Red Sox principal owner John Henry, in an interview on the Mut & Merloni show, said that suggestions that the current Red Sox ownership group is exploring the potential sale of the team are inaccurate. Referring specifically to a report from Charlie Gasparino of Fox Business News, Henry said, "I'm disputing his sources. Whatever his sources tell him, I'm completely disputing."
"I think whenever things aren't going according to plan, with all the turmoil we've had this year, people are going to speculate about this type of thing," Henry said. "Certainly it hasn't come from us. We're committed to this franchise for the long term. ... We're having meetings here at Fenway about 2013 and beyond.
"We've had minority owners get out, but there's always been more than enough interest from existing partners to take them out," he added. "There hasn't been any discussion with minority partners, at least with us, that they want to sell the asset."
Henry said that he and and Tom Werner remain committed to the ownership of the club for "as long as we can." He said that the team recently concluded documents about what will happen to the club in the event of the death or disability of Henry or other members of the ownership group.
"If those documents ever came to light, it would be clear that we're in this for the long run," Henry said. "We're committed to the Red Sox, committed to returning to where we need to be."
Though the Dodgers recently sold for in excess of $2 billion, Henry said that the possible to achieve considerable sums in a team sale had little meaning.
"At this point in my life, [money] doesn't drive me," Henry said. "We love doing this. Tom and [CEO/president Larry Lucchino] and I love doing this. ... We're having meetings every day at Fenway about the future. Not what it's worth. That will mean more to our heirs than it will to us."
Henry said that the recent blockbuster trade with the Dodgers was not a reflection of a desire to sell the club but rather to create a better baseball operation in the world of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.
"We did it for one reason and one reason only: To provide payroll flexibility," he said.
Henry also once again said that none of his other business interests impacts the budget of the Red Sox, and that neither his private investment company or the Fenway Sports Group's ownership of the Liverpool Football Club or partnership with Roush Racing impacts the Red Sox.
"There hasn't been a financial issue but there's really been an issue between fan bases," Henry said. "Right after we spent $476 millon to buy Liverpool, which many people think was a bargain price, we spent how much on [Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford]? That provoked such an outrage in Liverpool, we were shocked by that. ... Then we went out and spent $150 million or so on buying players in Liverpool and that provoked that here. That's really a mistake on our part, not to recognize that that was going to create issues for both franchises. But they're independently run organizations, just as Roush Fenway is independently run. ... Whether we win or lose [with Roush Fenway] doesn't impact the Red Sox from our perspective. These are individual units.
"We have separate budgets for each entitiy. They really aren't interrelated. The budgets for the Red Sox are based on Red Sox revenues. The budgets for Liverpool are based on Liverpool revenues.
"I can understand, logicaly, that some people would say that has an impact. But really what has an impact is, what are our budgets? When we talk to Ben [Cherington] about what the budget is ... that budget is set annually based on what is going on with the Red Sox. That's why we have the second-highest payroll in baseball, and why we have over the last 11 years, because the revenues with the Red Sox are extraordinarily good."
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Picard and Price give their predictions for SB50 later today.
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