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Bob Lobel: How the Stars Aligned Perfectly for the Red Sox

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Bob Lobel, GoLocalWorcester Contributor

When talk radio brings the heat it can be merciless. Doesn’t matter if it's right or wrong, it’s all opinion based.

It can go over the top and often has, that’s the nature of the beast, but when I was listening to 98.5 last week and heard my friend Michael Felger call Larry Lucchino a “congenital liar”, it got my attention.

Most things don’t register for me in talk radio world except the funny stuff. But this was beyond the pall. I said to myself, “Hey, you can't say that.” There are some things you have to be able to self edit, even when it comes to criticizing the performance of Red Sox management personnel.

I would have sued if I were Lucchino. Hey, he still might, I have sued for less. Congenital liar I guess means you inherited the gene from your parents and, by definition, they were liars too. It immediately brought back to mind the worst thing I ever said about anybody on radio or TV.

I called then caretaker accountant of the Yawkey Trust, John Harrington, “the village idiot.” Hey, I’m not proud of it. I did apologize to him over a peace pipe arranged lunch.

Sometimes when you get behind that microphone you become drunk with power. It’s a frequent occurrence, so one could surmise that “congenital liar” was this generation's “village idiot”.

That was the backdrop by which the Red Sox and Dodgers pulled off the most amazing deal ever in baseball. Yes, there was a deal made at a bar by the tipsy GM’s of the Red Sox and Yankees that had Joe Dimaggio traded straight up to Boston for Ted Williams, but when these guys woke up with a hangover the next morning they smartly realized that they wouldn’t dare do this to either fan base and risk getting fired themselves.

This latest deal was so much more complicated than that for all sorts of reasons. First, the fact the Sox were able to find a dance partner to take the three players with big, big money and big, big disappointment was remarkable. The Dodgers wanted Adrian Gonzalez and were willing to take Beckett and his contract for him, while sending the Red Sox some very highly touted pitching prospects. The fact that Crawford was added was testimony to the hard work of Ben Cherington.

History will show the Nomar deal by Theo was paltry compared to this baby. The “congenital liar” and Ben were a pretty good team on a deal that has gone down as a once in a lifetime moment. So for now, we love L.A!

Mentioning Theo does bring back a familiar theme. This was his mess. He had to put on a gorilla suit to get the power to bring this team down a one way street into a dark alley leading to a dead end.

The courage to blow it up was recognized by the fans as a mostly positive development since coming to grips with missing the post season for the third year in a row. So now the operative word is discipline.

Not the Aceves type (I hope he never pitches here again!). Questions now shift back to the invigorated manager. He was brought in to change the culture and there is no doubt that has happened. Whether he does come back for a second year will depend if his bosses think he was responsible in part for the changing.

Or, more importantly, if someone better like John Farrell is available. My only gripe with this guy is how come he doesn’t know when to challenge a home run off the ledge of the monster. In this age of long-term contracts and high priced talent, the Red Sox grabbed some mojo back from their mistakes.

That is more rare than hitting for the cycle, or even better, a perfect game! “Congenital liars” and “Village Idiots” could never have gotten the job done.  


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