The most up-to-date content on the planet
this just in
 RSS
WEEI » This Just In » John Henry talks state of owners, Red Sox
Mon, 02/11/2013 - 11:43am  

John Henry talks state of owners, Red Sox

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Red Sox principal owner John Henry spoke to the media at JetBlue Park on Monday, discussing topics ranging from rumors of him selling the team, to reaction to Terry Francona’s book, to the team’s shift in philosophy and why it might have happened.

Following is a complete transcript from the get-together.

On if he’s looking forward to 2013: “I would say in especially in comparison to last year, I should be optimistic. We have to be optimistic we aren’t going to have the same kind of injuries we had last year. I was told we expect to have 15 percent of our payroll on the DL during any given season, and last year was 45 percent. At one point we had seven outfielders on the DL at one time. So you have to be optimistic if nothing else we’ll be healthier.”

On Francona’s book, written by Dan Shaughnessy: “What did I think of Dan’s book? What do I think of Dan? Oh, his book. I read parts of it and was wondering why he was so kind to me. Generally, he’s not that kind. I thought he was unfair with Tom [Werner] and Larry [Lucchino]. You have a Hall of Fame CEO. I was told there was 100 references to Larry but not one positive. Is that true?”

[Shaughnessy: "No way. There are many positive references."]

On if he’s happy owning the team: “I’m very happy. This is what, our 12th, 13th year? The last 12 years have been the best years of my life. Tom and Larry and I have had a tremendous working relationship. We have always been on the same page. It’s fun working with talented people. You just don’t get an opportunity to own something like the Boston Red Sox. As long as we can do it, the three of us our committed to being here. These thoughts that we are somewhat selling, those are just erroneous.”

On how owning the Liverpool soccer team has affected the Red Sox: “[Liverpool], I think it has affected perception. Everything affects you. The things that have been said, repeated over and over and over again are fairly ludicrous. The last time I was in Liverpool was in May of last year. I don’t know where this distraction comes from. You can say every major league owner is distracted if you want to make a case for it because they all have other businesses and other endeavors. I think the major thing has been the perception. Imagine if I had nothing else to do other than the Red Sox, what do you think would be different?”

On if the limited partners are upset with the Liverpool dynamic: “I would say that some of them are not OK because they read the same stuff that you write and probably some of them are distracted, but we aren’t. Last year’s losses on the field weren’t a result of Liverpool.

“I would say all three of us are intimately involved every day with everything that goes on with Fenway Sports Group. Every day is different, so there were different issues yesterday. There were issues that came. Just about every day there’s an issue at some level has to be addressed.”

On the difficulties of late: “The thing that’s difficult is when you lose. I don’t think there’s anybody in the organization who doesn’t feel it. Certainly the three of us feel it. When we have a loss it’s painful. So last year we had a lot of losses and that was very painful. I wouldn’t say there are painful things I think we enjoy. I know we enjoy working on this on a daily basis.

“I don’t think it’s so much as winning the fans back. I think of it as winning. For me the question is how much is it going to take to get back on a winning track and in the playoffs.”

On new manager John Farrell: “I think a lot of him. I think everybody in the organization from the time he was here has tremendous respect for John. We’re very happy that he’s here.”

On the approach of the ownership group: “The Francona book is selling. You guys are still here and the fans are still coming. I think that last year was a definite setback. To finish in last place was something I never thought would happen while we owned the team. That’s what we’re focused on. People can say that we’re brand-oriented or revenue-oriented. But the fact is we’re wins and losses-oriented, and we have been since Day 1. The whole thing about revenue has been about trying to be able to attract the best players.

“Again, we haven’t been able to stay with the Yankees in terms of payroll. When we got here, there was such a wide gulf between the two teams. We had to concentrate on revenues. All those revenues have gone into the team; they haven’t gone into the pockets of partners. It’s well known, and if you were to ask any of our partners, in 12 years they haven’t received a penny of profit. They’ve gotten some tax distributions. Revenue here is about one thing; it’s about winning. For us, that’s why we’re here.

“I think winning is what’s important, and with that will come stability. We had tremendous stability. Who was more stable than we were for eight or nine years? But we had issues last year. So you’re going to change and make changes when you have issues.

“Winning is fun. Losing isn’t fun. Again for us, despite what you may read or see, for us the joy of this is being successful on the field.”

On if he’s talked with Francona: “I actually have — not since the book came out.”

On free agent mistakes: “Well, they have to be smarter. There are constraints that have been placed, so they have to be smarter. It used to be you could just outspend everyone, and that’s much more difficult to do these days.

“Tom and I have made a lot of money over the years, so that doesn’t drive us. If it were a driving factor, yes, I’m sure that would be a consideration. The quality of our lives is what drives us, and our competitive spirit. We’re determined to be successful, and we have been since Day 1. That hasn’t changed. The value of these assets is just something we don’t think in terms of. We think in terms of our day-to-day lives.”

On if he would be willing to say he’s not selling the team: “Well, I’ve said it categorically a number of times. Yes.

“But after all these reports came out, I got a lot of phone calls from people, and for the last 12 years, honestly, people have come to me and said, ‘Don’t sell this team without calling me first.’ Those people came out of the woodwork as a result of those stories, which had no basis in anything, any fact.”

On the team’s philosophy: “There’s no doubt in my mind that we had a core philosophy for a lot of years and we moved away from that philosophy and it’s hurt us. It’s definitely hurt us. Last year, I think was the beginning of trying to put us back on that track.”

On the future of Jacoby Ellsbury: “Well, I won’t [discuss that]. Those are better questions for Ben [Cherington]. But obviously, if we could keep Jacoby for the rest of his career, he’s a tremendous force on the field. We’ll work to that end. But there’s no drop-dead date.”

On why the team changed its philosophy: “I think that when you have a certain amount of success, generally, you don’t tend to change your philosophy, but in our case there was a very profound shift in what we were trying to do. It’s a good question as to why. I would only be speculating as to why. There was a shift. We made a shift and I don’t think that ultimately with hindsight, it proved to be … I think the things we did when we first got here and started, which was the basic core philosophy of the Red Sox, was something we needed to get back to.”

On if the team changed because of TV ratings and/or surveys: “I have to laugh. That’s just laughable. The shift in philosophy … no, no, no, I think we’ve been over that ground before. I created a lot of news before by being honest about it. it’s ludicrous to say that we signed any player since we’ve been here for PR purposes. I don’t think anybody would assert that. And if it’s asserted, it’s just ludicrous.

“I think people always look for an edge. Not always, but a lot of people look for an edge. If you think that maybe other people are catching on to your edge, you look for another one. But you’ve got to make sure that whatever edge you’re seeking to have is valid, and there was … we had a big advantage. We had, I think, the right philosophy, we spent more money than anyone but the Yankees. It’s gotten more difficult. There are a lot more restrictions on spending now, there are more restrictions on the draft. You’ve got to be smarter, and you’ve got to make sure that if you’re seeking to have an edge, that it has validity.”

On if he loves baseball: “Uh, we were talking about the senior league when we were walking out here. I don’t think I’ll comment on stuff like that because I would leave that in your hands. You’ve been around us for 12 years. I’m surprised no one — actually I think Gordon [Edes] had a comment — I’m surprised nobody has any comments and then we would have to defend ourselves in that regard.”

On the notion that he doesn’t love the game: “Again, I don’t want to be defensive. Especially about stuff that really is ridiculous. That’s ridiculous.”

On former manager Bobby Valentine: “It’s always hard to say how much a manager impacts performance, but I think of Bobby Valentine as a great baseball manager, a great baseball mind. It’s clear in retrospect that he wasn’t the right man for that group last year. But I don’t think you can blame Bobby for that. You can blame me, you can blame Larry, Tom. But I think he should manage again, and he’d be a great manager for the right team. I think that he came in and didn’t want to be disruptive, so he didn’t have his own coaches. Probably in a perfect world, he probably would’ve done some things differently if you asked him. But it just didn’t work.”

On Curt Schilling’s comments about a member of the Red Sox encouraging him to use performance-enhancing drugs in 2008: “I look at it like baseball has done a lot, especially recently, about the PED situation. We finally have been able to address those issues. Major League Baseball investigated that matter and put a press release out this week about it, so I don’t think there’s anything I can add. Frankly, I didn’t know about it until I read about what he had said.”

On short-term free agent contracts with players coming off down years: “Usually that’s a pretty good bet in baseball, as opposed to the other way around. Usually free agents are signed and don’t do that well. If you look at historically, free agents have been overvalued for the last 15-20 years, because they sign long-term contracts if they have great years and sign short-term contracts if they have poor years. There’s regression to the mean in baseball. It’s well known. We don’t have a lot of long-term contracts. I think the game is in transition. It makes a lot of sense to have a lot of flexibility going forward. A lot of teams, I think, feel the same way. It’ll be a really interesting year for baseball and for the results on the field, not just for the Red Sox but for baseball in general.”

On the importance of having better personalities in the clubhouse: “Yes, I think Ben addressed that last year after the trade. We weren’t the team that we needed to be. On paper, we looked great, but it really didn’t transition well off the paper.”

On if stats guru Bill James will be more involved with the Sox: “Yes. It’s not so much that Bill goes out and makes recommendations. If you ask Bill a question, you get a detailed analysis that is extremely well done and something that we had gotten away from to our detriment over the years.”

On the team’s philosophy regarding the free agent market: “I think you always want to focus on building internally, but again, it’s harder now to build through the draft than it was. There’s no doubt that we will continue to be a part of the free agency market, but I think you’ll see a more disciplined approach. Again, we had such a financial advantage that we weren’t necessarily as disciplined as we could’ve been.”




Audio On Demand

Chris Price previews the …

Chris Price previews the Patriots-Ravens game

Chris Price joins Chris Villani to talk about the Patriots and Ravens upcoming Monday Night Football game and the rivalry between the two teams.

Devin McCourty did not take offense to questioning the Pats' defense, 12-9-16

Patriots DB Devin McCourty tells Glenn, Lou, and Christian that Baltimore is always a tough matchup, he talks about how they don't fear playing at Gillette, and he's not concerned with the Reporters' question that seemed to irk Dont'a Hightower .

Trent Dilfer with Dale, Holley and Rich Keefe

Dale, Michael and Rich Keefe speak with ESPN's Trent Dilfer and look ahead to the match-up with his old team, the Baltimore Ravens.

Celtics Podcast – Bad f…

Celtics Podcast – Bad finish against the Rockets and love for DeMarcus Cousins 12-6-16

WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Ben Kichen of 'The Dale and Holley Show' talk about last night's disappointing finish against the Rockets and they talk about their love for DeMarcus Cousins.

Celtics Podcast - How the Celtics can hang with Cleveland atop the Eastern Conference 11-30-16

WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Ben Kichen of the 'Dale and Holley Show' talk about what the Celtics will need to do in order to be considered one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference along with the Cavs.

Celtics Podcast - Turning a corner with Al Horford back 11-28 -16

WEEI's Mike Petraglia talks with Josue Pavon about how the Celtics are looking better with Al Horford back on the court and the overall toughness of this team.

Rob Bradford talks about …

Rob Bradford talks about Bobby Valentine potentially becoming US Ambassador to Japan

Rob Bradford joins Chris Villani to talk about the story he reported on last night, which sources are claiming President-Elect Donald Trump is considering former Red Sox Manager Bobby Valentine for United States Ambassador to Japan.

Hot Stove Show - How the Sox got Sale, 12-7-2016

Mut and Tomase are joined by Rob Bradford to talk about just how the Red Sox were able to pull off this trade. Rob's sit down with Dave Dombrowski helps to reveal the timeline of the mega deal.

Hot Stove Show - Chris Sale to Red Sox, 12-7-2016

Mut and John Tomase open the Hot Stove show debating the blockbuster Chris Sale trade. Tomase argues that you can like the trade, but dislike Dombrowski for gutting the Red Sox farm system.

Saturday Skate - Rask doe…

Saturday Skate - Rask does it again, but debates rage on Krejci, Chara, Bergeron and Krug 12-3-16

Hour two of Saturday Skate after a Bruins 2-1 over Buffalo, with Ken Laird and Rear Admiral debating the status of Krejci, Chara, Krug and Bergeron.

Saturday Skate - Laird & Admiral on the Sox & Gronk, then first reaction as B's beat Sabres 2-1

The first hour of Saturday Skate starts up against the third period of Bruins - Sabres, so Ken Laird and Rear Admiral give some Red Sox hot stove and Rob Gronkowski thoughts before moving into Bruins - Sabres game reaction

Bruins Cast - B's missing offense but manage back-to-back road wins 11-2-16

Ken Laird and Ty Anderson chat Bruins after a 2-1 win in Florida improved the team's record to 5-4.

K&C - Mut reveals his Cas…

K&C - Mut reveals his Casting Couch power rankings; Another Tanguay velfie 12-9-16

Mut ranks all 23 Dino Casting Couch members and Gary Tanguay posts another velfie on the Celtics and Kirk.

K&C - Mut defends voting for Trump despite Reimer's claims it was Gerry's decision; Damien Woody talks Tom Brady 12-9-16

Mut defends himself in voting for Trump despite Alex Reimer's claim that he only voted for him because he goes along with whatever Gerry said. Damien Woody joins the guys for his second Friday interview.

K&C - Damien Woody thinks Tom Brady can play 3-4 more years but pushed the limits on Deflategate 12-9-16

Damien Woody praises Tom Brady's work ethic and thinks he can play three or four more seasons. Woody thinks Brady pushed the limits on Deflategate but it didn't play a role in the Patriots beating the Colts in the 2014 AFC Championship game.

The Whiner Line, 12-9-16

The Whiner Line, 12-9-16

No One is safe from OMF's Whiner Line.

Devin McCourty did not take offense to questioning the Pats' defense, 12-9-16

Patriots DB Devin McCourty tells Glenn, Lou, and Christian that Baltimore is always a tough matchup, he talks about how they don't fear playing at Gillette, and he's not concerned with the Reporters' question that seemed to irk Dont'a Hightower .

Dont'a Hightower gets defensive about the Defense, 12-9-16

Glenn, Lou, and Christian talk about Dont'a Hightower's forceful response to a question about the "Improving" Patriots Defense.

Talking Raiders/Chiefs pl…

Talking Raiders/Chiefs plus the Patriots with Hall of Famer Michael Irvin

We check in with the playmaker for his weekly visit on the Dale, Holley and Keefe show.

Is Legarette Blount an "elite" NFL running back?

Dale and Rich disagree again on this one... is LG a product of the system here or is he one of the NFL's best runningbacks?

Around the NFL with SI/MMQB's Peter King

Dale and Rich Keefe speak to Peter King about Patriots/Ravens and several other NFL topics.

Ep. 44: Rich Keefe

Ep. 44: Rich Keefe

Kirk Minihane and Rich Keefe sit down to talk about what its like to join an already established show, how his start with the station has been received, and Kirk tries to get Rich to dish on his relationships with his former co-workers. For you listeners who think they may want to get into radio, Kirk gives Rich advice that could pertain to you as well.

Ep. 43: Adam Carolla

Kirk Minihane, WEEI Podcast King, talks to the Podcast Godfather Adam Carolla about his new documentary about Le Mans, the backlash from the Election, and his time with Donald Trump on the Apprentice. The audio quality isn't great but the conversation is.

Ep. 42: The Godcast with Larry Johnson

Kirk Minihane is a non-believer, Larry Johnson is a preacher, when Larry found Kirk doesn't believe in God he challenged Kirk to allow him on to the podcast to talk about religion and faith. Kirk and Larry have a tremendous conversation about God and Larry tries to convert Kirk into a believer.

The Real K&C Podcast - Mu…

The Real K&C Podcast - Mut's revival & Casting Couch breakdown 12-9-16

Mike Mutnansky returned to his K&C family after a short hiatus, full of spirit and some hate, and impressed on a Patriots Friday showing. Ken Laird and Chris Curtis (with Intern Kyle) have the audio rundown

The Real K&C Podcast - LeBron vs. Brady politics, Callahan turning on Laird then falling asleep 12-8-16

K&C Producers Ken Laird and Chris Curtis are back at it after Thursday's non-Casting Couch show to discuss the day's program and deliver the day's best soundbytes.

Enough About Me - Ep. 44: Rich Keefe

Kirk Minihane and Rich Keefe sit down to talk about what its like to join an already established show, how his start with the station has been received, and Kirk tries to get Rich to dish on his relationships with his former co-workers. For you listeners who think they may want to get into radio, Kirk gives Rich advice that could pertain to you as well.

Enough About Me - Ep. 44:…

Enough About Me - Ep. 44: Rich Keefe

Kirk Minihane and Rich Keefe sit down to talk about what its like to join an already established show, how his start with the station has been received, and Kirk tries to get Rich to dish on his relationships with his former co-workers. For you listeners who think they may want to get into radio, Kirk gives Rich advice that could pertain to you as well.

More from this show

Ep. 44: Rich Keefe

Ep. 44: Rich Keefe

Kirk Minihane and Rich Keefe sit down to talk about what its like to join an already established show, how his start with the station has been received, and Kirk tries to get Rich to dish on his relationships with his former co-workers. For you listeners who think they may want to get into radio, Kirk gives Rich advice that could pertain to you as well.

More from this show

K&C - Mike Lombardi think…

K&C - Mike Lombardi thinks Jimmy Garoppolo will play for the Browns in 2017; Mut is in the pull and pray stage 12-9-16

Mike Lombardi thinks the Patriots should trade Jimmy Garoppolo to the Cleveland Browns for a first-round pick next season. Mick Jagger will be a father to his eighth child at age 73 and the most overpaid actors and actresses in Headlines. The guys discuss Mut's internal struggle as to whether or not he should have a vasectomy.

More from this show

K&C - Ken Laird took his …

K&C - Ken Laird took his wife to Hateful EIght; Another bizarre velfie by Gary Tanguay 12-8-16

Gerry was shocked that Ken Laird took his wife to see Hateful Eight. Bradford checked in from the WInter Meetings.

More from this show

K&C - Mut reveals his Cas…

K&C - Mut reveals his Casting Couch power rankings; Another Tanguay velfie 12-9-16

Mut ranks all 23 Dino Casting Couch members and Gary Tanguay posts another velfie on the Celtics and Kirk.

More from this show

News & Analysis