Friday, January 25, 2013

Pedro Martinez Is Coming Back, and I'm Not Happy About It

I love Pedro. He's my favorite athlete of all-time. I even have a Mets t-shirt because it says "Martinez" on the back. So you'd think the news that he's been appointed by the Red Sox as Special Assistant to the GM would thrill me. But it doesn't.

It reeks of a PR decision, a move to make fans happy. Give a popular former player from happier times a vague job, make all the fans smile, even have the news trend on Twitter.

Call me cynical, call me paranoid. But look at the timing. It's perfect. The Patriots have been eliminated from the NFL playoffs and the aftermath of that has settled down. And wasn't there just a book released recently that kind of made the Red Sox ownership look bad? It's the perfect time to throw a bone to the fans, and give them something to be happy about.


Jason Varitek is already a "Special Assistant" to the GM. How many more Special Assistants from the 2004 Red Sox will be hired? Will Bill Mueller be named Head Groundskeeper? Will Trot Nixon become the team bus driver?

Perhaps they were always going to hire Pedro and they announced it at the best time to maximize good publicity. And that's fine.

However, this ownership has, over the last 5 years, earned nothing but mistrust and skepticism. They acquire players for PR reasons, spend money for the sake of spending it, trash departing players in the media, lie about sellouts, and prioritize appearance over all else. So can you blame me for being skeptical?

I'm glad Pedro is part of the organization. I just wish the organization didn't make me question every single move they make.

4 comments:

Section 36 said...

The only reason I don't completely agree with you is that the Sox, and other teams, have been doing this for a while. Like you said, Tek is already in the same role. Yaz and Evans have been "Player Development Consultants" for years. Rice and Pesky were "Special Assignment Instructors." All were simply on the payroll so they'd have to show up at events and look happy. So, signing Pedro is a PR move, yes. But it wasn't a "Goodness our team is lousy and Francona's book makes us looks bad, so let's hire a fan favorite." The four guys I mentioned were on the payroll the year they signed Crawford and Gonzalez. They certainly didn't need the PR then.

It's just what they do.

Oh, and they don't lie about sellouts. They sell more tickets than they have seats available to be sold. What else makes a sellout?

rob said...

Good points about Yaz, Evans, etc.

They don't sell every ticket they have available. The Globe did a story on that where a reporter acting as a fan was able to buy tickets into the 7th inning.

The whole achievement aspect of a sellout streak is that the fans are in all the seats. It's a testament to having a loyal, dedicated, die hard fanbase.

And the attendance figures on some box scores last year were flat-out lies.

Section 36 said...

Yes, there are tickets available. By rule, the Sox have to hold back a certain number of tickets for opposing teams, MLB hotshots, and others. Those aren't released until the last minute, so they don't count towards sellouts. Hard to say you didn't sell every ticket when you only had five minutes to sell it. That globe story was an attempt to make a story out of nothing, and themselves. The Sox were doing the same "day of Game sales" at the beginning of the streak too. It's not like they've suddenly gotten sneaky about it now that they're close to 800 games.

Those figures in the box score are "tickets sold" just like every team.

rob said...

Then why is it called "attendance" instead of "tickets sold?"

And again, the whole reason Sellout Streaks are viewed as achievements is because they were once expressions of how much the fans wanted to be at the park to watch their team. How crappy does your team have to be that people have tickets and don't go? Or that people don't want to buy them at reduced rates in the secondary market? Or that fans wait until the 3rd inning to come in and leave in the 7th?