Our ownership group

RIFan

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
1,978
Blackstone MA
Part of Red Sox fan DNA is to be miserable. Misery used to surround an 86 year drought. Now that the current ownership has delivered 4 World Series titles - this strand of DNA manifests itself in weird ways - most recently surrounding them making a very smart decision to trade a very good player.

The handwringing that I've seen here and from members of this board surrounding Mookie defies all logic. And that's okay - the word fan is derived from fanatic.

To quote Rick Pitino - the negativity in the town really sucks.

The ownership group has been great. I wish they would have torn down Fenway Park but reasonable minds can disagree on that.
100% this. I will also add that there was a perception when they acquired the Sox that they were carpetbaggers and not really fans. Contrast that with Wyc and Kraft who were season ticket holders before they were owners. Both do a lot of media and will get a huge benefit of the doubt that they are in it for the love of the team and Boston and not for purely financial reasons. Henry and Werner will never be accepted as "locals". Jacobs has owned the team so long casual fans don't realize he lives in Buffalo, not that it matters since he has never received any love in Boston.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 23, 2009
11,619
Maine
100% this. I will also add that there was a perception when they acquired the Sox that they were carpetbaggers and not really fans. Contrast that with Wyc and Kraft who were season ticket holders before they were owners. Both do a lot of media and will get a huge benefit of the doubt that they are in it for the love of the team and Boston and not for purely financial reasons. Henry and Werner will never be accepted as "locals". Jacobs has owned the team so long casual fans don't realize he lives in Buffalo, not that it matters since he has never received any love in Boston.
The irony about the carpetbaggers thing is that one of the favorite "local" bidders for the team in 2001 was Frank McCourt. Things could have been worse.
 

themactavish

lurker
Aug 4, 2010
26
St. Cloud, MN
The handwringing that I've seen here and from members of this board surrounding Mookie defies all logic. And that's okay - the word fan is derived from fanatic.
For what it's worth, "fan" derives from "fanatic," but the two terms diverge so far as their sense and usage are concerned. "I'm a fan, but no fanatic" is no contradiction in terms. Along the road, "fan" came to mean a keen supporter, someone interested in something or other. "Fanatics," on the other hand, are marked by excessive or even mad devotion, up to and including possession of a sort. Of course, some Sox fans may indeed be fanatical.
 

hatchibombotar

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
19
I don't have an issue with how the ownership group has managed the team itself, including the most recent trade. But how they manage their cheeseball TV network -- which is how most of us see most games -- is an embarassment, and I'm always surprised it gets so little criticism on SoSH.

I wish John Henry would skip the owner's box for a few games and subject himself to 2-3 hours of listening to Dave O'Brien belabor the obvious and never...stop...yapping. Not sure if Mookie is worth 12 for $420, but Orsillo would be worth whatever he asked for to come back.
 

canderson

Fomenting voting confusion and angst since 2016
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
24,606
Harrisburg, Pa.
The Red Sox ownership group is top 5 in the 4 US major sports. They’ve made mistakes, sure, and they’ve hired some GMs that turned sour, but this group has done amazingly well. People really need to look at other franchises before busting on FSG.
 

twibnotes

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
18,184
I generally love the ownership group. They’ve done a very good job of building competitive teams, and I love that they have maintained the team’s connection with great charities like the Jimmy Fund.

My only real complaint is relative to fan experience. I don’t object to them trying to max revenues, but some of their sponsorships seem to trade fan experience for short term return. For instance, they have French’s f****ing ketchup! The beer selection is dominated by Sam Adams in a market littered with cool craft breweries. In short, if the team is not competitive, they’ve done little to bring me to the park (beyond my love of the game and park itself).

edit: I also agree that NESN should be way better
 
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Captaincoop

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
9,831
Santa Monica, CA
There are about 5 markets out of 30 in MLB where the fans care enough about baseball to be "negative" or to really care who owns the team at all.

The fact that Boston is one of those is both the reason this ownership group has been successful and why lots of people here hate them.
 

joe dokes

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
14,239
As someone alluded to above, I think half the "problem" is that John Henry is just a weird guy in public. Of all the Boston owners/operators - and especially now that Charlie Jacobs sems to have a more active role than Jeremy, there are probably fewer fans who can identify with Henry on a personal level than any other. Of course, nobody can really identify with the 9 and 10-figure set, but for all the shit that, say Jerry Jones gets (and deserves), my sense is that Cowboy fans dont get sick of him because (for better and worse) he gives off the vibe of living and dying with the team like the fans do. Henry's seeming emotional detachment probably helped make him a billionaire, but it doesn't endear him to very many fans. He's not the owner, but maybe it's only an unmatched run of success that keeps Belichick from suffering a similar fate.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 26, 2005
18,664
There are about 5 markets out of 30 in MLB where the fans care enough about baseball to be "negative" or to really care who owns the team at all.

The fact that Boston is one of those is both the reason this ownership group has been successful and why lots of people here hate them.
With regard to bolded, the Red Sox had plenty of shitty owners even while the fans cared a lot.

The ownership group is successful because John Henry is generally a great owner. People don't remember but two of the other bidders for the Red Sox at the time of sale were Frank McCourt and Charles Dolan (and Miles Prentice, but he was probably never a serious contender due to lack of capitalization). Think about the bullet(s) dodged here.
 

Manuel Aristides

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 7, 2009
53
People will always find something to complain about. It's part of the fun of sports, getting to be critical of others in a way that doesn't have a lot of meaningful impact on either party. But outside of that general truism, I'll never understand the hate for this ownership. Four championships. Four. Championships. The point is to win the World Series as many times as possible before we die. How many of us buried relatives who never got to see one? We've seen four! In 15 years! Could they have won six or seven if they'd done it differently? I guess, maybe.

Even in this most extreme case, losing Mookie basically because of bad planning, I'd do it all again. If you'd told me in April 2018 that the sox would win a franchise record 108 games and the world series, but it meant Mookie would leave after 2019, personally I'd have taken a deep breath and made the deal.

If you want to be mad about someone not spending their way-too-much money, that's a fair point, but the topic of baseball ownership spending is a strange place to insist on making it.
 
May 9, 2018
19
The current ownership has been, for the most part, pretty smart, and this has paid off in four championships, which is tough to sneer at.

At the same time, much of the beatific glow in which they bask is due to the glaring contrast with the dreadful, awful, very bad prior ownership. Once the replace-Fenway thing died, they made a series of investments in the facilities that greatly improved fan experience and improved their revenue, and which hadn't been done decades earlier only because of negligence. They monetize the heck out of everything, but invest in the product. What else do you want, really?

(As an aside, as someone who moved to NE, the Yawkeys always seemed to me to be among the worst owners in all of baseball, and I never understood how "beloved" they were. There won't ever be a Wilpon Way in Queens, much lest an anguished debate about it. There might be a statue of whomever gets them gone.)

That said, my view of them changed from "Brilliant Saviors" to "Asshole Billionaires Who At Least Aren't Incompetent" in the wake of how Francona and Epstein departed. The Valentine thing made me amend that to "Asshole Billionaires Who At Least Usually Aren't Incompetent," and there it stands.
 

shaggydog2000

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 5, 2007
6,936
The current ownership has been, for the most part, pretty smart, and this has paid off in four championships, which is tough to sneer at.

At the same time, much of the beatific glow in which they bask is due to the glaring contrast with the dreadful, awful, very bad prior ownership. Once the replace-Fenway thing died, they made a series of investments in the facilities that greatly improved fan experience and improved their revenue, and which hadn't been done decades earlier only because of negligence. They monetize the heck out of everything, but invest in the product. What else do you want, really?

(As an aside, as someone who moved to NE, the Yawkeys always seemed to me to be among the worst owners in all of baseball, and I never understood how "beloved" they were. There won't ever be a Wilpon Way in Queens, much lest an anguished debate about it. There might be a statue of whomever gets them gone.)

That said, my view of them changed from "Brilliant Saviors" to "Asshole Billionaires Who At Least Aren't Incompetent" in the wake of how Francona and Epstein departed. The Valentine thing made me amend that to "Asshole Billionaires Who At Least Usually Aren't Incompetent," and there it stands.
You can blame them for hiring the wrong guy with Valentine, but at least they knew enough to get rid of him quickly. They've had some turnover behind the bench and in the front office, but overall you have to credit them with realizing mistakes and making changes when they needed to. Maybe some changes they didn't need to make, but it's better than a passive ownership letting a mediocre group guide the team to nowhere.
 

lexrageorge

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2007
9,067
The complainers honestly have no idea how low things can go with bad ownership. At one point, the owners of the local teams were Jean Yawkey/John Harrington, Victor Kiam, and ThanksDad Gaston, with pre-lockout Jeremy Jacobs being the best of the lot (and it wasn't particularly close either).

I think the one issue this ownership group has is that they are difficult to work for. The Francona book explained the issues both Tito and Theo had with the ownership group at various times. There was the poor way Francona was treated on his way out, along with Theo (albeit to a lesser extent). There was Henry working closely with Cherington, who did the ownership's bidding by holding on to the team's draft haul until they had the chance to make the majors, and then a day later Cherington is tossed aside for Dombrowski.

And there have been cases where ownership was either proven to be or strongly suspected to be behind some of the bad baseball moves: Valentine, Crawford, Sandoval, Castillo, all in the pursuit of being able to "win in more exciting fashion".

The Betts situation is and will continue to be a PR disaster. The reality is that ownership signed off on the Eovaldi and Sale extensions, and the other reality is that fans (myself included) will go to their graves believing Betts would still be here had those 2 deals not been an anchor around the team's salary structure for 2020.

The above are all legitimate complaints, IMO. However, baseball rosters will continue to turn over dramatically, even for the richest teams. And mistakes will be made by every team's ownership group.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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SoSH Member
Mar 26, 2005
18,664
The reality is that ownership signed off on the Eovaldi and Sale extensions
I agree with almost all of your post and certain the Eovaldi extension was probably a mistake (but certainly I could understand the thinking behind that).

But Sale, I don't quite get it. The possibly best pitcher is baseball is offering to be extended at a below market rate. What would be the PR impact of turning down a below-market extension for Chris Sale less than six months after winning a WS?
 

lexrageorge

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2007
9,067
I agree with almost all of your post and certain the Eovaldi extension was probably a mistake (but certainly I could understand the thinking behind that).

But Sale, I don't quite get it. The possibly best pitcher is baseball is offering to be extended at a below market rate. What would be the PR impact of turning down a below-market extension for Chris Sale less than six months after winning a WS?
The Eovaldi extension was an unforced error.

There are solid arguments either way on the Sale extension. What bothers me is that the ownership signed off on both extensions knowing that they would result in the team having to trade Mookie to get under the luxury tax threshold. I know the conventional wisdom here is that the luxury tax threshold had nothing to do with the Mookie trade, but I personally do not buy that explanation. So, I'm left with the following two explanations:

a.) Henry and Co were already expecting to trade Mookie when they signed off on the two extensions; or

b.) They made a last minute decision to make 2020 the year they get under the luxury tax.

Neither sits all that well with me.

Back on topic: this ownership group has earned a lot of goodwill rope over the years, and rightfully so. I'll take 4 World Series titles over payroll efficiency or reduced volatility in the division standings any day. But they did lose some of that goodwill, and they will need to do some work to earn that back. And it's not impossible for them to lose more of it over the next 5-10 years.
 

Average Game James

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Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Apr 28, 2016
1,597
The Eovaldi extension was an unforced error.

There are solid arguments either way on the Sale extension. What bothers me is that the ownership signed off on both extensions knowing that they would result in the team having to trade Mookie to get under the luxury tax threshold. I know the conventional wisdom here is that the luxury tax threshold had nothing to do with the Mookie trade, but I personally do not buy that explanation. So, I'm left with the following two explanations:

a.) Henry and Co were already expecting to trade Mookie when they signed off on the two extensions; or

b.) They made a last minute decision to make 2020 the year they get under the luxury tax.

Neither sits all that well with me.

Back on topic: this ownership group has earned a lot of goodwill rope over the years, and rightfully so. I'll take 4 World Series titles over payroll efficiency or reduced volatility in the division standings any day. But they did lose some of that goodwill, and they will need to do some work to earn that back. And it's not impossible for them to lose more of it over the next 5-10 years.
Could there be an option C? At the time of the Eovaldi signing and Sale extension, they saw two more potential World Series runs coming in 2019-2020 and were willing to go into the tax for one more year before going back under and lose Mookie for only a 4th round draft pick if there was a legitimate opportunity to win another championship. Once it became clear the existing core would only have an outside shot in 2020, they changed course to create payroll flexibility and add assets that will be under team control long term.
 

YTF

Member
SoSH Member
Back on topic: this ownership group has earned a lot of goodwill rope over the years, and rightfully so. I'll take 4 World Series titles over payroll efficiency or reduced volatility in the division standings any day. But they did lose some of that goodwill, and they will need to do some work to earn that back. And it's not impossible for them to lose more of it over the next 5-10 years.
I think the work has begun. The work is a result of the trade which is a result of the work. I see the two as synonymous. They have clearly chosen a path and in trading Betts and Price have begun the journey down that path. In moving those two players they have both trimmed the payroll and have begun to replenish the young/cost controlled talent that the Sox need. I don't think it ends here, the work as you put it, needs to continue. This could all work out as planned, end up as an epic fail or fall somewhere in between. We have to have some level of trust that Bloom knows how to approach this and also trust that the ownership will allow him to do what he's been hired to do. It's going to take a period of time to see how this all plays out.
 

YTF

Member
SoSH Member
Could there be an option C? At the time of the Eovaldi signing and Sale extension, they saw two more potential World Series runs coming in 2019-2020 and were willing to go into the tax for one more year before going back under and lose Mookie for only a 4th round draft pick if there was a legitimate opportunity to win another championship. Once it became clear the existing core would only have an outside shot in 2020, they changed course to create payroll flexibility and add assets that will be under team control long term.
I think this is a very likely option. I remember at the time of these signings many here were pumped seeing it as a sign that The Sox were in "go for it now" mode, acknowledging that the window might be closing to mwin again with the group that had just won a World Series.
 

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
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Jul 15, 2005
48,676
It's hard to fully put one's self in the mindset of a year ago knowing everything that has happened since, but to me they had no choice but to bring back Eovaldi if they expected to compete with NY for the division in 2019.

Maybe Eovaldi was a #3 or #4 SP against most of MLB, but against NY he was Boston's #2 or even #1. In 2018, he pitched against NY three times in the regular season and once in the postseason, a combined 23 11 2 1 3 18 line, a ridiculous 0.39 ERA. You can call that a short sample size if you want but it was clear from the first batter of each game that NY had no chance against him, and when you couple that with them treating Price like a BP pitcher, IMO BOS had no choice but to bring him back if they wanted to compete for the division in 2019.
 

woodsyi

lurker
Nov 17, 2006
6
Living in Vienna, Virginia rooting for the 'Skins and sort of following the Orioles (before the Nationals) I have nothing but respect for this ownership. I really believe that they want to win and have succeeded in doing so. I got sucked-in in '75 when my parents brought me to this country. I fell for the noble underdog with Fisk waving the ball in and all against the mean Big Red Machine. Since then I experienced the Sox Angst until '04. I have to admit I went upstairs because I couldn't stand to see the final nail in the coffin in the 4th game of the ALCS with Rivera on the mound. I didn't want to see it. Then my wife came up screaming to say it's tied. The rest was pure heaven. Cards series even seemed a bit anti-climactic as the Sox was clearly the team of destiny. 3 more championships since.

You don't hear about the Curse anymore, do you? This ownership has changed the Red Sox fandom paradigm from perpetual angst to entitled expectation. Instead of bitching, you should thank them. Have they made all the right moves? No, but it's hard even when you have every intention to win. Case in point is Dan Snyder with the 'Skins. I have no doubt he wants to win but he doesn't know how. He can't stay out the way to let good people make good decisions. From a 5 year wait list for season tickets to $10 tickets on Stub Hub is what became of the 'Skins.

Then there is the case of Peter Angelos. He tried to make a splash when he first took over. Kept it up for a while but he too couldn't help micro-managing and bungled. Camden Yard was the place to be in the early '90s as the fan experience was excellent. I mean food and drinks were top notch. Hardly anyone goes there any more to root for the O's. A part of that is the success of the Nationals that has drawn away fans from DC area like me but the biggest reason is that they are BIG time losers. Their biggest draws now are the fans of the Yankees and the Sox. I no longer think Angelos cares about winning. I don't even know if they are tanking now to win later. I would like to think so, but I wouldn't put it beyond Angelos to do this just to be mean, ornery and cheap. It is nice that I can get cheap tickets to Sox game in Camden Yard. So I guess I should be happy about Peter Angelos. Way to go, Peter. Keep it up (down)!

Bottom line is that John Henry group has done well overall and deserves the respect and really gratitude from an "old" time fan (hard to admit that I am now old) who remembers how excruciatingly painful it was to be a fan before them.
 
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YTF

Member
SoSH Member
Living in Vienna, Virginia rooting for the 'Skins and sort of following the Orioles (before the Nationals) I have nothing but respect for this ownership. I really believe that they want to win and have succeeded in doing so. I got sucked-in in '75 when my parents brought me to this country. I fell for the noble underdog with Fisk waving the ball in and all against the mean Big Red Machine. Since then I experienced the Sox Angst until '04. I have to admit I went upstairs because I couldn't stand to see the final nail in the coffin in the 4th game of the ALCS with Rivera on the mound. I didn't want to see it. Then my wife came up screaming to say it's tied. The rest was pure heaven. Cards series even seemed a bit anti-climactic as the Sox was clearly the team of destiny. 3 more championships since.

You don't hear about the Curse anymore, do you? This ownership has changed the Red Sox fandom paradigm from perpetual angst to entitled expectation. Instead of bitching, you should thank them. Have they made all the right moves? No, but it's hard even when you have every intention to win. Case in point is Dan Snyder with the 'Skins. I have no doubt he wants to win but he doesn't know how. He can't stay out the way to let good people make good decisions. From a 5 year wait list for season tickets to $10 tickets on Stub Hub is what became of the 'Skins.

Then there is the case of Peter Angelos. He tried to make a splash when he first took over. Kept it up for a while but he too couldn't help micro-managing and bungled. Camden Yard was place to be in the early '90s as the fan experience was excellent. I mean food and drinks were top notch. Hardly anyone goes there more to root for the O's. A part of that is the success of the Nationals that has drawn away fans from DC area like me but the biggest reason is that they are BIG time losers. Their biggest draws now are the fans of the Yankees and the Sox. I no long think Angelos cares about winning. I don't even know if they are tanking now to win later. I would like to think so, but I wouldn't put it beyond Angelos to do this just to be mean, ornery and cheap. It is nice that I can get cheap tickets to Sox game in Camden Yard. So I guess I should be happy about Peter Angelos. Way to go, Peter. Keep it up (down)!

Bottom line is that John Henry group has done well overall and deserves the respect and really gratitude from an "old" time fan (hard to admit that I am now old) who remembers how excruciatingly painful it was to be a fan before them.
Thanks for this, it's nice to hearing from someone seeing this through different eyes. Since the incredible 2004 season I've often thought about my father-in-law and more so since viewing the recent reactions toward ownership. My FIL was born 7 years after the 1918 World Series. Seventy six years on this earth, with little more than a couple of World Series appearances he was often disappointed, but always kept his Sox on. He passed away in November of 2001, just a month before the announcement of the agreement for this current ownership group to purchase The Red Sox. If only he had lived another 20 year and could have witnessed what we've all been gifted with from this group. As Red Sox fans we've enjoyed something that no other MLB fans have experienced in that time. Four World Series celebrations in 15 seasons, a handful of bonafide legends and a revolving cast of amazingly talented athletes. Shining, larger than life personalities and others happy to quietly fit in. Poppy would have loved it all just as we did and though he would also be disappointed to see Betts move on. I hardly think he would see this ownership as cheap. I think he would try to see the reasoning in previous moves that we now shit all over in hindsight and also realize that things don't always work out as we hope they might. I think he'd be grateful for the past 15 seasons and look to the future of the team with hope, trusting the group that brought him things he thought he might never witness. Is it unreasonable to think that Boston might be able to have a championship caliber team in another 5-6 seasons? I ask because we waited 5 seasons between 2013 and 2018. We waited 6 seasons between 2007 and 2013. I think some of us really need to take a breath and not only appreciate what we have here, but also appreciate all of this through the eyes of someone like woodsyi or see it as I'm sure my FIL would have.
 
Aug 11, 2019
387
Has anyone considered that maybe Henry, et al., is thinking about selling the Red Sox? Get below the CBT, add some young players. Spotrac has them dropping to about $126.5 million (27 players) in 2021 and and around $99 million the following year (22 players). Seems like a good time to cash in (the value of the club is currently about $3 billion more than they paid for it).
 

Red(s)HawksFan

Member
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Jan 23, 2009
11,619
Maine
Has anyone considered that maybe Henry, et al., is thinking about selling the Red Sox? Get below the CBT, add some young players. Spotrac has them dropping to about $126.5 million (27 players) in 2021 and and around $99 million the following year (22 players). Seems like a good time to cash in (the value of the club is currently about $3 billion more than they paid for it).
This has been the fear since they bought the team and it's always been entirely unfounded. It's foolish conspiracy theory to speculate about it now.

FSG as a whole is the third most valuable sports conglomerate in the world. I don't think the bubble is bursting anytime soon. There's no reason for them to get out now.
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
23,353
Hingham, MA
Plus wouldn’t having one of the best players in the league on your team be a selling point no matter where they stand relative to the CBT?
 

mauf

Anderson Cooper x Mr. Rogers
Staff member
Dope
Even in these savvy environs, people still refer to the Lester non-signing as a debacle — even though his contract was just OK for the Cubs, and the 2018 team would have been worse if he were here — we probably couldn’t have signed JDM, and might not have traded for Sale.

The two really dumb things Sox ownership has done were hiring Bobby V and nearly losing Theo in the mid-2000s. By all accounts, both of those blunders were on LL. Henry and Werner got rid of him. What more could we ask? Perfection is certainly not the standard — no one is crucifying BB for trading Chandler Jones, even though that worked out a lot worse than Lester.

@The Allented Mr Ripley has bingo — we’ve turned into Yankee fans.
 

mauf

Anderson Cooper x Mr. Rogers
Staff member
Dope
This has been the fear since they bought the team and it's always been entirely unfounded. It's foolish conspiracy theory to speculate about it now.

FSG as a whole is the third most valuable sports conglomerate in the world. I don't think the bubble is bursting anytime soon. There's no reason for them to get out now.
I thought they were positioning the club for sale when they brought in Dombrowski, but if that was the plan, you would’ve put the team on the block last year (coming off a championship, booming stock market swelling the coffers of potential buyers, let new ownership make the looming strategic choices themselves). Agree that it’s not in the near-term plans at this point.

Edit: I suppose it’s not crazy to think that trading Mookie was better done before a change in ownership than after, but if that’s the plan I think you keep DD, let him execute the Mookie trade instead of a rookie GM, then let new ownership decide who the long-term GM is.
 

Mrmojo

lurker
Nov 30, 2005
9
I think Red Sox ownership has rarely received the "benefit of the doubt". There has been long term public and media anxiety about the Sox, on a scale we definitely haven't seen with the other local teams. Probably due to a history of not being able to win a championship 1919-2003. [A real mind-fukc... ] I think it has translated to mistrust, even with the recent team successes. This is unquantifiable psychology, yet totally obvious, so I am prepared to be called an idiot :^)
 

shaggydog2000

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 5, 2007
6,936
Has anyone considered that maybe Henry, et al., is thinking about selling the Red Sox? Get below the CBT, add some young players. Spotrac has them dropping to about $126.5 million (27 players) in 2021 and and around $99 million the following year (22 players). Seems like a good time to cash in (the value of the club is currently about $3 billion more than they paid for it).
So you think they've been buying sports properties across the world and investing in the ballpark and international baseball relationships because they want to get out of sports? Or just baseball? Based on nothing but the fact that there has been some variation in payroll, a change that every other baseball team that has gone over the luxury tax has also eventually shown? So are all the top spending MLB franchises looking to sell, or were they when they lowered payroll, but aren't now?
 

JimD

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Nov 29, 2001
7,078
I thought they were positioning the club for sale when they brought in Dombrowski, but if that was the plan, you would’ve put the team on the block last year (coming off a championship, booming stock market swelling the coffers of potential buyers, let new ownership make the looming strategic choices themselves). Agree that it’s not in the near-term plans at this point.
This, and offer Mookie 12/$400 or whatever it would have taken to lock him up long term and let the new owners worry about the luxury tax implications in 2021 and beyond.
 
Aug 11, 2019
387
This has been the fear since they bought the team and it's always been entirely unfounded. It's foolish conspiracy theory to speculate about it now.

FSG as a whole is the third most valuable sports conglomerate in the world. I don't think the bubble is bursting anytime soon. There's no reason for them to get out now.
I just asked a question and since I would not get anything if it were to happen, I fail to see how you can call it a "conspiracy theory." And the Red Sox are only part of FSG, albeit probably the largest part, so one could think of all that money sitting there as equity that could be a toy. Strip the team down, attendance drop for a few years, et voilà, it's time to replace Fenway Park. quidnunc sum
 

YTF

Member
SoSH Member
I just asked a question and since I would not get anything if it were to happen, I fail to see how you can call it a "conspiracy theory." And the Red Sox are only part of FSG, albeit probably the largest part, so one could think of all that money sitting there as equity that could be a toy. Strip the team down, attendance drop for a few years, et voilà, it's time to replace Fenway Park. quidnunc sum
I'm not understanding the last part of this,
 
Part of Red Sox fan DNA is to be miserable. Misery used to surround an 86 year drought. Now that the current ownership has delivered 4 World Series titles - this strand of DNA manifests itself in weird ways
This is absolute garbage, and the sort of thing a certain writer on the Globe would love to perpetuate - but, again, it's absolute garbage.
 

williams_482

Member
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Jul 1, 2011
391
Current Red Sox ownership has generally made smart choices, spend money, and gotten lucky on personnel and game results about as much as we could have possibly hoped for 20 years ago. That said, there's a very wide line between "this is a bad decision sprung from questionable motivations" and "they need to go."

I don't think it's at all unreasonable to point to the massive amount of turnover the Red Sox front office has dealt with as a problem, and it's pretty clear that ownership has played a substantial role in that. Likewise, the bizarrely stringent adherence to the CBT going into this season in particularly is shocking in how transparent the financial motives are. The Red Sox can clearly afford to pay tax overages this season, and they have chosen to avoid doing that in about the most fan-unfriendly way possible by trading a star position player and downgrading from a close-second-best-in-the-division team to a club with an okay shot at a wildcard slot.

And as for the draft pick implications of the CBT, you really can safely ignore them, as they are not even close to being "the most important part." Worrying about draft pick penalties sounds a lot better than worrying about money from a team perspective, but the penalties for being over are both quite small (your top pick drops 10 slots, worth ~$3M in surplus value), only kick in at $40M over the first tax threshold (a level the Red Sox weren't going to be touching this year), and are entirely unaffected by their repeat offender status.

One can attempt to defend the Betts move as a baseball trade, and there is a real chance it could work out in the Red Sox favor long term. Just don't be fooled when the team tells you that getting under the cap was about anything other than money.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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And as for the draft pick implications of the CBT, you really can safely ignore them, as they are not even close to being "the most important part." Worrying about draft pick penalties sounds a lot better than worrying about money from a team perspective, but the penalties for being over are both quite small (your top pick drops 10 slots, worth ~$3M in surplus value), only kick in at $40M over the first tax threshold (a level the Red Sox weren't going to be touching this year), and are entirely unaffected by their repeat offender status.
You keep saying this like it's not your money
 

effectivelywild

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Jul 14, 2005
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You keep saying this like it's not your money
Also, I think a part that keeps getting ignored---NONE OF THE OTHER MLB TEAMS ARE JUST BLOWING THROUGH THE UPPER TAX LEVELS EACH YEAR WITHOUT ABANDON. Remember when the Yankees were the Evil Empire because they would just outspend everyone? That's basically the argument people are making. They want the Red Sox just to outspend all the other teams. And ignore the rules that the rest of the league appears to follow. It's hard not to make that out as entitled.
 

JimD

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I'm going to push back against the 'massive turnover' narrative because I don't think it is accurate. I believe Henry and Werner can be dinged for not backing Theo Epstein sufficiently - they should have given him power over the entire baseball side of the business and had Larry Lucchino back down. The Dave Dombrowski hire was more defensible - Ben Cherington had led the team to consecutive last-place finishes and made several disastrous signings (or didn't have the clout to push back against whoever was pushing those players onto him). Many of us saw Dombrowski right from the start as a hired gun who would maximize a short-term window of contention but was not the guy you wanted to build the team back up after that. John Henry wisely realized that too.

Below those top-level executives, there has been remarkable stability throughout this ownership's tenure, both after Epstein's departure and as the current presence of the 'Gang of Four' has shown. Yes, they had a few promising young execs move on to work with Theo or land their own GM gigs but that IMO is evidence of a good organization and not a black mark.
 

shaggydog2000

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I'm going to push back against the 'massive turnover' narrative because I don't think it is accurate. I believe Henry and Werner can be dinged for not backing Theo Epstein sufficiently - they should have given him power over the entire baseball side of the business and had Larry Lucchino back down. The Dave Dombrowski hire was more defensible - Ben Cherington had led the team to consecutive last-place finishes and made several disastrous signings (or didn't have the clout to push back against whoever was pushing those players onto him). Many of us saw Dombrowski right from the start as a hired gun who would maximize a short-term window of contention but was not the guy you wanted to build the team back up after that. John Henry wisely realized that too.

Below those top-level executives, there has been remarkable stability throughout this ownership's tenure, both after Epstein's departure and as the current presence of the 'Gang of Four' has shown. Yes, they had a few promising young execs move on to work with Theo or land their own GM gigs but that IMO is evidence of a good organization and not a black mark.
Since their group took over, they've had 4 head baseball executives (GM or President of Baseball Operations, whoever was higher), and one was just hired. From 2002-2019 they had 3; Epstein, Cherington, and Dombrowski. An average of about 6 years is pretty good for a sports head exec. It's a short time vs Bill Belichick, but it's longer than most get. They've also only had 6 managers, but the latest change isn't exactly something you can blame on them. The ones that were mistakes were only here 1 or 2 seasons (Little, Valentine), but the other managers had 5 and 8 year runs. It's not like that is chaos either.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Since their group took over, they've had 4 head baseball executives (GM or President of Baseball Operations, whoever was higher), and one was just hired. From 2002-2019 they had 3; Epstein, Cherington, and Dombrowski. An average of about 6 years is pretty good for a sports head exec. It's a short time vs Bill Belichick, but it's longer than most get. They've also only had 6 managers, but the latest change isn't exactly something you can blame on them. The ones that were mistakes were only here 1 or 2 seasons (Little, Valentine), but the other managers had 5 and 8 year runs. It's not like that is chaos either.
This is a great summary. How many franchises have had fewer changes (GM/Pres BBOps and field managers) in the same time frame? The Yankees and Giants have each had one GM and three field managers each. Those are the ones that jumped to the top of my head, not sure if there's anyone with more stability.
 

shaggydog2000

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This is a great summary. How many franchises have had fewer changes (GM/Pres BBOps and field managers) in the same time frame? The Yankees and Giants have each had one GM and three field managers each. Those are the ones that jumped to the top of my head, not sure if there's anyone with more stability.
I could only find a list of MLB GMs, but there were only 6 teams that had the same one for more than 6 years. But that didn't include Pres. of Baseball ops types, so not a complete accounting.
 

DarthAvershen

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Feb 3, 2020
32
Massachusetts
You guys make a great case that the Sox aren’t that different in regards to turnover when compared to other MLB clubs.

However, my original contention was they have had a lot of turnover when compared to the GM/president of other Boston sports teams. I think this distinction is important because the original question is why does this ownership team get more heat compared to the other teams in Boston especially when they have more titles than all but the greatest dynasty in NFL history.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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You guys make a great case that the Sox aren’t that different in regards to turnover when compared to other MLB clubs.

However, my original contention was they have had a lot of turnover when compared to the GM/president of other Boston sports teams. I think this distinction is important because the original question is why does this ownership team get more heat compared to the other teams in Boston especially when they have more titles than all but the greatest dynasty in NFL history.
Fine, compare it to the other teams in town since the start of the 2002 baseball season.

Red Sox: 5 GM/President Baseball Ops, 6 managers
Bruins: 2 Presidents, 4 GM*, 6 head coaches*
Patriots: 2 Directors of Player Personnel, 1 head coach
Celtics: 2 President/GM, 3 head coaches

* includes one interim each
 

DarthAvershen

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Feb 3, 2020
32
Massachusetts
I guess I’m looking at on macro level.. for the better part of the last 20 years Ainge(2003) and Belichick(2000) have been the face of their respective team’s personnel decisions. Yes there have been others involved that have come and gone but the head honchos stayed in place. I am wrong about Neely as I though he started earlier than 2007.
 

DarthAvershen

lurker
Feb 3, 2020
32
Massachusetts
Having the head honchos in place lets those people be the people sitting through the press conference answering the tough questions rather than the ownership groups.

Put another way, I think it would have better for them to have an entrenched personnel person handle the post-Mookie press conference.

As I stated much earlier in this thread, I’m a fan of this ownership group. And I don’t think this is the only issue for them. I just think their strengths are elsewhere rather than these awkward press conferences where they seem to want to validate themselves.
 

twoBshorty

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Oct 15, 2005
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I'm going to push back against the 'massive turnover' narrative because I don't think it is accurate. I believe Henry and Werner can be dinged for not backing Theo Epstein sufficiently - they should have given him power over the entire baseball side of the business and had Larry Lucchino back down. The Dave Dombrowski hire was more defensible - Ben Cherington had led the team to consecutive last-place finishes and made several disastrous signings (or didn't have the clout to push back against whoever was pushing those players onto him). Many of us saw Dombrowski right from the start as a hired gun who would maximize a short-term window of contention but was not the guy you wanted to build the team back up after that. John Henry wisely realized that too.

Below those top-level executives, there has been remarkable stability throughout this ownership's tenure, both after Epstein's departure and as the current presence of the 'Gang of Four' has shown. Yes, they had a few promising young execs move on to work with Theo or land their own GM gigs but that IMO is evidence of a good organization and not a black mark.
Out of curiosity, I looked up the GMs/baseball ops heads of other teams during the Henry ownership timeline (so 2002-present) and totaled them up. I did count interim GMs and people who came back to the same position separately, so yes, Mike Port, Hoyer/Cherington, and Theo 1, Theo 2 were counted as 4. But I counted other teams the same way, and the point was to look at instability and upheaval, since it caused PR problems and we lost FO guys at every juncture (Byrnes, Woodfork, Lajoie, etc.) and I'm sure other teams did too. Anyway, the number of GMs each team has had since 2002:

1: NYY, COL
2: CHW, DET, KC, OAK, TEX, MIL, SF
3: CLE, WAS, CHC, PIT, STL
4: TB, TOR, SEA, MIA, PHI, CIN, SD
5: BAL, MIN, LAA, ATL, LAD
6: HOU
7: BOS, NYM, ARZ

That's some fine company there. And of the 9 teams that have had 5 or more GMs in that span, 6 of the 9 also had ownership changes somewhere in there, which often leads to a GM departing (incidentally, 5 of the 7 teams with 4 GMs also had ownership changes). The three that did not have an ownership change and yet went through 5 or more GMs were the Red Sox, the Orioles, and the Mets.

Four titles in 18 years speaks for itself, but it is a bit odd.