BOSTON (CBS) – Boston Red Sox principal owner John Henry spoke at length on Monday for the first time in months, and as usual, was his dismissive self.
From the team’s Spring Training facilities in Fort Myers, Florida, Henry appeared angry at reports found in Terry Francona’s book that the team made moves for PR purposes and was insulted by allegations that he was not a “baseball” person.
However, the overarching subject of Henry’s press conference was his consistent denials of the team being for sale. John said that he and co-owner Tom Werner had made lots of money and that this was not an avenue by which they cared to increase their wealth, rather it is a fun hobby.
If that is truly the case then why has John been so absent from public view?
Why does Henry view these press conferences as his fans view root canals? Does he appear happy in the position he currently holds?
John, if you want fans to view you in a similar light as they view themselves, your last public interaction on twitter should not have been, “Jacoby and Carl On the field together. Finally. Should be a great second half.”
That was July 16, 2012, before the demise in the second half and the August blockbuster trade that sent hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts to the Dodgers and off the Red Sox books.
It was that deal that first led me to the thought that the team was being prepared for a sale.
I asked myself these questions:
- If this is truly not about the money then why have ticket prices remained the same as the highest in major league baseball?
- Why are you so dead set on perpetuating this mythical sell out streak?
- If you and Tom have made your money and are content to be ” caretakers” of this historical franchise then why are you fixated on selling bricks and monetizing events as benign as truck day (Brought to you by JetBlue)?
- Why did you hire Bobby Valentine? The man was obviously in over his head from the start but you had already sold his TV show before pitchers and catchers reported.
- Does anyone for a second doubt that Bobby V was primarily hired to increase media coverage so as to continue the mythical sell out streak, not to win games?
The words spoken by Red Sox management are well crafted. They are incredibly successful businessman but their actions simply tell a completely different story.
A year ago in October they feared fan retaliation, so rather than firing their popular two-time World Series winning manager they came “to a mutual agreement” and Terry Francona was relieved of his duties.
Days after Francona agreed to said compensation, he was slandered in a partially owned team newspaper when the Globe put new meaning to “running a guy out-of-town.” At that point, John Henry was nowhere to be found and only came inside the 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Studios when his personal life was broached on the Felger and Mazz show.
These actions — and more specifically inactions — inevitably led to the Tito response, which is found on 368 pages of his book co-written with Globe Columnist Dan Shaughnessy.
But if we are to believe John Henry, none of the owners have opened it.
If the current ownership group truly loves the Red Sox then why haven’t they read Francona’s book? Certainly there are things disclosed within it that can help them forge future decisions.
Simply put John, if you want the questions of your long-term commitment as owner of the Red Sox to stop, start by demonstrating it in your actions, not your words.