Subtext

"We met with Mr. Teixeira and were very much impressed with him," Henry said. "After hearing about his other offers, however, it seems clear that we are not going to be a factor."

By now we have probably all seen John Henry's statement issued last night at 10:45 on the status of his visit to see a certain free agent.  But this hasn't, as far as we've seen, been truly parsed.  Let's take a stab at it.

"We"

We.  Not much to see here.  Maybe. Perhaps Henry is referring to those who travelled with him, but perhaps he is referring to the greater "we", as in "all white men" (the Sox have been accused of getting too white, after all), or "Americans", or "rich guys who own hedge funds, baseball teams, and private planes".  Or, all three.  We (as in "woefully distracted Red Sox bloggers") don't know.  Let's move on.

"met"

Hmmm.  I think this means they sat down with Boras and Teixeira, but part of me thinks it's just another provocation of the Yankees, a sly attempt to focus attention on the Bombers' crosstown rivals.  It might even be a jab at the Wilpon's investments with a fraudulent hedge funder.  Remains unclear.

"with Mr. Teixeira and were very much impressed with him". 

Ass-kissing, pretty clearly.  And come on, I know that the New York Times owns part of the Sox but what's with the "Mister" stuff?  He's twenty-eight, not a village elder.  And if you are going with "Mister", how can you have passed up a chance to truncate and reference "Mr. T"? 

"After hearing about his other offers"

No attribution to where he heard about the other offers.  We're supposed to assume it was directly from Boras, but there's no reference to the agent being the one who conveyed the information.  And really, I wouldn't trust Boras to give me the truth about what kind of pizza he had last night, much less expect him to disclose a competing contract offer.  My guess is that Henry "heard" about these offers from Nick Cafardo, who got them from an anonymous assistant to the Assistant GM, who gave him the information in an email typed in pig latin and then encoded in zapf dingbats.

"however, it seems clear that we are not going to be a factor"

Already having touched on the ambiguity of "we", let's go right for the big two-syllable guy at the end: "factor".  Oh, and "not".  "not a factor".  Hmm.  One would think of the first dictionary definition, which reads "one of the elements contributing to a particular result or situation".  Seems clear enough.  But I believe Henry is after something else.  Reading further, one sees that "factor" can also be defined as "in biochemistry, any of certain substances necessary to a biochemical or physiological process, esp. those whose exact nature and function are unknown".  So, Henry is more likely to be saying that the Sox "are not going to be a certain substance necessary to a biochemical or physiological process".  Much, much more ambiguous than what one takes away at first reading and certainly a statement which leaves the Sox' chances for Teixeira hanging out there, not yet quashed.   Keep hope alive!

So there you have it.  An nod to caucasians, a reference to the Wilpon's financial entanglements with Bernie Madoff, some biochemistry, and a missed opportunity to weave in Clubber Lang.  How did everyone miss this?

9 comments… add one

  • Amazing.

    AndrewYF December 19, 2008, 9:56 am
  • (Apollo Creed + Rocky Balboa) > Clubber Lang

    Atheose December 19, 2008, 10:15 am
  • I’m interested in a parsing of the public denial by Brian Cashman that his team outbid the Red Sox last night…

    Paul SF December 19, 2008, 10:44 am
  • Lowell is 35, Youk is 30, Lars is 21, and, cripes, Papi is only 33. One season on the DL causes all this desperation among Sox fans?
    I don’t know how this love affair between Sox bloggers and Tek started, but I’ve never thought his signing necessary. In fact, Theo’s track record with prospects is so impressive, I would much prefer waiting on Lars than learn his promotion will be forever blocked by a nine figure contract.
    Beckett, Papelbon and Youk need contracts. Sign them instead.

    Dirty Water December 19, 2008, 10:54 am
  • Go and search Teixeira in the box on the right, DW, and you’ll find the arguments there. Not interested in rehashing them all, but suffice to say if you’re counting on a 35-year-old coming off surgery, a 33-year-old coming off injuries in consecutive seasons, and a 21-year-old who has yet to play above AA to be the heart of your lineup in 2010, you’re not dealing from a position of strength relative to two other teams in the division.

    Paul SF December 19, 2008, 10:59 am
  • And you can just look at the Yanks last year. Haha.

    Lar December 19, 2008, 11:24 am
  • a 33-year-old coming off injuries in consecutive seasons..
    Not to mention the fact that he doesn’t have Manny behind him anymore.
    Don’t see as many pitches that way, thus you start swinging at bad ones, striking out, and making me hope this isn’t Mo Vaughn II.

    Brad December 19, 2008, 1:37 pm
  • “We”
    We. Not much to see here. Maybe. Perhaps Henry is referring to those who travelled with him, but perhaps he is referring to the greater “we”, as in “all white men” (the Sox have been accused of getting too white, after all), or “Americans”, or “rich guys who own hedge funds, baseball teams, and private planes”. Or, all three. We (as in “woefully distracted Red Sox bloggers”) don’t know. Let’s move on.

    Henry’s use of the word “we” could also signify “me and Joe the clubhouse attendant” or “me and Scully from that bar in Dedham, MA.”
    So you see hope for a Teixeira signing still flickers.

    SoxFan December 19, 2008, 8:34 pm
  • brilliant post by the way.

    Nick-YF December 20, 2008, 9:43 am

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