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Friday, May 29, 2020

Red Sox owner John Henry issues statement addressing Mookie Betts trade

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Boston Red Sox fans were not happy when their team traded superstar outfielder Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers this month, and nothing John Henry can say will make them feel better about the deal. That didn’t stop the Red Sox owner from trying.

Henry issued a lengthy statement on Monday attempting to explain the Red Sox’s rationale behind moving on from Betts. He compared the trade to when Boston dealt fan favorite Nomar Garciaparra to the Chicago Cubs in 2004. Henry also rambled about how the current Major League Baseball system is good for players and allows them to seek new opportunities in free agency. He essentially said the Red Sox knew they wouldn’t be able to pay Betts when the former AL MVP became a free agent next year, so they had to make a move now.

The Nomar comparison is insulting to the intelligence of Red Sox fans. Garciaparra was battling injuries and seemed unhappy in Boston, and the trade — even if it was somewhat unpopular at the time — helped spark a World Series run. Betts is right in the prime of his career and had become the face of the Red Sox, while Nomar was a fading star when he was traded.

Henry would have been better off saying nothing, as his statement is surely just going to irritate Red Sox fans further. What Boston fans wanted was their extremely wealthy team to pay its best player. Even if the decision ends up being the right one in the long run, a billionaire owner talking about how he grew up idolizing Stan Musial doesn’t help the situation.

The way the Red Sox handled the logistics of the Betts trade has also been called into question, and that led to even more frustration for fans. Henry’s statement probably had the opposite effect of what he was going for.

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