Red Sox principal owner John Henry, in an appearance on 98.5 The Sports Hub, said that the signing of outfielder Carl Crawford to a seven-year, $142 million contract was a decision driven purely by baseball rather than concern about declining TV ratings. Indeed, Henry suggested that the Sox were convinced that the drop in NESN ratings was the result of changes to the people meter that measures TV audiences. That being the case, Henry said that the decision to sign Crawford was driven by a desire to improve the competitiveness of his team.
Indeed, Henry made clear that he opposed the signing, but that he deferred to the desire of baseball operations to add a player who could impact the team's on-field competitiveness.
"[Crawford was] definitely a baseball signing. In fact, anyone involved in the process, anyone in upper management with the Red Sox will tell you that I personally opposed that," said Henry. "We had plenty of left-handed hitting. I don’t have to go into why. I’ll just tell you that at the time I opposed the deal, but I don’t meddle to the point of making decisions for our baseball team. ... It wasn’t a PR move. Neither was the [Adrian] Gonzalez signing."
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