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dan shaughnessy

Red Sox are hard to believe

Red Sox owner John Henry, left, and team president Larry Lucchino before a game at Fenway Park. BARRY CHIN/GLOBE STAFF

NEW YORK — It’s good to be back on the Sox watch for a few days here in the Bronx. I missed the circus in Baltimore and my skull’s been imploding as I read and hear the ridiculous spin from the Red Sox front office.

Baghdad Bobs of Boston have been spreading the message that the Palace Revolt (the “fire Bobby” meeting was actually at the Palace Hotel, which is just too good, even by Sox standards) of July was no big deal. It was one of Larry Lucchino’s famed “round table’’ meetings.

Baloney. I know what the round-table meetings are. Lucchino brought them to Boston based on good experiences in Baltimore and San Diego. The idea is for ownership to hear suggestions and complaints from ballplayers. It’s a good way to take care of things like family tickets, road-trip rules, and maybe a new whirlpool.


John, Tom, and Larry have been selling the Palace Revolt as a round table. Larry went on Radio Free Red Sox to explain this point, and John e-mailed some scribes with the same. Tom had his moment when he burst into the booth at Camden Yards Thursday night, selling the notion of the Palace Revolt as a constructive forum for Sox players.

No. Once again, the Sox simply cannot just tell the truth. Just as they can’t say they fired Terry Francona . . . just as they can’t say Bobby Valentine was not Ben Cherington’s choice . . . just as they can’t say that the clubhouse beer ban was not initially supposed to be a home-and-away thing . . . just as they can’t say a game at Fenway is not really a sellout . . . now they are trying to tell us that the Palace Revolt was a friendly exchange of ideas to make for a better work environment.


And the poets down here don’t write nothing at all, they just stand back and let it all be (ode to Fenway-friendly Springsteen there).

Here’s a little fact about the famed round-table meetings: When Francona was the manager, he was always present for the round table. Ownership would ask Francona to gather some players for an open discussion. The manager would summon some coaches and traveling secretary Jack McCormick to find players eager to participate. A lot of good was accomplished.

But those meetings always included the manager and they were always held at Fenway. The Palace Revolt was an emergency meeting, held in New York, to try to get the manager fired.

No, the Sox will tell you. It’s the media’s fault. The Sox owners were not in New York for Friday night’s game, and Lucchino did not respond to an e-mail from me.

At Camden Yards Thursday, Lucchino told a group of reporters, “We have to be sure we remember the cynical jaded media does not speak for . . . they don’t necessarily capture the voice of the fan base.’’

Jon Lester told the Boston Herald, “I don’t know if we brought it on ourselves last year or what, but now you’ve got all these tabloid types of things, all these websites, trying to say, ‘Who can we personally bury next?’ It gets in the way of us trying to win baseball games.’’

Friday afternoon at Yankee Stadium, Valentine was asked if the Sox’ failed season was the media’s fault. “No,’’ said the manager. “The media had nothing to do with this season.’’


Ouch. That one hurt.

This much is clear: You don’t have to try very hard to uncover more dirt on the Red Sox these days.

David Page was the Red Sox’ strength and conditioning coach for six seasons. He was one of several individuals blamed for last season’s epic fold, and was fired in the offseason. Unlike a lot of his fellow fall guys, Page has chosen not to go quietly into the night.

Page is an occasional tweeter, and as of early Friday afternoon, these were some of his tweets:

From July 8: “20 players on the DL 23 times in 1/2 a season and I was the problem last year.’’

From July 14, a night when Clay Buchholz lost to the Rays in St. Petersburg: “When Buchholz takes the mound, Tampa should play, “one bourbon, one scotch and one beer” for him and his boys who pissed away 2011.’’

From July 19 regarding Mike Boyle, the Sox’ new strength and conditioning consultant: “Mike Boyle has done a helluva job getting those starting pitchers in Boston ready. Not that easy is it, [expletive]?”

Page still lives in Greater Boston, and I spoke with him Friday to confirm that these tweets were not the work of an imposter.

“Yeah, that’s me,’’ said Page, whose Twitter handle is @TheCleanTruth. “There are times when I’m pretty bitter and I have trouble holding back. I need to vent.’’


The most offensive tweets were deleted shortly after our conversation.

Buchholz said he didn’t know about getting ripped on Twitter by his former strength and conditioning coach.

“I think he’s mad that he lost his job here,’’ said the righthander. “I don’t think anybody supported him . . . jealousy rots a man from the inside out. I thought we had a pretty good relationship. It is what it is. I don’t mind. People are going to hate on people.’’

Especially around the Red Sox.

I saw David Cone in the press box Friday night. Cone is one of the great guys in baseball, but he was part of the 2001 Red Sox team that featured the biggest bunch of crybabies and nitwits of all time.

Cone rolled his eyes when we said hello.

“Where’s Carl Everett when you need him?’’ asked the affable Cone.

Indeed. Where have you gone, Jurassic Carl? Red Sox Nation turns its lonely eyes to you.

Dan Shaughnessy is a Globe columnist. He can be reached at dshaughnessy@globe.com.