"What Were They Thinking?" Communications Awards Early Summer Edition
Toxic. Who knew that word would go viral? I guess Buster Olney of ESPN did when he wisely included it in a blog post about the problems in the Red Sox clubhouse that may be causing the former World Series champs to be slumping this year. Olney's comments have become the flavor of the week, with a series of articles, blog posts and radio pundit comments discussing and debating his "toxic" assertion, including the Red Sox themselves. In my humble opinion, it awards the Boston Red Sox the "What Were They Thinking?" Communications Award for "Methinks they doth protest too much" during this sultry week in June.
Self-appointed leader of the team, David Ortiz, "was quick to rebut Olney’s report," according to the Boston Globe.
“It’s not like that, dog,’’ said Ortiz, who hit a two-run homer off Mark Buehrle in the first inning in the 7-5 win over the Marlins. “We all get along here. There’s not one guy here that has a problem with the other."
Even Mr. "No interviews, please" Josh Beckett was quoted on how copascetic they all are as a group:
"Beckett, who spoke to the media for the first time since going on the disabled list over the weekend with shoulder inflammation, added, “I don’t know where people get that from. I think people want that to be the case, and I just don’t think it is. I think there are certain people, they want it to be that way, so they report it that way.’’
Beckett said this is “one of the tightest-knit groups’’ he has ever been a part of, pointing to team dinners and family trips as an example.
It's possible those dinners included chicken and beer, but then I digress . . .
But with this heated and unusual response, it's no wonder everyone has jumped on what could have been a non-story. Now if only the Red Sox had agreed not to comment on an unfounded rumor and just let it go, one of the first rules of depriving a story of oxygen.
And this week's other "What Were They Thinking?" Award recipient is another baseball figure -- no other than The Rocket himself, Roger Clemens. He gets the "You won; now be quiet and move on" award for venting about the government on a radio talk show in Houston after he was found not guilty this week of lying about illegal substance use to a grand jury.
In his first comments since being acquitted on all charges in his perjury trial, Clemens told CBS station SportsRadio 610 in Houston that he gave the government everything they requested, but they were relentless in their pursuit to convict him.
"We tried to do everything the government asked for. We opened up our arms, our house, everything they wanted," Clemens said. "They went around the world looking for people to tie me to. They came up with one guy who painted himself as my personal trainer."
Clemens was referring to Brian McNamee, his one-time strength coach and the government's star witness - the only person to testify that he witnessed the pitcher inject PEDs."
Clemens PR counsel needs to remind him: You're a free man, Roger. People are saying some nice things about you right now. Don't poke a stick in the cage. Just let it go. Remember: not guilty is a legal term that is not synonomous with innocent.
But then again, I wouldn't have had this fun list to share with all of you. Any I missed this week?