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?

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