Red Sox chairman Tom Werner joined The Big Show on Monday to talk about the state of the team, as well as offer ownership's side after former GM Theo Epstein talked about the pressures of building the team in Boston.
"Is there pressure to win in Boston? Of course there's pressure to win in Boston and we don't apologize for that," Werner said. "We worked with Theo for a decade, we certainly had a lot of success with him, but my feeling is we have to ask our organization and we expect from them that we're going to be competitive every year. I don't think we have the right in this market, in good conscience, to say to our fans that we're going to have a bridge year. We don't believe that."
Werner disputed the notion that there was pressure from the owners to sign big-money free agents because of economic pressure such as low television ratings or sponsorship money.
"We don't dictate who Theo or Ben [Cherington] should sign," Werner said. "What we do is we try to give them the resources to be successful. There's a sense that non-baseball people are telling baseball people what to do, but what we do is we try to create the revenue streams for our baseball operations people to be successful.
"I don't want to be too critical of Theo. I worked closely with him, we supported him, we've had a great run together and I wish him well in Chicago. But I can tell you the pressure in Boston to win, it comes from all of us wanting to be successful on the field. It's not coming from NESN, it's not coming for making money. You guys know, or you guys should know, that any money that the Red Sox have made in the 10 years of success that we've had have gone back into two things: the payroll and Fenway Park."
Werner added, "We have not had a dividend, a check sent to the partners in the 10 years. If there's been a profit, it's gone into the payroll and Fenway Park."
Werner said he still had high expectations for this year's team and that it was too early to label signing Carl Cawford, "a mistake."
"You have to believe the signings we make [are] focused on winning. Did we make a mistake with Carl Crawford? I think it's way too soon to try and judge that," Werner said. "He's going to come back this year. Jacoby Ellsbury's going to come back soon. [Andrew] Bailey's going to come back soon. I think when our team is healthy, I'm still very confident that we're going to be a wild card or maybe even the winner of our division. "
He also had praise for manager Bobby Valentine.
"I admired the way that he has handled this team," Werner said. "I was delighted that he did a suicide squeeze. Are there going to be some players on this team who are going to be quarrelsome with his approach? Yeah maybe. But you know what? This isn't about having everybody be your friend, either."
For more Red Sox news, visit the team page at weei.com/redsox.
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