Two Baseball Guys Having Bad Weeks

Greg O'BrienCodfish PressSo is there anything left to say about Theo, other than: we?ll miss him terribly; John Henry flubbed a steal sign; it?s not Shaughnessy?s fault; and the fallout from Theo?s departure is probably worse than the reality of it. Problem is, the father of modern Boston politics once expounded, ?Perception is reality.? As a Jewish colleague of mine cracked last night in the gym, ?What does a nice Jewish boy from Brookline like Theo Epstein want with an organization like this?? The observation is as on point as any other theory on Theo. So go figure.Speaking of perception imitating reality in a week that was, George Bush has endured a more unforgiving run than the Alexander Haig of Boston, Larry Lucchino, who may at the moment have second thoughts about who?s in charge here. Now many of you probably don?t want to hear this, but Bush, former Texas Ranger?s honcho, is not a bad guy, as guys go, although you don?t want him picking your team in a schoolyard game of stickball. He?s accustomed to too much spin in the White House, and no one on Pennsylvania Avenue knows how to wait on the ball.It has been back-to-back bad weeks for two baseball guys. There?s no place for Lucchino to hide, not even inside the Green Monster where Manny likes to take a pee, and Bush is still reeling from his six days and seven nights of wide screen political stranding: the withdrawal of Harriet Miers?s Supreme Court nomination after a garrulous conservative uprising; the indictment of White House adviser I. Lewis ?Scooter? Libby in the CIA leak case; the long shadow cast on Libby?s boss, the most powerful vice president in our nation?s history; the posting of historic oil company profits that have motorists wheezing at the pumps; and an American death toll in Iraq that has exceeded 2,000. Add to Bush?s pain?his wobbled response to Hurricane Katrina, his deputy chief of staff Karl Rove?s taint over the CIA leak case, the indictment of Representative Tom DeLay of Texas, the Republican majority leader who stepped down in the after effects of campaign finance-related charges, the dark cloud over Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, and a potential avian flu pandemic that worst-case could kill up to 2 million Americans?and lucky Lucchino starts looking like he?s sitting pretty in the owner?s box.But both have issues with trust and control, which are driving their popularity ratings into the dust like an errant forkball. And both could learn from John W. Henry, who knows how to take a hit. ?I hold myself wholly responsible,? Henry said at Wednesday?s news conference. ?What could I have done? There?s plenty I could have done. I have to ask myself, maybe I?m not fit to be the principal owner of the Boston Red Sox.?On the contrition issue, too little too late for Lucchino and Bush, but both aren?t bad guys, really, just a little confused about who?s on first.

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