John Henry Flirts with Boston Herald – Again!

August 11, 2014

As the hardreading staff noted a couple of weeks ago, Boston GlobeSox owner John Henry is having a fling with his crosstown rival in a series of email exchanges with Herald sports scribe Michael Silverman.

First he used the frisky local tabloid to dopeslap his star sports columnist Dan Shaughnessy over his dismissal of Red Sox Nation’s unswerving devotion to the Olde Towne Team.

Yesterday, Henry opened the kimono a bit more in Silverman’s Baseball Notes column. About meddling with the Globe’s sports coverage, Henry said this:

“I don’t get involved at all with baseball coverage,” Henry said. “That would be completely inappropriate. I did get involved in pushing for Score, which was a standalone NFL section we created, and they did a terrific job on that. I’d like to see more coverage of the IN4Z7200.JPGRevolution because I think they are becoming a more important part of the community. Soccer is becoming more important as evidenced by the reception Liverpool [the soccer club Henry owns]  received here (at Fenway) this year. But I haven’t said anything to our editor or sports editor . . .

“I have not initiated a single discussion on the Sox, Liverpool or baseball. There are other areas I attend to; it’s a complicated, diverse business that is radically changing. It’s an important asset of the community.”

 

Translation: I don’t want to control sports coverage – I want to control sports coverage advertising.

Silverman’s Globe-go-nuts grafs:

Boston remains a two-newspaper town, a vanishing species around the country. The healthy competition between the Globe and the Herald, including but not limited to local and regional news and sports, is a boon for readers. That the Globe now uses its excess printing capacity to print the Herald highlights the changing economic realities of the two newspapers. Each strives to give its readers the best coverage possible, from the Red Sox to Beacon Hill. When it comes to sports coverage, Henry sees ESPN as the Globe’s chief competition — but with a caveat.

“In sports, the Globe competes on the Web with everyone,” Henry said. “You are one click away from the best in the world in every area. ESPN is what we are up against in sports. But you also have the damn Herald.”

You’re welcome.

 

Hey, Globeniks: Flirty local tabloid on Line 1.

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John Henry Uses Herald to Whack Globe’s Dan Shaughnessy

July 27, 2014

The Boston Herald’s Michael Silverman got an email interview with Boston GlobeSox owner John Henry, which, of course, was Page One news for the feisty local tabloid.

 

Screen Shot 2014-07-27 at 2.33.48 PM

 

The email exchange between Silverman and Henry was pretty much what you’d expect.

Henry takes stock of perplexing Sox

The Red Sox are genuinely perplexed.

Barely more than two weeks ago, principal owner John Henry was told by his general manager that the Red Sox “are probably the IN4Z7200.JPGbest team in the division. We just aren’t playing like it.”

The reasons behind the team’s incredibly underwhelming and disappointing caliber of play for most of the first four months of the season are not clear to Henry and the front office. With the trade deadline looming Thursday, Henry and his baseball operations people have been trying to get a better handle on what’s gone wrong and discover if there’s time left to fix it.

 

It’s not exactly riveting stuff – when Silverman asks if the Sox are sellers or buyers, Henry replies, “We’ll see what happens (this) week.”

Ya think?

But there is one juicy item in the piece: A not-so-veiled reference to this from Boston Globe scribe (and Henry employee) Dan Shaughnessy last Sunday (reproduced in full for, well, full effect).

When did Boston go so soft on the Red Sox?

At this hour, your Boston Red Sox enjoy a friendlier environment than almost any of the 30 teams in baseball. The Sox have a chance to finish in last place for the second time in three years, win a playoff game in only one of six seasons, and still be perceived by their fans as “perennial contenders.’’ The Sox can play nine games under .500 for the first 95 games and still have a Nation of believers thinking they can win the division, or compete for the phony second wild card. Sox owners can pare payroll ($72.5 million scheduled to come off the books for next year), stay well below the coveted luxury tax threshold, and listen to regional applause while fans pay the highest ticket prices in baseball. The Sox can get folks to buy into the notion that it’s foolish to compete in the open market for the services of their best pitcher. Sox tickets and merchandise are hotter than they were at this time last summer and Pat Moscaritolo, president of a Boston tourist group, says, “For the past 10 years that I’ve been tracking visitor spending and the economic impact of the Red Sox, it’s almost unaffected by the team’s performance.’’

The Sox were positively surging with five wins in six games against terrible/mediocre teams (aggregate 21 games under .500) as they prepped for the Royals Saturday night. The KC-Boston matchup is a good one, since it sometimes sounds like the Sox want to be a middle-market team. Like the Royals of recent decades (29 years since making the playoffs), the Sox now sell the fans on “watching the kids.” Don’t people realize that EVERY team has a farm system stocked with young players who’d love to play in front of sellout crowds in the moribund final months of a season? It amazes me how soft this baseball market has become. In 1978 fans and media crushed the Sox for a 99-win season that concluded with eight consecutive pressure-packed victories. The Boston manager was unmercifully booed on Opening Day the following year. Now everything is awesome because the Boston ballpark is a tourist destination and fans fall in love with the hype of every young player coming through the system. Swell. When did we become St. Louis?

 

Ouch. The only thing Shaughnessy left out? That the principal owner of the GlobeSox etc. etc.

Regardless, how much fun is it that Henry employed his own crosstown rival to dope-slap his wayward minion, saying this:

 “Fans continue to sell out Fenway. They’ve suffered through some really bad games this year, but they continue to show up and the mood at the park among the fans is very positive when I walk through the stands. Before Tom [Werner], Larry [Lucchino] and I arrived I believe fans had less patience.

“A loud curmudgeon I know accuses them of being soft, bad fans — but anyone paying attention knows the mood has changed at Fenway over the years. People expect good things from the Sox and really love being at Fenway. This team accomplished something very special last year therefore the fans aren’t about to not give them the benefit of the doubt.”

 

Love that double negative. Wonder what Mr. Shaughnessy thinks.


Merry Christmas Carroll!

December 25, 2013

From our One Town, Two Places desk

The local dailies published their traditional year-end poems yesterday, and they couldn’t be more different.

First up, the Boston Globe’s annual holidays card to readers, in verse compliments of Joseph P. Kahn.

Greetings of the season, all.

In setting up this conference call

To wish you cheer these holidays

We pray beseech the N.S.A.24poem

To please refrain from scooping data.

(OK, we’ll talk. But maybe later?)

For feeling in the yuletide mood

Our disposition’s not improved

With thoughts of clandestine surveillance

By Santa-suited federal agents.

We’d much prefer the privacy

Of carols trilled around the tree,

Children’s laughter in the air,

Stockings hung with affordable care,

Missives filled with peace and love

And swift access to HealthCare.gov.

 

And Kahn is off to the races.

Crosstown, the Boston Herald delivers its annual words of good cheer compliments of Track Gal Gayle Fee.

‘Twas the night before Christmas

And on the Fast Track,

Not a creature was stirring

They were all in the sack.

The Track Shack was cluttered

122413TrackToon13With our worn-out Jimmy Choos.

We’d taken them off.

It was time for a snooze.

The Tracklets were nestled

All snug in their beds,

While visions of iPads

Danced in their heads.

The Track was curled up

In our jammies so snug.

After a whole year of gossip,

We were resting our tongues!

 

Until they weren’t.

What’s interesting is how little intersection there is in the two ditties.

The feisty local tabloid devotes six stanzas to Boston sports; the stately local broadsheet, just this:

First, pour a whiskey, single-barrel,

For all the hirsute Sons of Farrell:

Pedey, Papi, Daniel Nava,

Closer Koji Uehara.

Salud to bullpen cop Steve Horgan,

Donna Tartt, and Freeman, Morgan.

 

Name-dropping in the Herald: Kim Kardashian, the Wahlbergs, Ben Affleck, Whitey Bulger.

Name-dropping in the Globe:

Among pals we’ve wrapped presents for

Are Chiwetel Ejiofor,

Ivan Klima, Omar Sy,

And brave Malala Yousafzai.

Wassail to you, Jennifer F. Boylan,

Mark Pollock, Ben Cherington,

Mireille Enos, Janet Yellen

And ageless Sir Ian McKellen.

 

Finally, references to crosstown rivals.

Herald:

He filled all the stockings,

Winked and pulled on a lobe.

“All the good stuff’s for the Herald.

Coal for John Henry’s Globe!”

 

Globe:

What crosstown rival?

And then there’s this from the hardreading staff:

Merry Christmas!

(Bill O’Reilly, eat your heart out.)

P.S. Family lore has it that my old man wanted to name his first-born Mary Christmas Carroll. Cooler heads (read: Jackie’s Agnes) prevailed.


Hot Stove, Tepid Team

January 27, 2013

Today’s Boston Herald puts on the Page One pom-poms for the Olde Towne Team and its prospects for the upcoming season. Via the Newseum’s Today’s Front Pages:

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The piece in the Sports section has a level of optimism that’s exclusive to pre-spring-training days.

NEL_6728.JPGA nice view at the top

Cherington optimistic as spring training nears

Two weeks from today, nearly three dozen Red Sox pitchers and catchers will be in Fort Myers, bracing for their first spring training workout. And shortly thereafter, predictions will begin to roll in.

Not even the Mayans would be so bold as to call the Sox a playoff team.

Ben Cherington respectfully disagrees.

“I believe we will contend,” the Red Sox general manager said Thursday in a sitdown with the Herald. “There is no reason we shouldn’t contend in 2013. But we also want to build something really good for a long time. We’re confident we will.”

 

A confidence that’s likely exclusive to him, but why get technical about it.

Meanwhile, the Sox went for more traditional advertising in the Boston Globe:

Picture 1

 

 

Odd approach, yes? Except in Red Sox Nation, of course.

Also odd, the ad did not run in the Herald. Then again, maybe the Sox figured the Page One promo was enough.