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Friday, October 24, 2014

John Henry Says He Didn’t Leak Red Sox Information, Isn’t Distracted

Red Sox owner John Henry went on a Boston radio station Friday to deny that he was the source of damaging information published in a Boston Globe report Wednesday. Henry says he was listening to Felger & Mazz on The Sports Hub Friday and he wanted to correct them on their information (audio here). He showed up at their studio and spent over an hour answering questions from the hosts.

Henry said he had no role in the story that was published, and that some of the information “was not true.” He explained that he didn’t address the article sooner because he figured people wouldn’t believe him anyway.

The article suggested that manager Terry Francona did not properly lead the team because he was distracted by a marital issue, and because he had an addiction to pain killers. Henry said those claims were “ridiculous,” and he definitively said that the owners were not the ones who smeared Francona.

Henry says he’s learned there are no secrets in baseball and that they’re not going to start a witch hunt to find the sources of the leaked information.

One of the more newsworthy aspects of the interview was Henry saying he didn’t support the Carl Crawford signing. He felt that the team already had plenty of left-handed hitting, but ultimately, he didn’t stop the signing because he trusts his baseball people.

Lastly, the radio hosts posited that Henry doesn’t focus on the Red Sox enough because of all his business ventures (Henry is a principal owner of the Red Sox, Liverpool soccer team, and a co-owner of Roush Fenway Racing). He denied that was the case, saying he still attends as many Red Sox games as he always has. He also explained that his job as owner is to hire the best management team possible and let them do their jobs.

Ultimately, if the Red Sox never collapsed, none of these issues would have been raised. The problem is that the Boston Globe selected specific details that they manipulated to fit their narrative — in this case, an explanation for a collapse.

Suggesting Francona’s marital issues, or a reliance on pain killers for brutal knee surgeries, affected his ability to effectively manage the team, was a poor stance. Suggesting that Adrian Gonzalez and Jacoby Ellsbury weren’t good enough leaders in the clubhouse was another opinion that seemed false.

About the only legitimate concern is that it seemed like certain pitchers did not work as hard as they could have. That is a problem that should have been addressed regardless of the team’s performance, and not written only because the team failed.



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