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BOSTON (CBS) – Roughly a month ago when I wrote a story on the blockbuster Red Sox-Dodgers trade being the first step in John Henry selling the team, I lied.
The trade truly was the first time I could bring forth an opinion I had for months. But while the deal made the team far more valuable to potential suitors — shedding nearly $250 million in contracts due over the next six years — there was one thing that alerted me to the owners trying to increase the value of a franchise in a short-term basis. That occurred all the way back in early May.
It was not the team boasting about their league-leading bronze plaque collection.
It was not the incessant playing of “Sweet Caroline” when trailing by double digits to the Yankees in the bottom of the eighth.
It was not the $9 beers or Red Sox Nation membership cards.
It was not their railroading of Terry Francona in a Bob Hohler column of their team paper The Boston Globe.
It was not even the coffee table books or the $150 rain tarp tote bags.
It was the fraudulent sell-out streak.
Why would this ownership group go so far out of their way to lie to the public about something Red Sox fans never really cared about? Why would they consistently report attendance numbers over capacity for games that entire rows were available just hours before first pitch?
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Why trot out their Chief Operating Officer on the NESN pregame shows to redefine what the definition of a sellout is?
And why, even today during his weekly pillow fight on that other sports talk station, would Larry Lucchino lie again stating that he has not received one letter or email from fans regarding their disdain of the sellout streak?
It was to boost the value of the team by continuing a streak they knew would end early at the start of next season.
For whatever reason, they deem that streak to enhance the value of the team. There was no other reason in my mind as to why they would perpetuate such a myth for so long by so many different people.
Every other nonsensical decision they have made the past couple years gave them one of three things; either cash, media attention or was enjoyed by (part of) their fan base. The sell out streak accomplished none of these things.
The Dodgers trade made the team far more attractive to potential suitors, but the fraudulent sell out streak was the red herring.
Chris Curtis has produced 98.5 The Sports Hub’s The DA Show the last three years.
Follow him on Twitter @_ChrisCurtis.