Brady Wins, Why I Was Wrong

Federal Judge Richard Berman has ruled that the four game suspension against Tom Brady is to be dismissed. This is a very important sports law case because this is a matter of a judge overturning an arbitrators decision. This rarely happens and is based on the Judge finding that the arbitration process was flawed. I didn’t think this would occur although I have thought all along that this Deflategate issue was much ado about nothing. Never in the history of the case did anyone show that 1. Brady deflated anything or ordered the deflating of footballs a pound or two under the suggested air pressure.  2.That he enjoyed an advantage because of this that had an impact on the game, and 3. Most importantly, did the Collective Bargaining Agreement give Goodell the authority to suspend the player.

Basically, the Judge overturned the Commissioners over reach. There was no reason to suspend Brady over this imagined issue and Goodell did not have the authority. This is Judging at its best. A minor, insignificant matter, blown into a major news story because it involved a famous quarterback and the NFL, has been relegated to its proper position- a non-story, by a federal judge who has better things to do.

I was worried that the judge would follow the time honored case history that called for judges to defer to arbitrators in such matters. The judge made the right decision. I wrote that he wouldn’t <a =”″>here</a&gt; but am glad to have been wrong.

The article below says more:

Judge rules against NFL, drops Tom Brady’s four-game ban

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady arrived at federal court in New York on Monday.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady arrived at federal court in New York on Monday.

By Larry Neumeister and Tom Hays ASSOCIATED PRESS SEPTEMBER 03, 2015
NEW YORK — New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady can suit up for his team’s season opener after a judge erased his four-game suspension for ‘‘Deflategate.’’

The surprise ruling by U.S. District Judge Richard Berman came Thursday after more than one month of failed settlement talks between the NFL and its players’ union. Many legal experts believed the judge was merely pressuring the sides to settle when he criticized the NFL’s handling of the case at two hearings in August.
But the judge wasn’t posturing.

He came out forcefully in Brady’s favor, maligning the NFL for its handling of the scandal that erupted after the AFC championship game in January, when officials discovered during the first half that Brady used underinflated footballs. New England beat the Indianapolis Colts 45-7 then won the Super Bowl two weeks later.

An NFL investigation led to Brady’s suspension, which Commissioner Roger Goodell upheld.

Misguided Photo; DNC Gets It Wrong

The DNC, (Democratic National Committee) in an effort to show its “support” for US veterans, posted the photo shown below as an indication of that support. Of course, when your intent is purely political and you really don’t support veterans, you may get it wrong as in this photo of Polish Veterans taken in Poland in 2011. Of course, to a Democrat, a uniform is a uniform, they are all the same, right? Shame on them for not knowing an American military uniform from a Polish uniform, The two are very different in color and design.

Notice Anything Wrong With The Photo The DNC Used To Appeal To America's Veterans?

UPDATE: Why Baseball Players Win and Football Players Lose. Update

“Brady Wins, Why I Was Wrong” was posted today.
I posted <a href=”http://clarkgriffithblog/2015/08/27″>Here</a&gt; and article on why Brady will lose his arbitration and why baseball players win theirs. was kind to post it in their picks section and Paul Mirengoff added this comment.


Clark Griffith explains why he thinks “Tom Brady will lose and baseball players win.” It’s because “in Major League Baseball, grievances are heard and decided by an impartial arbitrator. In the National Football League, the person who hears and decides grievances is the commissioner.”

I want to focus on a more general question: Why has the Major League Baseball Players Association consistently negotiated more favorable contracts on a full range of issues than its counterpart, the National Football Players Association? One explanation, which comes through in Clark’s piece, is that the baseball players hired smarter people early on.

I don’t dispute this. However, I have a more general theory: baseball players are more ornery than football players (and, for that matter, basketball players).

Football and basketball stars become heroes at an early age. They are worshiped in high school (and sometimes before), courted extravagantly by college recruiters, pampered in college, and then (if they’re good enough) placed directly into the luxurious life of the big leagues. (To be fair, though,a great many come from poor or lower middle class backgrounds.)

Baseball players are less celebrated in high school and college (if they attend). And they almost always enter the profession via the minor leagues, where they typically spend several years (quite possibly five or more if they become professionals right out of high school).

The minor leagues are a grinding, humbling experience. The pay is low, the towns lack glamour, and the bus rides are long, tedious, and not very comfortable.

Thus, my theory goes, when baseball players finally make it, they have a fortitude that their more spoiled counterparts in football and basketball lack. That’s why they are more likely to hang tough in negotiations, as they did most famously during the 1994 labor dispute when the baseball season was lost.

I learned from my father, a labor organizer, that ultimately union leaders are only as tough as they can persuade their members to be. I believe that, at least until now, the leaders of the baseball union have found it easier than their counterparts in other sports to persuade their members, most of whom come up the hard way, to be tough.

What Mirengoff says about baseball player toughness is true. As batters they stand against nine opponents alone, to face the pitcher.  This toughness in play is also toughness in negotiations and I have negotiated deals with players and they don’t quit.

I attribute this to the games them selves. Football players are taught from the first day to act as a unit and obey the coach. When the whistle blows, they do push ups.  Not so baseball players who play the most grueling schedule of 162 games, that test physical and mental toughness. They lose 40% of the games if they’re good, are put out 70% of the time if they are good hitters. They play, pitch and field as individuals, alone. Read <a href:”;.>Baseballs-timeless-appeal</a.

We can’t forget about the owners. The NFL is a true partnership. They have to stand together. Not so baseball owners who, historically, have found the top 1/3 in market size doing all they can do to crush the bottom 2/3. Having a bad labor deal, helped this plan.

With all this in mind, if the baseball players had hired Ed Garvey and the football players had hired Marvin Miller and his lawyer, Dick Moss, the positions of the unions would be reversed.  Talent is talent, especially in the major leagues.

Why Brady Will Lose and Baseball Players Win

The major difference between the NFL and MLB in labor matters is the presence of a neutral arbitrator in baseball. This issue is described in Murray Chase’s article below.


By Murray Chass

August 27, 2015

Nearly 40 years ago, the leader of the National Football League, Ed Garvey, criticized and ridiculed Marvin Miller and Richard Moss for their willingness to limit Peter Seitz’s historic arbitration award that created free agency.

Seitz ruled that baseball players, such as Andy Messersmith and Dave McNally, in whose names the union filed the grievance on which Seitz ruled, could become free agents if they played a year without signing a contract. The renewal clause in the uniform player’s contract, the arbitrator found, could not be exercised in perpetuity and therefore players could be free after a year.Tom Brady2 225

However, Miller and Moss, the most effective dynamic duo in labor history, Miller the union leader, Moss the union lawyer, knew that players would benefit far less if hundreds could play out their contract renewal clauses each year and glut the market so they compromised with the owners and set six years as time players would have to play in the majors to be eligible for free agency.

Garvey, whose players were seeking free agency, called Miller and Moss everything but criminals for giving away what Seitz gave them. However smart a lawyer he might have been, Garvey failed to see the wisdom in the six-year compromise.

When Garvey succeeded in getting a free-agent system for NFL players, it was a sham compared with the baseball system and remains so today. In addition, baseball free agents and players who forgo free agency by signing contract extensions get guaranteed contracts. NFL free agents, for the most part, get one year of a multi-year contract guaranteed. They have to play each year of their contracts to be paid that year’s salary.

What prompts all of this? Miller and Moss achieved something else that Garvey and his successors have not. And that’s why Tom Brady, the New England Patriots’ brilliant quarterback, faces a four-game suspension at the start of the coming season.

In Major League Baseball, grievances are heard and decided by an impartial arbitrator. In the National Football League, the person who hears and decides grievances is the commissioner.

Whether it’s Roger Goodell or was any of his predecessors, he is hardly an impartial, or neutral, arbitrator. Consider this scenario:

  • The commissioner disciplines a player, fining and/or or suspending him.
  • The player files a grievance challenging the commissioner’s action.
  • The commissioner, the so-called arbitrator, holds a hearing.
  • The player or his representative appears before the commissioner and has to try to convince him that his original disciplinary action was excessive or wrong altogether.

This is a fair system? The baseball players didn’t think so when they were governed by it, and they did something about it.

Marvin Miller Richard Moss 225“It was our third negotiation,” Moss recalled in a telephone interview Wednesday. “In the second negotiation we got the grievance procedure and arbitration, but they insisted on keeping the commissioner.”

As the arbitrator, Moss meant. But the third time was the charm.

“The hero was Chub Feeney,” Moss related, referring to the National League president, who was a member of management’s negotiating team.

Feeney approached Moss after a negotiating session and asked if he had time to get a drink. They went to Toots Shor’s, the popular local watering hole where sports figures gathered for business and pleasure.

“We were sitting at the bar,” Moss said, “and Chub said, ‘Why is it important to you guys to have an impartial arbitrator?’ I said, ‘Chub, you went to law school.’ He said, ‘Yeah, I see your point. I’ll see what I can do.’”

Feeney was successful, much to the regret of Commissioner Bowie Kuhn, who in his1987 biography “Hardball” wrote that he considered exercising what he considered his authority and yanking the Messersmith-McNally matter out of the grievance procedure and deciding it himself. Guess which way that decision would have gone.

“In hindsight,” Kuhn wrote, “my greatest regret about my sixteen years as commissioner is that I did not take that grievance and head off Seitz.”

In typical Kuhn myopia, he also wrote that if he had taken charge of the grievance and resolved it, “a free-agency system would have been negotiated that would have worked far better from the point of view of the fans than the one we have today courtesy of Seitz.”

Too bad Bowie isn’t around today to see how the game has developed since the advent of free agency.

Kuhn also was assuming too much in saying he had the authority to take the case out of the arbitration procedure. In his 22-year tenure as commissioner, Bud Selig never tried to do that, not even when Alex Rodriguez used the grievance system to challenge his 211-game suspension.

In the Messersmith-McNally grievance, MLB officials and lawyers were so arrogant that they ignored the advice of John Gaherin, their chief labor negotiator, to negotiate a settlement. Their view was if Seitz ruled against them, they could go to federal court and win there.

But no one among them, not even the lawyers, apparently knew that judges don’t overturn arbitration awards. Judge John Oliver of United States District Court in Kansas City taught them that reality.

A more recent case, this one reaching the United States Supreme Court, emphasized the point in 2001.

Steve Garvey, the former All-Star first baseman, sued in federal court over what he thought was too low an arbitrator’s award for his share of the $280 million the owners agreed to pay the players for their collusion against free agents in 1985, ’86 and ’87.Steve Garvey 225

Losing in federal court, Garvey went all the way to the Supreme Court. He lost there, too. The court ruled unanimously against Garvey and said, in effect, that the case had no business being there in the first place.

This is why the NFL’s Brady can’t expect to win the appeal of his four-game suspension. Brady and his NFL colleagues would be better off focusing their efforts on an issue more important to them. They need to get rid of the commissioner as the league’s arbitrator.

Brady might be in better position had an impartial arbitrator heard his appeal than he is with Goodell deciding it.

When I talked to Moss about the baseball union’s early ability to get the commissioner out of the grievance procedure and get an impartial arbitrator in it, he was surprised to learn about the NFL.

“It’s taken this long,” he said, sounding incredulous, “and they still don’t have an impartial arbitrator? It’s absolutely shameful.”

It has been more than 42 years since the Major League Baseball Players Association got its impartial arbitrator. The NFL Players Association is only slightly behind the times.

A Discussion of Team Chemistry in Baseball; The Essential Element

I have spent a career watching baseball teams as they win and lose. The pivotal event was in 1965 when I watched the Minnesota Twins win the American League pennant.

What was pivotal was that the players took over the team and generated the focus and drive that won the pennant. This player generated focus on winning is baseball culture and that is what wins pennants, not just the individual talent of the players. Baseball with its 162 game schedule, requires this sort of focus and it is player generated, no manager, general manager or owner, with the exception of Charlie Finley, has ever been able to create this chemistry.

Below is a discussion of Chemistry in baseball in the prospective of the current season.


By Bob Nightengale

From field to front office, many believe chemistry still matters in baseball
Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY Sports 1:34 p.m. EDT August 24, 2015
In a sport where the desire to quantify every movement only grows with each season, it is a sabermetric aficionado’s worst nightmare.

You can’t measure it. You can’t define it. You can’t put a number on it.

We’re talking about clubhouse chemistry, and the culture that can raise a major league team to extraordinary heights without having the biggest payroll or most talent.

“It’s really undervalued,’’ St. Louis Cardinals veteran starter John Lackey told USA TODAY Sports, “especially in today’s world with all of the numbers guys.”

We can put all kinds of numbers on players’ talent, from RBI to WAR, to ERA to FIP, but when it comes to the heart and soul of a clubhouse, there remains no measuring stick.

“The numbers guys can’t quantify that one,’’ Lackey said, “so they don’t want to believe in it.’’
Key questions as baseball’s pennant chase turns into a sprint

You want to know what chemistry and culture is about, peek inside the San Francisco Giants’ clubhouse. They’ve won three of the last five World Series. Maybe they’ve had the best manager in Bruce Bochy, and GM too in Brian Sabean, but never have they had the best talent.

“We’re in a game today where everybody wants to think they can formulate, or come up with some kind of number,’’ says Giants starter Jake Peavy, who like Lackey, has won World Series titles with two organizations. “You turn on some of these baseball shows, and nobody wants to talk about the San Francisco Giants, because numbers can’t explain how we won last year.

“They don’t want to talk about clubhouse chemistry.

“Come on, how to do you put a number on a guy like (Chicago Cubs backup catcher David Ross) and what he brings to the clubhouse? This guy hit (.184) last year, and he got multiple two-years deals on the table. Why is that?’’

Indeed, you step into the Cubs’ clubhouse these days, and no one is talking about Ross’ .186 batting average and seven RBI. They’re too busy raving about his powerful influence on a club featuring four rookies in the everyday lineup.

“He means so much to every single person in here,’’ Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo said.

Go ahead, try to put a number on that.

The St. Louis Cardinals and Kansas City Royals have the two finest records in baseball. If you go by the numbers, the Royals were supposed to win just 72 games this year, according to Baseball Prospectus’ projection system, PECOTA. The Cardinals, who have had more injuries to key players than any team, shouldn’t be leading their division, let alone be on pace to eclipse 100 victories, if you go strictly by sheer talent.

“People that don’t understand what team chemistry means don’t work in baseball,’’ Toronto Blue Jays ace David Price said. “It makes me mad, because obviously they don’t know how important it is. Ask the Giants. Ask the Royals. Ask the Cardinals.

“You look at the Giants, and they’re not more talented than everyone else every year, but they’re so close, and together. The Cardinals are the same way. They definitely have talent, but they’re no more talented than a lot of the teams they’re beating every day.

“The Cardinals are unbelievable. They lose their ace (Adam Wainwright). They lose their No. 3 and No. 4 hitters in (Matt) Adams and (Matt Holliday). And they’re still winning. They’re just unreal.

“It’s the same thing as the Royals. Yeah, they have talent, but you can tell how close they are by watching them. I pay attention to all of that.’’
Blue Jays cap sweep of Angels with 12-5 win

The Blue Jays placed more emphasis on a player’s character than any time in GM Alex Anthopoulos’ tenure. He shipped out the guy who didn’t fit in. He chose character over talent. There’s a reason why 42-year-old LaTroy Hawkins is now in the Blue Jays’ bullpen instead of Jonathan Papelbon.

“We really, really, emphasized that,’’ Anthopoulos said, “more than we ever have. It’s the first time we ever put that level of emphasis on it. The focus of the offseason was that we were going to change the mix a little bit. It’s not diving on anybody else, but it wasn’t working.

“Don’t get me wrong, it’s still talent and production first, but the other component is almost as important. Just because you have all good people doesn’t mean you’re always going to win. There are plenty of guys who have a 6-plus ERA who are tremendous clubhouse guys, but they’re sitting at Triple-A.

“Every team goes through ups and downs, and I think with a better clubhouse and with better character, that allows you to handle the downs a lot. That’s the separator. So rather than the floor caving in on you, you stay afloat.

“We’ll find out if it works.’’

Certainly, adding a guy like Price at the trade deadline, and having MVP favorite Josh Donaldson the entire season, may have something to do with the Blue Jays’ success, too. Yet, manager John Gibbons can’t stop raving about Donaldson’s leadership skills, and Price is revered throughout the game.

For whatever reason, the Blue Jays are 18-4 since consummating the Price deal.

“We were looking for a special type of player, even if it meant passing on some talent,’’ Anthopoulos said, “making sure every player we acquired fit.

“I think it’s important David Price fit into in the clubhouse, but let’s don’t forget he’s got a (2.40) ERA, too.’’

Sure, you’ve got to have talent to win, but talent alone doesn’t guarantee a thing. If the standings were based strictly on talent, you think the Washington Nationals would be trailing the New York Mets by five games? You think the Los Angeles Dodgers, and their $307 million payroll, would be only up 1 ½ games on the Giants? You think the Texas Rangers would be winning the second wild-card spot, or that the Minnesota Twins – projected to lose 92 games – would be just 1 1/2 games out of the wild-card race?

“If you have good clubhouse chemistry, you going to win,’’ New York Yankees veteran starter CC Sabathia said. “It’s not something you can fake. It’s real.

“You look at the Giants. Those guys love each other, and they win. They get a guy like Peavy. You see what (Tim) Hudson has meant for them. It’s the real thing.’’
Sure, numbers are fine for fantasy leagues, but if you want to truly define a player’s value, or recognize the importance significance of clubhouse culture, it’s time to wake up and embrace character, too.

“I think we’re losing part of our game because so many of these people in charge don’t have the scouting background or playing background,’’ Peavy said. “All they have is a great education and they’re really good at math. Some of these front offices crunch all of these numbers, and think they’ve got it all figured out.

“I don’t know the formula for winning, but I do know what it means when teams are inseparable, enjoy their time together, care for each other, and play for the higher cause. I’ve seen it. I’ve been part of it.

“You can have all of the education you want, and break down every number you want, but unless you get to know what’s inside a player, you really don’t know the player.’’

The Royals certainly noticed the tepid external expectations. Public relations director Mike Swanson, in his recent pre-game notes, reminded everyone of Baseball Prospectus’ projected 72-90 record. The Royals have already won a league-leading 75 games, and could clinch their first division title in 30 years by Labor Day.

“Fortunately, games are won on a field and not on paper,’’ Swanson wrote in the Royals’ notes distributed to the media, “thus a computer ‘time out’ might be appropriate for some.”
“We had our Moneyball movie, and they didn’t even win,’’ Peavy said of the Oakland Athletics. “How about let’s make a movie about the good ol’ fashioned baseball people, and how they judge team chemistry, and put together guys that fit in.

“How about a movie about a team that actually wins in the end?’’

The Most Amazing Features of Star Trek.

“‘Star Trek’ says that it has not all happened, it has not all been discovered, that tomorrow can be as challenging and adventurous as any time man has ever lived.” –Gene Roddenberry

Nearly half a century ago, a new vision of humanity’s future first graced the world’s consciousness: the vision of Star Trek. The brainchild of creator Gene Roddenberry — who would’ve been 95 today — it ran contrary to the dominant ethos of its time of a world filled with the pollution and destruction of humans, overrun with selfish, unethical behavior, war, strife and conflict. The future that people feared was one of nuclear winter, unsafe air and water, unethical treatment of one another and of technology further and further separating us from our humanity.

And against that cultural backdrop was born the series of Star Trek.

Image credit: Star Trek: The Original Series, from the episode “Operation Annihilate”.

This was a very different future from the one envisioned by most of his contemporaries; this was a future where technology existed to further the peaceful goals and ideals common to all humans. This was a future where the boundaries of states, nations and cultures were transcended. This was a future where the dream of the United Nations was extended to not just all of Earth, but to a myriad of planets beyond our Solar System. Where we peacefully coexisted, shared technology and resources, and where the accumulation of wealth or power was no longer a driving force in anyone’s life.

And the way we achieved that — in the Star Trek Universe — was through developments that benefitted us all.

Image credit: Karl Urban as “Bones” McCoy in Star Trek: Into Darkness.

Fall ill? Medical technology has advanced so far that all you need is the state-of-the-art equipment and a savvy doctor, and you’ll be cured in no time.

Need to communicate with someone on another world? Sub-space communication puts them within reach, at just the tap of a button on your shirt.

Can’t understand their language? A “universal translator” renders that completely irrelevant, with on-the-fly translation of languages occurring instantaneously.

Need to travel someplace a long distance away? Warp drive and a transporter will get you there in no time.

And what’s perhaps most surprising is that many of these “fantastic dreams” of the 1960s have become a reality today.

Image credit: ©2015 KGO-TV, of the “Scanadu” medical tricorder.

The Medical Tricorder of Star Trek is not only real, it’s cheap and can scan you for all sorts of illnesses and ailments. The Star Trek communicator has been far superseded by smartphone and bluetooth technology today, so much so that “Star Trek communicator replicas” seem like a steampunk accessory today. Universal translators aren’t quite a reality yet, but we’ve made huge strides, and it will doubtlessly not be long (maybe a generation at most) before we’re actually there.

Image credit: From the Star Trek Deep Space Nine Technical Manual, via

Sub-space communication — aside from the fact that “sub-space” doesn’t exist — runs into the problem inherent to special relativity: no signal can move faster than light. If you want to send any information from one location in spacetime to another, you are limited by the distance in spacetime the signal must travel and the universal speed limit: the speed of light.

Quantum entanglement can “cheat” this light speed, but can’t send any information, because the entangled particles needed to be created in an entangled state and then brought apart limited by the speed of light.Measurements you make to one particle will affect the outcome of the other, but this doesn’t transmit any information; sending a signal is not something you can do (at least, with our current understanding) via entangled particles.

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons user AllenMcC.

Warp drive, too, is a bit of a stretch: thanks to some recent advances in general relativity, we’ve discovered a spacetime solution that admits faster-than-light travel from one location to another by the creation of a literal “warp field” within a bubble. There are huge obstacles that need to be overcome before this becomes a reality, however, including:

  • the ability to create and then un-create this configuration of spacetime,
  • the ability to place complex matter within it without destroying it,
  • and the ability to accomplish all of this without requiring an energy source greater than, say, the entire mass-energy content of the Sun.

People are working on this, of course, but creating an ad hoc solution in general relativity is a very different story from having this be feasible technology.

Image credit: CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images.

But most shockingly, the transporter of Star Trek seems to be one invention that’s forever beyond our reach, much to the chagrin of world travelers, would-be bank robbers and forbidden lotharios everywhere. While quantum teleportation is a real phenomenon, it’s very different to have a single particle tunnel through a small barrier than it is to have an entire person or macroscopic object broken down — particle by particle — and then reconstructed, identically and still alive, in another location.

To even dream of doing that would require not only putting all the particles that make you up back together in the same configuration, but with the same positions and momenta that they had before you were teleported. Think about the difference between a living human and a corpse of a human: there are no particles that are necessarily different; it’s simply the way those particles are positioned and moving in that configuration.

But physics won’t let you do that.

Image credit: Henry Salles of

You see, there’s an inherent uncertainty between momentum and position for every particle, requiring that if you know one of those traits to a certain degree of precision, the other one becomes inherently uncertain so that the product of the two is always finite and non-zero. Lawrence Krauss, in his book The Physics of Star Trek, correctly identifies that one would need some type of hypothetical “Heisenberg Compensator” to account for this, which seems to violate the fundamental rules of quantum mechanics.

No matter how far technology advances, it will always be bound by the laws of nature.

Dumbrowski Takes Over the Red Sox

I’ve been a David Dumbrowksi fan since  I met him at the beginning of his career.  He was fired by the Tigers two weeks ago and I knew he would be quickly hired by smart baseball people. The Red Sox ownership, Tom Werner and John Henry,are such people. Below is a discussion of this hiring.

From Darell Rovell at ESPN.

We’ll never know if Ben Cherington was going to figure out how put the Red Sox back together again.

The Sox were unwilling to wait any longer.

In the most stunning move of their ownership since they took control in the spring of 2002 and fired general manager Dan Duquette, principal owner John Henry and chairman Tom Werner hired Dave Dombrowski as president of baseball operations last night.

And while the official press release said Cherington “declined the opportunity to continue as general manager,” let’s not get caught up in semantics like we all did when Terry Francona moved on.

The Red Sox fired Cherington as soon as they decided to hire Dombrowski.

They didn’t have to announce it, and they don’t have to run from it.

If you’re looking for a new voice, you’ve stopped listening to the old one.

“We had reached a clear internal consensus that we needed to enhance our baseball operation,” Werner in a statement.

Dombrowski was too good, too distinguished, too experienced to pass up. And if that meant Cherington had to leave, well, that’s the cost of “a clear internal consensus.”

To say Cherington turned down the opportunity to stay technically is true, but hopefully the Red Sox will not waste a single phone call, email or text trying to spin his departure. There is no need to disguise what Dombrowski’s arrival meant to Cherington’s fate.

Dombrowski wielded more power in Detroit as the Tigers president and general manager than Cherington ever did here when he worked under Larry Lucchino, Henry and Werner. And while Dombrowski most likely would not have minded Cherington working for him, why would the latter want to abdicate his current power and be relegated to a glorified assistant to a president?

When Theo Epstein replaced interim GM Mike Port, who helped run the show after Duquette left, he inherited a franchise in good shape, a far cry from the state of the current team.

Then, the Sox had Nomar Garciaparra, Pedro Martinez and Manny Ramirez, and the farm system basically was stripped save for a few notable exceptions.

Epstein helped rebuild the farm system but with some savvy moves supplemented the big league team and voila, the Sox won it all in 2004 and 2007.

Cherington took charge after 2011, oversaw the miracle 2013 championship and built a stacked farm system, which Dombrowski now inherits along with budding superstars Xander Bogaerts and Mookie Betts.

“The Red Sox baseball operations group and Ben Cherington deserve extraordinary credit for the young, talented players that have broken through at the major league level, and I see outstanding potential in the talent still developing our minor leagues,” Dombrowski said in his first statement as president.

The Red Sox did not want to fire Cherington as the team began to head toward its third last-place finish in the past four seasons. But they were not going to spite themselves when Dombrowski became available earlier this month while the Sox were playing the first-place Yankees in the Bronx.

The Red Sox were surprised by Dombrowski’s sudden availability, but they already were deep into soul-searching mode, having already pushed out (fired) president and CEO Lucchino a few days earlier.

Loyalty has its limits within any organization.

Lucchino understands that, just as Cherington does.

It doesn’t make the Red Sox’ decision wrong.

It does make it hard.

“Ben Cherington is one of the finest individuals I have ever worked with, possessing a maturity and integrity second to none,” Henry said in a statement.

And Werner, too, applauded Cherington on his way out, especially for the 2013 season.

“Ben’s steady hand was at the tiller of that remarkable journey,” Werner said. “We appreciate his many years of service, his substantial contributions to our organization over many years, and his willingness to assist Dave with the transition.”

The transition is all but done.

Cherington was incredibly steady, competent and accomplished.

But the Red Sox sent him packing. They found somebody else they wanted more.

And in the big leagues, that’s called doing business.