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

worm0082

Penbis
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Sep 19, 2002
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I also get maximizing returns for Henry and crew but I really dislike the venue going in behind Fenway. I would have loved something that would have maybe been a bit less profitable but more immersive to the baseball experience. For example, a real Red Sox Hall of Fame. I bet over the long haul having something like that there would have been cost competitive with the music venue. Ticket proceeds / whatever from the music place would be less, but every person who went into a Sox Hall of Fame attached to Fenway would be a fan for life. The Rooter’s club is cool but it could be 1000x cooler.
What’s left of the Ted Williams hitters HOF museum belongs in Boston not with the Rays. A “real” Sox HOF building would take care of that along with other alumni who wish to have their personal memorabilia kept there. It be a great idea.
 

Ale Xander

Hamilton
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Oct 31, 2013
76,361
I also get maximizing returns for Henry and crew but I really dislike the venue going in behind Fenway. I would have loved something that would have maybe been a bit less profitable but more immersive to the baseball experience. For example, a real Red Sox Hall of Fame. I bet over the long haul having something like that there would have been cost competitive with the music venue. Ticket proceeds / whatever from the music place would be less, but every person who went into a Sox Hall of Fame attached to Fenway would be a fan for life. The Rooter’s club is cool but it could be 1000x cooler.
Agree with this
The venue is too huge for the acts going in there. Gaslight are fine, but they’d also be fine at the HOB or Paradise. And the rest of the acts currently scheduled are way too no-name for the venue. Why does one tiny street need 2 music venues?

It’s all a money grab
 

Comfortably Lomb

Koko the Monkey
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Feb 22, 2004
13,220
The Paris of the 80s
This ownership group has been awesome. I have no significant complaints and am completely perplexed by the folks who have found a way to be unhappy. I guess I'm sorry some people are wired to be unhappy when their circumstances are great.
 

TDFenway

New Member
Aug 21, 2016
57
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.
This post nailed what I was thinking.

Back in the '70s and into the mid-'90s there were many regulars at every weekday night game. Our routine would be to meet at a Cambridge bar after work and then take the #1 bus into the city. We always bought our tickets at Booth #5 from Jack and we always tipped him $5 and in turn, he took care of us for big games. One night he gave us the seats next to Steven King and simply said don't bother him. It turned out to be a delightful evening just talking baseball with him and we felt bad for him as he was constantly hounded by autograph seekers.

I remember the first thing Henry/Werner did on Opening Day in 2002 was to open the gate between the bleachers and the grandstand so fans could finally access the entire lower deck. The old roof boxes were a delight and the ushers ran a tight ship.

Making Yawkey Way/Jersey St part of the park experience worked and the single biggest improvement by Janet Marie Smith was widening the walkway behind the grandstand. I wish she had been allowed to complete her vision but she was forced out when Linda became Mrs. Yawkey 2.0. I remember being in the elevator after a game and Mrs. Yawkey boarded. A woman complained that Mrs. Y was smoking and Jean glared at her, took a drag, and blew the smoke in the woman's face saying 'Honey, I OWN this elevator'. I later found out the other woman was Jamie McCourt.

I miss Winter Haven - The bar at the old Holiday Inn was ground zero for Sox fans and for vacationing fans Disney being less than an hour away was a big lure. I never warmed up to Ft. Myers especially the old park as the minor league fields were 2 miles away.

Don't get me wrong, I like many of you just wanted ONE and to have won 4 is mind boggiling.

After we won in 2004 I was on a business trip to Chicago and was in a Starbucks when a man entered weraring a Yankees cap and he saw my hat and said 'Don't say a word'. That was good feeling.

I am reminded of this old cellphone photo I took in Times Square in 2001.



How's that working out? :)
 

cornwalls@6

Less observant than others
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Apr 23, 2010
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I don't work in the Fenway marketing group and I don't have their data, but here are a few educated guesses and remedies. There are two things that they should do: 1. realize that they have a market share problem and stop assuming that everyone in New England will always care about the Red Sox and 2. stop trying to squeeze every nickle out of every person that comes within a two-mile radius of Fenway Park.

For the first part:
1. In the 90s during the season they had a Fenway Open House where on an off day people could to park, walk around and meet the ball players. I have a picture of me, John Valentin and Erik Hanson. It was goofy, fun and best of all free. Not only do you get to hang out at the park, but you got to "meet" a player. Yeah, it's for a second or two but they become more tangible.

2. I'm not sure if Sox still do this, but I know other teams do this, but every winter have a caravan of players going through the six NE states spreading the gospel of the Sox and getting people excited for the season. The last one that I remember was a one-day affair at Foxwoods or Mohegan Sun. It has to be more than that. Burlington, VT; Manchester, NH; Portland, ME; Springfield, MA; Worcester, MA; Providence, RI; Hartford, CT; New Haven, CT; Providence, RI. Places were there are Sox fans in the winter, you need to be there with one or two players.

3. I'm not sure if the player's union would go for this, but start up the exhibitions with the WooSox and the Sea Dogs at their home parks. For a lot of people this is the only way for them to check out the Boston Red Sox.

4. Promote the Sox two ways: one as THE New England team. Another as THE Boston team. Reach out to the Little Leagues, reach out to the city. GIVE AWAY tickets. Tons of them.

5. Tell people that with public transportation, it's not a pain in the ass to get to a game like it is in Foxboro. Most Sox games are played in beautiful weather, not in the frigid New England weather of November, December and January.

6. Like I said earlier, and what @Laddie talked about, make Fenway a "pre-game" destination for younger adults going out. Come to the game, have a few drinks, meet some women (or men), get your night started at Fenway.

7. Start a Red Sox club that doesn't cost money to join. Offer deals and stuff through that. They might do this, I'm not 100% sure -- which is a problem because I'm a fan who goes to 4-5 games a year and I have no clue whether they offer a program like this. If they do, publicize it!

For the second part:
1. Lower ticket prices. You want short-term gains, go ahead and keep the prices where they are. But, and the Sox owners have been here for 20 years and don't seem to be going anywhere soon, if you want long-term gains; make it affordable for families, younger people, teens to check out a game. When I was in college (mid 90s), there were more than a half dozen times when a friend would come over around 4:00 and we'd just decide to go to a Sox game on a whim (and we lived an hour away).

2. Lower concessions. Part of the above. Hot Dogs, popcorn, soda and peanut prices should be way cheaper. Premium food? Charge what you want. But the stuff that kids like, maybe not make it a loss leader (because it's not going to be for pig lips and assholes) but cut the prices by a buck or two. Let people know about it. That's good will that people would care about.

Losing market share, especially when there's other options (not just sports), is inevitable but throwing your hands up and whining that, "The football is just too darn good!" (when they overlap one month, maybe two if you're very lucky) is silly. The problem is that the Sox are at a point where they need to operate like an underdog and do the grass-roots marketing. It sucks and it's a place that they're not used to being in; but they need to do it.



I agree with this and I forgot about Orsillo. But I think that the offsetting action to this was the Ownership sticking by Jerry Remy when everyone wanted him strung up and fired because of what his kid did (including me). The Sox could have bowed to public pressure, replace Remy with Steve Lyons (saving themselves money and looking like they were "doing the right thing".) but they stuck with him and that turned out to be the right move.
Others have already answered it pretty well, but I just strongly disagree that them no longer holding some nebulous position as THE team in New England(whatever that really is) is some sort of crisis for the franchise, is the fault of ownership, and requires struggling single-a independent league team promotional efforts like massive ticket give aways. I mean, I guess a few more to youth groups than they already do, would be nice. As far as the rest of your part 1, the neighborhood is, and has been for at least 15 years, loaded with bars and restaurants, and every time I go to a go a game(about10 per year) they are filled with 20 and 30-something people drinking and eating before the game, or independent of the game. What more is ownership supposed to do to promote that? I've been to a fair amount of road games in various markets, and outside of Wrigley, there are very few other ballpark neighborhoods that Ive been to that are nearly as lively as Fenway. They are never doing in season exhibitions against minor league affiliates, for all the obvious reasons of injury risk, etc. I don't, and never have, cared about fan out reach things like caravans and fan clubs, so I'm neutral on all that. As for part 2, FWIW, ticket prices are going down for select games. I'm going to 2 this year where the face value is 16.00. And sure, knocking kids concessions back by a buck or two is a nice idea. But ultimately, despite your desire to shout it down, it's not 2004 anymore, football's popularity seems to be unstoppable, and basketball has become very popular among younger people. Combine that with the fact that they share the market with 2 other teams that have had a fair amount of success over the last decade and half, and one that just completed an historic 20 year run of success, and of course the Red Sox weren't going to maintain a 2003-2008 level of intense popularity and obsession. All things considered, within the culture they and baseball are operating in, and by most metrics, they're doing fine.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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Others have already answered it pretty well, but I just strongly disagree that them no longer holding some nebulous position as THE team in New England(whatever that really is) is some sort of crisis for the franchise, is the fault of ownership, and requires struggling single-a independent league team promotional efforts like massive ticket give aways. I mean, I guess a few more to youth groups than they already do, would be nice. As far as the rest of your part 1, the neighborhood is, and has been for at least 15 years, loaded with bars and restaurants, and every time I go to a go a game(about10 per year) they are filled with 20 and 30-something people drinking and eating before the game, or independent of the game. What more is ownership supposed to do to promote that? I've been to a fair amount of road games in various markets, and outside of Wrigley, there are very few other ballpark neighborhoods that Ive been to that are nearly as lively as Fenway. They are never doing in season exhibitions against minor league affiliates, for all the obvious reasons of injury risk, etc. I don't, and never have, cared about fan out reach things like caravans and fan clubs, so I'm neutral on all that. As for part 2, FWIW, ticket prices are going down for select games. I'm going to 2 this year where the face value is 16.00. And sure, knocking kids concessions back by a buck or two is a nice idea. But ultimately, despite your desire to shout it down, it's not 2004 anymore, football's popularity seems to be unstoppable, and basketball has become very popular among younger people. Combine that with the fact that they share the market with 2 other teams that have had a fair amount of success over the last decade and half, and one that just completed an historic 20 year run of success, and of course the Red Sox weren't going to maintain a 2003-2008 level of intense popularity and obsession. All things considered, within the culture they and baseball are operating in, and by most metrics, they're doing fine.
Okay.
 

strek1

Run, Forrest, run!
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Jun 13, 2006
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They're not "beloved"? If I ever see them anywhere in person I'd be thrilled to shake their hands and thank them for all the years of great baseball and improvements to Fenway. Not to mention all the charitable and community work they have done in the area. They have directly impacted my enjoyment of baseball very much!
 

Scriblerus

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Not to derail, but as to concessions, there are other parks that have two menus at many of their concession stands: a full-priced, larger portion and a value-menu with smaller portions at about half the price. That includes draft beer. Chase Field in AZ is like this, as is PNC Park in Pittsburgh, for example. The games I've attended at those parks looked pretty equally distributed between fans buying off the value menu and the larger-sized menu. It was especially nice for families.

I think Fenway would do well with that model for concessions, make the park not just more family friendly, but also friendlier for fans who don't make a ton of money and would like to come to a game and get the full experience.

This ownership group has done so much for the team and loves to tout the fans as the best in baseball, as they price-gouge them at pretty much every turn.
 

lexrageorge

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Concessions: one thing to keep in mind is that kids get thirsty, especially in the hot summer days and nights. And it's no fun being charged $9 for a bottle of water or a lemonade. So I personally would prefer that they cut the price of non-alcoholic drinks, which would, along with ticket discounts, make the experience more family friendly. I could care less about the price of beer, as that is a luxury item as far as I'm concerned. I'd be OK with paying more for beer or simply doing without.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Oct 1, 2015
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You realize that the Patriots had won three Super Bowls in four years when the Sox won in 2004, right? And then the Pats didn't win another Super Bowl for ten years during which time the Sox won two more World Series. Why couldn't the Red Sox maintain this popularity?
Not...quite. Just a little quibble.

Pats first SB win: Feb 3, 2002
Pats second SB win: Feb 1, 2004
Sox first WS win*: Oct 27, 2004
Pats third SB win: Feb 6, 2005
Sox second WS win*: Oct 28, 2007
Sox third WS win*: Oct 30, 2013
Pats fourth SB win*: Feb 1, 2015
Pats fifth SB win*: Feb 5, 2017
Sox fourth WS win*: Oct 28, 2018
Pats sixth SB win*: Feb 3, 2019

So the Pats had won "only" two SBs before the Sox' first* WS title in 2004. Then the Pats won the SB just a few months later again.

*Numbering these as modern championships for the Sox. Obviously they won a bunch in the early 1900s, but for the purposes of this discussion I'm numbering them as "first", "second", etc.
 

LoweTek

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I don't know. Some of you guys seem to remembering Red Sox teams, ownership, front offices and Fenway Park past through some Sox colored glasses. By the time the new ownership group acquired the team, charitably, Fenway was a dump and had been for many years. I can remember some series toward the end of crappy seasons where they barely picked up the trash between games of a home stand. The concessions were not only expensive, relative to the times, but they sucked. Bad food, watered and warm beer, stale buns, little selection and everything tasted as if it was leftovers from the previous season. Only what you could buy out on the street was any good. Even the popcorn was consistently stale after a while.

I think I've said this before but Joe Mooney, the longtime groundskeeper and literally, the King of Fenway Park, wouldn't let Jesus Christ on the grass of the field if he wasn't in uniform or a favored member of the press. I can remember Dick Radatz saying shortly after the ownership transfer, "That ain't fuckin' sacred ground out there..." Fortunately all of that soon changed. Hell, I played at Fenway in August of 2003, a short time after new ownership. All of this is normalized now. Fans on the field in the 70's, the 80's, the 90's forget it. Concerts during road trips? NHL games? Bwahaha! Not on Joe's watch.

Even though it's happened a few times since the new owners, the Red Sox had a long reputation for trashing exiting players and staff giving them a sour taste if not irredeemable hindsight resentment of the team. Yawkey/Harrington had their favorites and played them, often to the significant detriment of the team. The front office routinely screwed up, e.g. Fisk, Lynn, Lonborg, Reggie Smith, Stanley, Bill Lee, Carbo, etc., the list is long and departing players rarely avoided the Red Sox exit wrath.

And the the racism, yeah that. It's better and at least this ownership speaks out and has a policy for reporting it. Hopefully one day soon a Fenway crowd will be diverse and varied. It's not yet, but it's better.

So laundry comes and laundry goes. Recall the range wars we had when neither Pedro nor Damon nor Lowe were re-signed nor pursued aggressively. I have high regard for certain players too but the comings and goings of one or two is going to change nothing.

This ownership group took this organization from crayons to perfume. I have loved baseball all of my life. I literally gave my physical health to the game playing it competitively well into my forties. I will be in pain the rest of my life.

You could not pry the Red Sox or the game from my cold dead hands. Dissing this ownership group is heresy, seriously. You could not possibly have been there to see the past Red Sox baseball operations and Fenway ark to to do it.

See you all Thursday at 1:00.

P.S. sure I loved Mookie and I think Orsillo's departure was reminiscent of things we used to see every year. But you know what? We couldn't afford Mookie given the CBA economics and Orsillo pissed off somebody at NESN. Life goes on.
 

pk1627

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Last 20 years:
- Best team we ever had (2018)
- And the second best (2004, my personal fave)
- Best manager (Francona)
- And the second best (Cora)
- Best front office (Theo’s)
- And the second best (Bloom)
- Best ownership (Henry)
And there’s no second best - Frazee was trash, Yawkee (Tom, Jean, Trust) worse trash
 

moondog80

heart is two sizes two small
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Sep 20, 2005
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What do we think about the Belichick era? I know they went to the Super Bowl 9 times, but Dominique Easley was a bust. So I'd say B-.

And don't get me started on the miserable 1966-67 Celtics.
 

jaytftwofive

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Jan 20, 2013
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Drexel Hill Pa.
They have won the most World Series this century. Four. Giants have three. MFY One. Nuff said!!!!!!! But what really broke my heart or should I say really disappointed me was the ratings of the same Sunday night in October of 2018 when the Red Sox played the Astros in game 2 of the ALCS, and the Pats played the Chiefs.. It was a regular season game vs. a playoff game and the Pats game had higher ratings in the Boston/Eastern New England area. Even though I knew of the Pats probably being more popular, this was a Sox playoff game?? A team that won 108 games, the most of our lifetime??? That shows that Football has become no.1 in popularity, even in Red Sox crazy New England. I think only St. Louis is the only area where Baseball is no.1 including Chicago, New York and others where baseball used to be big.
 
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Delicious Sponge

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If the worst thing you can say about this ownership group is you’re not sure they’re as popular as the ascendant American sport with a local team with the greatest player of all time….that’s a pretty high class problem.
 

jaytftwofive

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It seems through the surprising year of 2013 when we won the WS after the Valentine disaster, the Sox were still no.1. (That's also the year the sellouts since 2003 stopped) But after 2014 and the Malcolm Butler miracle, is when the change and popularity of the Pats rose to no.1. And of course having the GOAT helps. I live in the Philly area and I was at a Pats/Boston Sports bar called Smith's on NFL opening night in 2017, I was a talking to a Pats fan and I brought up the Red Sox and he replied.... "I'm getting sick of the Red Sox". I was surprised and realized then the Pats had taken over.
 
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jaytftwofive

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Jan 20, 2013
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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


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 went to the Home Opening Day in 2019. Ring Day. Something felt so weird! This was a team that won the most games in franchise history with 108(Not winning percentage, that's what really counts) I mean the cheers were good but not like opening day in 05, 08 and 2014. The enthusiasm was just not there. And I know the Pats had just won a Super Bowl in February but the 2018 team should have been put on a pedestal. Maybe we were just spoiled and getting used to it. And maybe Cora and the players knew the sign stealing scandal was going to come out sooner or later?? Who knows I was just somewhat disappointed in the crowd. It just wasn't the same. Was anybody at that game? Agree, disagree?
 
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jaytftwofive

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Jan 20, 2013
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What do we think about the Belichick era? I know they went to the Super Bowl 9 times, but Dominique Easley was a bust. So I'd say B-.

And don't get me started on the miserable 1966-67 Celtics.
Russell and Red said that was one of their best teams. Young guys and veterans. It's just the Sixers won 68 games and were one of the best teams we've seen for one year.
 

Leskanic's Thread

lost underscore
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It seems through the surprising year of 2013 when we won the WS after the Valentine disaster, the Sox were still no.1. (That's also the year the sellouts since 2003 stopped) But after 2014 and the Malcolm Butler miracle, is when the change and popularity of the Pats rose to no.1. And of course having the GOAT helps. I live in the Philly area and I was at a Pats/Boston Sports bar called Smith's on NFL opening night in 2017, I was a talking to a Pats fan and I brought up the Red Sox and he replied.... "I'm getting sick of the Red Sox". I was surprised and realized then the Pats had taken over.
I don't want to get the thread off on a tangent and I know I'm opening a Pandora's box, but...I do wonder how much of the Pats being enshrined as the #1 team has to do with the fanbase reaction to Deflategate (in the wake, of course, of Spygate).

My thinking is this: let's say someone went up to a fan of the four major Boston sports teams and said "you can only have one team win a title in the next 25 years, but they will win a bunch...which do you choose?" I think for most of history, the vast majority of fans would have picked the Sox. No disrespect to the other teams, and they would have their advocates, but the Red Sox would get the pick by most. Part of that is because of the long stretch when the team had never won, of course -- but even beyond that, people felt the happiest when the Red Sox were winning. When people in here pine for a day when the team was top of the town, this kind of thing is what it sounds like to me.

But after multiple instances where Patriot fans felt (and debates can be had about whether this is accurate or if this was overblown or underblown or whatever) like they were being targeted by the league and the media, the "us against the world" mentality went into overdrive. Combine that with finally winning a fourth title after the years falling short in the decade between 2004 and 2014, add in the GOAT angle with both the coach and the QB, then underpin it with the media/fandom environment shifting to the once-a-week NFL schedule was much more dominant than the six-month-daily grind of an MLB season...and the Patriots take over. Now people would choose them to win again and again, to stick it to the haters and to give us happy fall Sundays. No disrespect to the Sox.

Could the ownership have done anything about that? I don't know. I love the suggestions for the team posted earlier, but I'm not sure it would stop this particular shift from happening.
 

MtPleasant Paul

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This is a great thread with some wonderful posts It looks like many of us have been waiting for the opportunity to express our thoughts on the ownership group. Like most of you I'm in the Henry camp. I suffered through fifty years of the Yawkeys and was in my 60's when they finally won - and then to win three more! I sided with them in the decisions to trade Nomar and Mookie. I would add these points to the discussion.

As competent as the Henry group has been and as inept as the Yawkey gang usually was, the current group has been luckier as the following numbers suggest. From 1946 through 1950 Boston and New York each won 473 regular season games, yet the Yankees won three World Series and the Red Sox just one AL pennant. During the 20 years of Henry's ownership the Yankees have won 1829 regular season games to the Red Sox' 1741. On the average the Sox have trailed the Yankees by almost 4 and a half games a season, yet the Sox have won four World Series and the Yankees but one. The karma seems to have changed when Roberts stole that base.

On improving the Fenway fan experience, I went to a game in the early 00's with a significantly younger wife. The usher said, "It's great, Pops, to see you taking your daughter to the game." I chuckled but I think that kind of thing faded as the new owners took hold.

Also, under Henry the Red Sox have become a kind of America's team. At games in Kansas City last summer I talked to fans from Mississippi and Arkansas. They weren't the usual New England expatriates but native fans who adopted the Sox because they were good.
 

TDFenway

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Aug 21, 2016
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There is not any fandom in ANY sport ever that experienced what we did in October 2004



In 11 days everything changed.

The Sunday morning after Game 3, I was seething reading the Globe after the 19-8 debacle and I doubt anybody thought no worries the Red Sox will not lose again this year.

I remember everything about the ALCS, the World Series very little.

11 days.
 
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Smiling Joe Hesketh

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LoweTek's point about the condition of Fenway before the current ownership group took over is a very good one. Harrington and friends weren't even painting the place any more, it really appeared to be crumbling everywhere and was allowed to do so in an effort to force the state and city to give them monies to build a new place. Pretty contemptible of the old group. Once JWH decided that they'd be staying in Fenway they've really massively improved the place. It will never be a comfortable, modern stadium but it is much much better than it used to be.
 

YTF

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LoweTek's point about the condition of Fenway before the current ownership group took over is a very good one. Harrington and friends weren't even painting the place any more, it really appeared to be crumbling everywhere and was allowed to do so in an effort to force the state and city to give them monies to build a new place. Pretty contemptible of the old group. Once JWH decided that they'd be staying in Fenway they've really massively improved the place. It will never be a comfortable, modern stadium but it is much much better than it used to be.
Yeah as a guy who's never been very sure footed I remember the heaves in the floors of the concourse. Just walking through there had the potential for disaster for people like me. When it came to general maintenance of the facility the previous ownership took a minimalist approach.
 

Scoots McBoots

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I wonder how much local sports radio has had an effect on things, as well. Sports Hub, being the home of Pats radio, had financial incentive to focus on football talk, rather than baseball. Even when they were talked about, it was in a cynical or negative way much of the time. Given the amount of people who listen or regurgitate hot takes to their friends, people caring less about the local nine wouldn't be surprising.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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Yeah as a guy who's never been very sure footed I remember the heaves in the floors of the concourse. Just walking through there had the potential for disaster for people like me. When it came to general maintenance of the facility the previous ownership took a minimalist approach.
I wonder if the Harrington group did this on purpose, let Fenway crumble, so that they could get a new stadium? In any event, I agree, Fenway is a million times better now than what it used to be.
 

voidfunkt

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It's worth considering the economy of entertainment options has changed drastically over the last twenty years. Baseball's not just competing for attention with Football and the other sports, but also many other things, two of which are:

1. Video games have moved from being a thing mostly only boys touched in the late 80s and 90s to something every age bracket and gender consumes regularly.
2. Limitless amounts of streaming shows and movies available in your living room.

There's limited time in people's days to pay attention to things. Paying attention to baseball is no longer one of those premier things to do so you have something to talk about with your friends at school or coworkers in the office. Heck even Football isn't that.
 

BringBackMo

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What you see when you look at this Red Sox ownership group most likely tells you a lot about how you tend to see the entire world.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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How about free water at filtered fill stations if you bring your own empty hydro flask or whatever container??? Cut down on freaking waste too.
 

BoSox Rule

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Jul 15, 2005
2,345
It’s hard to argue with all the winning. I can deal with the last place seasons when they’re in title contention and winning otherwise. Personnel mistakes happen like Beltre, but that was a one year pillow deal and who knew he’d continue to be a Hall of Famer in Texas.

The constant feeding of media stories by probably Lucchino of team legends like Nomar, Francona, and Theo will always be the only probably I’ll have with this group.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 23, 2009
21,553
Maine
I wonder if the Harrington group did this on purpose, let Fenway crumble, so that they could get a new stadium? In any event, I agree, Fenway is a million times better now than what it used to be.
Unquestionably that's what they did. I remember there was always talk about how cool it would be to put seats on the Monster, and ownership always argued that it couldn't structurally be done. Henry and co. had it done during the first full winter they were in place. Same with the upper deck. No chance of seating going up there without it falling down. It's limited compared to modern stadiums, but it's there now. Harrington and the Yawkey trust clearly never tried to figure it out because they prefered the easy windfall of a modern, publicly financed stadium.
 

cornwalls@6

Less observant than others
SoSH Member
Apr 23, 2010
6,379
from the wilds of western ma
Unquestionably that's what they did. I remember there was always talk about how cool it would be to put seats on the Monster, and ownership always argued that it couldn't structurally be done. Henry and co. had it done during the first full winter they were in place. Same with the upper deck. No chance of seating going up there without it falling down. It's limited compared to modern stadiums, but it's there now. Harrington and the Yawkey trust clearly never tried to figure it out because they prefered the easy windfall of a modern, publicly financed stadium.
Absolutely, and they utterly and completely lacked the imagination and vision to see what a revenue producer Fenway could be, if it was properly renovated, then marketed as more than just a ballpark, but also a historic, national museum. On more than a couple of occasions, I've encountered people from somewhere else at the park over the last 17-18 years, who are in Boston for a vacation, and whose primary reason for doing that was to see Fenway. Not talking about fans of another team, following them on baseball road trip to Fenway, of course there's always plenty of those , but usually couples, not necessarily huge baseball fans, who just wanted to see the park, as part of an overall Boston/New England Vacation. I don't really remember that being much of a thing pre-2003. There's been some fair criticisms of the Henry group in here, but man the Yawkey/Harrington group was just the worst.
 

Ale Xander

Hamilton
SoSH Member
Oct 31, 2013
76,361
Absolutely, and they utterly and completely lacked the imagination and vision to see what a revenue producer Fenway could be, if it was properly renovated, then marketed as more than just a ballpark, but also a historic, national museum. On more than a couple of occasions, I've encountered people from somewhere else at the park over the last 17-18 years, who are in Boston for a vacation, and whose primary reason for doing that was to see Fenway. Not talking about fans of another team, following them on baseball road trip to Fenway, of course there's always plenty of those , but usually couples, not necessarily huge baseball fans, who just wanted to see the park, as part of an overall Boston/New England Vacation. I don't really remember that being much of a thing pre-2003. There's been some fair criticisms of the Henry group in here, but man the Yawkey/Harrington group was just the worst.
Those are arguably their best (inelastic) customers. And a major reason for the dynamic pricing for summer games.
 

CaptainLaddie

dj paul pfieffer
SoSH Member
Sep 6, 2004
37,767
where the darn libs live
You realize that the Patriots had won three Super Bowls in four years when the Sox won in 2004, right? And then the Pats didn't win another Super Bowl for ten years during which time the Sox won two more World Series. Why couldn't the Red Sox maintain this popularity?
Worth pointing out that baseball is also a commitment as a fan. 162 games over 26-27 weeks versus 17 games over 18 weeks for football. Don't forget that fantasy football and gambling have absolutely driving football's popularity since 2004.
 

Max Power

thai good. you like shirt?
SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2005
8,224
Boston, MA
Those are arguably their best (inelastic) customers. And a major reason for the dynamic pricing for summer games.
The team would rather have someone from Oklahoma in the seats than someone from Hyde Park. The visitors don't care at all about concession prices, paying "convenience fees," or even the price of the ticket itself. They'll also go to the team store and buy some stuff. In the short term it makes financial sense, but I think it does long term damage to the local popularity of the team.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

has fancy plans, and pants to match
Dope
SoSH Member
Apr 12, 2001
24,974
Worth pointing out that baseball is also a commitment as a fan. 162 games over 26-27 weeks versus 17 games over 18 weeks for football. Don't forget that fantasy football and gambling have absolutely driving football's popularity since 2004.
I don't disagree with this. My initial point was that yes, football is the most popular game in the US and has been since the 1970s. MLB and the Boston Red Sox have steadily been losing popularity since that time for a number of reasons (most of which you say above). What I suggested (and I think that you're down with this) is that to maybe stem the tide, do some stuff that might gin up some interest in the Red Sox -- mostly lower some tickets and some concessions and do some community outreach. BTW, these are things that all MLB teams should do.

I guess I was just unprepared how many SoSHers are okay with spending more money at the park and keeping the team insular.
 

Ale Xander

Hamilton
SoSH Member
Oct 31, 2013
76,361
The team would rather have someone from Oklahoma in the seats than someone from Hyde Park. The visitors don't care at all about concession prices, paying "convenience fees," or even the price of the ticket itself. They'll also go to the team store and buy some stuff. In the short term it makes financial sense, but I think it does long term damage to the local popularity of the team.
100% agreed.

Maybe I should have put "best" in quotes.
 

Toe Nash

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 28, 2005
5,733
02130
I started typing this post yesterday evening and this morning I see that the conversation has turned towards the condition of Fenway. In my opinion saving and improving Fenway outweighs almost anything bad the ownership did and should be recognized even more.

I know that Menino and other politicians would be loathe to pay for a new park and they ended up getting a lot of bunk tax credits for renovations, so maybe this was always the most cost-effective option but if they really wanted to they could have just not invested in the stadium and the drum beat for building something brand new would get bigger and hard to ignore, especially after every other team had gotten a new park. Lots of other owners would have done that. Instead it doesn't seem like they even really considered that, or at least decided early on to stay -- they invested a lot of money into the park, really improved the experience, added seats and amenities (RF roof deck is my favorite spot in the stadium) but kept it recognizable to someone who hadn't been there in 40 years.

A lot of the new stadiums aren't bad and have their positives, but things could have been way different and at the LEAST there could have been a lot of drama about moving. They'd never realistically leave the Boston area but they could have moved to Everett or something like that which would have in a lot of ways just made them just another team to say nothing of the local impacts.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 13, 2021
13,274
Maybe it’s just a coincidence, but the vibe in the new Yankee Stadium has never matched the old one, IMO. Sure, it’s nicer and has better food but I don’t think it’s the same. I think there’s a big risk for tearing down classic and iconic stadiums especially in baseball, where so much of the game is rooted in nostalgia and history. Part of the charm of going to Fenway, for me, is that I can remember going there with friends and relatives, many who are no longer here. Granted, the Yankees revenues have done just fine and that’s the ultimate consideration, but I can’t imagine a new Fenway would have led to more interest in the team.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 11, 2007
6,863
Really? This bothers you?

There are a number of bubblers in the ballpark. You don’t need to filter Boston water.
Bubbler!!! Ha!
I haven’t been in over 15 years….. from the context I was assuming that the “bubblahs” were removed and only bottled water was available
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

has fancy plans, and pants to match
Dope
SoSH Member
Apr 12, 2001
24,974
Maybe it’s just a coincidence, but the vibe in the new Yankee Stadium has never matched the old one, IMO. Sure, it’s nicer and has better food but I don’t think it’s the same. I think there’s a big risk for tearing down classic and iconic stadiums especially in baseball, where so much of the game is rooted in nostalgia and history. Part of the charm of going to Fenway, for me, is that I can remember going there with friends and relatives, many who are no longer here. Granted, the Yankees revenues have done just fine and that’s the ultimate consideration, but I can’t imagine a new Fenway would have led to more interest in the team.
The new Yankee Stadium looks like a Spring Training park on steroids. I've been to a couple of games there and it's absolutely charmless and antiseptic. While I like Fenway fine and would love to see a PNC Park (or Camden or AT&T Park or Coors Field) in Boston, if they ended up with new Yankee Stadium, that would be a huge mistake.
 

Lose Remerswaal

Experiencing Furry Panic
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Bubbler!!! Ha!
I haven’t been in over 15 years….. from the context I was assuming that the “bubblahs” were removed and only bottled water was available
I like the word. And they still have 'em, have had them straight through the past 30 years that I was a season ticket holder and a volunteer for the RSJ

And you can bring in a sealed bottle with you
 

TDFenway

New Member
Aug 21, 2016
57
I started typing this post yesterday evening and this morning I see that the conversation has turned towards the condition of Fenway. In my opinion saving and improving Fenway outweighs almost anything bad the ownership did and should be recognized even more.

I know that Menino and other politicians would be loathe to pay for a new park and they ended up getting a lot of bunk tax credits for renovations, so maybe this was always the most cost-effective option but if they really wanted to they could have just not invested in the stadium and the drum beat for building something brand new would get bigger and hard to ignore, especially after every other team had gotten a new park. Lots of other owners would have done that. Instead it doesn't seem like they even really considered that, or at least decided early on to stay -- they invested a lot of money into the park, really improved the experience, added seats and amenities (RF roof deck is my favorite spot in the stadium) but kept it recognizable to someone who hadn't been there in 40 years.

A lot of the new stadiums aren't bad and have their positives, but things could have been way different and at the LEAST there could have been a lot of drama about moving. They'd never realistically leave the Boston area but they could have moved to Everett or something like that which would have in a lot of ways just made them just another team to say nothing of the local impacts.
If Harrington had gotten his way back in 1999 we would be 20 years into Fenway Park II



https://ballparks.com/baseball/american/bosbpk.htm

If Harrington succeded would he have put the club up for sale in 2000?

In 1965 Yawkey has signed off on this that would have been built at South Station



http://www.stadiumpage.com/concepts/BostonDome_R.html

The Bruins and Wonderland stopped the project as they would lose control as the arena would be used for dog racing to pay the bonds.

In 1995 Frank McCourt, Robert Kraft, and Governor Weld dreamed this up

http://www.stadiumpage.com/concepts/Boston95_R.html



It would have been John Hancock Park

I agree that Yankee Stadium III does not have the atmosphere of the old Stadium.

The White Sox made a terrible mistake in tearing down Comiskey Park as the replacement is so generic. The same White Sox owners also fired Harry Caray and that backfired badly as the Cubs hired him AN HOUR LATER.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qg-bTsVr8C0


The Tigers made a similar mistake as Comerica Park is blah IMO.

Let's be all grateful they didn't build that dome in the 60s.
 
Last edited:

lexrageorge

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2007
18,808
IIRC, Harrington was obligated to put the club up for sale as per terms of the trust agreement with JRY Corp. The ballpark proposal was never expected to go anywhere; it was intended to help facilitate a sale by getting the city on board with a new ballpark. Given that it was Boston, it would easily had been 20-40 years before the park would have been built anyway. I recall all the hoops the Bruins had to jump through to get a new Garden built right next to the old one.
 

TDFenway

New Member
Aug 21, 2016
57
I wonder how much local sports radio has had an effect on things, as well. Sports Hub, being the home of Pats radio, had financial incentive to focus on football talk, rather than baseball. Even when they were talked about, it was in a cynical or negative way much of the time. Given the amount of people who listen or regurgitate hot takes to their friends, people caring less about the local nine wouldn't be surprising.
The Sports Hub showing up in 2009 changed everything as WEEI had always swatted away previous challengers (WWZN 1510, ESPN 890) but they were clueless about how to respond to 98.5.

98.5 also allowed Bruins talk which WEEI avoided simply because Jason Wolfe hated hockey and by the summer of 2011 after the Bruins won the Cup WEEI finally moved to FM but to do so had to destroy profitable Mike FM on 93.7 to make the switch.

After the Red Sox meltdown in 2011, how do you think WEEI suits felt when John Henry showed up unannounced at 98.5 to complain about Felger and Mazz?

https://boston.cbslocal.com/2011/10/14/felger-mazz-john-henry-invades-felger-and-massarotti/