Monday, October 20, 2003

Gordon Edes has questions. Media Log has answers! The Boston Globe's Red Sox beat reporter was in full defend-Grady mode on Sunday. Trouble is, he only served to underscore the idiocy of Grady Little's non-decision to bring Pedro Martínez back out for the eighth, and to leave him in while the Yankees took batting practice.

So let's roll the tape.

EDES: "Would people be as inclined to fire Little today if the Sox had been blown out in Game 7, if Pedro Martínez had been knocked out of the box in the first inning instead of the eighth?"

MEDIA LOG: Of course not! You don't get fired for losing a game. You should get fired for gift-wrapping it and handing it to the opposition, which is what Little did last Thursday.

EDES: "What if Jorge Posada's broken-bat popup is caught by Todd Walker on the infield dirt instead of falling in shallow center field? Does Little get fired then?"

MEDIA LOG: Nope. Luck plays a role. However, most fans, after getting over their heart palpitations, would still have thanked their stars that the Sox had escaped from Little's incompetence.

EDES: "What if Posada had gotten his game-tying hit off Alan Embree or Mike Timlin?"

MEDIA LOG: Then Little would have been following the plan! Yes, some would bitch -- especially since, as Edes points out, Posada was hitting only .191 against Martínez. But nearly all fans know that the Red Sox got as far as they did by bringing in Timlin and/or Embree in the eighth and a closer -- increasingly, Scott Williamson -- in the ninth.

Again, you don't get fired for losing. You get fired for stupidity. Martínez, at this stage of his career, is a seven-inning, 100-pitch guy. He was clearly running out of gas in the seventh. Little sycophants who say otherwise are lying out of loyalty.

EDES: "What if Little had played it by the book in the eighth, and Embree and Timlin and Williamson can't hold the lead?"

MEDIA LOG: See previous answer.

EDES: "Call me a Little apologist."


Grady Little seems like a pretty decent guy. The most difficult job of the modern manager is to get his overpaid charges to play hard, and Little has done a good job of that.

But the Red Sox can't possibly bring him back after he -- all by himself -- blew the biggest game since the 1986 World Series. One senses that Larry Lucchino understands: he wouldn't be as reticent with the Globe's Dan Shaughnessy today if Little were staying.

The difference between Clinton and Schwarzenegger. Globe columnist Cathy Young today blasts Bill Clinton defenders for hypocrisy in their full-throated denunciations of Arnold Schwarzenegger's can't-keep-his-hands-to-himself style of interacting with women.

I'm not even going to try to parse whose behavior was worse. You could say that Clinton's philandering, unlike Arnold's groping, was consensual, but that would overlook Juanita Broaddrick, whose unprovable claim that Clinton had raped her in the late 1970s strikes me as at least passing the threshold of credibility.

So -- Broaddrick aside, since one's view of Clinton depends on how you view her story -- let's just agree that both men have behaved in a piggish manner toward women. "Double standard," as Young calls it?

No. With a few exceptions, Clinton's conduct was roundly, heatedly condemned by Democrats as well as Republicans when the Monica Lewinsky matter became public knowledge in early 1998.

The difference -- which eludes Young entirely -- is that the allegations about Clinton's sex life were fueled by a $50 million government investigation, which led to his impeachment and near-removal from office. Independent counsel Ken Starr's official abuse of his powers was one of the factors that led to the law that created his office being repealed.

In Schwarzenegger's case, the allegations were driven only by a few newspaper stories. He won the election anyway. And the groping and other humiliations he visited upon women are already fading into the woodwork.

If Young would really like to eliminate the double standard, perhaps she could push for California attorney general Bill Lockyer to spend a few million taxpayer dollars investigating Schwarzenegger's peccadilloes.

Tune in tonight. I'll be on Greater Boston this evening talking about Little People. (WGBH-TV; 7 p.m. on Channel 2, midnight on Channel 44.)

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