Nine to know: Red Sox Nation held hostage

As the major league postseason continues, Red Sox Nation continues to be held hostage by a torrent of revelations, defections and back-stabbing.

Here’s a Nine to Know on the latest:

  1. Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe writes that it is “Utter chaos,” in the wild and wacky world of the Boston Red Sox this morning. He describes it by writing, “There are so many things wrong with the Sox at this hour, it’s difficult to know where to start. The manager is gone, the general manager is gone, the owners are in hiding, and the players are a loathsome lot totally unworthy of the money and adulation they receive.” Check out Dan’s no-holds barred column.
  2. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports that the deal with the Cubs for Theo Epstein is for five years and $15 million. In addition, Theo gets an additional $3.5 million from Boston as a “golden parachute.” The final negotiations to secure the deal include the Sox insistence that the Cubs cover the cost of the parachute and what players the Sox will get in return. Watch Rosenthal’s complete report here.
  3. Baseball Nerd Keith Olbermann is none to pleased with the “remarkable hatchet job on Francona, and to a lesser degree Epstein, cobbled together from a series of anonymous sources that appear to mainline directly back to Red Sox ownership,” that appeared in yesterday’s Boston Globe. In his MLB blog post entitled “The Curse of The Lucchino,” Olbermann writes, “Francona and Epstein were not merely scapegoated in the story. The newspaper essentially printed an ownership implication that Francona had a prescription drug problem, that he was distracted by worry over the safety of his son and son-in-law, serving overseas, and that he lost focus because of marital problems. With the caveat that I consider both Francona and Epstein friends – and my assurance that neither has been a source for what I write here – the story is one of the more remarkable smear campaigns in baseball (or business) history. And it merits explanation and exposure.” And he provides both here.
  4. Gordon Edes on ESPN Boston also addresses the smear campaign and quotes Nomar Garciaparra (who knows about this first-hand), “I think people are starting to recognize there’s a pattern here. All of a sudden it becomes personal, especially with guys who have had so much success in that uniform,” Garciaparra said on “SportsCenter” Wednesday. “If we want to go down the list … now we’re hearing about Terry Francona, before Terry … it was Johnny Damon, before him you had Derek Lowe, you had Pedro Martinez, you had Manny Ramirez, you had myself, then you had Mo Vaughn, then you had Roger Clemens, then you had Jim Rice, Carl Yastrzemski, and oh, by the way, one Ted Williams.” “So the list is pretty good, pretty prestigious, but it seems to happen. So there’s a pattern. Is it all these guys that are bad or is there something more here?” Read Edes here.
  5. “There’s too much drama, man,” free-agent to be David Ortiz told ESPN’s Colleen Dominguez in reference to the Red Sox. “There’s too much drama. I have been thinking about a lot of things. I don’t know if I want to be part of this drama for next year.” Read the full story in which Big Papi expresses his admiration for the Yankees, “They lost just like we did, they just went to the first round of the playoffs. I ain’t heard nobody coming out killing everybody just because they lost.”
  6. John Tomase of the Boston Herald, who broke the story of the starting pitchers drinking in the clubhouse during games, today writes how Josh Beckett needs to go. His column begins with the premise, “The cesspool that was the Red Sox clubhouse has been laid bare, and the stench is overpowering. Now begins the toxic cleanup, a job likely to fall to GM-in-waiting Ben Cherington.” and concludes with him writing, “Their first order of business should be removing the stink from the clubhouse. It will require bold action and nothing would be more shocking than ditching Beckett. It’s why he’s the guy who’s got to go.” Read the whole column here.
  7. What can the Sox expect from the Cubs in return for Theo queries Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal. Answering his own question, MacPherson responds, “At the top of the list is outfielder Brett Jackson, a 23-year-old former first-round draft pick who hit .297 with a .388 on-base percentage and .551 slugging percentage in half a season at Triple-A Iowa this season.” The rest of MacPherson’s possibilities are contained in his column found here.
  8. The left-hand hitting Brett Jackson

    Hall of Famer Peter Gammons weighed in with his take on the situation in his weekly sports radio WEEI appearance yesterday morning. “I must say, I’m pretty sickened,” Gammons said. “I don’t need the Terry Francona out-the-door trashing. It’ll be interesting to see if they can screw it all up and trash Theo [Epstein] once he leaves. … It doesn’t speak really well about the way Tito left and the things he said, and the way Theo’s leaving, about how insane New England has become. There’s so much freneticism.” As to whom he Sox will get for compensation Gammons said, “I think that more important is going to be the $15 million to $20 million, and then I think it’s going to be a prospect. A guy like Brett Jackson who is young, would immediately take over as the Red Sox’ regular right fielder, right-handed hitter, which they need. A guy like that is probably the most logical The Red Sox aren’t going to get Starlin Castro. They’re not going to take [Carlos]Zambrano or [AlfonsoSoriano, who they’ll probably end up releasing anyway. I think it will maybe be Jackson or a couple of young arms. They don’t have many major league-ready young pitchers.” The only trouble Peter is that Jackson is a left-handed batter which means the Sox still need a right-handed hitter. For the rest of Gammons’ musings, head here.

  9. Theo Epstein will have to be a miracle worker for the Cubs,” writes Rick Telander of the Chicago Sun Times. He writes, “‘Theo’’ means God in Greek. Theo Epstein, welcome to Chicago! Bring on the Miracle! Perform the Exorcism! Cast out ye ghosts and cloven-hoofed beasts and rodents of Ozzie Guillen’s imagination! In fact, just walk here from ­Boston in your sandals, right across Lake Michigan!”

 Ah, just another day in paradise.