Red Sox to Trade Lowell to NBC Late Night for Conan O’Brien – AP Reports

Conan O'Brien-- shown above, in happier times -- with NBC President and resident asshole, Jeff Zucker

[[Burbank, CA – 1/12/2010]] In a move arguably without historic precedent, the Boston Red Sox organization today agreed in principal to send Mike Lowell to the West Coast Headquarters of NBC/Universal in exchange for Conan O’Brien and the rights to “The Tonight Show” name.

News of the agreed transaction broke today in the form of a written statement issued by Red Sox GM Theo Epstein. The statement read:

As expressed last week during the press conference for our signing of Adrian Beltre, the Boston Red Sox organization and Mike Lowell are finally on the same page about Mike’s future.  Insofar as both parties are on this same page, we are pleased to announce that our organization has agreed to send Mike Lowell to NBC Late Night as part of a deal that will be benefit all parties involved.

For Mike’s part, he’ll get the chance to complete his rehabilitation in a state of art facility [The Tonight Show soundstage] and prove his worth to one of the premier franchises in the world, which is, of course, NBC Late Night television itself.  As a member of the Peacock’s late night team, we wish him nothing but success in what we hope will be yet another distinguished stage of an already distinguished career.

In return, we are proud to announce that we have acquired from NBC Mr. Conan O’Brien, along with the rights to The Tonight Show moniker, Max Weinberg, and seven musicians of Max’s choice to be named later.

While Conan will only serve on the field as an occasional pinch runner — we feel his height will be a tremendous asset — we feel he can contribute to the long-term success of our organization in many other ways.  For starters, the New England Sports Network, or NESN, has agreed in principle to air Mr. O’Brien’s Tonight Show at it’s customary 11:35 timeslot no less than six months of the year.  During baseball season, of course, Conan will go on immediately following the conclusion of the late game and our nightly broadcast of “W.B Mason’s Extra Innings with Tom Caron & Dennis Eckersley.”

Added Theo in conclusion:

“Considering the strength of our game-winning, prime-time programming, namely the Boston Red Sox, as well as the standard of excellence that Tom (Caron) and the Eck (Eckersley) have brought to NESN’s own, already-established, late night offerings, we feel that we can give to Conan an audience share fit for his talents and an ample opportunity to grow creatively that NBC may not have been willing to give to him.

And by the way, I spoke to Conan this morning and boy, let me tell you, he is pysched.  In fact, he told me to tell you all that while he said years ago that his lifelong dream was to host The Tonight Show, that that was ‘bullshit’ in comparison to the boyhood fantasy of being able to wear a Red Sox uniform and compete for a championship year-in and year-out.”

Reached for comment NBC executives would only say for the record that Lowell’s $12M contract for 2010 was a “relative bargain in comparison to what it would cost to buy out Conan.”

Off of the record, sources within NBC reported that the network team has not yet decided what position Lowell will assume within the late night team but indicated that the decision makers were leaning towards either: (a) platooning the two-time Gold Glove winner and former World Series MVP with Jay Leno Show bandleader Kevin Eubanks or, (b) having him “replace that dumbass, fratboy whatshisfuck [Jimmy Fallon]  outright.”

As of press-time, there was no word from NBC/Universal, new parent company Comcast, or the Red Sox Organization as to whether Andy Richter would be included in the deal for Conan.

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