Bradfo Sho, Ep. 76: A really good Sam Kennedy interview

The Bradfo Sho
Wednesday, April 18th

Red Sox team president Sam Kennedy joins Rob Bradford to talk ratings, altered perception of his team, remembering how John Henry handled a delicate situation between Theo Epstein and Larry Lucchino, and the pursuit of Shohei Ohtani.

00:23:44

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Add road show. That might open definitely probably would have brought that I don't. Query where you don't know what you're stupid Brad broad show. That's delicious. Dave Kennedy. The first ever appearance on the graphic shows that rights them. First ever broad I think we have got my. Here I mean you did what most people have don't do you get the teacher first. Before you go on the podcast so you must be a big sigh. It well I it's been a career making deals. That you worked out of the I'll have to do it. Our rights him few things that aren't taught you about number one is that you we. I was on and I came here are those morning show when you swung on by and we talked about attendance and like building the team and everything else. What we can't ignore. Is the TV ratings and read all of the radio ratings I don't think unless you're government right now. But the TV ratings have been off the chart type surface this the other today. About oh. Dead then it's on the Red Sox actually beat the Celtics on game one of the playoffs for the Celtics. Does that surprise you know we're not talking about the babies in the seats has been very cold I'm not ready to go there. But does that surprise you in terms where you guys around in terms of the ratings. Well nothing surprises me. There are days that this. This is the most loyal. Market base brought I don't spend some at seventy years here despair and some yours did better than others it. If you can often it's our until it. Eventually if he'd go for for. That's not a politically it is an October. I really believe this marketplace or by hand Lou. We're lucky to be that the best market baseball. There has been a tremendous uptake in television viewership and I think it has a lot to do with the way we're playing good and and future credited outscored an opponent that dugout for. It would start that we got off to talk about spring training ready ego it's been. It's been rewarded the about it extremely early and I'm always big. What surprised you about the do you reaction to this team Stan because I get a that. Electability question you every time you guys came oh when the core press conference room that was winter meetings were there was. Whenever weather this spring training electability question came up. But as we went along for the first couple weeks it flip in and I gonna be -- I didn't really think that it would flip that. Quicken in May be the best example is for Joseph Kelly the reliever who is the most unpopular guy and then doesn't have to buy a drink in Boston for the rest of his life now. Well what what's that did that surprise you how much is it flipped at least the perception of it. You know it it it did surprise me a little bit too is that there's there's a lot of greens questions childlike ability and I think I struggle with polite ability concept because. You know I think what you see is when when the time even. Is struggling typically when the teams struggling and things happen is you'll you'll see a huge fan reactions NATO and a negative player media reaction negative way it would keep Islamic. Typically you referred to as very likable team last year was different we had several. Incidents that despite very. He compelling interest being competitive team. We tell you that we had just to drumbeat of flare ups or events that that there were fortunate. Which we have those this could do over. That's the way life goes totally baseball goes good so it was it was a tough year even though Lisa. Relatively successful year winning streak and make in the post season Boggs and we didn't appeal to the all accomplished so. It's always saying that I think it's you have. Team that is important article political interaction and putting up w.s. I didn't have made our men. How each other's back and things together as a group you're gonna. Have this feeling in the marketplace that this is he right can I can get around like an investment and support. But again it's not it's surely we are off to a terrific star all the credit goes to the players and that Alex and baseball ops and the terrific job but. We don't we don't want to get ahead of ourselves Leo long long way ago within its stated that can grab a. You know and Sam U mentioned last year bow sort of the incidents in and things like that by. By after the year happen and multiple players on the record said you know we were in first place the entire year and it felt like we were in last place. And I guess my question you would did you get a sense that it did you. Did you from from where you were sitting in where maybe from Dave was sitting from where maybe the ownership with sitting did you understand that. It felt like that all the way through the year and image as I think both Kelly and Marcelo told me in another very very with. Well listen to podcast. That that they said it wasn't until really we looked at myself in the mirror after game two of the playoffs in recent wave this is what this is a reality of the situation but they said that with this lingering feeling. That even though they were the last place I mean. That is an aberration for any first place to any effect placed team room. Yeah it's hard for. Front office today executives. Ownership. Spouses who. Really understand the clubhouse dynamic the other way I've been here seventeen years. Do the clubhouse is that that is. Police for the players for the coaching staff. And from from time to time we're we're down there and and were communicating by. We're out on the buses were not on the flights from god in the hotel on the road for the most part so it's it is. You know typical kind of understand exactly what's going on at at all times but yes they use you to feel. That there are rumors and issues in recent tension. And it just seemed to be one. It's sort of and then after another. They as a IDE security issues you could could take back occurred do differently I think. As an organization. Would have this attention under the feeling that these players have to addressed. It's pre training early part of this year. You you'd rather. Not have that feeling. But at the same time you know from ownership process perspective. You're not living it dated data with the players aren't and didn't say they really are the ones that. If you don't have addressed it and I'm glad that that we both Dodd and we seem to be in a better place that's good maybe it's just I have experience of my time. Here after seventeen years you recognize that things can change very very quickly so. One of the things that is to be news forties it. See out scorer talked to him. Every couple of days since he's been here he's he's got great perspective these just. The front guys are abundant plant while. But we we know that that is really tough position and it's going to be about all the way through so. It's great perspective and then you can experience playing here he knows that. Hopefully that experience service well when we do encounter typical stretch. Why do you do that you're the president of the team and and so. You have to. When you made when you guys get together and really make the decision. I'm at the end of the year about oh what course and imitate. You have to know the polls what's going on to a certain extent so from where you say how do you do like you just said you can't. Have the ultimate feeling in the clubhouse does it help maybe that the browsed he gave that does make these trips more than most GMs are president of baseball operations. Because I remember you know band would go on one triple month and that's what he did. How from where you're you're office where your your seat is in this organization. How do you get that vibe as his word of mouth how it happened. Our communication. Communication communicating do you. You try your best to make sure that your accessible. And available to. Whether stated or Alex are or that it's. Really see. You know my role as president and CEO of the club is not at the on the road he more or in the club bouncer in the dugout. And I'm the time I will be of those places expedite the as. That's supported the organization making sure what has the resources they need to do their job that. And really get out of the way it let let people do their jobs and Kate isn't very. Hands on general manager presently spot he. As you mentioned he travels on the road to achieve peace in touch. We is that Alex for the staff every single day. And that is. It's a unique about it is different we we not have that management approach here before the past weather's been cheering tanner and Leo. Just two different style its network for data throughout the course of his career. Since he's been here we had. Very ten success on the field and hopefully that'll take dead except this year. Really it's about empowering people letting them do their jobs and trying to communicate. The best you possibly can. You know he's tired vote having the polls that was going around me take you back to. A place that may be you when you start this podcast he probably never ever thought I would they keep active this is 2005. 2005. Was you were have it then your head is sales right correct. Yeah OK so here's your view of the tone your voice like where you going and it will. Back of Paramount studio 2005. And if we should get this podcaster Colorado he's. No it at that this is I was just thinking in this today as I was trying to lose more weight on the treadmill. But it what is it weighs he went Theo left him and all that was going on and the dynamic of of trying to. Bridge may birds. Bridge parties mend fences. Yet everybody like. To see the other side of view in and what I'm talking about to go five obviously with Larry you TO. And you do feel very well you were in the position you are now but John right Henry had to do that. And I dislike wondering like what you remember about oh how that was handled. Because though the way I'm although what reason army resurfacing because of the the wheel stuff that's going on with Brady and Ron can craft and in ballots act but I this interest about from from where you're sitting now and where. May be where John Henry sat what that was like. Hell I've obviously remembered very well with. Difficult times for the organization we have achieved. Something that I had not been achieved in the eighties he hears of course what in the World Series and you know we all came together in 2000. The end of don't want to get in 2002. To get to that that moment and it was so special and just an incredible saying. For every one per child for from Larry. You know for the rest this or we're lucky enough apart that championship pure event. To have contract negotiations break down between him CEO and an ownership. It's it was very very difficult. For all of us because we felt we were. Very. Very good places organization. You recognize that that's part that the industry are part of the business. And ultimately. Ownership. Statistics job in getting all parties on the same page in and there are times when. Ownership gets involved did and especially would. The issue statement franchise like presidency you know war general manager. Beijing. Acquisitions. In the off season. I was a ball that time that communication. Whiskey and at Java Tom got personally involved lift. Larry and and Diaw and had. For the best defenses in the country everybody back together. Thank god they did because. He sold it resulted in 2007. World Series championship then. The underpinnings of the organization that one on the win again in 2013. Even. And hopefully the we'll continue to have sustained split. It's hard look at these organizations were 300 plus people were relatively small. Company and and brewer a family here and families that go through really great guy that they go through difficult times so. Week we had our fair share in the seventeen years it's really high it from world. Those but it's you EG I personally would want to. It did in any other market of the Boston because. The Red Sox battled for here and the marketplace and in these 29 other markets with all due respect the Red Sox. Are are so important taxes are candidate. We we know that in and that's why we feel so fortunate to be a part of this organization. You know you're right you families go through this stuff but typically a lot of times you can say well you're right you're wrong. When you're there at the ownership level and you're saying you're trying you can see the value in both sides and clearly that was the case then I think clearly that's what without. Either one of us probably knowing that's what Robert Kraft is going through now. But that that is the most delicate situation that executives in in that position can go through I would imagine you saw firsthand. Yeah it's lucky you have incredibly. Ultimately incredibly. Complicated experience. People strong minded. Smaller. Individual to come together as part of an organization. And and indicate the patriots the Celtics and Red Sox the Bruins. I I think ownership. And management team. Have created an error and ball sports history unlike any other period. Ever in Boston sports so. He for now we'll call it. I and in some low lows and I certainly would never comment about another organization. And put. It's really remarkable to witness what what happened in Boston sports and we want to keep tacked on here are they winning three World Series championships cause job Tom Padilla hungry for more. This that a grown up here you know these are taken out Forrest is ownership did. Put taxes the resources that as the product on the field and they get it done that and we need to we need to keep going. As we as we move forward this is basically it's there's a seventeen year our 72 year here together. And I played competitive fire is. Is there you know getting text message it's at 12:50 AM from. Chaotic. And paid well texted back and forth about the game and so that the competitive juices. Are are going to strong as ever right now. So you're saying is do they like being owners of this team and an archive solid team next. And that's. And that I can assure you. They are as committed to it. Boston in the Red Sox. As ever again. It's it's great to have older ships stability he's got that. And all the teams involved in right now and I think that's a recipe for success. Are as salmon are getting it going pretty soon here Barrett. Last question is something I'm complete 180 by may be weakens or more fit into the commitment of the team in that the pursuit of show today or tiny. Tom Waits you it was a bizarre situation. And I it was a bizarre situation the first number one it is as the off season unfolded we have no idea and he talked to people in the organizations and they had no idea. So law about where this guy with coming from what what. Matthew's gonna take. What what do you remember about this what do you remember about your guy and I and I and I read Alex's story or is it Michael Silberman stories about. You know though the package that you put together in videos and everything else like that. But I'm just curious like what. What are what are you gonna remember about that whole deal. Disappointment. You know it's frustrating week. We're really really hopeful that if we just wanted to an app that you know endowed. This. This guy is the incredible talent. And we feel obviously we haven't achieved goaltender. Success and because it could have a great. He started and this team or any team and I just. Remember did did disappointed that we didn't get an app that the debt cookie provided by Dustin Pedroia. It'll pay. We got great guys in this clubhouse so. Frustrating just could you wanna get an app isolate. We had a great camp I'll look forward to the competition. We have you know the Yankees because the other teams that were. Rumored to be in the mix and I've got very close friend that CA and you know there are certain rules and regulations as they set out and so. I was is very careful not to communicate with Abbott alternately a leading up to the process but I can't stop it's that. And what the heck does that. You know I got defense did he invaded no. Which means he could appear to quote unquote interview. Like explicitly we brought on and we. You know hopefully have more more games extensively last night. What was the most unique part of the presentation and you know you'd everyone has there this is why should come here when it was for you this is like this is where we can maybe separate ourselves that has stated he's gonna choose because of this but. Just looking back what was gross in. Two things first lose just an incredible look back. The baseball history and tradition that the Red Sox and specifically. The Lebanese culture. And tradition since 2002. When John and Tom arrive that's you know huge point of pride because. At the end of the day we're here to win baseball games that would World Series championships so there was just some some great memories from. Our our time here as the that was. That was big and the other thing was just how well Austin chose not to as the city on the global. Stage in terms of the quality of life and although we have to offer here. You really recognize the transformation of the certainly neighborhood as a destination doses of live to play it's an entertainment district. The end just fifteen years ago. I don't think you could sit down about going to neighborhood development that's taken place around the ballpark. In terms of residential retail. Office space has just transformational. And we got word out of something that was so important. For the player and be focused on that. Obviously didn't do any good but still doing well. Alec that it had cared banner. It is great great job at I was mostly you know disappointment to disappointment I'm disappointed that because I know. How much time and effort they put him to. This kid at the end of the day we we we didn't get him but it was not for lack of trying. I've offered sure you wouldn't say to Celtics Bruins and patriots Jersey when a tiny on the back. And you know I'm I was calmly as cited one appointment and this this failure. But that. But it's not their fault to be big go big the other closers like Kelly he'll let nick in the cavern the Rand booming. So well. That's you you are you ready I don't remember government going to say. Bruins game. We CEO and and keep the way back in the day you never know what's gonna appeal to our potential created. We were. The player and it's very rare that we find ourselves did not turn recruiting mode usually. You know drafting error trading at for a player but when you have opportunity you really want to. Aggressively recruited in the case food side can we. Typical Bruins game we had Bobby you're back call which is huge about community jockey can't get a call from the great Bobby yourself. We try to pull out all the stops and other works in that I'd done. Before LA go so what is besides the full one was the most run memorable recruiting. Pitch that you were part of. I would say that the that was probably deterred because it involved pocketed you know my core. Our party. I think yes the men's league and immediately noticed the but oh well at this. They spent a lot of and it ought to say that's what's great about working with its CEO. David. You know he usually try to pull together in utility resources. Did the other southern did that. Yes bill was it was one of the better ones because it. David Price did Q to come to Boston. One of the best deals on better I haven't spent much time in natural but I was there was a lot of fun. Listening prices by case. Tell stories and those funds. Did you know walking other southern that you had a. Now that no definitely not. You know we gave. He didn't do a great job and John Henry in and Tom went there to support but. It was they do. The jump ball and you know we we didn't know he didn't leave at that dinner until ultimately got done. Did you did you see the things that are within the sinks. You don't remember this the death of our what the southern the things did they aren't thinks there. Collier yes you you know I. Also provide immediate I probably where I washed my hands that ignored and I got an open. I told you yet there was good pass to Steve you watch it. I know that they're just people nor talking about that there's there's no I don't know how to explain this is like a table top in the sings the water just rolls off the table. Well I I I just remembered does food is was outstanding and that this video Daschle was with absolutely rock it was all a lot going on down there we were we're we had a good night. Well as is your lucky day because for appearing on the podcast get a hundred dollar gift cards in the southern in Nashville Tennessee. That I say help me get the deficit saying thanks so much now I really appreciate it thank throughout take care.
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