Red Sox lacking sex appeal?

Sexy over stupid.

Apparently, that’s what Boston Red Sox management wanted, according to excerpts from a book released Wednesday that was co-authored by former Red Sox manager Terry Francona and longtime Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy.

A 2010 marketing research study that had been commissioned by Red Sox management indicated that women should be a target audience for the team and that women are drawn to good-looking stars and sex symbols.

In the book, former general manager Theo Epstein is quoted saying, “They told us we didn’t have any marketable players, that we needed some sizzle. This is like an absurdist comedy. We’d become too big. It was the farthest thing removed from what we set out to be.”

Francona, who managed the team to two World Series championships, said management was more concerned with the bottom line and ratings on NESN, the team’s cable television network, rather than winning.

“They don’t love the game,” said Francona, now the manager of the Cleveland Indians. “It’s still more of a toy or a hobby for them. It’s not in their blood.”

He might have a point. When the Red Sox were winning, they were doing it with their self-proclaimed band of “Idiots.” Guys such as Johnny Damon, Kevin Millar, Jason Varitek, Trot Nixon, Pedro Martinez and Manny Ramirez helped break the “Curse of the Bambino” in 2004.

If the Red Sox really think sex sells better than winning, maybe they should sign Heidi Klum and let her play second base.

■ NET GAIN – Mallory Hagan, the reigning Miss America from New York, has been inundated with requests since she won the crown Saturday at Planet Hollywood. But the transplanted Alabaman had a request of her own – a visit to Barclays Center and a chance to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at a Brooklyn Nets game.

“I haven’t been to a Brooklyn Nets game yet,” the 24-year-old Hagan said. “Maybe now I’ll get invited. I’d like to sing the national anthem for them.”

Done.

“We would love to have her perform the national anthem, and the Nets plan to arrange it shortly,” a Barclays Center spokesman said.

Maybe Hagan can do a little soft shoe at halftime as well. Her tap dance performance helped her become Miss America.

■ QUIET ARRIVAL – The New York Knicks arrived in London on Tuesday for today’s game against Detroit at The O2 Arena, and much to their surprise, no one was there to greet them when they made it to the Four Seasons Hotel.

No paparazzi. No autograph hounds. No basketball groupies. Not even a parabolic microphone for Carmelo Anthony, who got the CIA treatment from his owner, James Dolan, at home last weekend in the aftermath of his Jan. 7 verbal dustup with the Celtics’ Kevin Garnett that ultimately landed ‘Melo a one-game suspension.

“It’s a little different here,” Knicks coach Mike Woodson told reporters in the lobby of the Four Seasons. “And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.”

COMPILED BY STEVE CARP
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL

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