Sunday, March 24, 2013

A Word From the Assignment Desk

Dear Former Colleagues in Boston Sports Journalism: Gang, I have a little job for you, one I believe will be of some interest to your audience.

As you may know, there is a proposal floating around Major League Baseball, which might be voted on at the next owner's meeting in May, to "create more flexibility in" a business school synonym for "get rid of" the pension plans of non-uniformed personnel of all teams -- the scouts, secretaries, PR staff, etc. These folks, many of whom have been with their teams far longer than the owners themselves, are truly unsung heroes and heroines. How would you have liked to be answering the phones at Fenway Park last summer?

All that need to be said about the morality of this idea is that its leading opponent is White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf. He's hardly a hippie, being a cold-blooded businessman ruthless enough to make a lifelong on Michael Jordan, but also possessing enough resemblance to a real person to know the difference between being tough in business and being a complete shit.

This proposal is on the table because a large percentage, possibly a majority of baseball team owners ARE complete shits. They belong to that ever-expanding class of the American superrich for whom conspicuous consumption, let alone philanthropy, does not provide enough of an ego rush for their money. To them, the real fun of wealth is power, specifically the power to hurt others and get away with it.

So here's the job, guys and gals. Where does Red Sox owner John Henry stand on this issue? Since fans give Henry THEIR money, I bet they'd like to know just what kind of beast they're feeding with it? Is Henry just an owner who's had a few unfortunate seasons running the show lately, or is he the sort of person decent folk cross the street to avoid?

If any of you find out, I'll be grateful, grateful enough not to point out you should've done it already.

And if one of you has, and I just didn't see or hear it, I apologize in advance, but I still want to know, so repeat yourself.


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