Prior to a Yankees-Red Sox series, I typically click through the Boston tabloids to read what they are saying about the Yankees and the upcoming series. Gerry Callahan’s article caught my eye this morning, and I think that it is indicative of a huge difference between the media in New York and the writers in Boston:
There was nothing particularly savvy or skillful about it, of course. They were dealing with Scott Boras, so they knew that honor and integrity would play no part in the process.
Just money. Lots and lots of money.
In other words, it was a New York Yankees kind of deal right from the start, a chance for them to buy the biggest house on the block and act like they built it with their bare hands.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman didn’t even have to travel to Mark Teixiera’s home to grovel. All he had to do was sit back, checkbook in hand, and let Boras do his thing. In the end, the slimy superagent did not let him down.
Boras used the Orioles and Nationals and Angels until he used them up, as Bill Withers would say, and then he played your Boston Red Sox like they were his new Guitar Hero game. The Sox desperately wanted to bring Teixeira to Boston, and for a while, actually thought they had a shot at the switch-hitting first baseman. Even though they already had a pretty good first baseman and third baseman, the Sox didn’t try to hide their affection for the best free agent on the market. They pounced on Teixeira like Brian Williams on Barack Obama. They made a bold offer of about $170 million over eight years.
Well, at least, Theo Epstein thought it was an offer. In truth, it was a signal from Boras to Cashman, who might as well have been sitting outside in a white van. Their scheme was coming together. Those rubes up in Boston played their part and drove up the price. Now it was time for the Yanks to pony up and close the deal.
Cashman did as he was told. He topped the Sox by a sizable margin. Final number: $180 million over eight years with a full no-trade clause.
To be quite honest, this piece of drivel really deserves to be torn apart FJM style, but I think its idiocy is plain and needs little explanation on my part. This idea that the Yankees and Boras had an evil plan to screw over the Sox is laughable. Boras and Cashman were never working together, a suggestion so ridiculous considering everything we know about the superagent. Cashman outmaneuvered Theo, staying out of the limelight while asking Boras to inform him of Boston’s final offer. This is no different than any free agent signing in the history of baseball, where the team that offered the most money got their man, and the team that offered a lesser amount went home to cry about evil agents. The fact is, Boston valued Teixeira at 170 million, and the Yankees valued him higher and therefore was willing to pay more. This is not rocket science, nor is it the product of some diabolical scheme. It is free agency.
So what does this have to do with the media? Callahan is parroting the company line out in Boston, as his article could have been penned by Larry Lucchino or Theo Epstein. The Boston media generally serves as a propaganda arm of the Red Sox front office, hyping players when the team wants their value to go up, and ripping players that the club wants public opinion to turn against. When the team decided not to pay for Pedro Martinez and Derek Lowe following the club’s first championship in 86 years, the Boston media took the angle that the players were being greedy, were too injury prone, and were not good teammates. When the front office decided that it was time for Manny to go, we saw the Manny being Manny articles turn into “Manny is a destructive force” type articles. The media in New York is not nearly as forgiving, and is less prone to swallowing the company line and then regurgitating it for a column. While this may make for a more depressing morning paper, at least it is honest.
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