The Minihane Reminder – The Boston Media Is Not Very Tough (skinned)

Only in Boston could we have a ceremony celebrating the 10-year anniversary of a Championship that broke an 86-year drought and then spend the next day listening to the media bitch endlessly about it.

Then we have Kirk Minihane’s column today. (The Manny Ramirez reminder: Boston is not a tough sports town)

Holy crap.

I understand the points he’s trying to make. I really do. I’m going to try my best not to be a total fraud on this one.

First, I’m on the anti-Manny side of this. A serial steroid abuser, a guy who quit on his team, skipping Jimmy Fund after Jimmy Fund event, blowing off Walter Reed, beating up old guys and his own wife — we all know the greatest hits. He’s personified everything that’s been wrong with baseball the last 15 years, and the Red Sox decide to give him above-the-title billing for the 10th anniversary celebration of the 2004 World Series champions Wednesday? A stunningly tone-deaf move by the Red Sox, basically endorsing all the many transgressions of Ramirez.

I think we’re all well aware of Manny’s history. I also think appreciating what he did on the field does not signify condoning what he did off of it, nor does it mean that the Red Sox are complicit in his acts by giving him the role they did the other night.

That would be like saying Kirk Minihane, by showing up for work every day endorses the acts that got his co-hosts suspended for racist remarks. That when they skipped the Jimmy Fund event themselves because they were in a contract dispute, that it was OK. Their own interests were more important. That sending out numerous bullying voicemails and Tweets that would get others in hot water is just fine and dandy, thank you. We all know the greatest hits of D&C. By working there, Kirk endorses all the many transgressions of John Dennis and Gerry Callahan.

Some would say that Dennis and Callahan (and Minihane) personify everything that’s been wrong with sports media for the last 15 years.

I wasn’t surprised the Red Sox elected to have Ramirez announced last and throw out the first pitch — this is an ownership group that hungers to be liked by players, turning into 12-year-olds around these guys. That’s OK, I guess, it’s their money and they’ve been extraordinarily successful. No, what surprised me was this idea that there was ever a chance the fans would react negatively toward Ramirez. That was never going to happen.

I wasn’t surprised that Kirk and his co-workers as well as just about every other on-air personality in town elected to spend yesterday howling at the moon on his topic. This is a group that hungers to have the edgiest hot sportz take, and to attempt to make following sports miserable. That’s OK, I guess. They’ve been extraordinarily successful. Well, some more than others, anyway. What surprised me was this idea that there was ever a chance that the media would actually just let fans enjoy something that meant a lot to many of them instead of trying to ruin it with their own misery. That was never going to happen.

Again, cheer or boo — it’s your buck — but can we all get together and drop the notion that Boston is a tough town? That’s over, it’s been over for years. Who, exactly, is having a tough time in Boston these days? What athlete? Ramirez treated fans, media and his own organization like a six-pound turd for the better part of a decade and all is forgiven … why? Because he’s been gone for a while? Because he’s using the ultimate mulligan, the Jesus card, to kick off an image rehabilitation tour?

That’s right, Clay Buchholz is NOT being called a giant pussy a dozen times an hour all day on sports radio. Rajon Rondo is NOT being deemed a punk and an arrogant s.o.b. who isn’t a leader whenever the subject of the Celtics comes up. Dont’a Hightower is NOT being called the biggest draft bust in the Bill Belichick era and having his every miscue in coverage screamed about. Brad Marchand is NOT catching any heat for his playoff antics and lack of performance. Danny Amendola is NOT being mocked at every turn for being a fragile as Wedgwood china. David Ortiz is NOT being called greedy and having his every achievement asterisked. Bill Belichick, despite having the best record in the NFL since 2001 does NOT have his every move, draft pick and decision picked apart, criticized and questioned.

These things are NOT happening. It’s a piece of cake to be an athlete in Boston.

Please tell me why it is necessary for athletes to have “a tough time” in Boston. Some in the media seem to think if they’re not being “tough” they’re not doing their jobs. They’re the only ones who think this. Eight championships in twelve years tells me that things are going pretty well.

Is the Jesus card the ultimate mulligan, or is using kids with cancer a better way to rehabilitate an image? As long as it is publicized, I guess. If you’re putting your name and image to a cause like that, you can get away with pretty much anything. And if someone dares question your motivation in doing this, you can just scream at how your accuser hates kids with cancer, and your lackeys will rush to your defense and smother the dissenter. John Dennis, when the whole METCO thing happened said that people did not know what was in his heart.

Apparently, though, Manny is just “using” the Jesus card, because Kirk and everyone else can actually see into his heart and know that this is fraudulent, just an act to try and con people into thinking he’s changed.

You know who is having a tough time in Boston these days? The D&C Show, for one. Damn those ratings.

Here’s the truth: You don’t care if Ramirez is a different person or not. Down deep, you’re thinking what I’m thinking — once a jerk, always a jerk. That doesn’t change. But he helped you win two World Series and was a great (though juiced off the charts) hitter. And that’s what matters. He could get arrested six times over the next 10 years and tear Boston to shreds in interviews, and guess what would happen in 2024? He’d get a standing ovation at the 20th reunion.

Here’s the truth: I’m over it. Is Manny Ramirez the only athlete in history to be a jerk? Was he the only player juicing it up? So, none of the competition were doing these things? There were no jerks or juicers prior to Manny?  The Yankees had many more players be exposed over the years as having used substances. Is there any effort by the local media to diminish their accomplishments? No. Only with the locals. Does it bother me that Manny did these? Yeah. It does. But I’m over it. Why is it such a horrible thing that someone cares mostly about just what happens on the field? When did this change? Athletes in the past did horrible things, but no one heard about it. Should older fans now look back at teams of their childhood and renounce them now knowing what we know about some of them? It’s a slippery slope. We need to hold all grudges against Manny forever, but what about when we find out about things others have done?

Just like Kirk is apparently over his co-worker’s antics. Kirk is open about the troubles in his own personal life in the past. Should we also hold them against him? Once a jerk always a jerk?

I’m over it. The 2004 World Series was a historic moment in local sports. The efforts to make us miserable over it are just pathetic.

Right or wrong, the fanboys have won. The cynics have been pushed aside, they are now very much a minority in the fan base and the media. If you introduce a negative opinion, or a suggestion an athlete should be traded or not re-signed, or if the athlete or coach isn’t as great as the current perception, you are either miserable or just a troll looking for page views. Maybe you think that’s a good thing. Maybe you’re right. But I’m not comfortable with it. I don’t like beat writers as PR guys or radio talk show hosts as cheerleaders, and I don’t want adults with some influence pushing for players to be on the cover of video games. I see all this — just go on Twitter during games and tell me some beat guys aren’t rooting for teams — and wonder what’s next, where exactly does it end? Will John Henry own everything and everyone will just shrug and move on?

Ah yes. The fanboys. There are no lower forms of life than the fanboy.

There are no cynics anymore. I just wish that the likes of John Dennis, Gerry Callahan, Kirk Minihane, Lou Merloni, Andy Gresh, Michael Felger, Tony Massarotti, Adam Jones, Dan Shaughnessy, Ron Borges, Kevin Paul Dupont, Gary Tanguay, Eric Wilbur, Adam Kaufman, Jim Donaldson, Hector Longo, Steve Buckley…I just wish these poor, repressed souls had SOME outlet or platform to express their anti-fanboy views. To set us all straight. It’s too bad, really. There just are no cynics anymore.

I have never once looked on Twitter during a game and gotten the impression that the beat writers were rooting for the local teams. Ever. Where does this come from? Radio talk show hosts as cheerleaders? Who is he talking about here? Dale Arnold on the Bruins? Scott Zolak on the Patriots? It sure seems to me like those guys are the minority.

Beat writers are cheerleaders? Who? I don’t see it. Is it because they’re not cynical and negative? Does everyone involved in covering sports have to be cynical and negative or they’re not up to the standards that Kirk is demanding? Where does the line come down?

One thing we know for sure – unlike these fan boys, athletes and team management, the sports media embraces criticism of themselves and uses it to better themselves and their product. That’s without question. They would never insult someone who is critical of them and their work.

In the minds of the media, do you know what a fanboy really is? It’s someone who pushes back against them. Email Dan Shaughnessy sometime and knock his latest column. You’ll be called a fanboy. Push back on Twitter against someone in the media. They’ll call you a fanboy.

Fans are always going to be suckers, I suppose, weak in the knees for a 4.3 40-yard time or a .440 OBP. I get it, I really do. I don’t agree with it, but I even understand why they cheered for Ramirez. They don’t care about the bad stuff, it’s irrelevant. They want to win and they want to treat the people who actually win like they are more than the rest of us. If Aaron Hernandez were somehow released from prison today, and signed by the Patriots tomorrow (clearly impossible, of course), most fans would be thrilled. And if he caught three touchdown passes against the Broncos, virtually all would be forgotten. Now, would some people give up their season tickets or stop watching? Sure. But those tickets would be snatched in three seconds and the TV ratings wouldn’t move an inch.

If you’re a fan of sports, you’re also a sucker. Remember that.

Also remember that when a guy keeps telling you repeatedly that he gets it, he really does – he doesn’t. Not at all.

Let’s run through Kirk’s hypothetical strawman scenario involving Hernandez.

If Aaron Hernandez were somehow released from prison today – The only way that could somehow happen would be if the charges were dropped, probably following the confession of another, so Hernandez would be innocent.

and signed by the Patriots tomorrow (clearly impossible, of course), most fans would be thrilled. – Yes, given that he was innocent of all charges in this strawman argument, then I would hope fans would welcome the resigning of a quality player who was wrongfully charged.

And if he caught three touchdown passes against the Broncos, virtually all would be forgotten. – Well, hopefully it wouldn’t be forgotten, people shouldn’t let the state brush those false charges under the rug so easily.

Wait, what was the point again?

Cheer or boo, do whatever you want. But let’s stop with the charade that Boston is a tough sports town. It’s a pushover, a place for athletes to be protected, coddled and worshipped by fans and media. This is San Diego, Kansas City, fill in whichever former punchline city you’d use. Boston is no different, most of the media and fans just want to believe it is to feel different about themselves, to build up some false credibility. It’s a fanboy haven now, for better or worse.

Oh right. The whole point of this column is that the Boston media (and fans) aren’t TOUGH. Or tough enough anyway. In order to have credibility, apparently Boston fans and media need to be TOUGH on players and teams.

This paragraph (well, the whole column actually) makes no sense to me whatsoever. Questions I need answered:

Who is portraying the “charade” that Boston is a tough sports town?

Why is it important whether it is true or not?

Why would Boston fans and media need to make something up to feel different from other cities?

What credibility is needed beyond eight championships in twelve years?

When did being a fanboy become such an awful thing?

I like Kirk Minihane. I enjoy many of his columns, he oftentimes takes a stand that runs against what much of the media groupthink seems to be. I’m disappointed that with this one, he seems to be in lockstep with his colleagues at WEEI, as well as the likes of Felger and Mazz and Dan Shaughnessy.

When all the biggest voices in town are the cynics, how can it be said that the “fanboys” have won?  I’ve actually had a column started and it’s been sitting in my drafts folder about how “Felger Has Won.” I believe it is a more accurate representation of what the current fan/media climate is here in Boston at the moment. The “fanboys” get mocked, shouted down and hung up on, while the cynics get all the space and airtime they want.

If you listened to the radio at all yesterday, you know I’m right.

  • Kay

    Drink every time Kirk says or writes, “I get it” and every time Bradfo says, “hey, you know what.”

    • majorMudd

      Does Bradfo’s “hey, you know what?” beat Jackie Mac’s “but, you know what?” in the number of mind numbing occurrences? Is it possible to drink that much alcohol?

    • Jacques

      Or when Merloni begins a sentence with “Listen.”

  • Smyler3

    Well done, as usual Bruce. Only flaw I see is the inclusion of Wilbur, thus implying some slight modicum of credibility to his existence.

  • son_of_kaese

    I’m an older fellow, hence I remember Harold Kaese. He’s was a writer who actually wrote about the action on the field. Among columnists, that’s a rare trait today.
    At this point, all I care about is what occurs on the field, ice, court. So I listen to sports talk and read columnists rarely. Sports are supposed to be fun and enjoyment. If that makes me a fanboy, that’s fine.

  • RoadToOctober

    Now we’ll get commenter after commenter bashing Minihane. You’re no better than him Bruce. You always find someone or something to bash. When was the last column you wrote that didn’t bash someone or something in it? It’s the state of the media nowadays.

    • HighWireNickEsasky

      I don’t think you understand the point of this site. It is to criticize the Boston sports media. The sports media, unlike the players on the field, is otherwise completely unaccountable. They can do or say anything they want, ignore facts, push agendas, fail to do research, sell their own crappy restaurants and troll endlessly. This site is here to hold them accountable. Since the state of the Boston sports media is so terrible, Bruce has no choice to weigh in when appropriate. Not every post “bashes” someone and Bruce often praises media members for doing things the right way, including lower-profile journalists who aren’t ranting and raving in any outlet possible.
      Hopefully more and more people will have had enough and ignore sports radio and other outlets infested by the motley group of no-talent, no-integrity posers listed in this post. Maybe then we can all get back to enjoying sports.

    • Beer Bud

      I’m guessing you skipped over the part where Bruce said he liked Kirk and enjoyed many of his columns?

      • RoadToOctober

        No i saw that. But I guess you missed the rest of the column where he bashed him.

        • Beer Bud

          No I saw that, and the bashing was deserved. The folks in the media like to say “They’re not above criticism” when they get bashed for going after a player/coach/GM/owner. Seems many media types who say that don’t react well when criticism is thrown their way. Even worse on that front is media fanboys like yourself.

  • Guest

    I think the takeaway from F & M yesterday is that we need more hot sportz takes from Billy Lanni.

  • Trip McNeely

    Sorry but if you’re having a sports debate/argument/discussion with someone and they call you a fanboy or a homer, smile and say thank you because you just won the argument. Why? Because they could not match you point for point and had to stoop to name calling. You won. They lost. And they’re so mad they lost they figure they can ruin your victory by calling you the dreaded fanboy. Wear it like a badge of honor because it means that the other guy couldn’t keep up with you mentally.

  • Jackson

    A report er yesterday described Bellhorn as reclusive. I guess he’s shy and uncomfortable being spotlighted.

  • GerrysNewHair

    Again, the media not doing their job – how did one of them not pin Bellhorn’s absence on Manny’s presence?
    That’s a HOTSPORTZTAKE layup if their ever was one.
    Get your house in order to a farethewell.

  • Tony C

    Not to menion the fact that his opposite field three-run dinger in “The Bloody Sock Game” at Yankee Stadium was essentially the biggest hit of the ALCS (aside from Mueller’s game-tying single in Game 4). Without that homer, Schilling’s heroics may go unrewarded that night, because the Sox, for the second time in that series, had enormous trouble hitting Jon Lieber’s assorted offspeed slop.

  • HighWireNickEsasky

    This list was spot on:

    John Dennis, Gerry Callahan, Kirk Minihane, Lou Merloni, Andy Gresh, Michael Felger, Tony Massarotti, Adam Jones, Dan Shaughnessy, Ron Borges, Kevin Paul Dupont, Gary Tanguay, Eric Wilbur, Adam Kaufman, Jim Donaldson, Hector Longo, Steve Buckley

    I might have left Buckley off but it’s a borderline call. How about the Bizarro version of this list (sad that it’s the Bizarro version, but that’s where we’re at):

    Chad Finn, Fluto Shinzawa, Mike Reiss, Tom Curran, Baxter Holmes, Chris Price, Alex Speier, Scott Lauber, DJ Bean, Matt Chatham…

  • RoadToOctober

    That’s an original one. Why not blame every one else? No one has ever really distanced themselves from D&C since that incident. Many other people worked with them since. But we’ll get on Minihane? We didn’t get on Meterperel, or Kevin Winter, or Jen Royle, or Shepherd. But lets get on Minihane for it because we don’t like him. Or maybe it’s just because they said a stupid thing. Funny that you’re willing to forgive and forget with Manny, but D&C don’t get the same consideration.

    • UnrulyNeighbor

      Which shift at WEEI do you work? It’s really not that complicated. The radio hosts are racist, homophobic pigs whose entire professional existence relies on other, actually accomplished people, to do things.

      Manny was one of the best hitters in the history of baseball. If you don’t like sports, that doesn’t mean a whole lot. But if you do like sports, it’s worthy of some acknowledgment that in his job as a baseball player, which is what people who like sports care about, he was awesome.

      The radio guys? They’re not awesome. They’re terrible and will always be so. They don’t like it when the brown skinned guys do things that are maybe not so admirable, yet they’re advocating for their buddy Curt and his few hundred million of stolen money to have taken Manny’s place. Lily white Curt, in case you’d forgotten.

      But mostly, it’s because the guys yelling the most about Manny have more skeletons in their closet than anyone. They deserve to be called out for that. You deserve to be run over by Bertrand chasing after an ice cream truck.

      • RoadToOctober

        So as long as you can hit a baseball then its ok that you beat your wife? Got it, thanks for clearing that up. Guess we know how you treat your women. Now quick, comeback with a witty insult.

        • UnrulyNeighbor

          Who said that it was ok? Bruce’s point is he doesn’t care as it pertains to celebrating a world series title and the players that were part of it.

          All your media idols are crapping all over fans for cheering. Why not crap all over the team for bringing him back then?

        • RoadToOctober

          Yeah ok they’re my idols. Not quite. Just find it funny that people are tripping over themself to defend a wife beater because he was a great hitter.

        • UnrulyNeighbor

          Honestly this comment is chock full of idiocy. Misses the point completely, maybe even intentionally.

          Seems you can separate the John Dennis you hug at the office from the virulent racist on the radio, but you can’t see that fans, who dot actually know Manny personally, might be ok celebrating the 2004 title with the guy who led them there without worrying about his entire life picture?

          We know why you can’t see that. Your drug addict buddy’s column wouldn’t be as fun to giggle about in between giant glass ads.

        • RoadToOctober

          Wow, drug addict? You’re a real angry person aren’t you? I guarantee you’ve uttered a racist comment or two in your life. The difference is that you didn’t do it on the air. For someone who hates D&C so much, sure sounds like you listen alot.

        • majorMudd

          Road. D&C operate on the old Stern theory that those who ‘hate’ them listen longer than those who ‘love’ them. In some regard this may be correct but ratings (mediocre as they may be) and respect are 2 different things. The old cliché that ‘not laughing with them but laughing at them’ comes to mind.

        • the_other_side

          A few summers ago, maybe 2008, Callahan called a caller a “heroin addict” after he talked about requiring insulin injections. The caller called him on it and was immediately hung up on and berated. I contacted weei in disgust and was told by Wolfe that it didn’t happen because “I cannot find it in the tape of the show.” Circle the wagons indeed.

        • UnrulyNeighbor

          Of course you’d guarantee that. Anything to protect your white power (bottom) buddies.

          For someone who hates brown people, you sure seem to know a lot about Manny. (see how stupid that sounds?)

        • RoadToOctober

          who said I hate brown people. I do hate hypocrites. And you Unruly are top of that list.

        • RoadToOctober

          just so you know Unruly, and you don’t embarrass yourself anymore. I’m not white.

        • UnrulyNeighbor

          Of course. Isn’t that covenient. Lemme guess, we don’t know what’s in your heart either.

        • RoadToOctober

          its not convenient at all. show me where in all of this that I defended D&C. I haven’t. I’ve only said that its funny that people are defending a wife beater, PED user, and overall scumbag just because he’s a great ball player, and bashing two radio guys who made a perceived racist remark 10+ years ago.

        • majorMudd

          Perceived? Really? What do you label their remarks since then? Verbose?

        • RoadToOctober

          I say perceived because if you remember the situation a gorilla had escaped from the Franklin Park Zoo, and it was roaming down city streets. They made the comment about it waiting for a bus and that maybe it was waiting for a METCO bus. Since METCO is an organization that helps underprivileged kids get to schools outside of their districts. Not all of the kids that use Metco are of color. There are actually a good number of white people that are fortunate enough to take advantage of Metco. So while yes it was an insensitive remark and should have been better thought of, I never felt it was intended as a racist remark. Just my opinion.

        • majorMudd

          Road. Your point is excellent and well stated but let us expand it further. Is it any less offensive to humorously denigrate based upon economic class than ethnic persuasion? I think that act is much more insidious actually. Btw, I do agree with you regarding the hitter savant. As with most celebrities, he is just a pissant in relationship to the larger world. Perhaps I am showing my own class hypocrisy in writing that but unlike D&C I can learn from my errors and try to be better. All the best to you.

        • RoadToOctober

          maybe not less offensive, but it is more socially acceptable. Had it been perceived as making fun of a poor person, then it wouldn’t have resulted in the backlash and branded them racists, and they wouldn’t have been suspended. But again, I’m not here to defend them. That was never my intention here.

        • majorMudd

          I know that this has taken you off of your original point but it is important how the ‘voices’ out there are expressed. History has proven that mob mentality is never far from the surface of our society. As an example. Two words. Chuck Stuart.

        • RoadToOctober

          At least you’re sensible.

        • ben

          Actually, a requirement of METCO is that the student be “of color”. No white people.

        • RoadToOctober

          You’re right, but it’s not necessarily “of color”. It’s just non-white. I had been to a Metco fundraiser in the past and i thought some of the kids that were there that were white were part of the program. Sorry.

        • UnrulyNeighbor

          Minihane claims to be a recovered drug addict. But he acts like a complete ass, so it’s questiionable whether he is or whether he’s pretending just to get attention.

          Because real recovered addicts know about forgiveness and redemption and about limiting judgments. Kirk needs the attention from all that fake tough guy act that’s made him a local celebrity. So he doesn’t have time to be a genuine person.

          Someone should pump him full of heroin for a few weeks and let him see what real problems are.

        • RoadToOctober

          You apparently listen much more than i do. I’ve heard him say he was a recovering alcoholic, but not a drug addict.

    • GerrysNewHair

      Is it as original as Manny Hates Sick Kids?
      Or 4 hours of come to my bachelor party brought to you by a sponsor talk?
      Or 4 hours of prison rape talk?
      How ’bout 4 hours of the games start to late talk?
      One of their recent celebrity callers is an ex-con named Rabbit and they get excited when he calls – where’s his rap sheet? Manny hasn’t done any time that we know of.
      The original celebrity caller, long dead ButchFromTheCape was a numbers runner and a snitch.
      Shame on those who haven’t distanced themselves from the over the incident.
      Meterperel they rescued from obscurity on his own in Charlotte, he owed them and in my opinion he was trying to springboard into the Red Sox radio job with his morning gig.
      Winter was forced on them and they made his life miserable for it – but he knew their history so shame on him.
      I don’t even know who Jen Royle is so I can’t comment on her.
      Pete as Andrew Dice Clay once said, “He needed the money.” Ooooh.
      Up until about 6 months or so, when talking about Pedro – John and Gerry liked to refer to him as “Petey The Punk”. Now, he’s suddenly back to Pedro, what happened?
      They tried to get Ellen DeGeneres to do something for one of their charities for about 5 months. First Ellen didn’t respond, than apparently, the child was able to go to a show and Ellen didn’t conduct herself the way she was supposed to.
      I know nothing about the woman other than she’s on tv, but I’m sure she’s overwhelmed with these requests and she does a lot of charity work on her own.
      When she didn’t do what they wanted, what did they do? They attacked her and painted her as not caring.
      Never stopping to think that maybe, just maybe, someone on Ms. DeGeneres’s staff did a little research into their history and Ms. DeGeneres decided to stay away?
      Their ship has sailed and they know it.
      Gone are the days of Gerry snidely saying that, “He’s hiding under his desk” when confronted with a potential new challenger.
      If they get a new deal, it’ll be the last one.
      The war’s over and they lost.
      The fact that they lost to 3 guys who know next to nothing about sports and that they openly mocked makes it all the more enjoyable.
      They couldn’t beat Stern when he was on a regular radio and now they can’t beat 2 guys who Stern would refer to as “Morning Zookeepers.”
      See you on the Dino Cruise in November.

      • RoadToOctober

        Wow, you apparently listen more than i do.

      • majorMudd

        Outstanding concise historical post. Thanks. That you don’t know who Jen Royle is makes you, perhaps, the luckiest person in Boston.

    • Kamandi

      If, as you assert, “no one has ever really distanced themselves from D&C since that [METCO gorilla] incident,” that is all the evidence you need that the sports media around here is a thin-skinned, circle-the-wagons, fraternity. Which makes Allen’s article that much more relevant and persuasive. Perhaps if someone you worked with was publicly mouthing off bigotry dripping with adolescent “nyah nyah” you would continue being their friend and defending them. Personally, I would not go that route, but you have to live with yourself. Such a stance does, however, call into question your position as an attacker of others.

      Speaking of that, you also write that “We didn’t get on Meterperel …. or Jen Royle …” Clearly you are completely unfamiliar with the tenor and tendencies of the members here.

      And one more thing: what’s with the “We” construction? Why don’t you speak for you and the rest of us can speak for ourselves.

      • RoadToOctober

        Apparently you’re not as well versed in this site as you think you are. Because I know for a fact that no one ever got on Meter or Royle just for working with D&C. Is that easy enough for you to understand?

  • bsmfan

    Different topic but similar to hitting home on “if you disagree, you’re a fanboi”:

    http://www.boston.com/sports/columnists/wilbur/2014/05/the_more_kraft_ignores_the_aaron_hernandez_allegat.html

    Wilbur basically takes Kraft+Patriots to task for:

    Sorry. Seeing as this was Bob Kraft’s first public appearance since Hernandez was indicted for two (more) murders, he owes a bit more than the “duped” message he delivered last summer.

    Not to lessen the egregious nature of a man it takes to lead an
    acquaintance to a North Attleborough industrial park and put a bullet in him, but the latest charges indicate a set of traits that the Patriots have been steadfast about denying they had any clue about, even after every other team on the draft board passed on Hernandez for “character issues.”

    I’ll say again that if the Patriots did know something, they deserve to get destroyed in the media, along with whatever lawsuit(s) headed their way. At this point, there is no evidence of this. I can’t even conjure up a conspiracy theory here, either.

    Still, Wilbur seems to point the finger in the direction of the team for “employing such a person”. How about the police, whom he also eluded, for 2+ years? If anything, they weren’t doing their job by letting this murderer not only roam free for two years, but also possibly murder at least another person (that we know about). Last I checked, while the Patriots can use “unlawful” (what’s left of the 4th Amendment) tactics to “evaluate” a player, they also lack specific powers that law enforcement has. They’re also pretty prohibited by the CBA as to “monitoring” a player.

    It’s a reiteration of the previous stuff that others, who have a bone to pick with the org, or who wanted to take shots at the team. I’m still wondering what, besides what’s been said and assumed (we thought he was fine. he hid stuff and signed a contract in bad death. it was a bad decision) that can be answered.

    • Beer Bud

      I used to think Wilbur was OK. After his last few articles, not anymore. He’s trying to be the next Shaughnessey. One of them is enough.

      • Beer Bud

        Actually, I’ll correct myself. One Shaughnessey is one too many.

    • andy

      It’s possible that Kraft and/or Belicheck could testify at the trial. If that happens, I am sure their attorneys are telling them to say nothing. Apparently that concept is hard for Wilbur to understand.

  • Early_Riser

    I couldn’t agree more with this. We’re all fans with long memories. We remember what Manny did. We moved on, he seems to have found a better place. But nope, bash bash bash rip rip rip. The most pathetic part of it is these guys truly believe they have a right to tell you how to behave as fans. The “cheer/boo who you want” qualifier is garbage and disingenuous. If Minihane or whomever else writes a piece admonishing fans for not behaving how they think you should, then they are telling you how to behave. I’m an adult, I’ll think what I want and behave how I want. Disagree with me all you want, but not everyone has to think the same and I’m not wrong because I don’t want to live my life filled with outrage 24/7. Well done, Bruce.

  • latetodinner

    I think I disagree with Bruce and I think Minihane’s piece is trash. Hmmm…here is my thinking.

    Manny’s behavior off and on the field should never be forgiven enough to allow him to be embraced as the or a hero of 2004 or 2007. He cheated. He tainted the sport and the championship. Just because others did it is an excuse not an explanation as to why he had to Timé (honor). His “Manny being Manny behavior took away from other athlete’s spotlight as well as focused the attention on him rather than the team. I am sorry, I don’t care whether he has found Jesus, became the pope, was deified and walked on the Charles River in his approach to the ball park…his crimes against the team and baseball are unforgivable. For that reason celebrating his accomplishments makes anyone a hypocrite. In my mind you cannot disassociate a hit in a big game with steroids, physical abuse and the other crimes Manny is accused of. It is akin to “other than that Mrs. Lincoln what did you think of the play?”

    So I think Bruce’s main attack on Minhane is flawed. However Minihane’s article was crap because he believes he and his ilk are the arbiters of fandom, sports conversation and most importantly the “decides of what is legitimate”. The arrogance he displays while at the same time demonstrating an utter disdain for his audience proves those of us who have been luke warm towards him since the Jack attack correct. Minihane at his root is a spoiled, thin skinned entitlement child who fails to understand his employment in his chosen profession should be considered a privilege not a right. Unlike Bruce I do not find it hypocritical that he would work with JD and GC based on their past transgressions while at the same time railing against Manny and those who support him for past transgressions. I think that all media members are whores…with a local market talk radio host being beholden to quasi fame and sensationalism rather than the pursuit of quality. We have spent many, many, many posts lamenting the quality or lack thereof in the sports media in Boston. Minihane had a choice to make…he could have pandered to the basest elements in the fan base or he could shoot for quality. He continues to pander. Boston’s airwaves are worse because of it.

    • Kingasaurus

      —-“his crimes against the team and baseball are unforgivable.”——

      Get over yourself.

    • UnrulyNeighbor

      He didn’t cheat in 2004 or 2007. You can pretend you think he did, but that’s not when he failed his tests. As a famous person you’ve probably never heard of once said, you’re not entitled to your own facts. So if you want to rely on facts, you’re out of luck.

      If you choose to hold someone’s acts from 2004 in a different light after they do something in 2012, that’s certainly your prerogative. But it makes you a judgmental busybody who doesn’t actually care about sports, but really wants people to think he does.

      He’s a baseball player. This isn’t real life. Why should anyone care about anything other than him performing on the baseball field?

      • latetodinner

        Interesting defense…because he was not caught until 2012 he obvious did not do it until then. Because obviously it was all natural talent that made him the best hitter in baseball since Ted Williams.

        We each make our own assumptions. You are correct he is a baseball player, nothing more nothing less. He showed his character when he cheated…he showed his lack of integrity when he was caught cheating. Games have rules to make the competition fair. Some people think skirting the rules, twisting them, and doing whatever you have to to win is acceptable. Others fell the noble pursuit of besting an opponent by using your god given talents and developed skills is the true measure of sportsmanship. It appears to me that you and I fall on different sides of this divide.

        The reason we care about what he does off the field is because we have romanced the sport and all sports ever since the time of Homer. They have been metaphors for war, life and all attempts to settle conflict in between. Cities measure themselves in part by the success of their franchises. Often to be considered a “major” city means your city has a baseball or football team. So to presume that the players don’t achieve an extra ordinary status or position within society is naive. To then suggest that their actions don’t effect enjoyment of the product on the field seems to me is disingenuous. If we were to take your position, then I don’t really see the need for rules as the only purpose to sport is winning. We don’t need standards for team employees…as long as they are winning they are not representing the team, the city and by extension the fans…they are just winning. To me there is more to being a fan than just winning. As such the extra stuff matters.

        • UnrulyNeighbor

          You literally have it all wrong. Every. Single. Thing. The downfall of society wrapped up in a neat little entitlement package.

          You think athletes represent you? Good lord.

        • latetodinner

          No…I think they are perceived to represent me. ESPN is worth $50 bill because of it. I am not wrong about any of it.

        • AnotherUnrulyNeighbor

          Just catching up here. LTD, if you’re going to drone on and on…and on about this topic, I ask you to: 1) please tell us all how you would have included Manny in the ceremony; and 2) how we should all react to Manny as we’re watching that ceremony. It might also prove interesting to tell us how you enjoy watching sports. If you’re willing to do all this, then congratulations! You should send your resume to EEI and 98.5, because it sounds like you can fill four hours of airtime a day with the best of them.

    • Bruce Newman

      What a load of horse hockey. I for one don’t care now, nor have I ever, if someone juices. I enjoy the games for what they are: games, time to escape from real life. If I had the chance to make millions more with help from chemicals, would I? Damned right I would. Just like Admiral Dennis takes all of the freebies to make himself look like less of the aging queen that he is.

      The best thing about moving west 13 years ago? Not having to listen to the local morons. They suck all joy out of watching sports.

  • Homer Greenz

    What the owners did was let it be known to the world that they and Manny have come to good terms and that he’s being welcomed back into the fold.

    I have been entertained by people such as the finger-wagging, ranting and raving Phony Strawman and everyone else that feels the need to spend time and energy attacking Manny’s person.

    It’s a godamn game and a business!!! Some of you are acting as if Manny and the boys were on the front lines of a live war and he turned his back on his brothers. Jack McCormick forgave Manny. If you can’t, that’s on you. Do you think Manny cares about your anger or even that of these Sports Mediots?

  • etak

    Man, Bruce, good post. Thank you.

    “…and to attempt to make following sports miserable.”

    This, right here, is why I no longer listen to local sports radio (or read Wilbur and Shank and some other guys) for anything other than a) games, b) occasionally Dale and Holley, c) Gresh and Zo during football season, and d) Dale’s Sunday morning NFL program. (And avoid Cowherd.) Because I actually like sports, and appreciate people who try hard, and anytime any team loses anything, or even just doesn’t win well enough, these guys are gleefully ready to stomp all over them. Nope. I’m sick of it. Done.

    “…Who, exactly, is having a tough time in Boston these days? What athlete?”

    Anyone y’all take a dislike to, Minihane. Also, anyone who loses. If Minihane doesn’t think there’s an echo chamber of criticism that reverberates throughout the area, I think he should be re-introduced to Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, and Adrian Gonzales.

    Bruce addresses the question of why athletes SHOULD have a tough time way better than me. Because, no, not so much.

    Also, why would Manny be being lauded as a hero? Because he was being introduced as part of the *team* that helped get us a championship in 2004, mostly. Why is this hard to understand? Yeah, if he’d murdered someone, I wouldn’t care to pay attention (but he’d be in jail then). As part of a larger group of champions? Sure, I’ll belt out a cheer while paying vague attention at work.

    (Yes, athletes are to some extent role models. Yes, there is a continuum. Yes, I can cheer for someone who is not perfect. After a certain point of egregious public issues, I can’t, and it’s not predictable or consistent about when I can’t cope anymore. My line is different than latetodinner’s, which is different than Bruce’s.)*

    “…Beat writers are cheerleaders? Who? I don’t see it.”

    Me neither, for the record. I follow a lot of folks on Twitter, and a lot of the beat writers a) provide information, b) joke amongst themselves, and c) aren’t complete curmudgeons, with c) probably being Minihane’s main problem.

  • BSF34

    Good stuff, Bruce. Looking at twitter after the 2004 team ceremony, I saw many of the media saying we shouldn’t forget Manny “quit” on the
    Red Sox at the end. They also said the same about Beckett earlier in the week after his no hitter. I can see their point somewhat about Manny and Beckett “quitting” on the Sox at the end of their days here. I wonder how many of these people who said
    this about Manny and Beckett think Parcells not being in the Pats Hall Of Fame is
    a joke? Couldn’t you argue Parcells “quit” on the Patriots at the end? Negotiating with the Jets during Super Bowl week isn’t “quitting” on your team? I’m sure it has nothing to do with Parcells being a lot more press friendly than either Manny or Beckett.

    • Tony C

      Good point. And remember, NOBODY quit on a Boston team more than Roger Clemens did over the final few years of his Red Sox deal. Fat, out of shape, mediocre, unreliable, aging, no longer dominant, walking too many guys, high ERAs….all of that was forgotten by the Duquette-hating media in this town after Roger defected to Toronto and hooked himself up to Mr. McNamee’s Magical Career Enhancement Machine. Instead, the media put forth the false narrative that Clemens’ barely .500 record in Boston over his final four years was due to him playing for “bad teams”. Never mind that the ’93 team was within a few games of first place in early August before collapsing; the ’95 team won the A.L. East; and the ’96 team had pulled to within a game of the top spot in the Wild Card standings with about a month to go before fading in September. And, of course, never mind the fact that the two Toronto teams he pitched for during his two biggest “retribution” seasons, in 1997-98, never even had a whiff of playoff contention. Bottom line: in this town (and others, to be sure), it’s all about whether or not the media likes you personally. They hate Belichick, so they go out of their way to criticize him, warranted or not; they hated Duquette, so he got the same treatment; they liked Parcells because, while he often was rude to them, he was still great “copy” every time he stepped to the podium, so his messy divorce (largely HIS fault) with the Pats gets glossed over, while guys like Shank continue to rip Bob Kraft every chance they get.

  • the_other_side

    The question raised of “are we more miserable now or do we have more of an outlet now?” is interesting. I am a fan of the local teams but went to college elsewhere and follow my alma mater and when visiting messageboards and reading comments on their local news sites, how many treat the local teams here is not something that is exclusive to Boston/NY/other major markets.

    There is a certain segment of many fanbases who revel in being “right” more so than being happy. They make grand statements contrary to popular fan opinion and it appears that they hope that they are proven correct, even to the detriment of their team. I can’t understand that line of thinking, nor do I want to.

  • dick bupkis

    Hoo boy, it’s nice to be right once a millennium: Kirk Minihane is the gift
    that keeps on giving. Look at the responses to Bruce’s response to Kirkie-poo’s little rabble rouse so far. Will the magic number reach a thousand?
    I’m doing my part. Will factions form like some mutant spore of the Crips and
    the Bloods – – only it’ll be the Minihaves and the Minihaters? Will gang colors
    be issued? Will Gerry Callahan ever take off that damn hat and reveal his
    new look as Carrot Top? Is Jonny Gomes certifiable? It’s Boston; it’s
    the Red Sox; and the merriment will never end . . . as if it ever did. And bye
    the bye, did anyone ever think that management threw Theo a bone by
    validating him pulling Manny out of Bible Camp to coach in some cow
    pasture in Iowa by having the little scamp headline a reunion as a way
    of saying, From now on, it’s just Manny being Batty?

  • IHeartAcronyms

    MG FTW! LOL