Infamous Moments in Boston Sports Media History

Periodically, we’re going to look back in Boston Sports Media history and revisit some of the more infamous moments that this group has foisted upon the general public.

The left fielder of the Boston Red Sox is a brilliant hitter, with few peers in the history of the game. However, he hasn’t always cooperated with the media, and has been known on occasion to perhaps not go all-out on the field. Often categorized as “aloof” or “immature”, his accomplishments at the plate seem to be overshadowed by these characteristics. Some are sick of his act, and decry the negative example he sets for our youth.

We’re talking of course about Ted Williams.

Williams was a particular target of Boston Record columnist Dave Egan, who ripped Williams with a style and frequency that would make Dan Shaughnessy blush.

In 1952, Williams was headed to Korea for his second tour of combat duty with the Marines. It was his last game before heading out, and many showed up at Fenway Park to pay tribute to him. They were well aware that this might be the final game of his brilliant career, he could be injured or killed in the war, and no one knew how long the war might continue. By the time it was over, Williams might be too old to continue playing.

It was under these circumstances that Egan took aim at Williams for being a poor example for America’s youth. (Excerpted from the Ted Williams Reader.)

… Swings left-handed like Williams. Wears his pants long, like Williams. Plays the outfield, like Williams. And will not wear a necktie even when the occasion insists upon a necktie, simply because the great man will not wear a necktie.

The skies will not tumble down upon us, whether a boy wears a necktie or not, but I have the right and the duty to ask where Ted Williams is leading this boy. Does he also refuse to tip his cap, does he feel that even the most indecent gestures will be overlooked, so long as he can hit a baseball with a piece of wood? Is he a rebel against conformity, simply because the man after whom he models himself has successfully rebelled, and may he expect to be honored by the municipal big wheels at a later date, if he follows the pattern set by Williams?

It seems disgraceful to me, that a person such as Williams now is to be given the keys to the city. We talk about juvenile delinquency, and fight against it, and then officially honor a man whom we should officially horsewhip for the vicious influence that he has had on the childhood of America…

Williams has stubbornly and stupidly refused to recognize this responsibility to childhood. The kid has set a sorry example for a generation of kids. He has been a Pied Piper, leading them along a bitter, lonely road.

So on the day that Williams was leaving to serve his country and put his life on the line, Egan rips him because he prefers not to wear neckties. He’s worried that America’s youth will be tarnished because Ted Williams will not wear a tie.

Manny’s got it easy.

  • Tiffany

    Before I got to the last line of this, the thought kept running through my head, this sounds like how the Boston media treat Manny…

    It’s a wonder that great players ever choose to play here.

    • http://kate kate

      The media has always treated players who haven’t been overly welcoming to the media badly. Look at Jim Rice..granted he was not the nicest guy on the face of the planet, but he came to Boston as an African-American player during the middle of busing riots in South Boston. Obviously he didn’t want to talk to the media and as a result they trashed him. Manny doesn’t really talk to the media so it’s become easier for writers to make things up than dig for something substantive. One thing everyone has to admit is Manny has taken the media beatdown better than most.

  • joe

    Typical bitching from a non-athletic, whining bitch of a writer – kinda like the Massarotti, Felger, etc… of today…

  • CISW

    Its obvious to me that the Manny smear campaign has been in full force for three weeks now – led by the likes of the irrelevant and bitter Lobel, Dumb and Dumber (Adams and Buckley) and the angry white males, Dennis and Callahan.

    Lucchino has been strangely silent this year with the media. Something tells me he’s working in concert with some of the above.

    Why don’t media members focus on the real Red Sox problems such as:
    1. Inept 7th and 8th inning relief.
    2. Zero offensive production from the 7-8-9-1 spots in the batting order.

    Did the media members I alluded to gripe when their personal hero Curt Schilling went on the airwaves and discussed his contract situation last year? Of course not.

    This latest character assasination on Manny is disgraceful. They did it to Nomar and Pedro and now they are going after the greatest RH Red Sox hitter since Foxx.

    Those media members will all be tripping over themselves when trying to interview or get a sound bite from Manny in Cooperstown 7 – 10 years from now.

    Its disgraceful and distasteful.

    • Jason Coyote

      The apocalypse might be upon us because Shaughnessy used his Globe column today to talk about bullpen/batting order problems you brought up. Either that or he needed a breather before he dives back into Manny-bashing mode tomorrow.

      Does Lucchino no longer do his weekly radio chat with D&C?

      • CISW

        No – he hasn’t been on all year. He’s an a-hole (along with D&C). I agree on the Shauhnessy article – he actually did point out the Red Sox major issues but I think he still ripped Manny at the beginning of article.

    • gary

      Exactly correct! The Lucchino smear campaign is in full force to get rid of another Duquette signee. Notice how Tek gets no heat whatsoever because he talks to the media. I think his Mendoza-approaching average is a major cause for concern!

      • CISW

        100% correct. Media favorite (not mine) Captain Post Game Quote will be renewed for two more years and Manny will be sent packing after going .305 33HR 110 RBI. Absolutely disgraceful.

  • Lance

    Critics rightfully belong in the dustbin of history and I hope Dave Egan is miserable wherever he might be. What a sloth.

    The old timers in the area often reflect on the brilliance of The Kid who was their hero as children. Have never heard the same about Egan from another writer. Wonder if CHB, Felger and the Angry-in-the-Morning Twins realize they’ll be forgotten 5 minutes after they’re gone.

    • Jim Haug

      Not to mention that Egan was a legendary drunk.

      • NASCL

        If you add womanizer, I vote, “Approve!”

      • Angry Old Bastard

        he must have been half in the bag when he wrote that column

  • Char

    The more things change… the more they stay the same.

    The funniest part, of course, is that those who are bashing Manny now with the same techniques are also uniform in their praise of Williams.

    I’m sure 30-40 years down the road, there will be a new Manny/Ted, and the entire cycle will repeat itself.

  • mitch_merkle

    Again, this is what you get when opinions are sought over facts and the objective analysis of those facts. I guess things don’t change much over the years.

  • MJ

    The CHB is much older than he looks.

  • Dave from Natick

    They did the same thing to Yaz and Rice. Its as predictable as Death and Taxes; angry middle-aged media princesses making a living trashing our left-fielders.

  • MarkB

    Yeah,that is classic sports reporter representin’. They start – somehow – to think that they are more important than the game. And since they – until the hated internet – always had the last word, they could get away with it. Now, they see their monopoly on the media melting away, and it makes this bunch even more bitter. F*ck ‘em.

  • Angry Old Bastard

    …..wow….That’s too funny….getting ripped because you don’t wear a tie and then Eagan trys to link not wearing ties to juvenile delinquency!! ……no doubt the current “Knights of the Keyboard” think Egan was a “Great Man”…………

  • Mike in Southie

    Same old same old. Those that don’t bow down and kiss the old school media rings get bashed.

    The internet will save us all. I don’t need Dave Egan or Shank Shaughnessy to see things for me through their jaded eyes. I get instant feedback with video confirmation 24 hours a day.

    I haven’t bought a newspaper in years.

    • Sluggo

      Read and subscribe to the BSMW Forum and you won’t EVER need to listen to the idiot mouthbreather hosts and callers on WEEI ever again.

    • Sluggo

      Read and subscribe to the BSMW Forum and you won’t EVER need to listen to the idiot mouthbreather hosts and callers on WEEI again.

  • HighWireNickEsasky

    I think Bruce is pulling our legs and snagged this from The Onion sports page, ala John Dennis (although his was unintentional)

  • NSW