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Red Sox: Biggest box office flop of 2011?

Posted by Obnoxious Boston Fan  September 21, 2011 03:00 PM

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Moneyball opens Friday.

Moneybawl has been playing all month long in Red Sox Nation.

Thanks to John "Moneybags" Henry, Theo Epstein has turned Fenway Park into a money pit.

That should just about cover it.

benn.jpgWhen you think Hollywood and the Red Sox – Jimmy Fallon, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck come to mind long before Brad Pitt.

The Fever Pitch of 2011 has become a Contagion. And Fenway is now a crime scene on and off the screen. By the way, maybe Heaven Can Wait, but the Angels are only 3 games back in the wild card while the Rays trail just 2 entering Friday's action. Click here to see the three-way tiebreaker for the wild card if you're interested.

Affleck’s character and his sidekicks in “The Town” decided to steal from Fenway Park because that’s where the money was. They used violence, cunning and sophistication.

Others adopted a legal and much simpler approach. John Lackey just signed his name to a 5-year, $82.5 million contract and inadvertently robbed the place blind. His crime - taking Henry’s money. Unlike his Hollywood counterparts, Lackey didn’t have to carry out all his cash at once, thanks to direct deposit.

In my second-favorite flick, Goodfellas, Henry Hill said the Air France job “made me” because he walked out with “$420,000 in cash without using a gun.” Well, if you run the numbers – based on 35 starts per season – Lackey walked out of Fenway Monday with another $471,428.57 (before taxes of course). No one will ever accuse him of using a “gun." This time the Orioles had all the firepower.

crawford921.jpgIt’s hard to knock a guy for taking all that money. We'd do the same. It's not like he was trying to give up 8 runs and 11 hits to the Orioles in just 4 1/3 innings the other night. Lackey – along with all of the Red Sox big-money busts – would still stink even if they made minimum wage. Ranking Lackey on the list of Theo Epstein’s mistakes results in laughter and tears. There have been plenty of errors to consider. J.D. Drew, Julio Lugo, Dice-K, Carl "I'm sorry" Crawford, Bobby Jenks, Eric Gagne, Lackey and the gorilla suit. You have to wonder if Theo’s biggest “boo-boo” has yet to surface in Crawford. Every stiff neck probably pushes him one day closer to Chicago.

(Note to Crawford: You're not half as sorry as we are.)

Right now, the Sabremetric formula for 2011 is "5-16 in September = 0-0 in October". The point is how fortunate Theo, the Red Sox and their fans are in having such financial leeway.

In just the past 5 years the Red Sox committed $72 million to Drew, $103.1 million to Dice-K (don’t forget the rights fee), $82.5 million to Lackey and $36 million to Lugo. As we also noted in our pre-boston.com blog back in July, most pro franchises would have gone into a financial tailspin after taking a $293.6 million hit on so many stiffs (see Dodgers, Mets and most of the NBA).

fanz.jpgNot the Red Sox. Thanks to millions of fans like you, NESN, all that merchandise, the charm of Fenway, $165 Monster Seats and those $7.50 souvenir cup sodas, Henry had enough loose change lying around to lock up Kevin Youkilis and Dustin Pedroia long-term, but also sign Adrian Gonzalez ($156 million, 7 years) and Crawford ($142 million, 7 years).

How many teams not named the Yankees have that much wiggle room?

We were reminded Wednesday that the Red Sox go way beyond the Red Sox - a replay of Liverpool's football game against Tottenham Hotspur was televised on NESN just before the Red Sox game. And don't miss "Inside Roush Fenway Racing" Tuesday at 5:30 p.m., especially if you want to make changes in your NASCAR fantasy league.

With such a big wallet and confluence of revenue streams – Theo doesn't have to be right all time, just right enough of the time.

He only needs to stop having so many folks pick his pocket and start earning their paychecks.

As always, post your thoughts here, on our Obnoxious Boston Fan Facebook page or e-mail them to me at obnoxiousbostonfan@hotmail.com. And don't forget to follow us on twitter @realOBF.

Thanks for reading. Pass the clicker.

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Obnoxious Boston Fan offers a fun, unique and biting perspective on the Red Sox, Celtics, Bruins, Patriots and whatever else people are talking about in the world of sports. We More »
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