Ramble On Sports

Where sports, pop culture and everything else collide.

Lowell saves Epstein from PR nightmare

Posted by Bill Koch on February 23, 2010

Mike Lowell

Theo Epstein is lucky that Mike Lowell is such a class act.

Spring training could be a lot uglier this year if Lowell wanted to make waves in camp with the Red Sox, his trade to Texas having fallen through thanks to an injured thumb that required offseason surgery. Lowell’s failed physical with the Rangers left Epstein with egg on his face and left Boston with an extra corner infielder. The Red Sox signed Adrian Beltre to a one-year, $10-million deal in an attempt to add to their wholesale defensive upgrade, assuming that Lowell and $9 million of Boston’s money was headed to Texas.

And then, suddenly, the plans changed. Lowell reported to Fort Myers as scheduled on Monday, spoke to the media on Tuesday and could have put the heat on Epstein and the front office to make something happen. As usual, Lowell was classy and dignified, and he refused to do any such thing. He’s choosing to move ahead and conduct business as usual. Epstein should be kneeling in prayer and thanking some higher power that Lowell isn’t Vince or Bianca Wilfork right now.

The Boston media loves to stir up controversy even where there is none to be found – witness Shank’s complete misrepresentation of Josh Beckett’s contract situation on Monday – and would have had a second Mardi Gras if Lowell had come out swinging against red Sox management on Tuesday. He didn’t. These are the kinder, gentler Red Sox – Jonathan Papelbon’s annual arbitration crying aside – and it doesn’t look like much can disturb them. This time, it’s not because of Epstein’s work – his soon-to-be-departed third baseman and 2007 World Series MVP did the job for him.

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