By David Scott
Boston Sports Media Watch

Shots invites you to check out the special joint venture from The Sheriff and The Shots , who are joining forces for a speed-round of back and forth correspondences focusing on the Theo Fallout.

It begins just below Shots’ own, brief attempt at clarifying a dizzying day in Beantown.

The Green Room Lesson
By David Scott

Ordinarily, we here at the Seaside Shanty, try and keep safe distance from populated areas where traffic occurs and people interact.

Hermit isn’t the right term for our existence – but it’s not that far off.

So traveling up north a bit in the late afternoon and early evening, Shots was hit with a heavy dose of Theo Fallout. And then we even stooped to participating in said fallout, when we were kindly asked by a gentle man to find Wells Avenue in Needham, the headquarters of New England Cable News. Thankfully, within those walls we found the truth at the bottom of the deep and vast, Sea of Theo (Seo, for short).

For it was there – and not even Shots can fictionalize these life episodes – that we shared “Green room” time with a judge, a former White House Advisor and a Hall of Famer. And shortly thereafter an aggressive NECkiN Newsie named Jim Braude got all up in my face (for the purposes of good TV, I assure you) and well, how much more can one guy take on the Day After The Day We Lost Theo?

I mean, let’s be honest folks, we all spent absurd hours of our day on Tuesday Theorizing about a man most of us have never met. We were choosing sides, picking villains and calling names. And the Yankees won’t be in town for at least six months.

Confusing? Yeah, we’d say so. And you know who the city is blaming, by and large? Dan Shaughnessy. The Curse never dies, it only sleeps.

***

Maybe we have a little combination Ricky Williams/Bill Parcells thing going on here. A power struggle, sure. But don’t you think Theo might like to take a year and, I dunno, maybe go to an island? be a tourist for a few weeks. Or how about write a book? Something to the tune of “Live Your Dream On Your Terms.” It’d go big with the biz set and the sports set and probably (if done with a guy like Bill Simmons or Peter Gammons attached) be a damn fine seller for some eager publisher. There’s even a substantial writing gene in the bloodstream, so Kid Theo probably has some writing chops of his own.

This is basically what I’m thinking as I throw another pillow over my head to drown out the roofers who have descended en masse unto the Shanty’s leaky lid. The hour was 10 a.m., but it seemed a lot more un-Godly, having been up at 4 a.m. to check what the locals were printing on the “Fenway Fiasco,” as the Herald barked from its front page. And rookie-no-more Chris Snow got the full banner for the Green Boxers with “Epstein, toast of town in title year, leaves Sox.” A1 Headline Edge: Yellow Boxers.

Finally realizing that getting a roof scraped ain’t exactly waves crashing, and that sleep would come no more, we ventured up to the Shanty’s corporate offices and started to digest the first 18 hours of Theogate. The web was frothing over with all levels of assessment. It was instant polling through blogs and message boards. Shaughnessy gave his non-explanation, explanation and rumors started cropping up that well, maybe John Henry can save the whole thing from the crapper. If you could think it, it could be uttered, written or otherwise conveyed. One wag went with “Theomania” for his musically appropo headline. But that might have been a bit preposterous: Beatlemania didn’t exist at the time of sports talk radio, ya know?

The digestion was slow to say the least.

Twelve tropical fruit Tums and a swig of Pepto later and the Fenway fallout factor was quite clear: Full blown nuclear disaster on the level of losing AFraud to the Yankees. Times 20. Squared. And then cubed.

And everyone was spinning: Danny Boy wound up on, at the very least, KISS 108 FM, ESPN Radio Boston 890 AM, NECN TV and, we are reasonably sure, 96.9 FM. Suddenly, Peter Gammons was even spinning (for whom, we can’t tell) and getting called out for it by a completely cranky Glenn Ordway on the Big Show. (Ornery Ordway made a like Royal Pain when he took the broken disc player joke too far on a day that was meant for one thing and one thing only: Theo.)

Bill Simmons chimed in from the Left Coast; the New York Times was crediting and quoting the Boston Herald; and TV producers were lining up guests.

Which is how Shots came to be sitting in the green room at the NECN studios with. . .

***

. . . a judge (Dan Winslow), a former White House Advisor (Elaine Kamarck) and Celtics Hall of Famer Tom Heinsohn. Surely there was a higher being now guiding my Theo Thoughts. He had brought me before these three, “wise” people and was encouraging me to seek the truth from those he brought forth for me. Who was I to argue?

So I started with the wisest of them all.

“Red Auerbach went through six, seven different owners. None of ‘em bothered him at all. None of ‘em. They all left him alone,” said Heinsohn, escorted by the “Redhead in Needham,” the sturdy and vibrant, Helen.

And there it was. I didn’t even need to go to the judge to my left (but decidedly ‘on the right’) or the Al Gore crony to my right (but more to the left, I surmised.)

Heinsohn, there to share time with fellow Boston legend, Chet Curtis, was able to confirm what we all know to be the lone truth of the whole sordid affair: “There’s more to it than we know,” said the Big Fella.

Thirty hours after the fact and that was still all I knew about L’Affaire Theo.

There’s more to it than we know.

And you people wonder why I ascribe to this hermit lifestyle? It’s a mess out there. A damn mess.

*******************************************************************************************************

SHERIFF SULLY AND SCOTT’S SHOTS DISCUSS THE THEO FALLOUT

And now, for something completely different:

The Sheriff and The Shots are joining forces for a speed-round of back and forth correspondences focusing on the Theo Fallout and what some portions of it might actually mean to sound-minded individuals. (This discounts 93 percent of all WEEI callers and one-third of all Herald users.)

The impetus for the following two-hour back and forth came around 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday night (also known as the opening night of Premiere Week for the dressed-up NBA on TNT).

The Sheriff and Shots discovered they were simultaneously, in two different time zones even (Sully in Texas/Shots in Hull) having a whale of a time getting a handle on what has transpired ever since Tony Mazz made “Smear Campaign” this year’s “Cowboy Up!” late last week.

In fact, the Sheriff was thinking long and hard about one particular player in the drama, Mr. Dan Shaughnessy.

So here’s today’s special offering from the same folks who bring you Sheriff Sully and Scott’s Shots (ALSO: Please be aware: The Sheriff and Shots have agreed, in principle, to continue this dialogue during and immediately after the scheduled Theo newsbriefing at 1 p.m. EST. on Wednesday. Check back to Scott’s Shots and Sheriff Sully for rolling updates throughout the proceedings. It’ll be like Cheap Seats, but Live in Blog-vision)

SHOTS WROTE TO THE SHERIFF:

Sheriff –

So you want to Shank the Shank, eh?

His resignation? Is that what you’re thinking? Calling for the guy to step down? I dunno. . . It might be a stretch. I hate to say it, but he gets a little more leeway because he’s got the columnist slot. I’m not saying the reporting isn’t still important and the sources need to be worthy – but I am saying that Danny Boy hasn’t, to our knowledge done anything truly unethical. (The daughter’s job thing is damning, but every writer who’s been a round long enough has called in favors, be it tickets or meals or whatever.)

I think maybe I’m more interested in who the Deep Throat is? Is it Dr. Chuck. Is that the guy who does the dirty work? I begged him for a job once (Surprise!), and had him for a bout 15 minutes one-on-one in Ft. Myers two years ago and I guess I could see where he might be dropping dimes on Lucky’s behalf. I suppose. . .

But there are a lot shadier characters I’d pick out of a line-up.

And you know, I truly believe that Gordon (Edes) and Chris (Snow) need to do some explaining, or at least (Globe sports editor) Joe Sullivan on their behalf. To me the Shaughnasty stuff has been mostly Manny Being Manny with a “D” subbing in for both “M’’s” – Danny being Danny. He thought he could get away with all of the sudden having this great insight into things without readers noticing that he hadn’t written anything relevant since the parade. Fortunately, some of the local blabbers are smarter than we give them credit for.

SHERIFF SULLY RESPONDED:

I should clarify a few things:

First off, I believe it was clearly stated that it wasn’t a job but an internship Shaughnessy got his daughter through Werner. (Indded, Sully wrote: “Last year, Shaughnessy asked the second-highest ranking Sox official, Tom Werner, to give his daughter an internship with his production company in Los Angeles. Werner complied.”

And I have it first-hand that several Globe staffers were irate over this. I also disagree that all writers get something over the years. There’s a big difference between tickets, which I have taken for family members, and a paid internship at anL.A. production company. For his own co-workers to be irate, the man stepped over the line.

As for Edes and Snow, I need a pause here. While I was impressed with Chris Snow this year in covering the Red Sox, I don’t know the kid. I’m 99 percent sure I met him when he was a summer intern, but again, barley spoke to him.

As for Gordon Edes, I’m willing to put my not only my reputation but my life on the line that this man wouldn’t print information he knew to be false. He’s a first-rate guy, one that deserves a better fate than he is receiving.

As far as Joe Sully, well, we’ll leave that for later. He’s isn’t a bad guy at all, and is simply over his head.

This isn’t easy for me to write. I’ve been going back and forth over the last three hours on whether I want to share the information I have regarding The Boston Globe. I’ve written some critical columns over the last few months regarding Shaughnessy and the Globe, but honestly, I haven’t even scratched the crust.

I loved the Globe growing up. And when I walked in that sports department for my first day as a co-op on January 2, 1997, I was convinced it was nothing short of Oz.

Before emptying out our basket of dirt, let’s address one Dan Shuaghnessy. I honestly do think it’s time for him to step down. He’s been the most-disliked columnist in New England for more than a decade, but the events of the past few days have taken us all to another level.

I just don’t see how any sensible mind can take Shaughnessy’s opinion with any grain of credibility henceforth. And without credibility, there’s nothing.

While his columns Sunday and Tuesday were sickening, his actions following Theo Epstein’s resignation summed up all this man stands for. He appeared on every media outlet outside of the Hull High School Radio Hour. That’s what gets me most right now, that Shaughnessy was not only thrilled with himself in running Epstein out of town but he celebrated the moment.

He should resign. The New England media deserves better. However, since NESN, WEEI and the Globe are being run by the same people (Larry Lucchino/Dr. Charles Steinberg), the majority of our region have become brainwashed.

Do you honestly think that anyone can read Shaughnessy henceforth and trust him?

SHOTS RESPONDED:

Your question is whether or not I, Scott’s Shots, has trust in the Holy Cross Crusader? No. I don’t. But I haven’t for quite some time. And to be honest, I haven’t read him thoroughly or consistently for several years now.

But that’s me, and let’s face it. I’m kind of an ornery, pig-headed dude.

You’re mistake, I believe, is overestimating the reading public. You expect people to hold a columnist accountable, but I bet you eight out of 10 readers don’t even know what the difference between a columnist and a reporter is.

All day long on ‘EEI, the yahoos are saying “in Shaughnessy’s ARTICLE” or “he wrote in the ARTICLE.”

No – and don’t tell me it’s a minor point either. Columnists are paid to give opinion and be the faces of their papers. If we’re judging his job performance on that, he actually deserves a raise – EVERYone knows Shaughnessy writes for the Globe. (Who typed those words? – Out, out, damn demons).

But seriously – if every writer in the business that was irrelevant and loathed by the readership was asked to step down – well, we’d be moving in the right direction. But none of them would do it. They earned their cushy jobs through the dark years of the Tandy computer that needed a special device to place the hand cradle of the phone in, just to send a story that usually wound up garbled in the newsroom anyway. Somehow, the right to be a disinterested, pissed off, white, male was what some of these guys earned in the 70s and 80s. It seems like a shitty system to me as well, but it’s the system nonetheless.

SHERIFF SULLY RESPONDED:

You make a valid point in there. The guy who makes the obviously insane opinion is the one who gets the attention. This aspect of the American media really amazes me and at the same time, makes me want to commit manslaughter on about 30 people at once.

While the best media examples are Skip Bayless and Shaughnessy, it happens every day on WEEI. I mean, are any of us that dumb to believe in 10 years the co-hosts of each show have never agreed on a subject. Come on. Like any two sports fans would disagree in every disagreement. No, this is what makes for good radio. I take point one, you take point two, almost like a debate team.

That’s what Bayless and Shaughnessy do. They take the opinion that will piss off the most people. And in the process, despite having little reporting or writing skill, both are worth millions.

SHOTS RESPONDED:

I hope it’s not millions. But it probably is.

Okay, so we’ve got some semantics out of the way. You were part of the machine for a while: do we need be fearful that the Globe sports desk is being running by Money Men and not Word Men?

The more I write about it and think about it and have my brain swell over it, I start to think: Jeez – it’s just the To Department.

But – if you tell me it’s deeper and there needs to be more digging, well, I’ve got a shovel and I know a couple of other folks who do, too. If this were happening on the news side, people would be suspended by now, right? Especially at the new, improved, more cautious New York Times.

Part of me says: It’s sports, stupid. Get over it.

SHERIFF SULLY RESPONDED:

Make no mistake, Shaughnessy is a millionare. Used to drive Will McDonough nuts, too. Not that he wasn’t well-off, but he really wasn’t a fan of Shaughnessy. Truth finally be told, he ripped Dan any chance he had in the office and then some.

If this were news side, it would be different. Look that at front-page story with the two college professors at Dartmouth. This isn’t as serious, but it’s no different that the Globe relied upon false information and ran with it.

We’ll get more in-depth tomorrow, but trust me. It’s time to get the shovels out.

(Again, please note: The Sheriff and Shots have agreed, in principle, to continue this dialogue during and immediately after the scheduled Theo newsbriefing at 1 p.m. EST. on Wednesday. Check back to Scott’s Shots and Sheriff Sully for rolling updates throughout the proceedings.)

David Scott writes from a seaside shanty on the shores of Hull, Mass. and can be reached at shots@bostonsportsmediadotcom