Sox hire Management Consultant to create unprecedented plan to pick new manager


John Henry hired a Management Consultant company to recommend the best way to pick a new manager for the Sox: the firm of Slim, Pickins & Howe.

As a Captain of Industry, John Henry pioneered a management philosophy “with the explicit intention of precluding not only human emotion, but also any subjective evaluation.” [1] To provide a balance for the Red Sox management team, he hired Larry Lucchino, a man with an ego so large that he who would preclude not only human logic, but also any objective evaluation.  He then added Ben Cherington, who would preclude undisciplined behavior and, like John, do what he was told by Larry.

Your Fly On The Wall attended the meeting between John, Larry, Ben and the consultant from Slim, Pickins & Howe, Peter Piper, as he presented the plan for picking a pilot for the preternaturally precoscious players:

JH:  Well, thank you Mr. Piper for meeting with us this morning.

PP:  Well, Mr. Henry it is my pleasure to be here at Fenway Park with you, Mr. Lucchino and Mr. Cherington; I have been a Red Sox fan all my life and will never forget 1914, when they won the World Series from the Philadelphia Athletics in a four-game sweep.

FLY:  That was the Boston BRAVES, moron, and they were in the National League.

LL:  Well, uh, anyway, we are anxious to hear your recommendations, Mr. Piper.

PP:  Well then, let’s get right to the presentation then…

BC:  Um, yes, …As Mr. Lucchino said, we certainly are anxious; I know I am.

JH:  Yes, I can’t wait to find out who Peter Piper picked…

[Peter Piper picks a peck of prepared papers from his briefcase and hands them out.]

PP:  As you can see the first page lists your primary prerequisites:

"Prefer a man with no managerial experience; the less the better.Prefer a man who is confidant, but not arrogant.Prefer a man who is willing to be paid by the game with no contract.Prefer a man who will not strain the budget."

LL:  Exactly! Right John?

JH:  Yes, exactly!

BC: Um, “Exactly!”

First we looked at who was the driving force behind the 2012 season, the one person who was most responsible for the team’s performance and…

LL:  Valentine!

PP:  No.  Although he was, speaking strictly logically, the worst possible choice for a team like yours, and even factoring in the higher than average number of DL days, while he was a major contributor to the chaos that undermined the team, we concluded that it was the man who hired Mr. Valentine that was the root of your problem…

LL:  Cherington!

PP:  No.  Our investigation concluded that Cherington was conducting an objective search in a very disciplined manner, until his superior interrupted the process and made it very clear to his subordinate, Mr. Cherington, that he should abort the process and hire Mr. Valentine.

LL:  Oh! Come on! You can’t be serious! John was much closer to Bobby than me! He was the one who was pushing for Valentine; I had my doubts.  That’s not how we picked him, Mr. Piper!

JH:  Larry, please calm down and let Mr. Piper continue…

BC:  Um, yes, please continue, Mr. Piper.

PP:  Yes.  Well, Mr. Lucchino, you might find it amusing that one of our focus groups, the one made up of Red Sox season ticket holders, suggested that YOU become the manager…

LL:  Me?  Why…I…uh…It must be that letter I sent out…I’m flattered.  Well I do know quite a bit about baseball; I mean I ran the Orioles and…

PP:  The focus group felt that it would put you in a position where you could take all the credit and all the responsibility for the performance of the team.

LL:  Well, I, uh…

BC:  Um, interesting idea…

JH:  Well, Larry, since you were “running the team,” it would make sense for you to do it officially

BC:  Um, yeah…all you would have to do is tell me to hire you and I would…[heh…heh]

FLY:  Oh, even with his bloated ego, Larry would never want to give up his ability to blame somebody else, even a best pal, like Valentine, or a toady, like Ben…or even his boss, John Henry…

PP:  Well, no matter, we rejected their idea on objective grounds.  Although Mr. Lucchino might be willing to work on a game-by-game contract and has no managerial experience at all, our psychologist concluded that he was even more arrogant than Mr. Valentine.

JH:  Well, see that, Larry! You’re off the hook!

BC:  Um, yeah, Mr. Lucchino, you’re, um, off the hook!

PP:  But the fans’ focus group led us to our solution…

JH:  Really?

LL:  The fans? What do they know?

PP:  Well, their suggestion will result in the Red Sox saving about $2.5 million and increase the productivity of another highly-paid employee for a projected net gain…

JH:  Fascinating!

BC:  Um, yeah, fascinating!

LL:  So, you are trying to tell us that we get a manager for free and, as a bonus, another person, already on our payroll, will be more productive?

PP:  Yes.  For example, if you, Mr. Lucchino, were to serve, concurrently, as the President/CEO and the field manager…

LL:  Wait!  You have already eliminated me and…

BC:  Um, you’re “off the hook”! [heh…heh]

JH:  Good one, Ben!

PP:  Yes, we have already eliminated one of your current employees, but…that lead us to realize that you have other, very highly-paid, current employees, who could manage the team.

JH:  I’ve got it !  Lackey! We let Lackey manage the team!  He can’t pitch; we are stuck with him, so why not have him earn his money by managing!

BC:  Um, great idea!

LL:  Yeah, Ben, “great idea,” at least we get something from the guy you and Hoyer signed–behind my back—while Golden Boy Epstein was holding out for more money…

BC:  Um, but, um, remember, you told us that our job was limited to “recommending” players to you for signing, and that you were “running the team” and would make the final decisions and then get Mr. Henry to rubber stamp your decision…

JH:  “Rubber stamp”? Larry?

LL:  A mere figure of speech.  Let’s get back to the agenda…Mr. Piper, you were saying…

PP:  Well, it occurred to us that Mr. Lackey would be a possible candidate to manage your team, but there was, at least the perception in the media, that Mr. Lackey was a charter member of the “Pitchers of Beer “ club and–even though he has the support of the young player that he has taken under his wing– that would undermine his credibility.

JH:  Exactly!

BC: Um, yeah: “Exactly!”

LL:  Well, then, Mr. Piper who did you pick from the pack?

PP:  Well, actually, we picked the whole “pack”!

JH:  Could you expand on that, please…

PP:  Our research staff found that the concept was already in wide use in baseball:  it is called “Bullpen by Committee.”  So, since you are willing to think “outside the box,” we are recommending “Manager by Committee”!

LL:  What?

BC:  Um, what?

JH:  Proceed, Mr. Piper…

PP:  One of the major problems was that the team is nearly unmanageable; the players want a leader like Mr. Francona, whom the perceived was a “Players’ Manager”—a former player, who could see things from their perspective.

JH:  But, why rotate the position?

LL:  It spreads the blame…I mean responsibility.

BC: Um, yeah, responsibility.

JH:  I like it!

BC: Um, I like it too!

LL:  So, that’s your recommendation? We rotate the players into the manager slot, game-by-game?

JH:  Well, it eliminates the need for all those interviews; interviewing is such a personal and subjective process.  So, maybe we should give it a shot…

BC: Um, yeah: “Give it a shot!”

LL:  I don’t think the MLBPA, the union will go for it; I mean, they will say the players are not being compensated, if they are doing two jobs and…

PP:  We anticipated that issue and have already obtained a written agreement with the MLBPA…

LL:  Really?

BC: Um, really?

PP:  Yes.  They have agreed to take the base salary for a manager, $2.5 million, and divide it by 162; for every game they play and manage, they get their own salary, plus, a bonus for managing the game that day!

JH:  I like it!  But, where is the $2.5 million savings to the budget?

PP:  That was based on the assumption that, as with Mr. Valentine, no one would work for less than a 2-year contract and we assumed that, whoever you signed for two years, would be undermined by the players and would be fired after one year.  Thus, your savings is realized by not paying someone $2.5 million for agreeing to NOT manage your team during the second year of the contract.

JH:  Brilliant!

BC: Um, yeah, “Brilliant!”

JH:  Larry?

LL:  Upon further review, I like it too!  I say let’s “empower” the players and let them take the blame…

JH:  Well, they couldn’t do much worse…

BC:  Um, yeah, they couldn’t do much worse…

[Larry whispers to Ben.]

LL:  My office! Right after the meeting!

JH:  Well, thank you so much Mr. Piper!  Wait until Gammons and Olney hear this!  They won’t know whether the shit or go blind!  Oh…just an old expression from my old band days; no offense to the partially sighted or vision impaired meant.

LL:  With the players rotating as manager, this will be like “the blind leading the blind.”

[While Mr. Piper pusillanimously pushes packs of papers into his briefcase pockets and picks up his pens, he shakes hands with The Three Stewards–John, Larry, and Ben– and departs.]

JH:  Well, gentlemen, do we have a consensus?   I vote to implement this plan; it’s based on research and facts and–best of all–it’s “objective.”

BC:  Um, and, um, “disciplined.”  I vote…um, Larry, how do you vote?

LL:  Well, this will teach these prima donnas what it’s like to run the Red Sox! I vote yes!

BC: Um, well, me too!

JH:  Objective-based, logical, collaborative consensus!  Right gentlemen?

BC:  Um…

LL:  Sure, John…

BC:  Um, sure John…

Fly On The Wall:  Sure, let the players take the blame…No flies on you guys…You’re all off the hook…


[NOTICE TO LITERALISTS AND MORONS: Whilst the following may not seem funny, it is intended to be humorous. All characters and surnames, images, photos, or graphics appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, or undead, as well as souls inhabiting bodies, is purely coincidental.  All persons, living and dead, are purely coincidental, and should not be construed. Any resemblance between the characters in this article and any persons, or body, living or dead, is a miracle The author intends this to be a parody of what might have happened, but makes not claim to any knowledge of any real event in the real world.  The content is purely imagined and should not be construed as describing an actual event.  WARNING:  PARODY, JOKE, FANTASY, SEND-UP, HUMOR.][1]