And this is good old Boston
The home of the bean and the cod
Where the Lowells talk only to Cabots
And Cabots talk only to God. -- "A Boston Toast.'' by John Collins Bossidy.
Monday featured the first full-squad workout for the Red Sox in Fort Myers, and with it, all the other harbingers that ordinarily accompany the annual rite of spring:
Manager addresses team? Check.
Chief baseball executive addresses team? Check.
Member of ownership addresses team? Check.
Ownership submits to its one regularly-scheduled media availability for the season? Check, please.
Presumably, the messages to the team at some point stressed the need for accountability and responsibility, which can only be interpreted as highly ironic, given that, for the first time since they purchased the team, 19 years ago this month, principal owner John Henry and chairman Tom Werner decided not to hold a press conference with the media.
At this point, none is scheduled tomorrow or the day after that.
If you've watched Henry and Werner in their recent availabilities, their reluctance to take questions is, at a distance, somewhat understandable. In attempting to explain the highly unpopular Mookie Betts trade a year ago, the two did themselves few favors.
They tended to employ double-speak and offered contradictory explanations for the deal. They were overly defensive and, at times, more than a little patronizing. Henry managed to tell a winding anecdote, recalling his fandom for the St. Louis Cardinals of his youth.
Still, at least they made themselves available and attempted to answer questions put forth. Their answers may not have cooled the rancor of Red Sox fans upset over the loss of Betts, but at least the owners saw fit to explain the rationale.
That's more than they did Monday when they elected a no-show. Henry and Werner were on hand at Fenway South, watching some workouts at various fields. But they did not make themselves available to answer questions.
Privately, Henry has communicated to friends