BOSTON (CBS) – A funny thing happens on social media and on the airways every time a team makes a signing, a trade or anything really, and that’s the inherent need to assign praise and blame.
In Boston, and for the Red Sox in particular, we offer praise singularly to Executive Vice President/General Manager Ben Cherington, and give blame to President and CEO Larry Lucchino.
As someone whose job it is to monitor the radio and basically tune in for 10 hours a day (factoring in the commute, of course), perhaps nobody is more qualified to speak on this topic than I am. I see and hear this every day.
Why is that? Why is it that when something good happens we laud Cherington, but when something bad happens we bash Larry Lucchino?
I’ve created a flow chart to help explain this phenomenon better:
I’m sure you’ve seen and heard the same thing, maybe you’re guilty of it too. Quite frankly it’s getting a little tiring, and it reached an all-time high this week during the Jon Lester saga.
This is a compilation of responses to various Jon Lester posts (pre-trade, obviously) over the past week on the 98.5 The Sports Hub Facebook page:
Do you notice a common theme?
Ownership, particularly Larry Lucchino, is the prime recipient of all the blame.
Fast forward to trade day. The deal goes through that sends Jon Lester, Jonny Gomes and cash to Oakland for Yoenis Cespedes and a draft pick, and guess who gets the praise? You guessed it! Ben Cherington!
So who’s really running the shots? It depends if the move is perceived as good or bad.
Cherington good :)
Cespedes for Lester, AND you suckered Oakland into taking Gomes? I love you, Ben Cherington.— greggnog (@greggnog) July 31, 2014
Cherington needs to stand on top of Fenway, look over the city and yell “ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?"— Brett Cowett (@BACowett) July 31, 2014
Ben Cherington's sitting in his office like: pic.twitter.com/zUbUU7ndGb— Dan O'Mara (@Dan_OMara) July 31, 2014
Lucchino bad :(https://twitter.com/DrewC_78/status/494842949885100032
Just because Ben's return for Lester is palatable doesn't mean Lucchino should get a pass for punting the negotiations this spring.— Mike From Woburn (@MikeFromWoburn) July 31, 2014
Ben Cherington , you did it again. Lousy job . Lucchino and John Henry , please get out from Fenway. #RedSox— Edu M (@EduMoratoo) July 31, 2014
Praising Ben Cherington on a day like Thursday without giving Larry Lucchino his due is like crediting your waitress for an awesome night out with no congratulations to the chef that made it happen.
It would be like thanking Blades for keeping you on the edge of your seat after a Bruins game, or hugging the flight attendant in gratitude for a safe landing on a turbulent flight. Meanwhile the pilot is sitting in the cockpit like, “Ummmm….hello?!”
We’re talking about a front office here that wouldn’t let new GM Ben Cherington hire the manager he wanted (Dale Sveum) after the disastrous 2011 collapse. Then not even a year later the Dodgers agreed to take Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Adrian Gonzalez off their hands and guess who got the praise?
You guessed it! Ben Cherington!
From CBS Boston August 25, 2012:
“What is amazing is that with this deal Ben Cherington was able to instantly change this team in one night with one trade. A huge majority of fans love this deal,” wrote Dan Roche.
Found in the comments section underneath a similar article:
Different situation — different trade — and the rhetoric afterwards remains the same: Praise Ben, Blame Larry. It’s unbelievable, and it happens all the time.
Why would Red Sox ownership, who wouldn’t even let the GM hire his own manager, all of a sudden give him free reign to unload over a quarter of a billion dollars in salary? It doesn’t make sense.
My point is we need to be more consistent. We can’t have it both ways. They work together as one, not as adversaries. Both deserve equal praise when something goes right, and equal blame when something goes wrong. It’s moronic to do otherwise.
On Thursday, after making an utter mess of the Lester contract negotiations throughout the season, the front office was able to pull off a trade to land them a premier power bat. Well done Ben — and Larry. (Was that so hard?)
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