Monthly Archives: January 2012

Red Sox preparing to offer near-record contract to David Ortiz’s son, D’Angelo

The 2011-2012 Hot Stove season will go down as one of fiscal austerity for the Boston Red Sox: Relative inactivity in the free agent market. The Marco Scutaro salary dump. Abandoned plans for a Fenway Sports Group-operated orphanage in Kenmore Square.

David Ortiz's 7-year-old son, D'Angelo, talks hitting with Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers prior to the All-Star Game. (Getty Images)

However, baseball insiders claim that lost amidst the teeth-gnashing over the bewildering nickel-ing and dime-ing is the position of strength the team now stands in the D’Angelo Ortiz sweepstakes.

Son of current Sox DH David Ortiz, the 7-year-old Ortiz is already projecting toward future stardom, according to proprietary analytical systems utilized in Ben Cherington’s front office. Therefore, it makes sense for the team to lock up his peak years before he puts up meteoric statistics in Little League.

Sources say the money socked away from their offseason restraint will be invested in offshore capital-funded private equity funds and suspect pyramid schemes that will enable the team to offer “Little Papi” a record-sized contract that may approach $300 million.

Said one club mole, “We’ve been studying the market for the offspring of husky power hitters for years. Everybody loves David Ortiz. His home runs have helped lead this team to extraordinary success. After he’s retired, it won’t be long before we roll out Big Papi 2.0. D’Angelo will be given unhindered access to our batting cages and pitcher video analysis immediately. We’ve already asked him what type of design he wants for his iPad carrying case.”

D’Angelo’s birthday isn’t until July, meaning the younger Ortiz will spend the majority of the 2012 season at an ideal age for power development and pitch recognition training.

“If he were already 8 or 9 years old, we’d pare down the contract offer slightly. But with him being only 7 and a half, this isn’t the time to be stingy on the average annual value of the contract,” said a team accountant requesting anonymity.

Said one scout, “We are aware of his father’s body type and the likelihood he’ll develop similarly. But we believe we have identified a key market inefficiency that can be exploited by signing him to a mega-deal while he is in grade school. He can start immediately entertaining fans during batting practice and as he becomes major league-ready, we will start writing him into the lineup. This is one of those rare guaranteed returns on an investment.”

Analysts have debated about how to possibly reconcile a roster spot for a 7-year-old prospect. However, many believe D’Angelo Ortiz’s presence on the team may just be the only explanation for the puzzling absence of a viable everyday shortstop on the 40-man roster.

With Crawford down, Red Sox sign European sensation Liverpo ol-RomaAS to patrol outfield

Facing the prospect of entering Opening Day with an outfield that features Jacoby Ellsbury as the team’s only viable Major League starter, the Boston Red Sox are close to finalizing a contract with Italo-English stud Liverpo ol-RomaAS (liv – er – poe, ohl – roam – AHHs), sources confirmed Thursday.

The seemingly ageless ol-RomaAS is largely considered a five-tool star with speed, power, sure hands and superior footwork.

Carl Crawford is in pain, but the Red Sox moved quickly to insure against any lack of athletes on the field at Fenway Park this summer.

His skills are expected to translate immediately within a ballpark such as Fenway.

The push to acquire qualified entertainment to man the Red Sox outfield took on a fevery pitch earlier this week after news broke that Carl Crawford’s wrist surgery could jeopardize his early season availability.

Surprisingly, the signing was not completed by Red Sox GM Ben Cherington but rather by Fenway Sports Management. However, the team’s owners are confident that its involvement in baseball operations was justified in this instance.

“During my years as a scout overseas, I’ve witnessed firsthand Liverpo’s expert command of pitches,” said a marketing guru for the organization. “ol-RomaAS is a budding star and Red Sox fanatics are surely going to fall in love. Let’s be honest: They’ll fall in love if we tell them to…”

This under-the-radar Hot Stove activity comes during a week when many Red Sox fans are preoccupied with the New England Patriots playoff run.

Says one analyst: “The Red Sox were clearly laying in the weeds and just waiting, giggling as the Yankees pulled off two significant moves in signing Hiroki Kuroda and trading for Michael Pineda. Everybody thought the last dying embers of the hot stove season were burning out, but the Red Sox just prodded that fire with a freaking poker.”

Meanwhile, ol-RomaAS’s blood lines can be traced back to primarily Caucasian roots. He is therefore considered a near shoo-in to become a fan favorite and a regular in promotional television spots for Sullivan Tire.

One club source confirms that, “Internally, the team feels like he is going to be a major attraction and obviously signing international sensations and plugging them into this ballpark is a money-making formula that is good for everybody involved. It just made too much sense.”

Thoughts on Boston magazine’s “Red Sox Confidential”

Boston magazine has something for you to read in your local dentist’s office while you’re waiting for that root canal. The long and short of it is that former Boston Globe reporter Doug Bailey wants you to know he worked for the Red Sox for a while:

From the winter of 2001 until the end of 2007, I was a flack for the Sox. In my capacity as senior vice president at Rasky Baerlein, I consulted with the team’s owners about their public relations and strategic communications. For a New England kid, six seasons of reporting to Fenway Park each morning kept me in a constant state of exhilaration. I was the envy of colleagues and family members. I had a badge that gave me total access to Fenway Park at any time. I was present at nearly every major Sox milestone in the first six years of the new millennium — including two World Series. I was on a first-name basis with the top executives and sometimes rubbed elbows with players.

Some thoughts after reading the story:

This is predictable narcissism at its very height. This is autoerotica thinly veiled as autobiography further disguised as expose. The piece is bookended by anecdotes involving Bailey and his career plight as journalist-turned-PR man, including a finish that strives to make Red Sox fanboys cream into their MLB-licensed pajama pants. The centerpiece photo is a gigantic portrait of Bailey himself in the foreground and the true subjects of interest–Larry Lucchino’s PR machine, the extraordinarily successful Red Sox, etc.–in the distant background.

The attempted potshot at Nomar was brutally pathetic. Even by Boston media standards, a second-hand account of an awkward exchange eights years ago between a professional baseball player and a NASA astronaut isn’t nearly as offensive as Bailey would like to think. It hardly qualifies as worthy tangential fodder for a story that aims to shit on the current Boston Red Sox ownership. Nomar Garciaparra, by the way, is retired and last played for the Red Sox more than seven years ago.

The Inside Track ladies are ripping the piece for poor ethics. Wow, that is rich. Former colleagues are pissed at Bailey for exposing them as scumbags. Gossip columnists are quoting industry insiders and shaking their head at the presumed breach of confidentiality. The sun will rise. The sun will set. Gayle Fee and Laura Raposa will have lunch.

The Boston Red Sox ownership group is reaping what it has sown. John Henry, Tom Werner, Larry Lucchiono, et al, climbed the ladder to the top of the popularity food chain as rapidly as a girl who gets breast implants as her Sweet 16 present or, say, a woman who catches the eye of a billionaire at a trendy cocktail bar. They’ve crafted themselves one hell of a hero’s narrative. As par for that course, every former flack, hack, lackey, leech and intern feels owed his or her share of the attention. The irony is that for every ticketholder who may be at Fenway Park this summer because the Red Sox have a Midas Touch when it comes to marketing the team, there are 100 fans who follow the team and pay for tickets because they are entertained and inspired by the players running around on that green spray-painted grass. There is no chicken versus the egg debate to be had here. Boston loved its baseball long before media decided to reminds us of it every damned chance they get. The fact that a former team consultant now believes himself to be part of the story isn’t terribly surprising.

The Red Sox have been at the same address for 100 years. Thank you, Mr. Henry. Thank you, Mr. Lucchino. Thank you, we guess, hard-working PR men. You all have a hand in the ongoing successes.

Now, shut the fuck up for a little while won’t you?