Thursday, October 7, 2010

Red Sox Buy Reds

According to the BBC, the Boston Red Sox are buying Liverpool FC. John Henry, the Sox's principal owner, is buying out the Hicks family if one or two financial niggles can be sorted out. As much as the Hicks clan is despised in Liverpool this isn't great news for Scousers. Henry has shown little previous interest in association football. Its pretty much all been baseball until now. He grew up a fan of the St Louis Cardinals, then purchased a stake in the New York Yankees before helping launch the Colorado Rockies. He bought the Red Sox from The New York Times in 2002 with the express purpose of "reversing the curse" of Babe Ruth and winning the World Series. That he did just two years later in 2004, with - according to the completely unbiased Mitchell Report - a team that was utterly free of steroids. Cough, cough.
I grew up a fan of Liverpool FC back in the glory days of the 70's and after living in Harlem for 7 years in the 1990's I naturally became a New York Yankees fan and thus a mortal enemy of the Red Sox. I have worn a Yankees cap at Fenway Park and endured the abuse. There is however one thing I like about the Red Sox and that is Theo Epstein, the Sox's wunderkind General Manager who is generally acknowledged to be the smartest man in baseball. It was he, not Henry, who put together the team that reversed the curse of the Bambino and most of his moves since have proved to be winners. Smarts runs in Epstein's family. His father is head of the creative writing programme at Boston University and his grandfather wrote a little movie you might have heard of called Casablanca. The Red Sox's season ended last week and Epstein is going to have nothing to do for a couple of months until the winter meetings, so I'm thinking that maybe John Henry could send him over to Liverpool to sort out the Reds. We need a new manager and a new attitude. Last Saturday discontented Liverpool fans were calling out the name of Kenny Dalglish who was a star player and manager of Liverpool and has expressed interest in managing again. Before coming to Liverpool, Dalglish got his start at Celtic FC. According to the bookies the favourite to take over Liverpool is in fact Northern Irish World Cup legend Martin O'Neill who replaced Dalglish as manager of Celtic and complied an impressive record there of 219:29:40. Purely coincidentally, I'm sure, a few months ago Celtic FC played Sporting Portugal in a friendly at none other than Fenway Park, Boston.