Picked-up pieces while following Jon Lester to Oakland and John Lackey to St. Louis:
■ Tom Werner for commissioner? Please. The Red Sox “chairman” is a nice guy, but he ran the Padres into the ground 20 years ago and nobody ever has been quite sure what he does for the Red Sox, even as John Henry and Larry Lucchino have spent too much precious time trying to make sure folks know he has done a lot.
Now White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf has selected Werner as his candidate to thwart Bud Selig’s transparent effort to anoint his assistant, Rob Manfred, as the next commissioner. The vote is Thursday in Baltimore, and candidates need the votes of 23 of 30 teams to be elected.
Reinsdorf, Angels owner Arte Moreno, and our own Henry are pushing for Werner. Reinsdorf believes Manfred has been too soft on labor. And owners often like having one of their own (Selig owned the Brewers) as commissioner.
One interesting sidelight: Selig basically gift-wrapped the Red Sox for Henry, Werner, and Lucchino in 2001. Selig denies that he rigged the process for Henry’s group, but he also said, “Someday you’ll thank me for it.’’
Now Henry and Werner are in the middle of a palace takeover as the parties prepare to convene in Baltimore. New York Daily News Hall of Fame writer Bill Madden explained the Boston group’s motivation in Sunday’s edition.
According to Madden, Major League Baseball has a formula that sets a value on each team’s individual TV deal. The formula is established to “avoid cheating when it comes to figuring out how much they have to pay in revenue sharing.’’
We all know how much Henry hates revenue sharing (“We spend more time protecting ourselves against MLB than we do against the Yankees,’’ he told me in 2008). Who wouldn’t? He hates to line the pockets of small-market owners who in some cases do not reinvest in their teams.
According to Madden, the Red Sox’ NESN deal, which “should be valued somewhere around $80 million, has instead remained at around $40 million, which means the Red Sox pay less than even the small-market Pirates or Padres in revenue sharing portions of their TV deals.’’
I e-mailed Lucchino to ask him if this is true and have not received a response.
According to Madden, the values are reevaluated every five years.
Werner dazzled the MLB search committee in his interview/audition back in July when he was adamantly insisting to the Globe that he was not a candidate for commissioner.
His candidacy is certainly a surprise to Padres fans. Here’s what San Diego native Lee Jenkins wrote in July 21’s Sports Illustrated: “Werner is remembered in San Diego for three reasons: He invited Roseanne to sing the national anthem at Jack Murphy Stadium, where she screeched the lyrics and grabbed her crotch; he macheted the payroll to $13 million, and pawned off Gary Sheffield and Fred McGriff in the span of a month; and he did away with brown, the only thread that connected the franchise through its first two decades.’’
The battle lines are drawn. A Commissioner Werner would no doubt be good for the Red Sox, but if Manfred is named, the Sox are liable to lose some of their sweetheart status, including the value of NESN when it comes to revenue sharing.
■ If history holds, look for Bill Belichick to pick the pockets of the Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles soon. Just ask fans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Belichick butters up his opponents by letting them into the circle of trust with “joint” practices, then he kicks their butts in real games and acquires their disgruntled and/or underappreciated top talents such as Darrelle Revis, Aqib Talib, and LeGarrette Blount. It’s foolproof.
■ Prepare for Hub Fans Bid Jeter Adieu. If the Yankees don’t make the playoffs, then Derek Jeter’s final game will be Sunday, Sept. 28, at Fenway Park. Everybody knows that Ted Williams’s final at-bat was a homer against the Orioles on Sept. 28, 1960, but what is often overlooked is the fact that the Sox went to New York for three games after the Kid’s homer and he elected not to make the trip. It would be unthinkable today. Imagine Jeter hanging ’em up after playing the Orioles Sept. 25 at Yankee Stadium with three games in Boston still on the schedule.
■ Angels reliever Jason Grilli gave David Ortiz a taste of his own medicine, stylin’ madly after fanning Big Papi Friday night. Everybody loved it, right? Works both ways, right?
■ The San Francisco 49ers are moving to brand-new Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, and the soft opening for an MLS game last weekend was mildly reminiscent of the nightmarish opening of Schaefer Stadium in Foxborough in 1971. Gridlock gripped Route 1, causing many to miss the exhibition game between the Patriots and New York Giants.
Folks in Santa Clara have been assured that the traffic situation will get better. We need to tell them that it never got much better in Foxborough. Game-day traffic for Patriots games is still the worst thing about our local NFL experience. Folks here are used to it, but no stadium should ever have been built there.
■ OK, now is it safe to say that Tiger Woods isn’t going to be on the US Ryder Cup team at Gleneagles in Scotland?
■ It’s hard to believe Ben Cherington really believes that the Sox can win without an ace. And let’s remind the Sox bosses that Warren Spahn won 277 games afterhe turned 30 years old.
■ Velcro-helmet David Tyree is the Giants’ new director of player development despite anti-gay-marriage statements he has made many times. After getting heat from the Human Rights Campaign, the Giants issued a statement saying, “He was expressing his personal view, and that is not the view of the Giants organization.’’
■ If you need more evidence that Deion Sanders is a complete fraud, check out the exhaustive piece by Michael Powell in Sunday’s New York Times. Powell shines a light on Deion’s phony Prime Prep Academy in Dallas. In addition to exposing the phantom academic standards of the charter school, Powell describes Sanders’s physical abuse and threats toward his own school officials and business partners.
■ Jake Peavy update: 23 starts, one win. And that’s while pitching for two teams that won three of the last four World Series.
■ Why didn’t Dr. Charles Steinberg bring back Carl Everett when the Red Sox celebrated the 45th anniversary of the moon landing before playing Kansas City July 20? Jurassic Carl believes the moon landing was a hoax.
■ From an essay in Sunday’s Globe Magazine by Arlington-based author Steve Almond: “I’ve come to believe that football fosters within us a tolerance for violence, greed, misogyny and militarism.’’ Really? Can we also blame football for the Ebola virus?
■ Let the record show that the 2014 Red Sox who failed from April through July were virtually the same guys who won it last year. This was not Florida Marlins-esque failure. On the night of July 22, with Peavy on the mound, nine of the Sox starters were guys who started in the World Series. The only sub was Brock Holt in center in place of Jacoby Ellsbury.
■ It still bothers me that Cape Cod League teams had to pay MLB teams or forfeit their names when baseball enforced its licensing rights in 2008. As far as I’m concerned, the Orleans Firebirds will always be the Cardinals.
■ Jon Lester on Dustin Pedroia taking over his locker in the home clubhouse at Fenway: “I told him to. I wanted to make sure somebody I knew had it. I told him, ‘Why don’t you take mine?’ ”
■ Former Boston College baseball captain Pete Frates, afflicted with ALS, continues to inspire everybody. The Ice Bucket Challenge has gone global. Frates hopes to be on hand for the Old Time Baseball Game at St. Peter’s Field in Cambridge Aug. 25. All proceeds go to ALS research.
■ Carl Crawford needs to just shut up about Boston. He was treated with kid gloves here the whole time. His failure with the Sox was his own underachievement. Nothing more. And now he’s the highest-paid fourth outfielder in the game.
■ After a subpar performance in a preseason game, the Patriots backup quarterback is absent from practice on back-to-back days and the coach will not explain why. Fanboys, the only people who actually care about this information, applaud the coach’s nondisclosure.