Here it is Friday, and I have not written ANYTHING this week. ANYTHING. I just keep looking at that word ANYTHING, until it doesn't have any meaning. I cannot believe it. Me, Miss Verbal Diarrhea 2004, not blogging for a whole week?!? It would be like Manny suddenly using the word "antidisestablishmentarianism". It would be like Curt Schilling quitting EverQuest. It would be like Theo Epstein bringing Nomar back. Simply incomprehensible.
So let's go back over the main themes this week and get my opinion on each of them, which I'm sure you're just dying for.
Seahawks 34, Carolina 14. And it wasn't even really that close. Excellent, Smithers. My plan is working perfectly. Now, for the Seahawks to rise up and Dominate the Steelers.
Really. Steelers fans are crazy to begin with. WTF are we going to do if they actually win the Super Bowl? They'll be showing up at my house with black and gold spray paint and a dressed up dog (what is it, by the way, about being a Steelers fan that leads one to the compulsion to dress up a dog? I'm interested in that from a purely anthropological standpoint. I've never seen a fan base with so many dressed-up dogs of varying shapes and sizes).
Theogate continues. This time the idiocy usually confined only to talk radio and the sports pages has made its viral way throughout the rest of society, until it seems like absolutely no one is capable of looking at this Theo situation head on. Everyone's gotta have some kind of angle. Preferably, this angle should make them look smarter and / or more cynical and world-weary than the next person.
From what I've seen, angles fall into several categories:
Angle #1. Who didn't see that one coming?
Um...me? I guess I'm the most naive person ever to exist, but I really thought Theo had left...and that if he was still pulling strings behind the scenes, that didn't necessarily mean his triumphant and public return to be official General Manager again was a done deal.
Angle #2. The Red Sox front office is hopelessly dysfunctional. Red Sox fans should fling themselves off the Tobin Bridge: nothing good can come of such a terrible, fucked up, hyper-dramatic situation. What is wrong with HWL, anyway?
This is also the Dan Shaughnessy angle. The "let's-find-fault-wherever-we-can" angle. I mean...to me, bitching about the fact that there's been a lot of drama with Theo coming back is like bitching about taxes when you win the lottery.
Angle #3. The Red Sox OWE IT TO THEIR FANS to come out with a detailed explanation of just what the hell happened.
I think The Chief over at the Dan Shaughnessy blog came up with the best response to this.
On Saturday, Jackie MacMullen called for Esptein to publicly explain his actions over the past three months. I'm sure that Ms. MacMullen would do and has done the same every time she changed or considered changing jobs. Epstein is an employee of a private company, not an elected official. His relationship with his employer is none of our business.
But! The Red Sox DID come out with a detailed statement. AND they held press conferences.
Angle #4. "The Boston Red Sox officials issued a statement that made them sound so full of themselves that they must have been inflated like hot-air balloons." Murray Chass
This seems to be the latest, and this is the spreading virus affecting the normally saner world outside the Boston Globe news room. It's utterly ridiculous to me how convoluted, contorted, and even contradictory people are getting in their haste to find some way to turn Theo Epstein's return to the Red Sox into a bad thing.
Knowing that those same people would be making fun of us for "running another one out of town" if he'd stayed away, and saying the same exact things about dysfunction in the front office, doesn't really make it easier to deal with. In fact, this week, it has made me want to set my eyelashes on fire.
So here's my angle: Theo and the ownership disagreed about the state of the team. Theo walked away to prove his point. John Henry went wait a minute, Larry, you shut up, Theo, come back and we'll talk about it. They did. They eventually came to an agreement. Theo accepted the job again. lots of people want to brand that as dysfunction...I fail to see the dysfunction in a GM not settling for a team strategy he fundamentally disagrees with, and an ownership willing to have an intense discussion about it in order to get him back and get everyone back on the same page. To me that seems like a lot of smart human beings acting like adults.
It also helps that the point of view ascribed to Theo--the 2006 Red Sox in some ways sacrificed to long-term competitiveness--is one I not only agree with but insist upon. I've said since the week after the Sox finally won that I would welcome a fallow period of up to five years if it would make the team more competitive in the longer term. I haven't changed my mind about that. Theo seems to be the biggest proponent of that point of view on Yawkey Way; Theo's my man. Plain and simple.
Judging by the reactions I've gotten putting forth that point of view this week, I'm in the distinct minority.
What I want to know is, why? Because it's a relatively boring story? Why does everyone insist on finding some reason to gloat or protest about this? Theo came back. Period. What else is there to really know?
According to at least one other person this week, get this one, the current infighting happening re the Theo situation is also the fault of the Red Sox for managing it so badly.
Because they should have implanted a mind-control chip on Theo that would keep him from ever questioning them or asserting his opinion in a way that might take a serious process to work out. Is that what's worked on Cashman?
Of course, bringing up Cashman is dirty pool. In fairness, I was on Bronx Banter at the time...
Still. It's funny how, when backed into a corner, just about everyone will retreat to the "none of us really knows what happened" stance--but of course, that's only to point out that my viewpoint is unprovable, not to concede that theirs might be.
In short, everyone's acting like a bunch of dicks.
Also, apparently Bill Simmons did an interview with Curt Schilling, but if you listen around the 'Net you'll quickly learn that Bill Simmons is a pathetic hack and Curt Schilling is...well, apparently to EVERYONE IN THE WORLD BUT ME, listing the adjectives appropriate for Curt Schilling would fill a hefty tome indeed (although if you pay attention you'll realize these are some of the same people who just now heard of The Dugout, and called it Word Up Thome instead even when they did).
Schilling's another case of damned if you do, damned if you don't. For the longest time, Pedro was the scourge of the Boston media, with his unwillingness to talk and his hiding behind English as a second language and his hissy fits at press conferences. So the Sox finally go and get the guy best suited to the rabid wolves that are the Boston media / fan base, always demanding answers and details and openness from the players they lionize, and Schilling gives it to them. In spades. Schilling's always ready for the red light, he's always spoken his mind, and...nobody can stand it.
So as a Red Sox fan finding herself in an age where being a Red Sox fan is just so terribly un-trendy, and who also likes Theo Epstein and Curt Schilling, I'm supposed to do...what, exactly?
Seriously, someone answer me that one.