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The Boston Globe

Sports

Analysis

Red Sox wrong to place blame on media

NEW YORK — A few random Red Sox thoughts from Manhattan on a sunny morning as the Sox prepare for a three-game series against the Yankees:

Larry Lucchino showed up at Camden Yards on Thursday night and went into “blame the media” mode. It’s a good diversionary tactic and befitting of his law degree. But Lucchino has to know that Red Sox fans are smarter than that.

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The media in Boston can be hyperbolic and in some cases, downright vapid. But nobody from the Globe, Herald, WEEI, Comcast or the other outlets threw a pitch this season or helped pick the roster, and fans know that.

If a professional athlete is somehow distracted into poor performances by the media, he shouldn’t be a professional athlete, or at least not a well-paid one. That is especially the case in the social media era.

If the media is such a problem, how are the Yankees 70-48? They have literally twice as many reporters following them. Don’t insult smart fans by making up excuses.

• Equally silly is the idea that the atmosphere in Boston will somehow hurt the team’s ability to lure free agents. With rare exceptions, players go where the money is, period. You heard CC Sabathia didn’t want to sign with New York. He signed with New York. We heard Carl Crawford disliked big markets. He came to Boston. Albert Pujols loved St. Louis and played high school ball in Missouri. He went to Anaheim.

You think Mark Buehrle, an avid hunter from the Midwest who used to go home to his farm on days off when he played in Chicago, wanted to live in Miami for six months? Free agents pick the best contracts, not the best cities.

• John Henry is controlling the message by sending out e-mails (surely filtered through PR guru Dr. Charles Steinberg) to reporters whenever crisis strikes. But he would be wise to take unfettered questions at some point and let fans hear his answers. That hasn’t happened since spring training.

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