hard look at how they feel. And if they feel it's over, it's over--there's much of Red Sox fandom that's involuntary, anyway, including, in many cases, whether it stays or goes. Edw. walked away last season--and now I'm starting to think he was avoiding exactly this moment: the moment all the hope and happiness of 2004 starts to tarnish. It was inevitable, I suppose, and I can absolutely respect Edw.'s decision.
"The hard, cold reality is that they are a private, for-profit enterprise over which we have no power," Brian wrote. "They want to run their business this way?...Nothing we can do about it. Except not buy their tickets."
The difference between me and Brian is that it's a reality I'm prepared to accept. To separate from the reality that though we are reminded too often of their foundation in a corruptible world of business, the Red Sox still are something that belongs to us. If our fathers and grandfathers and great-grandfathers could hang on to that part of the Red Sox that belongs to us, and only to us--the cultural phenomenon, the social institution--through the Yawkey Era, then I can find an acceptable way to continue as a Red Sox fan despite the departure of Theo Epstein, with a World Series fresh in my memory (in anyone's memory!).
I want to emphasize that this is not a value judgement about Brian or Sully, or anyone else who's off the bandwagon after this. This, the decision about whether to stay or go, is simply another reality, a corollary, if you will, to the truth he describes above. And I don't discount the possibility that it could be simply that Brian has more of a spine and willingness to put his money where his mouth is than I do.
But, for better or for worse, I am still with the Sox. As I assume you are, if you're still reading.
So. I guess all that remains to be seen now is where we're going from here. I'm open to suggestions.