…and those are their good qualities! In the aftermath of Bob Hohler’s super grim peak into the Red Sox clubhouse, few have rushed to the defense of the alleged KFC-chomping, beer-swilling, PS3-playing trio of Josh Beckett, Jon Lester and John Lackey. Beckett was further implicated by a former manager later in the day who claimed he locked the clubhouse door rather than allow the immature pitcher to beer it up at will. But while there’s little sympathy for Boston’s underachieving starters, Current TV’s Keith Olbermann is outraged at the way in which Hohler was encouraged to delve into Terry Francona’s personal life. “A large corporation, needing to scapegoat the departing geniuses whom they will replace with malleable mediocrities, doesn’t give a damn about anybody but the three clowns at the top, who have mistaken the success and effort of others, for something they somehow created,” fumes Olbermann via his MLB.com blog, reminding us the trio of John Henry, Tom Werner and Larry Lucchino are forever in the debt of Bud Selig (“the principal owners of the Red Sox only became such, via a sweetheart deal engineered by the Commissioner of Baseball a decade ago. …they have been playing with house money ever since”)
If a ballplayer was in such pain from 30-year old knee problems that he had to have blood drained from one of them hours before a game, on the road, by the visiting team’s doctor, **in** the stadium, and he still played that night with only mild medication, the owners wouldn’t imply he was abusing painkillers – they’d deify him. They did so when a pitcher named Curt Schilling pitched a World Series game in 2004 even though blood was supposedly leaking from surgery on a tendon sheath in his right ankle. He’s a legend. But Francona’s option wasn’t picked up and he was portrayed as having a problem.
Yet there was one more detail about Francona, revealed to the newspaper, that elevates this particular hatchet job to the level of making one hope it is another 93 years before Boston wins, that they go from the overwrought “Curse Of The Bambino” to “The Curse Of The Lucchino.”
“While Francona coped with his marital and health issues, he also worried privately about the safety of his son, Nick, and son-in-law, Michael Rice, both of whom are Marine officers serving in Afghanistan.”
To drag into this, the service to this country of Francona’s son, and son-in-law, is not only beyond any pale. It isn’t even new. They didn’t just get there this year. But publicizing where they are is something Francona has asked even his friends not to do. It actually might materially affect their safety.