Location: Vienna, Virginia, United States

A graduate of Dartmouth College (2005) and Washington and Lee University School of Law (2010). These are my personal blogs, and the musings expressed on them do not reflect the positions of my employer. They do reflect my readings, thoughts, and aspirations, which I figure is good enough.

Friday, January 07, 2005


Sorry folks, another baseball article. But this one has more to do with journalism, so bear with me.

If you hadn't heard by now, Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe wrote an article for today's paper detailing how Doug Mientkiewictz (henceforth known as simply Doug because I don't want to type out his last name again) kept the ball that won the World Series, the one that Edgar Renteria grounded to Keith Foulke, who then tossed it to Doug to end the series.

Shaughnessy then goes on to paint a contentious picture of ownership for the ball, even going as far as to postulate that just because Doug, a defensive-minded first baseman that the Sox brought in for the last three months of the season, was weak offensively (he actually is fairly decent and had a bad year) and not an Opening Day player, he doesn't deserve ownership of the ball. He makes Doug to be some kind of ogre, who was doing the right thing when he flipped Derek Lowe the game ending ball of the ALCS and the horrible, monstrous deed when he kept the WS ending ball for himself.

This is underhanded journalism, no doubt about it, for an underhanded individual, a journalist that doesn't know how to do real research and doesn't know how to write a real article, and gets his ya-ya's out by inventing mysterious curses and arguments.

Shaughnessy is one of the most contentious, attention-seeking journalists out there, but it surprises me that even he had the temerity to write something as idiotic as this.

First of all, I don't think that Doug was thinking "ooh, this ball is going to pay for my kid's college tuition" when they won the World Series and he jumped onto the pile. I'm fairly certain that his reaction was "WE JUST WON THE EFFING WORLD SERIES". Fairly. To even insinuate it (Shaughnessy pretty much outright says it) is absolutely ludicrous.

And I'm fairly certain that no one would grudge him the ball either, because by all accounts he had a lot to do with the Sox winning the series and more importantly, because in the end, the Sox won the World Series, and it's just a friggin' ball. Lowe isn't asking for it because he won the game, Foulke isn't asking for it because he was the pitcher. Manny isn't asking for it because he was he MVP. Johnny Damon isn't asking for it because he is the Christ reborn.

The only person who's asking for it is Larry Lucchino, the Red Sox CEO, and he has so far only put in a request that Doug return it so it can be displayed, no mention of buying it, or how the club might hold it against him if he didn't acquiesce. If Doug gave the ball up, it would be "a nice gesture on his part." (Lucchino) If he doesn't and the Sox end up having to pay him a couple of hundred thousand for it (Doug says something about putting a kid through FSU), no one will really give a damn. In fact Shaughnessy is the only person that suggests that there is any argument to be had.

By spouting all the figures, 93,000 for the Buckner ball, 450,000 for the 73rd home run, 3 million for McGwire's 70th, Shaughnessy is only trying to inflate the value of the ball and create more controversy. He doesn't even pause to think that the Sox wouldn't mind giving an integral member of their Series team some money if Doug turned out to be economic about it (which he has not actually said and really, is only human nature in the end), and that the 3 million paid by McFarlane for McGwire's 70th HR ball was a horrendous overpayment that McFarlane is now paying for, to some degree, in bankruptcy. Oh, and also that some fans might want the ALCS ball more than the WS ball.

Yes, all the players want to cherish the memory. But they were there, and they lived it and all the fans lived it, and everyone has the memory of the Red Sox winning the Series. Perhaps Doug should give the ball to a Red Sox museum or something like that, but that is not the point of contention here. Doug is not a villain that stole something from the Sox and their fans. If the Sox have to buy it back, he's still not a villain. Shaughnessy is the only villain, a cheap journalist who needs to make a buck by screaming "fire" where there's none, a Sox fan who doesn't know how to celebrate, and a jealous little snot who only knows to blast a good man and a good baseball player who was lucky enough to be on the field and have the winning ball tossed to him when the Sox won their first World Series in 86 years.

If Shaughnessy has a problem with it, he should ask Theo if he can be the Sox replacement at first base when they get back to the Series so he can have a chance to catch the ball. That's all this article is about in the end, jealousy. That and the fact that Shaughnessy was the one who really got all this curse stuff started to begin with.

Yeah, that's right. Way back in 1986 George Vecsey wrote about the Curse of the Bambino. It was never really institutionalized before then. But Shaughnessy really gave it legs when he embellished and wrote that it "had been around for 7 decades" and later wrote the book "The Curse of the Bambino". He tied all the problems that the Sox ever had, from bad management, to racism, to a little bad luck, into that one transaction, which has been spun beyond belief since then. And now that the "Curse" is gone (Shaughnessy even writes about "the ball that broke the curse" in this most recent article), Shaughnessy needs something else to stir up the fans and to help him keep his job. And apparently that something is Doug Mienkiewictz.

How sad. And how stupid is Shaughnessy, because in trying to make Doug a villain, he's obviously looking out of himself, because the Gold Glover isn't quite as good an interview as Kevin Millar, who talks about drinking before games and embodies the "Cowboy Up" "Bunch of Idiots" mentality that supposedly permeates the Sox. The Sox are trying to trade one of them, because they don't need two first basemen and David Ortiz next year, and don't think for a second that the Sox won't take Shaughnessy and his bully pulpit into account. As a high profile Globe sportswriter, Shaughnessy should know better than to write crap like this, especially when the subject matter concerns a player that might get traded.

All I have to say is, if Doug gets traded, and next year in the WS, Edgar Renteria hits a dribbler between Kevin Millar's legs that wins the WS for the Cardinals [note - not happening, now that Edgar is on the Red Sox], Dan O'Fucking Shaughnessy better not write an article about how Larry Walker should give up the ball because he's Canadian.


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