‘White Devils’ and ‘Pure Rage’

The Globe this morning runs snippets from Seth Mnnokin’s book, Feeding the Monster, which details the inner workings of the Sox front office since it was taken over by the Holy Trinity (Henry, Lucchino, Werner). Of no surprise to anyone, Mnookin reveals that Epstein left the Sox directly because of the Shaughnessy column but indirectly because of huge trust issues between him and Lucchino, with each feeling the other was using the media to better his own position and trash the other.

Those aren’t the best juicy tidbits in the book, though:

Manny Ramírez asked Henry to be traded on the first day he met the new owner in spring training, 2002: “Look, man, you gotta get me out of here," Ramírez told Henry. “I hate the pressure. I hate the manager [Joe Kerrigan, at the time]."

Other Ramírez tidbits: stat analyst Bill James did a study in the 2003 season in which Ramírez was cited for half of the 60 instances in which Sox players did not hustle, and this spring, after the Sox did not trade him yet again after he’d asked to be dealt, Ramírez directed a rant at the owners in which he referred to them as “[expletive] white devils."

Not sure what to make of that last one, and it’d be nice to know how late in the spring this was, considering his statements through his agent since that he now wants to finish his career in Boston. Perhaps speculation that he’s simply resigned himself to staying here is dead on.

Henry, who felt “pure rage" toward manager Grady Little when he left in Martínez to pitch the eighth inning of Game 7 of the 2003 American League Championship Series against the Yankees, was unhappy with the manager all season. “Henry had taken to joking that if the Red Sox did not win the World Series and he was tapped to star in one of the iconic `I’m going to Disney World,’ commercials, he would instead announce to the world, `I’m going to fire Grady Little.’ "

That’s why John Henry is cool. You get the sense that he’s just a fan like the rest of us, with the money and knowledge to hire good baseball people to put together a winning team. He’s very likable. And who among us didn’t feel "pure rage" (followed by pure despair) during Game 7? It also proves, however, that the Sox did not fire Little for one decision, a myth that has been perpetuated through the national media since. I am curious, though, what NESN’s simulations will show during this "What If …" show. I bet they’ll show a World Series championship.

15 comments… add one
  • i have already pre-ordered this book.

    beth July 7, 2006, 11:16 am
  • “You get the sense that he’s just a fan like the rest of us, with the money and knowledge to hire good baseball people to put together a winning team.”
    Sounds like George.

    Nick-YF July 7, 2006, 1:17 pm
  • Nick, I was thinking of taking Paul’s quote and saying the exact same thing. Great minds think alike I guess; and on that note,
    Jeetah’s Bettah!!

    bloodyank78 July 7, 2006, 1:41 pm
  • George has the money. Unlike Henry, it took him 20 years to figure out he’s not smart enough to do baseball ops onn his own. Which just makes him dumb…

    Paul SF July 7, 2006, 2:30 pm
  • I’m not going to disagree with that but I’m also not ready to call George dumb. He bought the Yanks for $10 million and now there worth…(channelling Dr. Evil)
    One Billion Dollars!
    The guys possesses some intelligence. Plus, he’s one of the best characters on Seinfeld ever. Henry’s so dull and vague, with a hint of the bland aristocrat.

    Nick-YF July 7, 2006, 2:44 pm
  • there=they’re

    Nick-YF July 7, 2006, 2:45 pm
  • Paul, King George bought the franchise in ’73. He aquired some key players in the following years and then won the Serious consecutively in ’77 and ’78. What twenty years are you talking about, ’77-’96?

    bloodyank78 July 7, 2006, 3:59 pm
  • Did anyone else think that John Henry came off as totally oblivious in this? According to excerpts from the book, Theo was showing signs of distress as far back as August 2004. Good Lord, Mr. Henry, were you paying any attention whatsoever to your employees? It did not inspire confidence.

    jenny July 7, 2006, 4:29 pm
  • george inherited his fortune. he hasn’t worked a day in his life. he has managed to just stumble into cash. it’s easy to look smart when you have deep daddy pockets. henry made his money in the stocks and commodities game. self made from an original $16,000 investment. from their backgrounds alone it’s not hard to see why george is a blowhard bully and john is a bit more humble.

    sf rod July 7, 2006, 6:36 pm
  • Um, why, yes, YM, I am referring to those 20 years, as well as to the five years since 2000. Didn’t realize the championship years of the 70s were under George’s reign. Must not have had a chance to really get his fingers in it yet… Hard to call George “knowledgeable” though when the years in which he exerts the most power, the Yankees routinely end the year with adjectives like “disappointing.”
    Henry is a bit bland, but then, so am I, so I don’t mind him. He did seem pretty clueless about the Theo-Larry stuff, but I can understand him figuring the two adults could figure out their differences like adults without a babysitter/mediator. Alas. When things did go awry, he had the smarts to see where he went wrong, rectify the situation and work out a deal where both sides were happy. Hard to see how you can fault the man there…
    Plus, Henry doesn’t berate David Ortiz or Manny Ramirez if they’re going through a tough stretch. Big plus.

    Paul SF July 7, 2006, 6:47 pm
  • This to me is the hilarious height of insanity regarding the Yanks-Sox rivalry. We’re able to argue about which owner is better. People, they’re billionaires, and while Henry might have a touching story about how he came up from poverty (never heard that one before. I’d be surprised it it were true)it’s really besides the point. Both teams are very successful regardless of the character of their owners. We’re both lucky to have owners who truly care about winning (look at Kansas City). But, if indeed, we truly must check better or worse on every category re: Yanks-Sox, I give the Sox the slight advantage with regard to ownership. Overall, the Yanks still take it easily.

    Nick-YF July 7, 2006, 7:02 pm
  • Hey, feel free to rip George and flout Henry as a smart and cunning owner, but your assesment of Big Stein seems to completely white wash the fact he has 6 Serious titles as owner. Let Henry own the Sox for a period of more than a decade and then sing his praises if he steers your ship to some more titles.
    Dude, you have some serious Red Sox bias blinders on if you cannot assess George as a successful baseball owner.

    bloodyank78 July 7, 2006, 7:04 pm
  • Aw, c’mon, Nick. Why not? The owners are the ultimate personifications of our teams, in that they actually *are* the teams — own the rights, have the money, etc. Besides, this thread has gotten more posts in the last two weeks than any other non-game thread.
    YM, I didn’t say he wasn’t successful. I was arguing against the idea that my comment that Henry had the “knowledge to hire good baseball people to put together a team” would also apply to Steinbrenner. Clearly, given his history of meddling, Steinbrenner has had the appalling ignorance to continue usurping his baseball people despite 20 years of failure at it, followed by five years of success when he stopped, followed by five years of more failure when he resumed. Now he says he’s stopped again. Does anyone think he’ll have stopped for good — or that it’ll be good for the Yankees when he resumes? By that measure, George is not successful when he becomes personally involved (i.e. more than just his money). Henry also does not get personally involved, and he would likely suck as much as Steinbrenner has if he did, but the fact that Henry understands this from the start gives him a big edge.
    As to Henry, he does have a World Series title in 33 percent of the seasons he’s been the owner of the Red Sox. George is only at 18 percent. ;-)

    Paul SF July 7, 2006, 7:23 pm
  • The ultimate personification of the Yanks is Derek Jeter. For the Sox, it might be Henry. I’ve never seen a fanbase so in love with a management team. It’s downright unAmerican.

    Nick-YF July 7, 2006, 7:26 pm
  • LOL

    bloodyank78 July 7, 2006, 8:36 pm

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