It will go mostly unnoticed by fans in the aftermath of the Red Sox season, but Boston has lost a good man.
John Blake, Sox vice president for media relations since 2006, is headed back to the Texas Rangers where he spent 20 of his 29 years in major league baseball working in a similar capacity.
With both Texas and Boston, John was the man who dealt with the press on a daily basis, lining up player interviews, handling press requests and leading the managers into the daily media briefings.
That is no small task and the manner in which it is handled speaks volumes as to the relationship between the club and the press, and thus the public.
John handles it like an artist with precision brush strokes.
He is so good at it, he won the MLB public relations person of the year award in 1993 and was voted the Good Guy Award by the Dallas-Fort Worth writers in 2004.
So highly thought of is Blake by MLB that he was director of information for the first World Baseball Classic in 2006.
Blake is part of the restructuring of the Texas organization by Hall of Fame pitcher, and now Rangers team president, Nolan Ryan.
Ryan led the effort to get Blake back and said of Blake, “It is great to have a person of John’s caliber, revered throughout major league baseball, return to the Rangers. John will be involved in a number of initiatives to help promote and enhance the Texas Rangers awareness while working with the members of our talented staff.”
What Blake brings to his job has always been integrity. He is a no-nonsense, good-humored man with a self-deprecating attitude.
Unlike so many in the press business today, sports or otherwise, John is not about spin, that disgusting approach that tries to turn disposal waste into caviar.
That speaks volumes about what Ryan is doing in Texas. Blake will be the front man with the media regarding the Rangers, and every media member who covers the team is all smiles today.
On a wider front, baseball fans should keep an eye on the Rangers. Ryan, by his actions, is clearly not going to be a team president living on his legend.
He has hired longtime baseball coach and manager Jackie Moore as the bench coach for manager Ron Washington.
The Rangers are also in the process of hiring a pitching coach for a team whose home field is a bandbox. Ryan is directly involved in these decisions.
Former Sox and Mets pitching coaches Dave Wallace and Rick Peterson, respectively, have been interviewed. Mike Maddux of the Brewers is on the list but is waiting to see if he will be renewed with the Brew Crew.
Ryan wants a winner in Texas to connect with a solid fan base and media coverage that is surprising in its depth for a team in football country.
John Blake is now part of that effort and that’s a Lone Star State winner.