How do you feel about the past 20 years of John Henry and Tom Werner owning the team?

TDFenway

New Member
Aug 21, 2016
57
20 years ago they took over from the Yawkey Trust and since then they have won the World Series four times which in theory should make them beloved owners...but they are not.

What is frightening for me at the age of 72 is how the Red Sox have fallen in popularity behind the 'Sons of Billy Sullivan' even after winning those 4 titles.

There was a joy about going to Fenway that no longer exists


JWH at first tried to connect with fans but now he is more invisible than Tom Yawkey was.

But the other reality is the team could have been sold to the Dolan family from New York and if that had happened I think 1918 would still be in play.

It is a paradox.
 

santadevil

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Aug 1, 2006
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I'm sure the large majority of SoSHer's feel really good about the last 20 years. I know I do

I think part of the nostalgic look back at your clip was that there was always the feeling of "This could be the year", whereas we've definitely been spoiled with the Red Sox championships, that while every year should be the year, I also personally feel that they are never really to far away either. I actually thought last year was going to be another magic run like 2013 was. Just fell a bit short

I'm looking forward to this year though
 

soxhop411

news aggravator
SoSH Member
Dec 4, 2009
47,049
20 years ago they took over from the Yawkey Trust and since then they have won the World Series four times which in theory should make them beloved owners...but they are not.

What is frightening for me at the age of 72 is how the Red Sox have fallen in popularity behind the 'Sons of Billy Sullivan' even after winning those 4 titles.

There was a joy about going to Fenway that no longer exists

JWH at first tried to connect with fans but now he is more invisible than Tom Yawkey was.

But the other reality is the team could have been sold to the Dolan family from New York and if that had happened I think 1918 would still be in play.

It is a paradox.
I'm sure the large majority of SoSHer's feel really good about the last 20 years. I know I do

I think part of the nostalgic look back at your clip was that there was always the feeling of "This could be the year", whereas we've definitely been spoiled with the Red Sox championships, that while every year should be the year, I also personally feel that they are never really to far away either. I actually thought last year was going to be another magic run like 2013 was. Just fell a bit short

I'm looking forward to this year though
Agreed with @santadevil
I also don’t get the people who hate the current ownership group when two of the alternatives (who were in the running for the Sox) would have been soooo much worse.

as mentioned by @TDFenway, we could have had James Dolan as owner of the Sox.

or we could have had one of the greatest owners in the history of baseball* none other than Frank McCourt.

Frank McCourt was such An amazing owner of the dodgers that he ran the team into bankruptcy, since he used the team as his own personal piggybank.

it got so bad here in LA, that fans refused to even show up or pay tickets to see the dodgers.The dodgers had so little money at one point that McCourt needed to take out a personal loan with Fox. (The teams broadcast partner at that time) just to have enough money to make payroll for the team
https://mlb.nbcsports.com/2019/12/23/top-25-baseball-stories-of-the-decade-no-18-frank-and-jamie-mccourt-bankrupt-the-dodgers/

Also. McCourt (if he ended up owning the Sox) wanted to tear down Fenway and build a new one on one the parking lots he owned in Boston.

Just imagine if McCourt pulled that same stunt as the owner of the Sox. It’s almost certain he would still not own the team in 2022, and I doubt we would have won a WS with him as owner.
 
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Ale Xander

Hamilton
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Oct 31, 2013
76,241
I’m far from the biggest Henry/Werner fan but isn’t 4 championships better than none?
 

Lose Remerswaal

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Not a paradox, a quad of docs. Documentaries on four World Series titles.
I don’t care if John Henry is out there like Charlie Finley or hidden away like the Loch Ness Monster. This ownership has given me something that my father never had, nor that any other teams fans have had in the past twenty years on four separate occasions
 

cannonball 1729

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Sep 8, 2005
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This ownership has given me something that my father never had, nor that any other teams fans have had in the past twenty years on four separate occasions
My goodness, this - a thousand times over. And all of the cascading effects: no more "1918" chants, no stupid Curse chatter, no more Dan Shaughnessy provoking the fanbase to sell more copies of his stupid book, no tuning into a random Red Sox game on Fox in April and having Fox shove Bill Buckner and Bucky Dent down your throat, no insufferable Yankee fans bleating on about the Sox myriad failures, no armchair diagnoses from national commentators about how "Sox fans don't really want to win because then they'd lose their identity!" or some other such B.S., no desperation from older fans about how "maybe they really won't win in my lifetime"...all of that stuff. I can follow the team like a normal fan would: I watch the games, I cheer or curse accordingly, I go on with my life. It's been incredibly liberating.

And the Yankees and Cardinals series in 2004 were two of the most exciting weeks of my life, even if the former probably took a couple years off of said life. I could still watch Four Days in October on loop now and it would probably never get old for me.
 

streeter88

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Apr 2, 2006
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Melbourne, Australia
What a joy it is to follow the last 20 years of the Red Sox. I grew up when the Red Sox were also rans. In the 70s the Orioles beat the Red Sox repeatedly - it was terrible. I remember the Bucky Dent game as if it were yesterday and how our spirits were crushed. My college was equidistant from New York and Boston and I suffered through the 1986 World Series collapse to the hated Mets. I was embarrassed that we could never beat the Yankees when it mattered.

The current ownership group has restored the prestige not only of the Red Sox but also of Fenway Park. In the 90s there was talk of tearing it down… Now it is restored to a rightfully national icon baseball stadium.

Bless them! And honestly I don’t give a shit if they stay in the shadows… Doesn’t matter.
 

lexrageorge

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Jul 31, 2007
18,766
The ownership team is by far the best the Red Sox ever had, and it's not particularly close either. And they are one of the premier ownership groups in MLB. I will go so far to say I was disappointed they didn't buy the Bruins when they decided to look for a hockey franchise, but the Jacobs family isn't selling anytime soon.

I think the negative comments that one hears are mostly in reaction to some of the issues the team has had with bad contracts and, of course, losing Mookie Betts. When Henry & Co get unnecessarily involved in the baseball side, we end up with "need to win in more exciting fashion"; the Pablo, Hanley, and Crawford contracts; the 4/70 offer to Lester; and Bobby Valentine. There was a whole lot of unnecessary (IMO) churn in the GM/POBS position, but 3 GM's brought us 4 titles and countless playoff games, so hard to argue with the results.

Shank and Felger and Mazz will continue to play up the "cheap ownership" angle because it generates easy clicks and they are too lazy to spend any time actually trying to understand the nuances of the CBT and the actual baseball penalties in exceeding it. But they unfortunately drive the narrative, which is why we visit this forum instead.

Major League Baseball has well-documented challenges going forward, and the Red Sox remarkable success since 2004 has sometimes been overshadowed by the unprecedented Brady/Belichick run that is unlikely to ever be repeated. But that's hardly the fault of the ownership team.
 

mikeford

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Aug 6, 2006
30,255
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There was a joy about going to Fenway that no longer exists

Just wanted to address this part since I think other posters have mostly covered the JWH ownership experience pretty well but I think this has to do with Fenway becoming a destination for... shall we say... not-necessarily-baseball-fans, which results in a different kind of joy permeating through the ballpark. It is not the electricity of a 1999 Pedro start, it's something else, something more subdued, something less interested in the game itself. That comes with the territory of WINNING. I will take this trade off if it means the team continues to be successful.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I don't understand the genesis of this thread, unless it's just an old man shaking his fist at the clouds wishing for the good old days that were objectively not all that good anyway. The past 20 years of Red Sox baseball has been the best anyone alive has seen for the franchise. A fair amount of that, perhaps nearly all of it, is due to this ownership group. There's nothing to be gained by wondering what if about other potential owners. I wouldn't trade these 20 years, or Henry, Werner, and co for anything.
 

Devizier

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I miss when baseball was king, too, but no ownership is going to change that. The last twenty years have been great for Red Sox fans, though.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Jan 13, 2021
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Just wanted to address this part since I think other posters have mostly covered the JWH ownership experience pretty well but I think this has to do with Fenway becoming a destination for... shall we say... not-necessarily-baseball-fans, which results in a different kind of joy permeating through the ballpark. It is not the electricity of a 1999 Pedro start, it's something else, something more subdued, something less interested in the game itself. That comes with the territory of WINNING. I will take this trade off if it means the team continues to be successful.
I think it’s simply nostalgia. We all get older, what things are as exciting as they were two decades ago, especially in the ways that the world has changed? I can’t speak for anyone else but I still get excited when I drive in to Boston and see the Citgo sign and going to a game is a special experience. Is it as thrilling as when I was 8 years old? Of course not.
 

OCD SS

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I think you have to posit that the JWH ownership group is the most successful in baseball over this period (I’d say all of sports, but I don’t follow any others, but I guess the immediate tangent is the Patriots - but I would argue that the structure of baseball levels the number of championships a bit).

As a smart quant/ math guy, he was already looking at better ways to build a team; I think in an alternate world where Moneyball isn’t written the divide between smart sabermetric teams and the rest of the league takes a lot longer to even out and the Sox see an even better run of success. As it stands this ownership group has continually pushed to improve when they’ve fallen behind; they’re not today’s Dodgers, but no one was going to be 20 years ago. It helps that this is a fan base that won’t let them rest on their laurels,and it’s to their credit that they’ve not been behind for too long.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Mar 11, 2007
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I used to love going to games in Fenway when I was a kid with my parents, and later as a teenager with some friends going down to Boston to Newberry Comics and then a game then to some punk show, crash at a pad and then back home the next morning. I'm glad I don't do that anymore.
I miss being able to see games for $5 but I'm happier with the "new" owners.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Mar 26, 2005
31,968
20 years ago they took over from the Yawkey Trust and since then they have won the World Series four times which in theory should make them beloved owners...but they are not.

What is frightening for me at the age of 72 is how the Red Sox have fallen in popularity behind the 'Sons of Billy Sullivan' even after winning those 4 titles.

There was a joy about going to Fenway that no longer exists


JWH at first tried to connect with fans but now he is more invisible than Tom Yawkey was.

But the other reality is the team could have been sold to the Dolan family from New York and if that had happened I think 1918 would still be in play.

It is a paradox.
It's not really a paradox. I mean we could have had a team run by a Peter Angelos or Dan Snyder (etc.) type figure.

Don't overthink it. Just enjoy it. Because when the next title drought occurs, we'll be looking back at this time with an even more intense nostalgia.
 

Pesky Pole

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I certainly can't complain about 4 championships and a revitalized Fenway Park. I think the general malaise is more about baseball in general than it is about the current owners of the Red Sox. At the risk of sounding like an old man waving his fist at the sky, kids aren't engaged like we were. Having phones and short attention spans (and that doesn't apply to just kids) just doesn't connect with the game of baseball. I know this is heresy on a baseball board but the game of baseball is the bigger issue here than the owners. No owner would change that bigger problem (and I'm sure we've had many threads about how to "fix" baseball for future generations...hello DH for all).
 

Hank Scorpio

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Apr 1, 2013
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It’s hard to not be happy with their results…

Playoffs in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2013, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2021…

Made it to the ALCS in 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2013, 2018, 2021

Won it all in 2004, 2007, 2013, 2018.

In a league with 30 teams, our longest drought has been five years.

On the other hand… me, personally, I just don’t care about the Red Sox like I used to.

Lester to the Cubs infuriated me. But it didn’t turn me off the team. I was still excited for X coming up, for Mookie, and JBJ, and Devers.

Ortiz retiring didn’t turn me off the team either. I was thrilled when we got JDM, as I thought he was the missing piece on an otherwise great team.

After the 2018 season, I was adamant that we had to retain Mookie. And then we inexplicably signed Chris Sale to that ridiculous contract. From then on forward, it became increasingly clear there was no way we could match the demands of Mookie Betts. And then Sale was a steaming pile of garbage for the entire 2019 season. I felt nothing but disgust watching 2019 unfold into 2020.

After the Mookie trade, I vowed to not watch a single game in 2020, a promise I kept. I didn’t miss much anyway.

In 2021, I again didn’t watch a single game. The desire just wasn’t there. I’d occasionally check the standings or scores, but that’s just about it. I saw bits and pieces of playoff games on the TV at work in the break room.

As we roll into 2022, I don’t have NESN anymore, no plans on buying tickets this season, and see no real or significant way the Red Sox will factor into my summer. I’m not sure if it’s just changes in my life, or a “them” problem, but I barely care about them now. I guess I’ll check in on the scores and standings here and there, but that’s probably about it.
 

Van Everyman

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Apr 30, 2009
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I think you have to posit that the JWH ownership group is the most successful in baseball over this period (I’d say all of sports, but I don’t follow any others, but I guess the immediate tangent is the Patriots - but I would argue that the structure of baseball levels the number of championships a bit).

As a smart quant/ math guy, he was already looking at better ways to build a team; I think in an alternate world where Moneyball isn’t written the divide between smart sabermetric teams and the rest of the league takes a lot longer to even out and the Sox see an even better run of success. As it stands this ownership group has continually pushed to improve when they’ve fallen behind; they’re not today’s Dodgers, but no one was going to be 20 years ago. It helps that this is a fan base that won’t let them rest on their laurels,and it’s to their credit that they’ve not been behind for too long.
Yes. I just wrote this on the Valentine thread but it applies here:


I understand why Henry’s boom or bust/hedge fund style of leadership rubs some fans the wrong way. He cuts his losses quickly, replaces his leadership team frequently and sometimes (tho not always) drives a hard bargain with players.
As a fan, it can seem hard to understand sometimes. One year they’re spending like drunken sailors, the next penny pinching. For a few seasons they’re the best team in the game, the next they’re in the basement. The changes can be jarring and sometimes feels more like a business than a sports franchise.

What the Sox never are for more than a season (maybe 2 – see: 2009-10) is mediocre. Whatever Henry et al lack in warmth they make up for in their ability to consistently tear down, build and meet the expectations of the Boston fan base over a 2-3 year period.
 

Remagellan

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I still feel joy in my heart and gratitude for this ownership group, because they banished forever the notion that the only fate for Red Sox fans was to suffer crushing disappointment on the verge of victory like a society of modern-day Sisyphuses. If you're older than thirty, you know that that sort of dread crept into your fandom at some point in its existence. But our fandom wasn't born like that; it was whipped into us by punishing example after punishing example. The Henry/Werner group ended all that and made it safe to hope again. And if the sport no longer resembles the one I came to love as a child, I'm forever grateful to them for restoring that one aspect of my childhood, the sweet innocence of eternal hopefulness, back into my love for this team.
 

JoePoulson

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The *only* thing I can knock ownership about over these last 20 years is letting Orsillo go. That honestly has affected my enjoyment of watching NESN broadcasts of Sox games. Otherwise yea, best fucking ownership ever and I couldn't be happier to be a Sox fan.
 

Minneapolis Millers

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Jul 15, 2005
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A 20 year retrospective thread is a good idea. It’s certainly interesting to read how each of us has evolved as fans. I love the game of baseball, and since the Sox were such a significant and important part of my childhood, I don’t think I will ever be able to quit them, despite fiascos like burning Tito on the way out, the Bobby f’n Valentine disaster, screwing up the Lester negotiations, and shipping Mookie out. They saved Fenway. They’ve built a consistently successful franchise on the field, making the playoffs more often than not. IMO, they can’t fairly or accurately be accused of being cheap, even if they’ve made some head scratching financial decisions.

They have vanquished the Yankees. Seven ALCSes in 20 years is fantastic. They ended the drought and have won 4 titles. Overall, they seem like the best MLB franchise during this time frame. (More needless drama than, say, the Giants, but more successful, too.).

I’m a less frantic fan now. Have a bit more perspective these days. But I’m still a fan.
And if we’re not grading on a curve, I guess I’d give Henry & Co an A-. But I’m a tough grader!

For those who have tuned the team and the game out, I’m really curious what brings you back to the SOSH Sox forum…
 

cornwalls@6

Less observant than others
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Apr 23, 2010
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I wish I had more to offer than an echo post, but to me the answer to this non paradox is so obvious, I don’t. The best, most forward thinking ownership the club has ever had. The resounding on field success speaks for itself : 11 playoff appearances, and 4 WS titles. But equally as important is the complete transformation of the Fenway experience, from the physical plant, to the neighborhood, to the environment inside the park itself. I’ve been going to Fenway since the early 70’s, and for much of that time, the park was an aging dump(despite its beloved, historic status), the crowds were often filled with drunk, profane, belligerent jerks, to the point that my father stopped going altogether around 1980, because he was embarrassed and uncomfortable to sit and listen to it with his kids, and the neighborhood was meh at best. All of that has changed dramatically for the better since the early 2000’s. Hasn’t been perfect, as evidenced by a couple of ugly racial incidents in reason years, but they can’t be expected to fix humanity. On balance, I think they have done yeoman work creating a safe, welcoming, very positive ballpark experience.

As mentioned by many other posters, the negativity towards the ownership has been largely driven by cheap, lazy, hot take/clickbait media, particularly talk radio. Who’ve been wrong about virtually every idiot “ they’re cheap, they care more about Liverpool/Racing/the Penguins” opinion they’ve spewed out. They haven’t been perfect, and should always be subject to intelligent criticism and analysis. But this group has transformed the franchise for the better on every level, and should absolutely be held in as high esteem as the Krafts are.
 
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RedOctober3829

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Jul 19, 2005
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How can any Red Sox fan not feel good about the past 20 years? People just look to complain about things these days. All I want from my ownership is giving the front office the financial support to build championship quality teams and how can anyone say they haven't done that? They've also invested heavily in improving the ballpark and the surrounding areas as well.
 

brs3

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May 20, 2008
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I'm so lucky to have lived my adult years through the several years pre-Henry and since. The incredible turn of events and end of a fake curse being a stereotype badge of honor bestowed on by fair weather fans is delightful. Just being a Red Sox fan without the Babe Ruth stuff and 1918 and in color greatest hits I remember clearly where I was? Amazing.

Any waning interest in baseball itself is due to aging, shifting priorities, and personal dislike of rotating laundry to root for. The increasingly noticeable changes in baseball bother me, but that's not fully on the owners. The Red Sox ownership has given me more than I have asked for. I just wanted one! JUST ONE! Then we got it! then another! then ANOTHER! THEN ANOTHER!!! And it's likely I'll get more before I die.

I find myself disengaging from the off field stuff and payroll stuff and just watching baseball. I watch lots of baseball. I don't care about salaries. I do get sad when they trade away players, so I've shifted to enjoying players when they're here, and then following them when they leave. Mookie in LA makes late night viewing a thing, and there's a cast of former Sox champs floating around the NL to catch a few old friends in a single game.

If you don't feel a rush of adrenaline when you line up to enter Fenway, you probably go too often.
 

johnmd20

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There is no paradox. The Sox have won 4 titles in the last 20 years. They had won a total of 0 in the previous 80 years. Feels like they are doing ok.
 

LogansDad

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Wait, this is a real question?

Caveat: I left New England when I was 19 for the military, and in the last 24 years I have only been back for the occasional visit, so I'm basically an outsider at this point. And, to be honest, from a sports fan's perspective, I am so, so glad that I am out of there. Don't get me wrong, I miss home, and if all you rich folks hadn't priced me out of the housing market, I probably would have come back when I retired from the Air Force.... but man, the sports scene is just jarring to me.

I get that it is fed by the local media, but outside of SoSH I just feel like the entire fan base (not just the Red Sox, mind you, the whole region) is just a cesspool of thanklessness and entitlement. The air around sporting events, when I manage to get out to one on my once every four years or so visits, is just different. It's not "fun" anymore, and I guess a part of me can blame that on this ownership group for winning so much, but being at the games these days feels more like a chore to me than an enjoyable experience. I haven't been to places all over the country, but it isn't really like that in any of the other places I have attended games. (As an aside, Bruins games might be even worse than Red Sox games).

I will also admit that I have kind of moved on. I still love the Red Sox, and will always root for them to win, but now that I am in my 40's I have become more of a fan of the game of baseball than the one team. The wave of young talent that has come up in the last few years has helped with this, as there are just so many fun players around the league to watch and cheer for now. I don't think I have ever been more excited for a baseball season to start than this year, as I went through a couple seasons during my retirement and dealing with some stuff where I just didn't find baseball enjoyable.... but I am finally in a better head space, and relearning the game in ways that I never had before, and I am absolutely pumped for this season to start. I doesn't hurt that I think the Sox will be really good.... but if they aren't, well, the sport is still beautiful.
 

Rubber Match

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Jan 20, 2022
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If you don't feel a rush of adrenaline when you line up to enter Fenway, you probably go too often.
This about sums it up IMO. I have tickets for April 16th* that were purchased this winter and I could not be more excited. Even with its changes, Fenway remains a cherished place that evokes pleasant memories and emotions for me. It is nice to read that many others are deeply satisfied with the current ownership despite some drama mixed in throughout the years. Winning fixes everything...

Monster seats*
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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I think people remember the pre-04 times more romantically and wistfully now, with the knowledge of what happened since. So we can wax poetic about those times, with the benefit of knowing how it turned out and how great it felt, and it’s a high we will never quite get again. But, like a lot of memories, I think we are blocking out a lot of it and how much it sucked in the “before times”.
 

simplicio

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I think in a lot of ways it's probably easier to appreciate the Sox from a distance (especially if you happen to be a New Yorker with no love for the Yankees, as I am) and through the windows of sosh and games played, without exposure to your local media and non-sosh sports fans.

2004 I was working in a NYC restaurant, with the ALCS games on the radio in the kitchen. I hadn't payed attention to baseball in years, but the sheer drama of that comeback brought me back to the sport and locked me in as a Sox fan. I'd grown up with the Mariners, so I suppose there was some latent revenge fulfillment in there too. So I never knew the team under previous ownership, but it's been a delightful road following them under this one, and that joy increased exponentially after finding this site and all of you, via Jon Abbey and the experimental music scene of all things (thanks Jon!) a decade ago.
 

cornwalls@6

Less observant than others
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Apr 23, 2010
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Wait, this is a real question?

Caveat: I left New England when I was 19 for the military, and in the last 24 years I have only been back for the occasional visit, so I'm basically an outsider at this point. And, to be honest, from a sports fan's perspective, I am so, so glad that I am out of there. Don't get me wrong, I miss home, and if all you rich folks hadn't priced me out of the housing market, I probably would have come back when I retired from the Air Force.... but man, the sports scene is just jarring to me.

I get that it is fed by the local media, but outside of SoSH I just feel like the entire fan base (not just the Red Sox, mind you, the whole region) is just a cesspool of thanklessness and entitlement. The air around sporting events, when I manage to get out to one on my once every four years or so visits, is just different. It's not "fun" anymore, and I guess a part of me can blame that on this ownership group for winning so much, but being at the games these days feels more like a chore to me than an enjoyable experience. I haven't been to places all over the country, but it isn't really like that in any of the other places I have attended games. (As an aside, Bruins games might be even worse than Red Sox games).

I will also admit that I have kind of moved on. I still love the Red Sox, and will always root for them to win, but now that I am in my 40's I have become more of a fan of the game of baseball than the one team. The wave of young talent that has come up in the last few years has helped with this, as there are just so many fun players around the league to watch and cheer for now. I don't think I have ever been more excited for a baseball season to start than this year, as I went through a couple seasons during my retirement and dealing with some stuff where I just didn't find baseball enjoyable.... but I am finally in a better head space, and relearning the game in ways that I never had before, and I am absolutely pumped for this season to start. I doesn't hurt that I think the Sox will be really good.... but if they aren't, well, the sport is still beautiful.
Good, interesting post, but I have say, I’m puzzled by the joylessness you’re describing at games. I go to 10 or so sox games per year, and usually a couple of bruins games, and when I’m there the crowds cheer loudly when things are going well, and express their displeasure when things aren’t. Kind of like, you know, sports fans. Frankly, I thought the environment before all this winning was much more negative and at times, bordering on toxic.
 

jon abbey

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So I never knew the team under previous ownership, but it's been a delightful road following them under this one, and that joy increased exponentially after finding this site and all of you, via Jon Abbey and the experimental music scene of all things (thanks Jon!) a decade ago.
Really? Ha, nice.
 

Max Power

thai good. you like shirt?
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Jul 20, 2005
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20 years ago they took over from the Yawkey Trust and since then they have won the World Series four times which in theory should make them beloved owners...but they are not.

What is frightening for me at the age of 72 is how the Red Sox have fallen in popularity behind the 'Sons of Billy Sullivan' even after winning those 4 titles.

There was a joy about going to Fenway that no longer exists

As a 22 year season ticket holder, I agree. The atmosphere in and around the park is different than it was not too many years ago. Fenway was a comfortable, familiar place to spend a few hours outside in the spring or summer watching a game. There were regulars in the stands and around the park and it felt like a neighborhood hang out. These days every single game is treated as an event and that just doesn't work in baseball. There are 81 of them and a good chunk of those 81 will be bad or boring. Outside the park has been gated off to everyone but the team and sells the same stuff you get on the concourses. It's no longer a community, it's a destination.

It may be a better experience for someone going to a game or two a year, but for someone going to dozens, it's worse. That's not to say I'd rather someone else bought the team. I'm happy with the winning and that these guys kept the park where it was. Those types of changes were going to happen no matter what as the Red Sox went from a big business to a multi-billion dollar enterprise.
 

LogansDad

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Nov 15, 2006
30,732
Alamogordo
Good, interesting post, but I have say, I’m puzzled by the joylessness you’re describing at games. I go to 10 or so sox games per year, and usually a couple of bruins games, and when I’m there the crowds cheer loudly when things are going well, and express their displeasure when things aren’t. Kind of like, you know, sports fans. Frankly, I thought the environment before all this winning was much more negative and at times, bordering on toxic.
I'm honestly probably not describing it well. I don't think "joylessness" is necessarily what I mean, there's just a weird energy that I get when I go to games in Boston that I don't get anywhere else, and I wouldn't describe it as "fun". It's the same kind of feeling I get when reading the comments (I know, I know) on the teams' Facebook or Twitter posts. And yes, you see it in other places, too, it just feels like it permeates everything in the Boston sports scene.
 

Huntington Avenue Grounds

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Jul 17, 2008
1,912
Lunenburg, MA
Hmmmm, would I trade the past 20 years in for those halcyon days of.......

- Sitting in a SPRING TRAINING game in Ft Myers listening to MFY fans from 18 to 80 berate me for 6 innings while the scubs from NY took a big lead. (note: said group left, Sox came back and won, and I care WAY too much about this)

- Spotting a fellow Sox fan in another staduim, looking at each other with that knowing glance that we were suffering for our sins and more than a little crazy for caring

- realizing each October that we have to go another lap around the sun for the hope to see this fucking team win a World Series, and there are fewer of them each time around

- staring down the seemingly real possiblity that it might never happen

- attending the funeral of my grandfather in spring 2004 wondering if I'll get to see that title before it's my turn in that casket

- dealing with my buddies father, brox born and raised, MFY fan through and through, say that he would like to see the Sox win out of pity for his son

If the cost of that is Theo in a gorilla suit, a year of Bobby the Fifth, handing out shitty contracts, and losing a generational superstar, I'll gladly pay those dues. These owner haven't been perfect, but can't see any other reality where Sox fans would have seen anywhere near this level of success.
 

cornwalls@6

Less observant than others
SoSH Member
Apr 23, 2010
6,376
from the wilds of western ma
I'm honestly probably not describing it well. I don't think "joylessness" is necessarily what I mean, there's just a weird energy that I get when I go to games in Boston that I don't get anywhere else, and I wouldn't describe it as "fun". It's the same kind of feeling I get when reading the comments (I know, I know) on the teams' Facebook or Twitter posts. And yes, you see it in other places, too, it just feels like it permeates everything in the Boston sports scene.
Fair enough. I think we’re just having different experiences/perceptions at live games. I’m right there with you on the media /social media climate surrounding Boston teams, though that seems to be the case everywhere, about everything these days.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

has fancy plans, and pants to match
Dope
SoSH Member
Apr 12, 2001
24,960
I think overall, they're a good ownership group. I think that they've done some really good things, but they've also stepped in more than a few piles of crap--a lot of which, I think could be avoided. But their initial investment was $695M (I think? I saw another number where it was $320M) and now the team is worth $3.3B; so I think that just about everyone has made out in this deal. Having a team that's good year-in and year-out is not altruistic, it greatly affects their bottom line.

Great:
- Four World Series Championships (hard to argue with that)--especially October 2004.

Good:
- For the most part hiring the right managers at the right time (Little *until Game 7, Francona, Cora.)
- Getting rid of managers at the right time, some cheaper clubs would have kept Valentine and Little around for a season or more to save face. The Sox were quick in their dismissals.
- Hiring the right general managers/CEOs (Epstein and Dombrowski), for me the jury is still out on Bloom and Cherington wasn't great. The placeholder GM/CEOs are just placeholders.
- Refurbishing Fenway Park and Fenway South.
- Taking some chances and signing some big free agents.
- Signing off on some big trades (the Nomar one in particular)
- For the most part, having a competitive team year-in and year-out.

Bad:
- Finished in last place four times. Not included the epic 2011 collapse.
- Hiring Bobby Valentine.
- Planted stories in the media about how person X had "issues" after they left Boston. They esentially ran Epstein out of town twice.
- Fenway Park has among the highest ticket prices in the game and the highest concessions.
- Letting some (not to sound like Peter Gammons here) special players leave: Lester and Betts.
- Sometimes they go for the sizzle more than the steak (Sandoval and Crawford. Maybe the Sale extension?)
- NESN still sucks.

Horrible:
- Despite the mostly positive 20 years, the Red Sox' stranglehold on the Boston sports scene slipped. They are probably the second-most-loved team in the region, and there are times when they dip down to third or fourth. This is a really big deal and one that I don't think that the ownership skates on.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Jan 23, 2009
21,537
Maine
I think people remember the pre-04 times more romantically and wistfully now, with the knowledge of what happened since. So we can wax poetic about those times, with the benefit of knowing how it turned out and how great it felt, and it’s a high we will never quite get again. But, like a lot of memories, I think we are blocking out a lot of it and how much it sucked in the “before times”.
If not for the ownership change happening when it happened, I might have lost my interest in the team. That 2001 season was a miserable experience. Pedro was hurt. Nomar was hurt. A lot of guys were simply unlikeable (Bichette, Lansing, Everett, etc). Duquette's act was wearing thin in the front office and he was constantly at odds with his manager until he finally fired him, after which things inexplicably got worse. It really was the prospect of new owners that winter freshening up the whole organization (I didn't even care who it ended up being) that kept me on board.

And boy was my patience rewarded.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Jan 23, 2009
21,537
Maine
Horrible:
- Despite the mostly positive 20 years, the Red Sox' stranglehold on the Boston sports scene slipped. They are probably the second-most-loved team in the region, and there are times when they dip down to third or fourth. This is a really big deal and one that I don't think that the ownership skates on.
I wonder how much of that is them and how much of that is the combination of Belichick and Brady elevating the Pats to a whole other level. Basically, could they have done anything to hold them off for most-loved team in the region? And as others have mentioned, baseball in general has lost cache nation-wide compared to football and basketball. The Sox slipping to #2 might have been inevitable.
 

bankshot1

Member
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Feb 12, 2003
25,242
where I was last at
I think we're viewing this question through an ancient prism of the paternalistic or colorful dictator owner (Yawkey, Finley, Busch, SiaS, Turner, Veeck, OMalley etc) that was the prevalent model for eons but which has changed over the decades with societal changes regarding both player's rights, (CBA and FA rights) and the new hedge fund owners and their small army of quants who have measured everything from ROI on new concession stands selling craft beers to spin rate on a Rawlings in a world complicated by fan's evolving tastes and preferences for other faster sports and a game that has struggled to adapt to a younger clientele with a shorter attention span.
 

simplicio

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Apr 11, 2012
6,259
The *only* thing I can knock ownership about over these last 20 years is letting Orsillo go. That honestly has affected my enjoyment of watching NESN broadcasts of Sox games. Otherwise yea, best fucking ownership ever and I couldn't be happier to be a Sox fan.
No idea what kind of leverage ownership has at NESN, but I do agree with this wholeheartedly. Not having Orsillo here for Remy's last few years really hurt.