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

JimD

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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.
This, a thousand times this. I mean, I guess it was fun to just show up at the park in the early 90's and buy cheap tickets to watch those crappy Butch Hobson-led teams and pretty much sit wherever we wanted after a few innings, but we were 15 years removed from the consistently competitive teams of the mid-1970's and the excitement of pre-Buckner 1986 had long since dissipated. It felt to me like it might take another 15 years to get back, despite Nick Cafardo's (?) writing every Sunday about future star Frankie Rodriguez (Will he be a pitcher or a shortstop in the majors?!?) and posting Kevin Morton's latest pitching line in New Britain. A few last place finishes in the past decade have been a lot more palatable when they are so quickly replaced by contending teams (thank you for the wild-card era, Bud Selig) and another title.

So, yeah, I'm grateful for the H/W/L era despite the occasional stumbles. This era of Red Sox prosperity was far from preordained when the Yawkey Trust sold the team.
 

lexrageorge

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This, a thousand times this. I mean, I guess it was fun to just show up at the park in the early 90's and buy cheap tickets to watch those crappy Butch Hobson-led teams and pretty much sit wherever we wanted after a few innings, but we were 15 years removed from the consistently competitive teams of the mid-1970's and the excitement of pre-Buckner 1986 had long since dissipated. It felt to me like it might take another 15 years to get back, despite Nick Cafardo's (?) Peter Gammons writing every Sunday about future star Frankie Rodriguez (Will he be a pitcher or a shortstop in the majors?!?) and posting Kevin Morton's latest pitching line in New Britain. A few last place finishes in the past decade have been a lot more palatable when they are so quickly replaced by contending teams (thank you for the wild-card era, Bud Selig) and another title.

So, yeah, I'm grateful for the H/W/L era despite the occasional stumbles. This era of Red Sox prosperity was far from preordained when the Yawkey Trust sold the team.
It was Gammons.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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Cafardo was obsessed with the Sox getting Cole Hammels from the Phillies. And the greatness of all Scott Boras clients.
 

curly2

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10-year-old me got to stay up late to watch the 1975 World Series, and I cried when it ended. 1978 was the worst loss of them all for me, and '86 was brutal.

At 56, I can recall bad ownership. After 1978, the Sox let Luis Tiant go to the Yankees because they would only offer him one year and the Yankees offered two. They traded Bill Lee for Stan Papi. Two years later they traded Fred Lynn in a bad deal and lost Fisk for nothing because they "forgot" to mail his contract. That was truly awful.

This group has let some players leave, like Mookie, and I'm puzzled over the Don Orsillo thing, but they've gotten a lot more right than wrong, as four world titles show. They also made Fenway SO much better than it used to be. How no one until Janet Marie Smith thought of putting seats on top of the Monster is mind-boggling, and opening up the concourse on the third-base side helped a lot.

I'm thrilled with this ownership.
 

jon abbey

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At 56, I can recall bad ownership. After 1978, the Sox let Luis Tiant go to the Yankees because they would only offer him one year and the Yankees offered two.
Maybe irritating at the time to you but looks like it was the right call by BOS ownership, as Tiant was solid but not special in 1979 and bad in 1980 (and out of baseball soon after).
 

curly2

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Maybe irritating at the time to you but looks like it was the right call by BOS ownership, as Tiant was solid but not special in 1979 and bad in 1980 (and out of baseball soon after).
Probably in a baseball sense, but it was only two years, and it was Tiant. He's one of the most entertaining players I've ever watched, and I think he might be the most-beloved athlete of color in Boston in any sport. And in 1980-81, the Red Sox gave Skip Lockwood a two-year contract for more than Tiant got from the Yankees and released him before the second season,
 

jose melendez

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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.
I did PR for the last years of the Yawkey Trust ownership through the sale of the team and on the new ballpark project. A few things

1. They absolutely were planning on building a new ballpark.
2. I'm not aware that they were deliberately letting the place crumble to help facilitate a new park, but the notion they put forward--and maybe even believed--that Fenway would become unsafe over time and could not be renovated was obviously not true.
3. Harrington had to sell the team and had a fiduciary responsibility to maximize revenue, but there was no timeline on when he had to sell. Harrington did that job very well--he got a ton of money. There were arguments that the Henry-Werner deal wasn't the highest, but those were mostly illusory. 1. The Prentice offer was never close to financed. 2. The McCourt offer, which was lower anyway, never made any sense. 3. Dolan made his offer public in the first round in specific violation of the bidding rules. Also, Dolan probably couldn't have been approved unless his brother sold the then-Indians, which would have slowed the process and cost money. 4. The O'Donnell bid wasn't as high, if I recall, as the Henry bid, but they spent a ton of time having McDonough, Shaughnessy and others lobby very publically for them to get a sweeter deal because they're "local."

The closest to accurate presentation I've read of what happened was in Mnookin's "Feeding the Monster."

As for the new ownership, they've won titles and mostly spent money, and mostly haven;t done anything contemptible. i have no reason to believe they're good people or that they aren't, but they aren't longtime friends with and continuing apologists for Donald Trump, unlike New England's most beloved owner.

My grievances are as follows, but not outweigh the winning.

1. I understand why they couldn't sign Mookie with the threshold, but stupidity put them in that position. Even now, I am still angry about it, and when the eventually give the deal that should have gone to Mookie to someone not as good--and they will--it will piss me off.

2. Dumping Orsillo was terrible. He was really good. O'Brien has a good voice and cadence but not much else. I wasn't crazy about dumping Trupiano either.

3. Badmouthing peiple on their way out the door. Old ownership did it, Red Auerbach did it, it still sucks. Trying to portray Tito as a pill popper was particularly shitty.

4. Their largely successful effort to internalize a ton of revenue under their banner with street closures and what not annoys me. Kenmore square was pretty dingy, but they, and other developers, tried really hard to cut out some local businesses.

But other than that, teams go up and down--winning a lot, even with regular mistakes is pretty good. I live in DC and while I have never been a fan of the local football team, I can easily understand how losing your team to an owner who is both incompetant and reprehnsible can really ruin the team and even the sport.
 

TDFenway

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Aug 21, 2016
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I did PR for the last years of the Yawkey Trust ownership through the sale of the team and on the new ballpark project. A few things

1. They absolutely were planning on building a new ballpark.
2. I'm not aware that they were deliberately letting the place crumble to help facilitate a new park, but the notion they put forward--and maybe even believed--that Fenway would become unsafe over time and could not be renovated was obviously not true.
3. Harrington had to sell the team and had a fiduciary responsibility to maximize revenue, but there was no timeline on when he had to sell. Harrington did that job very well--he got a ton of money. There were arguments that the Henry-Werner deal wasn't the highest, but those were mostly illusory. 1. The Prentice offer was never close to financed. 2. The McCourt offer, which was lower anyway, never made any sense. 3. Dolan made his offer public in the first round in specific violation of the bidding rules. Also, Dolan probably couldn't have been approved unless his brother sold the then-Indians, which would have slowed the process and cost money. 4. The O'Donnell bid wasn't as high, if I recall, as the Henry bid, but they spent a ton of time having McDonough, Shaughnessy and others lobby very publically for them to get a sweeter deal because they're "local."

The closest to accurate presentation I've read of what happened was in Mnookin's "Feeding the Monster."

As for the new ownership, they've won titles and mostly spent money, and mostly haven;t done anything contemptible. i have no reason to believe they're good people or that they aren't, but they aren't longtime friends with and continuing apologists for Donald Trump, unlike New England's most beloved owner.

My grievances are as follows, but not outweigh the winning.

1. I understand why they couldn't sign Mookie with the threshold, but stupidity put them in that position. Even now, I am still angry about it, and when the eventually give the deal that should have gone to Mookie to someone not as good--and they will--it will piss me off.

2. Dumping Orsillo was terrible. He was really good. O'Brien has a good voice and cadence but not much else. I wasn't crazy about dumping Trupiano either.

3. Badmouthing peiple on their way out the door. Old ownership did it, Red Auerbach did it, it still sucks. Trying to portray Tito as a pill popper was particularly shitty.

4. Their largely successful effort to internalize a ton of revenue under their banner with street closures and what not annoys me. Kenmore square was pretty dingy, but they, and other developers, tried really hard to cut out some local businesses.

But other than that, teams go up and down--winning a lot, even with regular mistakes is pretty good. I live in DC and while I have never been a fan of the local football team, I can easily understand how losing your team to an owner who is both incompetant and reprehnsible can really ruin the team and even the sport.
@jose melendez

The morning of the sale (12/21/01) I was shooting footage as a freelancer for ESPN and we caught O'Donnell in Twins buying a Yankees hat. By extending Aramark Harrington destroyed his bid. That was tribal as Harrington was not going to sell to the Irish guy from Everett who went to Harvard.

Prentice was a house of cards.

McCourt may have been closer than we thought as Selig then allowed him to buy the Dodgers from Murdoch who quickly flipped the parking lots to Boston developers and the Seaport suddenly appeared.

Selig wanted Henry to get the club and then allow Loria to escape from Montreal by giving him the Marlins. Remember at the time Selig was pushing to contract both Montreal and Minnesota and Loria was going to sue MLB.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2001_Major_League_Baseball_contraction_plan#:~:text=On November 6, 2001, the,Expos, cast the dissenting votes.

Selig did not want Charles Dolan in the club at the urging of Jerry Reinsdorf in Chicago who was snookered by Dolan 15 years earlier.

Fenway Park in 1999 was in rough shape and was spruced up for the All-Star Game which was planned to be a final last hurrah for the park. Joe Mooney told me back then "The old girl doesn't have many winters left' and I firmly believe he thought that to be the case.

For those of us who grew up in the city, it boggles the mind that Kenmore Square and upper Boylston Street are now upscale, and likewise the area around North Station and the old and new Garden.

From 1985

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZrvvsEu2bQ


John Henry and friends have given us 4 championships in 20 years so...............
 

jose melendez

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@jose melendez

The morning of the sale (12/21/01) I was shooting footage as a freelancer for ESPN and we caught O'Donnell in Twins buying a Yankees hat. By extending Aramark Harrington destroyed his bid. That was tribal as Harrington was not going to sell to the Irish guy from Everett who went to Harvard.

Prentice was a house of cards.

McCourt may have been closer than we thought as Selig then allowed him to buy the Dodgers from Murdoch who quickly flipped the parking lots to Boston developers and the Seaport suddenly appeared.

Selig wanted Henry to get the club and then allow Loria to escape from Montreal by giving him the Marlins. Remember at the time Selig was pushing to contract both Montreal and Minnesota and Loria was going to sue MLB.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2001_Major_League_Baseball_contraction_plan#:~:text=On November 6, 2001, the,Expos, cast the dissenting votes.

Selig did not want Charles Dolan in the club at the urging of Jerry Reinsdorf in Chicago who was snookered by Dolan 15 years earlier.

Fenway Park in 1999 was in rough shape and was spruced up for the All-Star Game which was planned to be a final last hurrah for the park. Joe Mooney told me back then "The old girl doesn't have many winters left' and I firmly believe he thought that to be the case.

For those of us who grew up in the city, it boggles the mind that Kenmore Square and upper Boylston Street are now upscale, and likewise the area around North Station and the old and new Garden.

From 1985

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZrvvsEu2bQ


John Henry and friends have given us 4 championships in 20 years so...............
Can't beat Dana Hersey's rich baritone.

The McCourt idea was always based on the idea of a land swap, which was always weird, because his idea was something like he'd give his land to the Yawkey Trust and then build the stadium the land they owned or some such. I will say, the seaport was coming McCourt lots or no. My college girlfriend wrote her thesis on the seaport planning process and it was well underway by the time she graduated in 1999. McCourt's sale was inevitable--the ojnly question was when and how much. I imagine McCourt wasn't too cheezed about losing the Sox proposal, because he hired us to do PR when he bought the Dodgers, I believe on Harrington's recommendation.

I was no where close to the room, but the part with Selig arranging the marriage between Henry and what had been the Werner-Otten group seems almost certainly true and seemed likely true at the time.

I suppose it's possible that the purpose of the Aramark extension was to gut O'Donnell's bid, but his bid was, ultimately, smaller. The investigation that Tom Reilly did was silly, and history bore that out. Bob Popeo was Dolan's lawyer and he was close to Reilly, I believe. Maybe O'Donnell would have been good, but we ducked disasters with Dolan and McCourt.

Edit: I should add I lived in both Kenmore and the North End. Narcisus was closed when I lived in Kenmore (1994-2000), but it was still a ways from redevelopment. North End had gentrified a fair amount when I was there from 2000-2006.
 

TDFenway

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Aug 21, 2016
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Can't beat Dana Hersey's rich baritone.

The McCourt idea was always based on the idea of a land swap, which was always weird, because his idea was something like he'd give his land to the Yawkey Trust and then build the stadium the land they owned or some such. I will say, the seaport was coming McCourt lots or no. My college girlfriend wrote her thesis on the seaport planning process and it was well underway by the time she graduated in 1999. McCourt's sale was inevitable--the ojnly question was when and how much. I imagine McCourt wasn't too cheezed about losing the Sox proposal, because he hired us to do PR when he bought the Dodgers, I believe on Harrington's recommendation.

I was no where close to the room, but the part with Selig arranging the marriage between Henry and what had been the Werner-Otten group seems almost certainly true and seemed likely true at the time.

I suppose it's possible that the purpose of the Aramark extension was to gut O'Donnell's bid, but his bid was, ultimately, smaller. The investigation that Tom Reilly did was silly, and history bore that out. Bob Popeo was Dolan's lawyer and he was close to Reilly, I believe. Maybe O'Donnell would have been good, but we ducked disasters with Dolan and McCourt.

Edit: I should add I lived in both Kenmore and the North End. Narcisus was closed when I lived in Kenmore (1994-2000), but it was still a ways from redevelopment. North End had gentrified a fair amount when I was there from 2000-2006.
@jose melendez A Dolan ownership would have been a disaster and we might still be looking at 1918 today if he had prevailed.

McCourt? He acquired a gold mine in Chavez Ravine and turned it into an abandoned coal mine.

O'Donnell possibly could have been a decent owner but he needed concessions control.

The irony is back in 2001 NESN was the key to the sale as it was worth more than the team and only JWH/Werner and Dolan knew that.

Today FSG is most focused on Liverpool FC because of the enormous bonuses a soccer team in Europe can make. NESN has become a pathethic joke when not running live games of the Sox and Bruins.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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@jose melendez A Dolan ownership would have been a disaster and we might still be looking at 1918 today if he had prevailed.

McCourt? He acquired a gold mine in Chavez Ravine and turned it into an abandoned coal mine.

O'Donnell possibly could have been a decent owner but he needed concessions control.

The irony is back in 2001 NESN was the key to the sale as it was worth more than the team and only JWH/Werner and Dolan knew that.

Today FSG is most focused on Liverpool FC because of the enormous bonuses a soccer team in Europe can make. NESN has become a pathethic joke when not running live games of the Sox and Bruins.
Become a joke? NESN's never been much of a channel outside of the live game coverage. NESN in 2001 was about 10 hours of paid advertising, 6 hours of NESN Sportsdesk reruns, live game coverage with little to no pre/postgame show, and occasional satellite network programming (Fox Sports Net, etc). The potential was there for it, especially since it became a basic cable channel just in time for this sale. I recall the talk that Werner and his TV background was going to maximize its potential. They haven't realized that potential and might have been better off just re-running sitcoms from the Carsey-Werner catalog instead of the drek they came up with.
 

Bleedred

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I worked for the law firm that represented the O'Donnell/Karp team at the time, but I didn't work on the transaction itself. There was serious consternation that "our guys" didn't win the bidding, and there were some unjustified barbs tossed at Bingham Dana, the law firm that represented the Yawkey Trust, suggesting they were not on the level with regard to treating the bidders equally (i.e. claims that they treated Henry's group more favorably than all the others which I chalk up to sour grapes of my colleagues). The firm was buzzing the days before the winning bidder was announced, followed by borderline professional depression for about a week.
 

dynomite

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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.
I'm just coming here to boost this post and it sums up how I feel, even though I'm from a younger generation. In 2002 my hopes for a new ownership group were:

1) To win a World Series

2) To preserve and restore Fenway Park*

3) To grow the brand of the Red Sox, from spending enough and hiring a great front office staff to keep us competitive in most years to making it easier to watch and listen to the games.

On all 3, they have been as wildly successful as any ownership group in the sport. Rick Pitino was not without some merit when he said the relentless negativity of Boston sports media and sections of the fanbase, in a word, sucks. We are stupidly blessed, beyond any reasonable expectation of those of us who spent our childhood pinning our hopes on the Aaron Seles and Brian Roses of the world.

* Saving Fenway was non-negotiable for me. I know others on here disagree with me. But to my mind if you're upset about seat width and sight lines you can -- in my opinion -- enjoy the game from your couch. It's Red Sox baseball. Since 1912 that has happened at Fenway Park, in a cathedral of baseball. Sure, there's a Camden Yards here and there, but the new Yankee Stadium has the aesthetic and charm of an airport bar.
 
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8slim

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Regarding Pats vs. Sox as "most beloved" team I think it simply comes down to the fact that the region isn't nearly as provincial as it once was. That change advantaged football, and hurt baseball. Boston was always an outlier in that baseball was more popular than football. That wasn't true almost anywhere else in the country for decades.

That the Pats dynasty coincided with the explosion of the Internet, and the surge in NFL popularity, while MLB became a regional sport, was another factor.

The Sox are still wildly popular, but I'm not sure there's much of anything the ownership group could have done to alter a regional dynamic that was occuring. I mean, what more can you do than win four titles, anyway?
 
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TDFenway

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Become a joke? NESN's never been much of a channel outside of the live game coverage. NESN in 2001 was about 10 hours of paid advertising, 6 hours of NESN Sportsdesk reruns, live game coverage with little to no pre/postgame show, and occasional satellite network programming (Fox Sports Net, etc). The potential was there for it, especially since it became a basic cable channel just in time for this sale. I recall the talk that Werner and his TV background was going to maximize its potential. They haven't realized that potential and might have been better off just re-running sitcoms from the Carsey-Werner catalog instead of the drek they came up with.
NESN has had a policy in recent years that if a show doesn't at least break even they will cancel it. Now for the first time, they have no scoreboard show. Truth is they are waiting for Massachusetts to allow sports betting because the major sportsbooks buy a lot of ads in states where it is legal.

Werner dislikes paying union scale on live games and that goes back to when he had to pay a fortune to produce Cosby in Brooklyn as he wanted to tape in Connecticut. NESN now does many elements of a live game back in Watertown to avoid paying scale.

I fully understand it is a business but most Boston freelancers prefer working either the road team feed or network feeds rather than dealing with NESN.

It is what it is.

https://www.ibew1228.org/docs/contracts/IBEW1228_RFI_2021_AGREEMENT_SIGNED.pdf
 

Bosoxian

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Regarding Pats vs. Sox as "most beloved" team I think it simply comes down to the fact that the region isn't nearly as provincial as it once was. That change advantaged football, and hurt baseball. Boston was always an outlier in that baseball was more popular than football. That wasn't true almost anywhere else in the country for decades.

That the Pats dynasty coincided with the explosion of the Internet, and the surge in NFL popularity, while MLB became a regional sport, was another factor.

The Sox are still wildly popular, but I'm not sure there's much of anything the ownership group could have done to alter a regional dynamic that was occuring. I mean, what more can you do than win four titles, anyway?
As a fan of all the New England teams, including its original football team (the Giants), I’d like to see what happens if/when the Patriots go through a few years of bad teams. The Red Sox have shown that they can weather it, but I remember an empty Schaefer Stadium
 

8slim

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As a fan of all the New England teams, including its original football team (the Giants), I’d like to see what happens if/when the Patriots go through a few years of bad teams. The Red Sox have shown that they can weather it, but I remember an empty Schaefer Stadium
Agreed. A lot of the remaining obsession is because Brady is still active and Belichick is still coaching. When they’re both gone the mania will subside if the team is mediocre.
 

HfxBob

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I was laughed at 2 years ago when I started this thread

Here is the entire column from the London paper

View: https://drive.google.com/file/d/141Zhbsf0LqZwQrq4mkAs5EprFesgLc2U/view?usp=sharing


The reporter even got a quote from John Harrington

For those of us who live in and around Boston how on earth could the Red Sox be battling the Bruins as the THIRD most popular team in the market?
The Red Sox don't seem to have much sense in the area of public relations any more. Henry's use of the words "unrealistic expectations" in this interview is just the latest example. It's ironic that John would lament the backlash surrounding "full throttle" and how his (and Werner's) words get turned against them, yet be seemingly unaware he was throwing out two more words guaranteed to do the same.

One admittedly simplistic explanation is that Lucchino was the guy who knew public relations, and that they've had no one to fill the vacuum in that area when he left. Kennedy tries to do it, but generally manages to say the wrong thing.
 
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Delicious Sponge

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The Red Sox don't seem to have much sense in the area of public relations any more. Henry's use of the words "unrealistic expectations" in this interview is just the latest example. It's ironic that John would lament the backlash surrounding "full throttle" and how his words can get turned against him, yet be seemingly unaware he was throwing out two more words guaranteed to do the same.
Werner said the full throttle thing.

It's bad marketing to be this bad at communicating with the public. But, you can't argue with the extraordinary results these guys have delivered. Yes, it's been painful lately, but we all can see what they're up to now. It's not the "Fun Has Just Begun," it's a serious effort from serious people.

84010
 

Ale Xander

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Werner said the full throttle thing.

It's bad marketing to be this bad at communicating with the public. But, you can't argue with the extraordinary results these guys have delivered. Yes, it's been painful lately, but we all can see what they're up to now. It's not the "Fun Has Just Begun," it's a serious effort from serious people.

View attachment 84010
Hey man, that last guy in the pic has internet immortality. That has to count for something. (And the first one is an Olympic hero).
 

Delicious Sponge

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Hey man, that last guy in the pic has internet immortality. That has to count for something. (And the first one is an Olympic hero).
All fair points.

It always bothered me that Burks wasn't correctly positioned between Greenwell and Benzinger.
 

donutogre

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I was laughed at 2 years ago when I started this thread

Here is the entire column from the London paper

View: https://drive.google.com/file/d/141Zhbsf0LqZwQrq4mkAs5EprFesgLc2U/view?usp=sharing


The reporter even got a quote from John Harrington

For those of us who live in and around Boston how on earth could the Red Sox be battling the Bruins as the THIRD most popular team in the market?
Since this thread seems to have been bumped after two years as some sort of victory lap, I don’t mind getting a little snarky here.

I don’t really give a shit who the most popular team in the market is. I care about baseball. Lots of people like football, while I find the NFL to be a rather abhorrent league (while acknowledging that all professional sports, like most big business, is morally bankrupt).

I care about the Red Sox, not how popular the Red Sox are. If we want to talk about them being tied for third in the region in terms of “popularity” as a result of them being bad and / or mismanaged, that’s reasonable, but you haven’t presented such an argument. Linking to a long article isn’t presenting an argument.

Yes, the Sox have been mediocre to bad for much of the last 4-5 years. I hate that, but I have to temper that with the fact that they still have won more World Series than any other team in MLB this century.

I absolutely wish the last decade wasn’t as much of a feast or famine situation, it’s frustrating. But so would be making the playoffs / being above .500 every season like the Yankees and only winning once in the last 20+ years — or take the Dodgers, with the lone bizarro 2020 championship to their name In recent times.

To be clear, I definitely have less confidence about the state of the organization than I did in 2019. I feel like nearly everything Bloom did has not worked out, and we have the poor record of 2020-present to back that up. I also think that Breslow has made some smart moves so far, and as frustrated as I am seeing the Sox trot out so many bad hitters and continuing to play bad defense, that has to be tempered by the fact they’ve had SO many injuries this year. It’s impossible to evaluate what this team could have been at this point. And even if they hadn’t gotten shredded by injuries, less than half a season isn’t enough time to judge Breslow.

At this point, I’m accepting the fact that mistakes were made in the last 5-ish years, slowing down the normal trajectory of what we expect from the Red Sox, and we’re in the process of cleaning that up. While I think the ownership certainly plays a roll in the issues the Sox have experienced, it’s silly to pretend they’re the only ones who can make or break this team. Everyone, from the owners to the GM to the manager and players all bear some responsibility for how things have gone lately. And given the ownership’s track record, I’m willing to thing that they fucked things up for a bit and are in the process of course-correcting. Hopefully it’ll work out.
 

RS2004foreever

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I worked for the law firm that represented the O'Donnell/Karp team at the time, but I didn't work on the transaction itself. There was serious consternation that "our guys" didn't win the bidding, and there were some unjustified barbs tossed at Bingham Dana, the law firm that represented the Yawkey Trust, suggesting they were not on the level with regard to treating the bidders equally (i.e. claims that they treated Henry's group more favorably than all the others which I chalk up to sour grapes of my colleagues). The firm was buzzing the days before the winning bidder was announced, followed by borderline professional depression for about a week.
I was in house at PwC at the time. Which meant I had access to the MLB numbers because we were brought in to audit the books as part of an agreement between the union and the owners. The Red Sox consistently ran a profit in the late 90's - as was the trust's objective. It was interesting because the Yankees never made a profit - say what you will about Steinbrenner but he put every dime they earned back into the team in the 8 years I saw their financials.

I would not have hired Bingham Dana for that transaction (I worked in NYC in M and A for a decade) and I don't think they had a lot of experience in those types of transactions. But who the hell cares.

Big picture Henry et al have been great owners. They saved Fenway and have 4 titles.
 

Average Reds

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I was laughed at 2 years ago when I started this thread
With all due respect, your original premise seemed absurd then and now.

Using a video of a peanut vendor to reinforce that “there was a joy about going to Fenway that no longer exists” is silly. And complaining that the Sox aren’t the most popular team in town while ignoring the general decline in MLB and the historic run of greatness experienced by the Patriots over that time frame is disingenuous, at best. As are the complaints about NESN.

The media environment is so different that it’s virtually unrecognizable. The ballpark is different because it had to be in order to survive in the existing footprint. The town itself is very different. Society has changed and our tastes are fickle. Putting all of that on John Henry because FSG owns a lot of things is classic “Old Man Yelling at Clouds” stuff.

There are many examples of how/why John Henry is far from perfect. I‘m still very, very glad he ended up buying the team.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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The last 20 years I'm happy as hell with his ownership. The last 4-5 of those 20 years are a bit more difficult to answer a simple "yes" or "no". If this question was asked in 2019 I don't think one person in the world would have answered negatively. Since then I think ownership clearly has had some realizations about profit, competition and how those relate and are pulling back on doling out long term deals. Probably smartly... but the situation that they, with Dombrowski's later moves, put themselves in lead to bringing in Bloom (and I believe it was for a scapegoat on the Betts deal) and 4 years of lateral moves on the ML roster while building up the farm. They found some success in '21 with that strategy. '20 IMO was a mulligan. The '22 and '23 teams were crap and they lost some opportunities to get better because of their "compete" philosophy, that I believe they follow in order to at least satisfy the basic fan's demands
 

TomRicardo

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As their ownership stake has diluded, the performance of the ownership has well as well. So I guess that bodes well for them?
 

HfxBob

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The last 20 years I'm happy as hell with his ownership. The last 4-5 of those 20 years are a bit more difficult to answer a simple "yes" or "no". If this question was asked in 2019 I don't think one person in the world would have answered negatively. Since then I think ownership clearly has had some realizations about profit, competition and how those relate and are pulling back on doling out long term deals. Probably smartly... but the situation that they, with Dombrowski's later moves, put themselves in lead to bringing in Bloom (and I believe it was for a scapegoat on the Betts deal) and 4 years of lateral moves on the ML roster while building up the farm. They found some success in '21 with that strategy. '20 IMO was a mulligan. The '22 and '23 teams were crap and they lost some opportunities to get better because of their "compete" philosophy, that I believe they follow in order to at least satisfy the basic fan's demands
If the primary reason they hired Bloom was to be a scapegoat, that is so not good.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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If the primary reason they hired Bloom was to be a scapegoat, that is so not good.
Maybe I should have added "secondary" or "tertiary" reasons. I think upper management knew they were going to trade him and brought in someone who could be scapegoat if it went to shit. It did. And the FO have, in fact, scapegoated Bloom and didn't really provide much backup financial support to help him build the team back up that their previous GM under their approval kinda didn't really build a future for.
Yeah, Bloom was brought in to start a rebuild, but like I said, they didn't really provide much financial support to add significant talent via FA so he had to patch and band-aid around the edges. The farm system was pretty barren at the top levels (and this can go back even further to Cherington really). The Houcks, Crawfords, Casas were years away.

It's an aside, and it's still far too early, but at some point it's worth having a clear headed discussion about what Bloom did and/or didn't do correctly. Some of his moves and non-moves are looking pretty good long term. I think the FO still screwed him.... but I'm happy that they did. Breslow I think is the right guy to manage what Bloom left him.
 

pk1627

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I look forward to this topic being discussed again in 2 years. To me, the only meaningful part of the article is that the Henry’s plan to stay in Boston and retain the asset (team).
 

TDFenway

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Since this thread seems to have been bumped after two years as some sort of victory lap, I don’t mind getting a little snarky here.

I don’t really give a shit who the most popular team in the market is. I care about baseball. Lots of people like football, while I find the NFL to be a rather abhorrent league (while acknowledging that all professional sports, like most big business, is morally bankrupt).

I care about the Red Sox, not how popular the Red Sox are. If we want to talk about them being tied for third in the region in terms of “popularity” as a result of them being bad and / or mismanaged, that’s reasonable, but you haven’t presented such an argument. Linking to a long article isn’t presenting an argument.

Yes, the Sox have been mediocre to bad for much of the last 4-5 years. I hate that, but I have to temper that with the fact that they still have won more World Series than any other team in MLB this century.

I absolutely wish the last decade wasn’t as much of a feast or famine situation, it’s frustrating. But so would be making the playoffs / being above .500 every season like the Yankees and only winning once in the last 20+ years — or take the Dodgers, with the lone bizarro 2020 championship to their name In recent times.

To be clear, I definitely have less confidence about the state of the organization than I did in 2019. I feel like nearly everything Bloom did has not worked out, and we have the poor record of 2020-present to back that up. I also think that Breslow has made some smart moves so far, and as frustrated as I am seeing the Sox trot out so many bad hitters and continuing to play bad defense, that has to be tempered by the fact they’ve had SO many injuries this year. It’s impossible to evaluate what this team could have been at this point. And even if they hadn’t gotten shredded by injuries, less than half a season isn’t enough time to judge Breslow.

At this point, I’m accepting the fact that mistakes were made in the last 5-ish years, slowing down the normal trajectory of what we expect from the Red Sox, and we’re in the process of cleaning that up. While I think the ownership certainly plays a roll in the issues the Sox have experienced, it’s silly to pretend they’re the only ones who can make or break this team. Everyone, from the owners to the GM to the manager and players all bear some responsibility for how things have gone lately. And given the ownership’s track record, I’m willing to thing that they fucked things up for a bit and are in the process of course-correcting. Hopefully it’ll work out.

It was not meant to be a victory lap..............

John Henry saying Red Sox fans are too demanding is an insult. In the expanded wild card environment the Red Sox should always be in the hunt to play beyond 162 games.

Of course, I am grateful for 2004, 2007, 2013, and 2018. Can you imagine where we would be today if the Dolan Family wound up with the team in 2002?
 

HfxBob

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I'm just not sure why Henry deserves any more loyalty than anyone else. The 4 titles are obviously awesome. But things have not been awesome the last few years. What really strikes me in all this is that John Henry is probably the least patient of all the MLB owners. You might even say he's been mercurial, with Cherington, Dombrowski and Bloom all gone after 4 years, 2 of them not long after winning championships.
 
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shepard50

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I'm pretty happy with the outstanding results thanks.

I'm feeling pretty good about the future too.

These middling years are tough but, hey, you can't win every year. And I have extra love for the homegrown talent that is on the farm and on the MLB team now.,
 

donutogre

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It was not meant to be a victory lap..............

John Henry saying Red Sox fans are too demanding is an insult. In the expanded wild card environment the Red Sox should always be in the hunt to play beyond 162 games.

Of course, I am grateful for 2004, 2007, 2013, and 2018. Can you imagine where we would be today if the Dolan Family wound up with the team in 2002?
I definitely agree with all of this! I guess some have argued that the Sox have technically been in the hunt / are in the hunt, but as I / others have said in other threads (and maybe this one), competing for the 3rd spot Isn’t terribly satisfying or indicative of a team that could go the distance.
 

Rovin Romine

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What do YOU think that John Henry meant in that quote?
Anyone can read the article linked above.

The quote concludes a specific section of the article. That section begins with a brief history of Henry's entrance into sports ownership and recaps the early Sox years, including authorizing unpopular moves like signing Mueller and trading Nomar. (Which echoes the earlier themes in the article of removing emotion from trading, and looking for trends/hidden value.) It then points out Henry wasn't content with 2004 and still wanted to win. It then discusses Liverpool and a similar competitive mind-set. That section concludes with:

As FSG grew and diversified, the perception that it is made up of business people first and sports fans second has gained traction. Henry disputes this. Having spent "a lot of time" with fellow sports owners over the past couple of decades, he says "most of them feel responsible to their communities to bring championships." And during Henry's tenure, the Red Sox have won four World Series, the most of any baseball team this century. Liverpool also ended its dry spell of 30 years without a league title. Yet fans always want more, and Henry knows the numbers are stacked against him. "Because fans expect championships almost annually," he wrote to me, "they easily become frustrated and are not going to buy into what the odds actually are: one in 20 or one in 30."

It seems pretty clear that the Henry quote is used to dispute the meme that FSG is a business venture only that does not care about winning championships. That the goal is actually to win championships. But success changes expectations, and fans become frustrated.

That's not limited to Red Sox fans. Nor is it an insult.

The point is that frustration shouldn't control strategy. See later in the article:

He also took issue with the obsession over his and Werner's remarks about "expensive" ballplayers and going "full throttle". The latter had "overshadowed every other word, paragraph and interview of the winter because it reaches so deeply into the false belief that many fans and media have that you should mortgage the future each year for the present." Creating a sustainable future for the Red Sox was, he argued, more important than any given year's payroll. "You have to base acquisitions and dispositions on the future, not the past," he said. "That is unpopular generally."

Or the conclusion of the article:

He has faced calls to sell each of his clubs. Where he struggles is when to push back. "I don't think people in my position can win publicly - your words are often used against you - so the less I say I generally think the better," he told me. This is not always a recipe for keeping fans happy, which is also part of Henry's job. Happiness, though, isn't something that can be researched, funded and reaped. Henry expects to get flak and supporters of his clubs are likely to keep dishing it. Neither side may ever be satisfied. But he has structured his entire professional life by approaching the market as it is, not how people think it should be. If everything in Henry-land follows a coherent logic, the formula belongs only to him.


***

Personally I think what underlies all that is just the completely obvious stuff.
-Emotion shouldn't control strategy​
-You can't be in GFIN mode every single year.​
-You can't hold onto every fan-favorite no matter what.​
-In a post-PED baseball world, you can't build a competitive 40 man from FA alone. You need a pipeline of young players/cost-controlled talent.​
-The greater playing field among the teams evolves and changes as teams become sophisticated.​

(And as to the last, we still have people posting on this board like Moneyball is a new concept, and we're just going to fleece a bunch of hick GMs who are completely credulous.)
 

Rovin Romine

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The Red Sox don't seem to have much sense in the area of public relations any more. Henry's use of the words "unrealistic expectations" in this interview is just the latest example.
I read it and I didn't see those words used by Henry. Then I did a search and they didn't come up.

Care to point out where Henry uses the words "unrealistic expectations?"
 

HfxBob

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Nov 13, 2005
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I read it and I didn't see those words used by Henry. Then I did a search and they didn't come up.

Care to point out where Henry uses the words "unrealistic expectations?"
You're right, he didn't use those exact words, they were used by those who reported on the interview. It was a paraphrase of this:

“Because fans expect championships almost annually, they easily become frustrated and are not going to buy into what the odds actually are: one in 20 or one in 30.”
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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Anyone can read the article linked above.

The quote concludes a specific section of the article. That section begins with a brief history of Henry's entrance into sports ownership and recaps the early Sox years, including authorizing unpopular moves like signing Mueller and trading Nomar. (Which echoes the earlier themes in the article of removing emotion from trading, and looking for trends/hidden value.) It then points out Henry wasn't content with 2004 and still wanted to win. It then discusses Liverpool and a similar competitive mind-set. That section concludes with:

As FSG grew and diversified, the perception that it is made up of business people first and sports fans second has gained traction. Henry disputes this. Having spent "a lot of time" with fellow sports owners over the past couple of decades, he says "most of them feel responsible to their communities to bring championships." And during Henry's tenure, the Red Sox have won four World Series, the most of any baseball team this century. Liverpool also ended its dry spell of 30 years without a league title. Yet fans always want more, and Henry knows the numbers are stacked against him. "Because fans expect championships almost annually," he wrote to me, "they easily become frustrated and are not going to buy into what the odds actually are: one in 20 or one in 30."
JH is being disingenuous here, less than 1% of fans expect championships almost annually. Everyone knows how hard it is and how much luck you need to win a championship in any league is. So that's starting out on a complete bullshit note. If that was true, no one would have become a Red Sox fan from 1919-2003. Fans become frustrated when it doesn't appear that their team is giving an honest effort in trying to win. It's the same thing with movies and other entertainment, when people know that you're mailing it in, or not giving it their all, that's when fans squawk. Who wants to spend any amount of money on professionals who don't give a shit?

Unfortunately, since there is either no comments from up top, or mixed messages (and I'm sorry but "Full throttle" is going to be etched on Warner's grave); fans are going to think what they're going to think. By being vague you give both sides the impression that they're right in interpreting the message.

And even if what he says is true, that fans expect a championship every year, what's wrong with that? Don't you want an engaged fanbase that is constantly trying to push your GM, POBO, other owners into getting the best? Because right now the fans have little to no interest in the team. Fenway Park has become Baltimore/Atlanta/Philadelphia/New York north that's over run with fans. And hey, maybe Henry doesn't care about that; New York money is as green as Massachusetts green, but to be upset that fans are passionate (and we can quibble on this, but I'd say that fans that are angry with how the Sox have been run since 2019 are passionate) is a dumb take. To further antagonize them with statements that no one ever said/believed is ridiculously dumb. And Henry writes these comments so he can't even say that he was misquoted.

BTW, his quote about "most of [his]" fellow sports owners feeling responsibile to their communities to bring a championship is a fucking laugh. Jesus Christ, that is total and complete bullshit. Most of them DGAF, we all understand this.

It seems pretty clear that the Henry quote is used to dispute the meme that FSG is a business venture only that does not care about winning championships. That the goal is actually to win championships. But success changes expectations, and fans become frustrated.

That's not limited to Red Sox fans. Nor is it an insult.
He does refer to the Red Sox as an "asset" in that piece. That doesn't really jive with what he's talking about.

The point is that frustration shouldn't control strategy. See later in the article:

He also took issue with the obsession over his and Werner's remarks about "expensive" ballplayers and going "full throttle". The latter had "overshadowed every other word, paragraph and interview of the winter because it reaches so deeply into the false belief that many fans and media have that you should mortgage the future each year for the present." Creating a sustainable future for the Red Sox was, he argued, more important than any given year's payroll. "You have to base acquisitions and dispositions on the future, not the past," he said. "That is unpopular generally."

Of course it shouldn't. No one is disputing that, I don't think at least. No one was saying trade Mayer for a third starter. No one suggested putting Kyle Teel in a deal for a backup third baseman. Again, he's building really dumb strawmen here out of things that no one believes. There was some talk of trading some prospects for ML pitching talent. And that's becuase the Sox are flush with decent prospects--or so we're lead to believe. For example, trading a Nick Yorke for a MLB ready player might be a good idea. Especially when Grissom, Devers and Mayer blocking his path to the Majors (at least for now, who knows if any of those guys get run over by a bus).

Last week someone listed the Rule V eligible players that the Sox have. It was a pretty decent list and I would rather Breslow trade some of those guys now for assets rather than potentially lose them for nothiing in December.

Or the conclusion of the article:

He has faced calls to sell each of his clubs. Where he struggles is when to push back. "I don't think people in my position can win publicly - your words are often used against you - so the less I say I generally think the better," he told me. This is not always a recipe for keeping fans happy, which is also part of Henry's job. Happiness, though, isn't something that can be researched, funded and reaped. Henry expects to get flak and supporters of his clubs are likely to keep dishing it. Neither side may ever be satisfied. But he has structured his entire professional life by approaching the market as it is, not how people think it should be. If everything in Henry-land follows a coherent logic, the formula belongs only to him.

As my 13-year-old would say "Womp womp". Poor John Henry's words are used against him! He's aghast that this would happen! [Monty Burns]Why if this was 150 years ago, no one would think of doing that to such a titan of industry![/Monty Burns]

All kidding aside, happiness is something that can be research, funded and reaped: have your organization do their best to put a competitive team on the field year after year after year. We understand, in ballpark (PUN!) terms, how much the Sox bring in (they aren't losing money) and how much FSG is worth (a shit ton). We also know how much it costs to attend a game. No one wants to see the Worcester Red Sox in Fenway Park for 81 games. We understand that injuries happen, so I'm not exactly blaming them for this year, but after three last place finishes in four years it's really rich (ANOTHER PUN!) for Henry to expect fans to be happy about the way things are going and to trust him that he has the perfect way of approaching the market when it comes to building a competitive ball club.

***
Personally I think what underlies all that is just the completely obvious stuff.
-Emotion shouldn't control strategy​
-You can't be in GFIN mode every single year.​
-You can't hold onto every fan-favorite no matter what.​
-In a post-PED baseball world, you can't build a competitive 40 man from FA alone. You need a pipeline of young players/cost-controlled talent.​
-The greater playing field among the teams evolves and changes as teams become sophisticated.​

(And as to the last, we still have people posting on this board like Moneyball is a new concept, and we're just going to fleece a bunch of hick GMs who are completely credulous.)
- Right. But no one wanted to see Breslow act like a poet on payday and burn the place down and corner the market on infielders.
- Maybe. The last time they were in a GFIN mode was 2018 and that was five years and a lot of shitty baseball ago. The reason why people glommed onto "Full Throttle" was because fans thought that the FO was going back to being a player in the marker (both free agent and trade) again and when we got Lucas Giolito and Vaughn Grisson back, it was a little underwhelming. Henry needs to understand that when his fellow owner says something, it's going to be taken as gospel.
- Actually, FSG has the money to absolutely do so. But you're right, not everyone is going stay here. Again, I think that everyone knows that. But there are special circumstances Stteb Eikoom is one of them -- but we're not getting into that. I think Henry is still really salty about fucking that up. Again, I don't think that he understands the perspective of the fan in that players aren't just assets to be dealt. People grow attached to them, especially baseball players, especially talented players and if you can a fistful of magic beans for them, it's going to wind up in your obituary.
- Of course. This is not a new way of thinking, Branch Rickey said it when he started the first minor league system back in the 30s. It's only become more true since 1975, the dawn of free agency. Again, there is not one person who wanted the team to be made up of Hessians. But an augmention piece here and there would be nice. Signing Juan Soto would shut a lot of people up and make the team remarkably better next year.
- That is true.

EDIT: one last thing, I am absolutely NOT advocating for this team to load for bear at the trading deadline. This is a .500 team (at best) and they should be unloading everyone that they can. What I am advocating for is a big offseason. I know that the FO and Ownership is metric driven and that's cool, but at the end of the day, this is an entertainment business predicated on taking eyes (and money) away from other entertainment businesses. They need to bring someone in that can create some excitement, light a fire, get EVERYONE (not just us dorks) talking about the Red Sox again.

The worst part of the last five years isn't that they've played awful baseball for the most part (there are some silver linings, like good seats at rock bottom prices) it's just how irrelevant the Boston Red Sox have become. I know that we have our contingent of "Who gives a fuck what Johnny from Burger King has to say" or the laments of the pink hats, but I love baseball and I love the Sox. And I especially love sharing that with other people, talking about the previous night's game, listening to what others have to say, watching people getting excited again.

To me, that's what sports is about: the community, the shared experience.

With these Red Sox, I feel like I'm watching old episodes of the Chevy Chase Show. No one gives a shit and it's depressing.
 
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Rovin Romine

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Unfortunately, since there is either no comments from up top, or mixed messages (and I'm sorry but "Full throttle" is going to be etched on Warner's grave); fans are going to think what they're going to think. By being vague you give both sides the impression that they're right in interpreting the message.
Henry is not an extrovert and did an email interview with the FT from which he was selectively (and minimally) quoted in an article. Generally in those situations, I tend to go with the general gist of the piece, unless the subject (Henry) objects or clarifies. If the quote is offered as addressing a premise, that's what it's offered for. The alternative is to isolate the quote from the existing context, recontextualize into some other context, and/or finely parse it. I think that's a waste of time. Doubly so if it happens to confirm an existing bias.

I'm sure John Henry has his personal interests and foibles. But he's been a good owner, and so I'll take him at his word until I'm provided with some empirical reason to do otherwise.

***

To your other points, I absolutely don't want a fan-fueled or pressured strategy. (See Crawford, Carl.)

I suppose I just don't get the relative payroll outrage thing. Because I think it really does produce outrage in some people. But when I look at the club, I see a bunch of starters who aren't yet in arb or who are locked up on friendly terms: Casas, Grissom, Wong, Abreu, Rafaela, Duran, Houck, Crawford, Bello, Slaten, etc.

That's the trend I want to see, expecting it will take a couple of years. I don't want to replace them with older, worse, and more expensive players for an every-other year run at the WC.

What I'd hope is that the younger core would be given a chance to compete while they developed - supplemented by vets on talent-appropriate deals at weak points. Like Story at SS while Mayer develops. Giolito to head the rotation. Yoshida at the DH spot. A pair of veteran arms at the back of the bullpen. Or maybe a short-time player like O'Neill to provide RH power while moving on from a player who didn't seem to have a future in Boston. And. . .maybe they could lock up their best offensive player on a long term deal, while letting their faltering older players go, no matter how glorious their history or how many jerseys the fans owned.

That sort of thing.
 

dynomite

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JH is being disingenuous here, less than 1% of fans expect championships almost annually. Everyone knows how hard it is and how much luck you need to win a championship in any league is. So that's starting out on a complete bullshit note. If that was true, no one would have become a Red Sox fan from 1919-2003. Fans become frustrated when it doesn't appear that their team is giving an honest effort in trying to win. It's the same thing with movies and other entertainment, when people know that you're mailing it in, or not giving it their all, that's when fans squawk. Who wants to spend any amount of money on professionals who don't give a shit?

...

The worst part of the last five years isn't that they've played awful baseball for the most part (there are some silver linings, like good seats at rock bottom prices) it's just how irrelevant the Boston Red Sox have become. I know that we have our contingent of "Who gives a fuck what Johnny from Burger King has to say" or the laments of the pink hats, but I love baseball and I love the Sox. And I especially love sharing that with other people, talking about the previous night's game, listening to what others have to say, watching people getting excited again.

To me, that's what sports is about: the community, the shared experience.

With these Red Sox, I feel like I'm watching old episodes of the Chevy Chase Show. No one gives a shit and it's depressing.
A lot of this just rings so true for me.

Like, we all know the team has been devastated by injuries this year, losing, what, 2/5 of the rotation for the year, plus the starting 1B, 2B, and SS, not to mention the DH and various OF. We all know the Red Sox have won the most World Series championships in the 21st century. The Sox brought me more joy from 2004 to 2018 than any fan has a right to expect in a lifetime.

And yet... the Sox finished in 5th place the last two seasons and tinkered around the margins last offseason. To the point about "good seats at rock bottom prices," the cheapest tickets for tonight's game on redsox.com are $33 for wooden grandstand seats that face center field and cut off your view of popups and fly balls, with any clearer views of the field starting at $50+.

I understand why people are angry. And I think this sort of speaks to the disconnect:

What I'd hope is that the younger core would be given a chance to compete while they developed - supplemented by vets on talent-appropriate deals at weak points.
RR, I have to say I appreciate your voice of reason position, and consistency about It throughout the offseason and season.

Still, I for one cannot wrap my mind around the idea that the Henry ownership group fielded a competitive roster by doing exactly what you suggest since their first season in 2002 until 2018/2019... and just sort of decided not to do that anymore.

You say they did, and there's some evidence of that (Story, Jansen, etc.), but in totality it all looks and feels a bit cut-rate instead of going after top tier talent. Take Lucas Giolito. He was a reclamation project and talented guy who signed a 2-year deal. A nice signing, but not a lynchpin of an offseason kind of deal. In earlier eras with this ownership group, when the Sox needed a starter they didn't settle for projects, they went big game hunting: trading for Schilling, then trading for Beckett, then signing David Price to a massive deal, then trading for Chris Sale. If they had shelled out for Yamamoto or traded a haul for Corbin Burnes, I bet the conversation on here would be different even if those guys had similarly missed the season with injury.
 
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jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
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SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
72,701
If I had to guess, here’s what I think ‘1 in 30’ comes from.

Henry is envious of where BAL is currently (loaded team/tiny payroll) and he can’t stop thinking about how BOS could have gone in that direction with Bloom from day 1, but everyone told him ‘BOS fans will never put up with a full rebuild’. That’s it.
 

dynomite

Member
SoSH Member
If I had to guess, here’s what I think ‘1 in 30’ comes from.

Henry is envious of where BAL is currently (loaded team/tiny payroll) and he can’t stop thinking about how BOS could have gone in that direction with Bloom from day 1, but everyone told him ‘BOS fans will never put up with a full rebuild’. That’s it.
I also wouldn't be surprised if he's been talking to Steve Cohen, who comes from a similar investment fund/hedge fund background in finance, and the two are part of the same Strategic Sports Group billionaires association. Obviously Cohen's strategy of throwing $300M+ around with the Mets has not led to success, so the contrast with the Orioles, Guardians, Rays, and others probably feels even more attractive. And it probably doesn't help that the guy Henry fired in Dombrowski immediately turned the Phillies into a perennial World Series contender and this season arguably the best team in MLB.

If true, what I think is not fully considered there is one of life's truisms, which is that "Mets are gonna Met." (Except against the Red Sox in 1986... *Sideshow Bob stepping on a rake noise*)
 

Rovin Romine

Johnny Rico
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Jul 14, 2005
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Miami (oh, Miami!)
You say they did, and there's some evidence of that (Story, Jansen, etc.), but in totality it all looks and feels a bit cut-rate instead of going after top tier talent. Take Lucas Giolito. He was a project with an injury history who signed a 2-year deal. A nice signing, but not a lynchpin of an offseason kind of deal. In earlier eras with this ownership group, when the Sox needed a starter they didn't settle for projects, they went big game hunting: trading for Schilling, then trading for Beckett, then signing David Price to a massive deal, then trading for Chris Sale. If they had shelled out for Yamamoto or traded a haul for Corbin Burnes, I bet the conversation on here would be different even if those guys had similarly missed the season with injury.
I think it comes down to something pretty simple - contract length and player control. They mostly locked up their stopgaps in for the 23-24 season (Giolito, Jansen, Martin) and had some longer signings that went into 2025 and beyond (Story (though his role changed after they drafted Mayer), Yoshida, Devers.)

With Giolito, they had 4 open spots left in the rotation, one of which was for Pivetta and one for Sale. That left only two development spots - one for Bello, and the other for Houck/Whitlock/Crawford. (And you'd potentially have 3 of the 5 - Giolito, Sale, Pivetta leaving after the season.)

So they traded Sale for a 2B-man with 6 years of control. Even though they have many potential 2B and IF in the minors.

What that tells me is they wanted to run their younger starters out there under Bailey, and that, at the same time, they didn't want to wait a year or two for Yorke or Hamilton or Valdez, or even Story-displaced-by-Mayer.

Personally, if I had to guess, I'd say they put this year in the "likely to make the post-season but not go deep" bucket. That it was supposed to be a develop-but-compete year with Giolito (and possibly Pivetta) leaving as a FA afterward, and with Hendricks being the vet in the pen post-Jansen/Martin. If it worked in terms of getting into the post season, it was because that expected step forward happened - they got 3 or more 2025 starters out of the Bello/Houck/Whitlock/Crawford group. And that's your core you supplement this off-season, because you know what you have.

The alternative was using the rotation to run out guys like Wacha, and just kicking the can down the road till next year re: internal development on guys who aren't getting younger and who are approaching arb.

So yeah, a YY or a Burns would have been nice. . .but there's also a decent chance you're wasting a year. Maybe you just sign/acquire someone like that when you actually need them because you know you've got most of the rotation locked down. Maximize those control years or early contract years. Just a guess though.