Red Sox Confidential

By Doug Bailey | Boston Magazine |

THE RED SOX OF 2003 and 2004 were filled with colorful characters — including the guy whose trade from the team is often credited with helping the club at last win a championship.

I’ll never forget the time, at some point after the space shuttle Columbia disaster in 2003, that NASA arranged for two female astronauts to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at a Sox home game and deliver a brief tribute to their fallen colleagues. I happened to be an acquaintance of one of the visiting astronauts — Cady Coleman — so I volunteered to shepherd the two women through Fenway and onto the diamond. I ushered Coleman and Stephanie Wilson down to the field, but a rain delay forced us to wait for more than an hour in the Sox dugout. Players wandered around us, trying to relax as the umpires and owners huddled to decide whether to play the game. I didn’t normally mingle with the players, so it was a bit of a thrill to be sitting wedged among Nomar Garciaparra, Tim Wakefield, and other stars. Nomar curiously watched my interaction with the two women, who were dressed in their bright-blue flight suits, and finally nudged me and asked who they were. I explained that they were astronauts. “Hey,” Nomar replied, “I saw this show on Fox that said we never really went to the moon. The whole thing was faked. Can I talk to her about that?”

“Sure,” I said, eager to witness this conversation.

Coleman diplomatically handled the inquiry from Nomar. “I’ve heard about that,” she said, “but it would have to be an enormous conspiracy.”

“Did you see the show?” he quickly rejoined. “It was really convincing…. I don’t know.”

She hadn’t seen the show and looked plaintively at me as other players began to join the conversation. “Hey,” I said, trying to change the subject. “Cady is going to spend six months on the International Space Station. Talk about training for the big show.”

Intrigued, Nomar asked about the size of the space station. “It’s really big,” Coleman said.

“Is it as big as Fenway Park?” Nomar asked.

“No, not that big,” Coleman replied. Then she started looking around for ways to illustrate the dimensions of the orbiting vehicle.“How far is it from home plate to first base?” she finally asked. About six players yelled in unison: “Ninety feet.”

“It’s about that size,” she told them.

“That’s not big,” Nomar said. “That’s small.”

AFTER THE END OF THE 2007 World Series, I began thinking about leaving Rasky Baerlein and starting a new chapter in my PR career. That would mean giving up my work with the Red Sox — a thrilling, once-in-a-lifetime experience — but after six great seasons I couldn’t really imagine it getting any better.

What I was especially going to miss, I knew, was the ability to share my access and privilege with other people. Like the time I escorted a pair of German tourists into a closed Fenway and took them onto the field (when they flatteringly mistook me for a player, I signed “Doug Mirabelli” in their autograph book), or when I got Jason Varitek to sign my niece’s hat, or when I brought my older son into the team’s clubhouse after the 2007 ALCS victory and he was able to pose for pictures with an agreeable Jonathan Papelbon.

  • mark

    It’s not often that you get to write your own epitaph. Congratulations, Doug, you’ve done it.

    Now, about your other soon-to-be former clients…

  • Lee

    What’s with the jarring edit after the Henry playmate sentence. Looks like an entire paragraph or more was left out.

  • nadiam

    Wow. You must be massive.

  • holden

    reading this was like witnessing a slow death

  • bob

    I’m not a Sox fan – came to this article from Deadspin link – so no ax to grind. However, I’m curious as to why this clown would think that anyone would believe any of what he writes when he essentially admits that his entire job is to spin (aka, lie!). What an awful guy.

  • Bobby

    I am highly skeptical of this story. I don’t believe any of it.

  • Ewillr

    As a transplanted Massachusettsian, I was enthralled reading this piece. I wonder why there was not more focus on the baseball, especially 2004 and 2007. You tip-toe towards that when you wonder which RS player may be taking steriods – more of that would have been better. But, I miss the Red Sox and this has satiated my need for a baseball fix. Thanks

  • Bo

    Pretty Lame. “Tells all” certainly doesn’t mean what it used to. You get more on Twitter.

  • Ryan

    Doug, you come off as incredibly pompous and self-serving in this article. Absolutely nobody cares that the dirt they gave away wasn’t actually from the field. Or that the grass is painted. Or that John Henry may or may not have dated/partied with a playmate. This is a self-serving article that will only self-serve you in preventing you from gaining employment. You may have thrown your PR career away to reveal close to nothing. No one read this article and came away thinking anything different of the Red Sox.
    In summation, you’re awful.

  • Mark

    Did I just read an article, or was I sitting at a bar listening to some drunk guy brag about how he is supposedly the “guy-behind-the-guy” and was once somebody? A weird, rambling, disjointed musing that lacks a lot of things including purpose, audience, and the line “I tied an onion to my belt because it was the style at the time.”

  • Chris

    This was quite the tell-all haha. Sounds like this guys is actually still working for Larry! Besides trying to make himself look like he made the redsox who they are, I really don’t see the point to this article.

  • S

    No ax to grind. Actually, think it’s pretty cool.

  • doug

    Doug Bailey initials = D.B. = Douche Bag

  • fred

    That was the Diet Coke of juicy sports tell-all stories. Just one calorie, not much juice!