Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Bob Lobel: Little Havana in Fenway

By Bob Lobel (@boblobel)

How can we make a hockey fan out of John Henry?  

Why does he have to limit his time to baseball and futbol? And, of course, there is the paper. Does he know all about these complicated organizations?  Everything? How is that possible? Does money make you smart?  

Doesn’t smart make you money? One guess why I want him to buy the local hockey team. No, it's not signing Cuban players to skate, but the way they are setting up the Red Sox, with cash, cash and more cash being thrown toward Havana, John Henry is making  a commitment. 

Maybe they are getting ready to sell the whole  package. I mean there has to be an end game here, right? You can't be as smart as big John without having an end game. Which reminds me of an Alex Rodriguez story. He shows up at Yankees camp today, three days earlier than expected. He is saying all the right things. I predict he will be a bigger hero than he would have been a villain before the year is out. 

We cannot forget that most of us in Red Sox nation thought Alex was coming to Boston. It was believed that he would be wearing a Red Sox uniform. It's true… Reminding us that there is a very thin line between love and hate.  

The Red Sox and Rodriguez courtship was going on as we were going through Iraq, looking for the weapons of mass destruction.

I'll just share a moment that can't be forgotten: In the middle of all that stuff going on, I get a phone call at about 8 am from my news director. Strange, because he never called unless it was important, so I assumed it was dramatic information.  

I immediately thought the Red Sox had delivered the goods and signed Alex away from the Yankees, especially when my boss said into the phone, and I quote, “we got him!”  

What else was I supposed to think?  

Why else would he call? Well, his good news wasn’t the good news I thought it was going to be. He was telling me that “we got" Saddam Hussain. 

I thought for sure it was going to be A-Rod. Can't make that up. 

I guess that makes me a very shallow person. I was guilty that morning. 

So back to John Henry and baseball ops. Kinda shows that their pursuit of John Lester was half-fast, as the cable commercials say. It does reveal that costly ace starters are not worth their value in the playbook. With the offense they expect to have, especially in this ball park, it’s the middle innings from 4-8 that they seem to value  more than 1-3. Anything past 1-3 could be considered a bonus for them. Whatever! 

Havana is our new home away from home. If we need more talent, we just send Louis Tiant back home and let him do his magic.  

There are a lot of people who play politics with Cuba and Fidel, but right now Red Sox Nation is going all Cuba, all the time. 

Don’t forget to thank John Henry.

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