Red Sox Package 0f Perks for Jon Lester!



We have learned from a secret source what King John Henry VIII offered in the package meant for Jon Lester if he chose to stay with the Red Sox.

Larry Lucchino has leaked this information to show what a parvenu ingrate Jon Lester has become.

First, Lester could have used Henry’s season tickets to the Boston Symphony Orchestra three times per year. On the upcoming programme was Rachmininoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini and Puccini’s Nessun Dorma.

King John Henry would send his tailor to give Lester his choice of a tux or a dressing gown in silk and an opportunity to take art appreciation classes at the MFA.

Henry offered a weekend cruise on his yacht the SS Minnow to Cannes for the foreign language film festival each of the subsequent three years of the contract.

A month’s supply of Beluga caviar was already at the Post Office for special delivery to Lester.

For hunting trips (much favored by Lester) Henry had a litter of teacup Maltese pups in white ready for the excursion and a trip to the Westminster Dog Show afterward.

Also in the package was an opportunity to play a cameo role on next season’s Downton Abbey acting in the role of Shirley MacLaine’s American chauffeur. Following that he would be taken to Covent Garden to watch the Royal Ballet perform Sleeping Beauty.

Considering these magnificent cultural perks, we are dumfounded that Lester chose to take the offer by Joe Maddon to go hunting with one of his bench coaches.

The values of the sports world are clearly not what they used to be.



Unvarnished Truth About Jon Lester & Red Sox



And now for the truth you won’t hear on Boston sports blab shows or on websites beholden to the Red Sox kingpins…

We will tell you the unvarnished truth about why Jon Lester went elsewhere.

Yes, you could start at the long goodbye during the hideous 2013 season when the Sox ownership insulted Jon Lester with their offers. As Dan Shaughnessy brilliantly pointed out, Fredo Corleone was given a better sendoff by the Godfather.

That was the end of the trail, not the start of negotiations.

If you want to appeal to the heart of a player, you don’t send King John Henry VIII to make the appeal. You could send Robert Kraft who actually loves his players and relates to them as young men.

Henry relates to them like a disdainful banker. He is, at his smarmiest, a cold fish. He is not a dog lover, a hunter, or a down-to-earth uncultured slob. He is a snob.

Strike One!

Given a boatload of money, some players are charmed by the Red Sox, but others know they have to buy the duckboat for real love.

King John Henry VIII will invite players to his yacht, the Pequod, and give them expensive gifts—like a divorced parent on a guilt trip. But, then he will come down hard on the Chicken and Beer brigade—divesting them to another league and another coast. Those chicken wing munchers like Josh Beckett and Adrian Gonzalez were friends of Lester.

Strike Two!

When you ask all those Red Sox players on the Yankee roster the eternal question of “Why”, they will look at you with befuddlement. They wonder what is going on in the bubbleheads on Yawkey Way. Jacoby Ellsbury is only the latest to feel when they fall out of love with you, you are dog food.

Strike Three!

King John Henry VIII’s minions will now talk a great game to win back the goodwill of fans. But, be careful, fans. That bridge goes to Brooklyn. Mae West and Bugs Bunny and King John Henry VIII are only the latest salespeople.


Jon Lester Buys a Slow Boat Full of Cash Cows



affluenza sufferer

Slip sliding away?

It sounds like a refrain from a song, not a major league baseball team’s mantra.

Yet, the Boston Red Sox are indeed slip sliding away.

We ponder the eternal mystery of Boston sports. Just how stupid are the Red Sox owners?

When you trade away all your best pitchers because you don’t want to pay them, you are worthy of being a second tier sports market owner.

When you then realize there is nothing on the market better than what you had, you start to panic.

When you let the Yankees always walk through that door with a better offer, you make players wonder just how hollow the refrain is, “We want you.” When you let former executives sour on your organization beat you, there is something rotten on Yawkey Way.

Red Sox owners never want to give one cent for tribute, but they know talk is cheap. They talk a great game.

You never know how green your Fenway grass is until you start to look at the other teams. By then, the green stuff has stolen away all your best players.

Red Sox owners are penny-wise and pound-foolish. They will spend more money on a British soccer team than on “old” players.

Public relations disasters are the stock in trade of Red Sox owners. For now too many words have been spoken, and King John Henry VIII never puts his money where his mouth is. The Sox are now faced with recouping the goodwill of their fans.

Don’t worry. Money talks, and the only thing stupider than Sox ownership is the regard they have for their fans. It doesn’t help when Theo Epstein is the skunk at your picnic.


Fenway Park: Home, Sweet Home

DATELINE: Homely Players

Fenway Stage 1

The Red Sox are clicking the heels of their Ruby Red Slippers together and repeating, “There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home, Toto.”

Yep, your Red Sox are thinking of home as the place where Whistler’s Mother whistled up a happy tune. Whether she could offer more than home cooking, we don’t know.

The Red Sox have signed former Sox player Hanley Ramirez, have offered a contract now to former pitcher Justin Masterson, and are waiting on a giant offer to former favorite Sox pitcher Jon Lester.

Home is where the heart is. We don’t know if home is where the big money is, but the Red Sox are offering a home for the holidays motif to their former players.

You may be home for Christmas and humming it too, but we aren’t sure that Jon Lester thinks of Fenway Park as a primary home or a rental.

Most players who offer a “home town” discount may be disingenuous at best. They have cut their own throats and emptied their own wallets. And, the Red Sox have never thought charity begins at home.

As Sox fans may want to return to the thrilling days of the turn of the century, bringing back all your 30 year old whiz kids may be Biblical, sort of like returning the Prodigal Son to the homestead.

Be it ever so humble, there is no home quite like Fenway Park. Your Red Sox ownership think that pitching there is better than Yankee Stadium, though more than a few Sox players are now saying “Yes, Yes,” to the YES Network.

As for us, we think that a homebody should feel you can go home again, despite what the big paychecks say.

Boston Manager Puts Kiss of Death on Jon Lester


John Farrell

Red Sox Dudley Do-Right John Farrell put his own version of the kiss of death on Jon Lester.

What did the Sox manager say and how did he say it?

First, he thinks the remainder of the team propositions are “interesting.” That puts Lester on a less than top priority status.

Second, Farrell is looking for ways to go through this offseason. He means the sooner some other team signs Lester, the easier it will be for the Sox.

Third, he has complete trust in GM Ben Cherington. It’s like the Godfather relying upon the murderous abilities of his hired assassin to find the right cement overshoes.

Fourth, he sees work that needs to be done. That means they are looking at options other than Lester.

Fifth, Farrell believes the Sox are doing what needs to be done to bring Lester back, but other teams have great interest in him and “deservedly so.”

Sixth, there are plenty of other options available to the Sox—and Lester is a mere bagatelle.

If you haven’t reached the uh-oh moment yet, you never will. Lester is moving away from Boston faster than an Andromeda galaxy.

Boston Peace Talks with Lester & Ramirez To Start

DATELINE: 2015 Red Sox Turmoil



The Red Sox have signed their biggest tandem of hitters since Dick Stuart and Roman Mejias in 1962. And, we all know how that turned out.

So, the Sox have decided to open King John Henry VIII’s wallet and sign Kung Fu Panda and Hanley Being Hanley.

Did anyone ask Jon Lester what he thinks?

Lester and Ramirez were hardly pals back in the minors a decade ago. They were, in fact, openly hostile. But, perhaps adulthood and maturity have become new factors. Who are we kidding? These are baseball players.

This could mean Lester will go anywhere else that gives him the chance to throw a beanball at Ramirez.

If Ben Cherington, no model of social decorum himself, can broker a peace between Lester and Ramirez, he may be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Of course, all that is dependent on the notion that Lester wants to return to Boston now that the stakes have changed.

No one said players had to love each other. They only have to love winning—and money.

Will Hanley and Pablo become the new Stuart and Mejias? And that raises the question: which one will be the big bust for two years?

Dick Stuart hit some home runs in his two seasons: a goodly amount of 42 and 35. Alas, if hits were vowels on Wheel of Fortune, Roman couldn’t buy a hit and would never solve the puzzle.

Red Sox pundits promise that Cherington will turn into the Henry Kissinger of baseball. The summer of love is about to return to Boston. Good luck to that.

Paul Pierce Versus Jon Lester: Boston Send Off



Media insiders are having fits over the departure of Jon Lester after seven years and World Series glory.

For the goldfish memory world of attention deficit old timers, Lester is the worst that could happen in Boston sports.

Pardon us: Didn’t we have this same experience last year with Paul Pierce—and his kemo sabe, Kevin Garnett? Wasn’t that twice as worse? Or are we being half-bad?


If you like Chinese water torture, the media has plenty of drops to fall on your head. Each day now for a month, the media supplies us with “So long, Lester,” stories. As we recall, this refrain lasted months with the Celtics. It could have been a year in the making.

Pierce was on the Boston scene for much longer than Lester, and the Celtics really didn’t insult him with one lousy, lowball contract offer.

The Red Sox took their vaunted cancer-survivor lefty starter and offered him a box of Crackerjack and the secret prize if he stayed in Boston. Talk about opening the door a crack and singing, “Hit the road, Jack.”

Paul Pierce and Jon Lester both have told media insiders how much they love Boston and may want to end their careers here—some day. Ain’t sentiment sweet?

Of course, such impassioned feelings may change by the time the final hammer is dropped on your noggin.

Let’s not hear how players will do anything for money when it comes to Pierce or Lester. It is the creepy media that creates tidal waves of destruction on their cat’s paws. When the online world and radio blabbers of sport say your time is up, you better believe it.

Savor the Moment, Jon Lester




No-Star roster Red Sox may be an unusual team this year for another reason.

Despite winning the World Series with players who had the years of their careers, this season there is not an All-Star among them.

Obviously the voters and fans showed uncommon sense when they did not find a Red Sox player good enough for any starting job on the field. There were surely no players good enough for the batting lineup.

Most Red Sox players are batting in the mid-.240 range.

So, the MLB powers decided to reward one pitcher with a designation as All-Star. That is pitcher Jon Lester.

It is another ironic choice. Lester may be having an All-Star year, but his has no respect at home. The ace of the Red Sox staff wants to stay in Boston and is willing to take a hometown discount to sign on the dotted line for a few more years.

The Red Sox have turned a cold shoulder to this idea.

If you recall, they did the same to Jacoby Ellsbury and jared Saltalamacchia, two stalwarts of their Series winning roster.

Somebody upstairs does not like Jon Lester—and we suspect that it is smarmy Ben Cherington.

A winning left-hander at Fenway is rare as hen’s teeth, and one who has gone out for six seasons like a workhorse may be more amazing.

Someone in the Sox front office thinks Lester may be an ironman horse ready for the glue factory. Six healthy seasons (for a young cancer survivor) may mean he is a marked man.

Interestingly enough, the only Sox representative on the All-Star team may be traded before July ends.

Long Term Deals with Red Sox Unlikely



Following Josh Beckett?

Jon Lester may be having pipe dreams.

He wants to remain a member of the Red Sox till the cows come home, or at least until they rip the Sox jersey from his back—as he demurely put it.

The cows in Boston have a better chance of returning to the Boston Common where they last grazed during Colonial times.

Why would Texan Jon Lester want to stay in Boston? He noted that his growing son now refers to Boston as his hometown. That’s enough for any Texan to pull up stakes and build a ranch in the South End.

But, hold your horses, pardner. Smarmy Ben Cherington, one of the meanest hombres this side of Amherst College, is not champing at the bit to sign Lester.

Indeed, he has not even bothered to contact Lester about an extension before free agency hits. No, that Cherington is a cool customer. He will sign no players before their time.

As a consequence, old Ben has ice water in his veins. If Jon Lester is sentimental, he is so at his own peril. Love of Boston will not make Cherington one whit more apt to sign a pitcher to a long-term deal.

Though Lester cites Dustin Pedroia’s contact that keeps him a Sox player forever, pitchers are a different breed– if you care to ask pitchers like Pedro Martinez or Justin Masterson.

Don’t ask Bronson Arroyo who signed a deal to stay with the Sox for the rest of his career, only to find himself traded shortly thereafter.

Lester needs his agent to wake him up and hand him the coffee mug. Better yet, he should join the Scott Boras list of clients. That will guarantee him a one-way ticket out of town for millions.

Reading RED SOX 2013: NAKED CAME THE LINEUP will put everything into perspective. Now available at

RED SOX 2013: Naked Came the Lineup



When an author is asked to explain his title choice, he is in trouble.

The notion that metaphor and whimsy might titillate goes down like an unfurled parachute at 5000 feet. Look out below.

Students always ask me why sports movies of recent years feature the athletes completely naked in the locker room.

 Well, obviously, it is a place where young men with chiseled muscles tend to most display their wherewithal.

And, the answer is not to please the gay crowd and the in-between bisexual fans.

No, athletes are completely unassuming, like newborn babes; they come into the world and remain in the world as innocent as their arrival at a new team. They have nothing to hide. And, the Red Sox of 2013 came out of nowhere (or worse, out of the depths of Bobby Valentine’s reign of terror). They had no expectations and showed only their hearts on their sleeves and their beards on their chins.

It was a natural progression to the World Series, and the book was written chronologically, one step and one game at a time. You won’t find too many scores in the book as it focuses mostly on human interest tales—usually funny ones.

If there is no humor in a situation, we endeavored to dress it up with the emperor’s new clothes.

We hope Red Sox fans give the book a tryout. It worked for Joe Hardy, and we hope it works for you.

RED SOX 2013: NAKED CAME THE LINEUP is available in ebook and in softcover at It is best for smart readers.

Patriots Host the World Series Champs


Yes, misery may love company, but Boston success brings happiness to all sports teams.


Tom Brady looked tickled when Jon Lester carried out the World Series trophy at Gillette Stadium before the Sunday game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.


It was cold and blustery day unlike the duck boat ride, and the dozen Red Sox who remain in Boston when many free agents have flown the coop, wore Patriots stocking caps and Patriot jerseys with their own names on the back over the numeral 1.


Will Middlebrooks, Clay Buchholz, and Johnny Gomes, were among the standouts.


Buchholz held a water bottle but chose not to dump it on his own head, as he did all season at Fenway. It was a good 25 degrees colder at Foxboro than most baseball starts.


Winning luck is something tangible shared between and among all the Boston teams. The World Series trophy hit the Bruins and Celtics earlier this week. It seems the magic must rub off on the other teams as all have had their duck boat run in the sun.


The Patriots were eager to rub shoulders with their Red Sox guests. Shane Victorino was eager to meet Bill Belichick.


As for those Sox, the beards were still in place, not a hair on their chinny chin chins had been cut—yet. That may come on Monday for charity.


Mike Napoli is already on record that his beard will stay, wherever he goes, though he was under the influence when he made the comments. He was not at Gillette with his teammates. Nor was Big Papi Ortiz.


The bearded Rob Ninkovich noted his beard is over three years old—and he wondered if Ellsbury has already shaved his meager facial hairs.


Other Patriots were thrilled for the Sox, especially backup quarterback Ryan Mallett who is boyhood friends with Will Middlebrooks.


Bill Belichick also smiled for the champion competitors. There is no deodorant like success.

Lester Pitches with Green Mold Growing on His Glove



Satellite Photo of Lester’s Offending Glove (courtesy of Homeland Security)

With all the speculation that Clay Buchholz is doctoring the baseball, one of the minor league flaks of the St. Louis Cardinals has come out to say that Vaseline was clumped on the inside of Jon Lester’s glove.

Photographic evidence reveals something akin to a melted Gumby inside the glove. MLB says it’s inconclusive, and most of the Cardinal organization is running as fast as a Lester fastball away from the allegation.

Green globules inside the glove could be anything from antifreeze to keep the glove solvent, to a wad of chewed gum.

That the item seemed to glow in the dark has added a level of intrigue to the foreign substance. Lester admitted to the media that the photo looked bad, but refused to say what it was.

He did reiterate that he would do the same thing next time he pitched. The Boston media immediately accepted this as an excuse that served as a denial. It seemed to objective people to be neither an excuse, nor a denial.

Lester would do whatever he has been doing. And, everyone else in MLB happily ignored the byzantine substance and the odder comments by the Sox ace.

As for the National League pennant winners, the St. Louis team has certainly proven they have mastered the notion of rationalizing their defeat. Infielders say the surface of Fenway Park is not standard, and that has caused balls to bounce out of gloves in the infield.

In the meantime, pitchers on both the Sox and Cards scoured the Internet for bargain sales on green goup.

Red Sox Tamper with Tampa & Turn into Boston Stranglers


One of the best fielding teams this season had a few brainlocks in Boston’s Fenway Park. Will Myers heard voices in the outfield that told hm to back off a fly ball.

He saw the ghost of Babe Ruth out of the corner of his eye, running at him from centerfield, and he let a routine warning track ball fall in for a lumbering double for David Ortiz.

Upon reflection, it was the opening of the floodgates. The Red Sox would draw up a massacre plan and score twelve runs. It was the Boston Strangler revisited–with Tampa choking.

As for the Tampa Bay Rays, the ray of light off the mound blinded them. Jon Lester’s hard throws came out of the sunlight of late afternoon. He was in brightness and the batters were lost in the shadows.

Lester struck out the first four batters with velocity we haven’t seen from him heretofore.

The hobbled Jacoby Ellsbury, with his foot bandaged up like the first step in making up an Egyptian mummy managed to steal a base and did not even draw a throw.

Mike Napoli, the man with the shaky hips, would stretch a single into a double and slid on his stomach into second base, evading Yunel Escobar’s late tag. We haven’t seen such hipster moves since Easy Rider. The 2013 Red Sox have the “Shining.”

If the ghosts of the past have not now joined the Sox ameliorating all curses of yore, we have no other explanation in a rational world for the amazing play of the Red Sox. Step aside, Amazing Mets, for a new generation of alchemy and Tommyknockers.

Lester & Lackey Redemption Center


If ever there was an opportunity for a heartfelt apology for 2011 and 2012, Red Sox pitchers Jon Lester and John Lackey may be seeing a convergence of man and moment.

Forever associated with the greasy chicken and watery beer collapse and Bobby Valentine’s march to oblivion, the two pitchers survived where so many others were sent packing.

King John Henry VIII and his court jester Larry Lucchino, in their infinite wisdom, chose to give a second chance to the Lester and Lackey comedy team. They could have turned this season into another attempt to do the Abbott and Costello routine of “Who’s on First?”

Instead, they turned in stellar performances for the season with only minor lapses. They showed a new attitude and gave fans a sense that they were reformed and redeemed, like born-again coupons.

Now they face the crunch time when more than six-pack abs are on the line. Joe Maddon’s loosey Tampa Bay Rays are no longer the Devil you know.

The Rays have impressive pitchers in the likes of Matt Moore and David Price who can match the Sox resurrection boys.

If Lackey and his partner Lester don’t win, then they may be buried more prematurely than an Edgar Allen Poe hero and cast into the pit. If they do win, they can write their own ticket for the next fifty years as legends in the Red Sox cause.

They have been given rare opportunity denied to their mentor and partner in crime, Josh Beckett who has taken the medical path to safety in Los Angeles this season.

There will be an uncomfortable reunion with Beckett if the Dodgers become the Red Sox counterparts in the National League. The Devil will size up his handmaidens who have gone over to the Sons of Light.

If Lester and Lackey lose the first series for the Sox, their redemption will be on the order of a soda pop bottle. You won’t give a plug nickel for them.

Redemption is a high-priced product.

Red Sox Cannot Forget the Recent Past




Like Marley’s Ghost, a haunting spirit is waiting for us in the bleachers.


Jon Lester remains the same pitcher he was with Josh Beckett. They were peas in a pod.


And now, with Beckett far from the garden, Lester continues to be the same guy.


When he was here, Jose Iglesias was dunned and dismissed as an all-glove, no hit phenom whose bat at .400 was a fluke, doomed to failure.


So, he was traded and replaced with two inept people whose names we could not keep straight: Brandon Holt and Byron Shelley. Combined, their batting averages could not touch Iglesias.


The media hated the hard-working free spirit of Iglesias for his off-field personality, but you will never hear anyone admit it. Give them Big Papi on something.


The result was to bring back Will Fair-to-Middlebrooks to hold down third base. The Red Sox motto appears to be, ‘We can’t stand prosperity. Bring back 2011.’


To bring back Papelbon, or not to bring back Papelbon seems a moot soliloquy. They will not petition the Lord with prayer, and they will not bring back an overpaid player who loves Boston (unless his name is Ortiz).


Pulling on daisy petals, this year is the year Jacoby Ellsbury loves playing. But, we know that next year is his off-season—though many fans believe the Red Sox should pay Adrian Gonzalez money to the on-again, off-again glass unicorn.


As the team heads into the ever-dangerous waters of September, we hope we have been misinformed about the fragility of a team on the verge of repeating history.





For those wanting to relive the horror, try reading RED SOX 2011: A WHIMSICAL AUTOPSY, available on in softcover or e-book.