Janet Marie Smith, the Red Sox's Most Valuable Planner, and her bosses continue to make the Sox's former owners, who tried to bulldoze Fenway Park, look like knuckleheads.
The latest twist in Smith's marvelous reinvention of Fenway: the Bleacher Bar, a restaurant in centerfield that will look out onto Fenway Park -- and you won't even need a ticket to get in.
The restaurant is planned under the bleachers in a large area that previously housed much of the park's sound system -- since distributed around the park -- and the visitors' batting cage. A large grate in center field -- just next to the large garage door -- is expected to be replaced with a window that will look out onto the field.
The challenge, says club spokesman Doug Bailey, is to develop a window that will keep the lights from the restaurant from shining onto the field and disturbing play. ``The view might be like looking through sunglasses," he says.
The Bleacher Bar will be open year-round, and customers will enter from Lansdowne Street. The Sox are still talking to several restaurateurs about operating the place. One good bet: entertainment entrepreneur Patrick Lyons, who last year opened Game On! in Fenway Park. The new restaurant is expected to be open for the '07 season, at the earliest.
I'm required to disclose to you that The New York Times, which owns The Globe, is a part owner of the Red Sox. Now if I could only use my influence as an owner to get Smith to do something about one of her few miscues: that unfortunate orange Gulf sign in left field.
Another day, another ruling against former MIT professor John Donovan Sr., hereafter known as the Nutty Professor.
Suffolk Superior Court Justice Allan van Gestel last week weighed in against the Nutty Professor, whom you'll recall is awaiting trial on a misdemeanor charge of staging his own shooting last December as part of his long-running feud with his children. The new ruling affirms a $4.8 million judgment against N.P. in favor of his son, John Jr., and $426,000 for four other kids, all of which the professor once promised but now refuses to pay.
In his ruling, Van Gestel states that N.P.'s contention that he was coerced into the settlement ``is an affront to this court and is not well received." But Van Gestel goes further, saying he is ``equally disappointed" by the tactics of N.P.'s ``extremely sophisticated Boston and New York City attorneys." Those attorneys -- Barry Klickstein of the Boston office of Duane Morris and two New York attorneys with Curtis Mallet-Prevost -- were ``exceedingly close to the line" of violating bar ethics by presenting a frivolous defense, the judge wrote.
Klickstein and Peter Fleming Jr., an attorney with Curtis Mallet-Prevost, both praised Van Gestel as an extraordinary judge. Klickstein, however, said he has an obligation to vigorously defend his client. ``There is a line," he said. ``We went up to the line, but we didn't cross it." Said Fleming: ``His comments are not a lot of fun."
You would have thought that the Middlesex Retirement System would have thanked the state inspector general for discovering the fund had been fleeced of $2.8 million in a secret fee-splitting arrangement over three years. Instead, the retirement system said it was ``outraged by the baseless allegations" uncovered by inspector general Gregory Sullivan.
That was in January. Three months later, Middlesex's attorneys quietly sent a demand letter to Goldman, Sachs & Co. suggesting a negotiation in an effort to avoid arbitration. Middlesex declined to comment, as did Goldman Sachs.
Alas, the relationship between Middlesex and the IG's office remains on the rocks. In May, Middlesex's same law firm, Adler Pollock & Sheehan, moved to quash a subpoena from the IG's office, seeking, among other things, personal pension information on board members. The subpoena, Middlesex says, ``smacks of a personal vendetta." The IG's office would not comment.
Steve Bailey is a Globe columnist. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 617-929-2902.