By Kevin Flanagan
“There’s a sucker born every minute,” is a quote that is often attributed to P.T. Barnum, he of the world-famous and now-defunct Barnum and Bailey Circus.
And one only needs to look towards Tuesday’s dog and pony show conducted at Fenway Park to confirm that the convicted cheater Alex Cora will be back to the manager’s office in the Fens.
This provided further proof that the late, the long celebrated showman/shyster was right.
While Red Sox President/CEO Sam Kennedy, Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom, and General Manager Brian O’Halloran were given the task of doing the two-step for the local press, the team’s ownership group was nowhere to be found.
Undoubtedly, Principal Owner John Henry and Chairman Tom Werner – who likely are in adjoining bunkers along with former Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas exchanging MRE recipes during the pandemic – were watching via satellite while smugly certain that baseball fans in Boston are nothing more than mindless sycophants.
As the ancient Roman poet Juvenal once wrote about the disdain and disregard that Rome’s ruling class had for the people held power centuries ago, “Give them bread and circus and they will never revolt.”
It’s not a stretch to say that this current ownership seems to consider this to be gospel when it comes to the golden goose fan base that have never failed to line their bottomless deep pockets.
Sadly, the suckers who joyfully sing “Sweet Caroline” no matter what the scoreboard says have proven them right year after year.
In what seemed more like a bon-bon tossing contest instead of a constructive opportunity to ask unanswered questions that have lingered since Cora was suspended for a year by Major League Baseball during his time as bench coach of the Houston Astros in 2017.
“Alex needs no introduction here,” said Bloom while cleverly hiding the arm of ownership that was up his back during the pathetic presser.
“We all know him as a brilliant baseball mind who can lead, and who can inspire, as well as anyone in the game. He’s shown he can get the best out of players, and we’re looking forward to a really bright future with him at the helm.”
For his part, the almost impossible not to like Cora went into the full puppy-eyed kid who got caught with his hand in the cookie jar mode, as his conciliatory excuses and prepared pretentious comments once again worked their magic on the beat writers that have been longing for his return.
“It’s been a tough year,” said the guy who while in Houston taught his players how to bang on a Rubbermaid drum at just the right time during the run to the first World Series Championship for the franchise formerly known as the Colt .45s.
“And to spend time with [family], it was amazing this year. But like I’ve been saying all along, I was spending time at home for the wrong reasons. For that I want to apologize. I deserve what happened this year. It’s something that I’m not proud of, but we went through the whole process with the Commissioner’s Office and the department of investigations. At the end, I got my penalty, and I served it.
“This situation is part of who I am for the rest of my career. As a man, I have to deal with it. I don’t want people to make it seem like it’s a great comeback story. I don’t want that. I’m going to use this bad experience to make people better, starting at home. The process started early in the year and we’re going to continue. I know there’s a lot of people that I disappointed and for that I’m sorry. And also telling those people that, hey, I’m still Alex. I made a mistake. I still love the game and I still love what I do, and I promise you that from now on I’m going to use this experience the right way. I’m not proud of it, I’m not happy about it, but we have to move on. I’m happy to be back home.”
So much hot air hasn’t been released in one place since the Hindenburg tragedy nearly a century ago.
Nevertheless, the ownership group that can’t even be found on the side of a milk carton these days are some happy cave dwellers tonight.
And the majority of Red Sox fans in New England gleefully gobbled up the stale loaves that were callously tossed their way as they dream of the day when they once again can spend $15 on a lukewarm beer while breathlessly awaiting the mass karaoke party they paid the highest ticket prices in MLB to take place in the middle of the 8th inning, win or lose.
Follow on Twitter @KevinMFlanagan.