Friday, January 20, 2006

Theo's back, but nothing is resolved

Theo's back. That's great news, ultimately, but I can't help but feel embarrassed for everyone involved in this debacle. After three months of flailing about, we end up right where we started, so what was the point of all this? Everyone loses face on this deal, and it's embarrassed the organization.

Shaughnessey seems more upset that the Sox blew his scoop than anything else, but he does ask the right question; if you were in the front office of another team, or an agent, who in the Red Sox organization do you call for definitive answers? Is Larry Lucchino really still in charge, or has Theo usurped his baseball responsibilities? And what about the two patsies, Jed Hoyer and Ben Cherrington? Do they have any sway, or just over inflated titles? And if the Sox bust their collective rank, do these guys walk to take a job elsewhere?

Supposedly, the Sox will answer these questions early next week, but who can believe what they say? Theo made it clear things had to change for him to come back (even though he never really disengaged from the club in the first place). So did those things change? What were they?

Clearly, he was talking about his relationship with Lucchino. So does Lucchino walk out and talk about his diminished or refocused role in the club? Of course not. The two men will walk out and say everything is smoothed over, misunderstandings were cleared up and they're both ready to get to work together. No one will explain what's changed, so no one will believe anything's changed. And if nothing's changed, this thing will blow up again.

Pay close attention to next week's press conference. If the club is honest, they'll say how embarrassed they are about things played out, where Theo, Larry, Jed and Ben all fit in the command structure, how the individuals came to that conclusion, and what changes were made to facilitate Theo's return. Anything less will just fuel speculation.

Maybe they need to walk into that room with Coco Crisp. In that case, all would be forgiven…

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