Judging Red Sox ownership

It's always easy to throw stones when things are going bad, but perhaps this might be the best time to ask if ownership has reached a breaking point.

'Terry Francona' photo (c) 2011, Keith Allison - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/It’s always easy to throw stones when things are going bad, but perhaps this might be the best time to ask if ownership has reached a breaking point.  The leadership group headed by John Henry has to be commended for bringing Boston two World Series wins, but since the 2007 win there have been plenty of changes and moves that have to raise eyebrows.

The biggest statement on ownership is what former employees have to say.  Obviously no one is happy when they are sent packing, but for the most part before 2007 when a player ended his time in Boston the team and player smiled and shook hands.  That wasn’t the case with a few names including Nomar Garciaparra, but it also never became a huge distraction.

Now though we have former players like Curt Schilling who seem to be openly routing for the team to fail.  Obviously Schilling has been a huge friend and fan of manager Terry Francona who also has been thrown into this arena as well.  Both Schilling and Francona have reason to be upset with the ownership and while not openly antagonizing the team they have been standoffish.  Admitting now he cannot bring himself to attend the 100 year celebration at Fenway Park.

In Schillings final season he became embroiled in an argument with the team over approaches to fix an ailing shoulder.  He would later retire having never pitched during the 2008 season.  Of course the Francona struggle is all to fresh in our mind and the release of information that potentially cost him the managing job in St. Louis has made him all the more hostile to Boston ownership.

Both of these guys also have something not every former employee has.  As analysts and broadcasters this season they have a large forum to publicly display their displeasure.  Neither would come right out and make public statements against the team, but both have only thinly veiled their displeasure.

Speaking of the Francona exit and subsequent piece in the Globe the question of leaked information and the Boston Red Sox ownership must be raised.  After the 2004 season the team said goodbye to Derek Lowe and Orlando Cabrera.  There was never any formal Globe article with these two, but obviously rumors suddenly popped up every where now that they were headed out of town.

It wasn’t supposed to go that way when Tito left, but then the “explanation” article dropped and with all the fried chicken and beer we were informed from “team sources” that Tito was popping pills, getting a divorce and losing the team.  Perhaps this wasn’t from anyone higher up than the locker room staff, but that seems highly unlikely.

Even if this wasn’t the ownership the question about team leaks has to be raised as well.  Think about the last time the Yankees spent two weeks in trade talks or contract negotiations and the day to day was so well known as any Red Sox talks.  The Adrian Gonzalez trade had minute to minute updates, we tracked Daisuke Matsuzaka fly in a jet and we know every ownership trip to talk to a player.  And yet when Brian Cashman makes a blockbuster trade with his best prospect for an elite pitching talent and signs one of the best free agent pitchers on the same day no one knows until it is completed.

The team stated back in the beginning they wanted to be more like those Championship Patriot teams and keep the information in house, limiting leaked information which potentially hurts negotiations, but it appears that just won’t happen.  Have they just always made poor choices when hiring their staff or in their own interest to keep headlines and news segments focused on the Boston Red Sox they let a little to much information get out.  They do have a mutual interest with the Boston Globe in coverage of the team as they still have partial ownership.

The Red Sox ownership has had a lot to cleanup this offseason and things aren’t off to the start they would have hoped.  This can only make things worse and no one wants to see a 1-5 team celebrate a 100 year old building right now.  The ownership has stated previously that owning the team through 2012 was a goal, but that they have expressed that long term ownership is not likely after.  If the team fails to make it past the 2012 wild card gamed this season do you think the ownership should be held responsible and look to sell the team?

Categories: Boston Red Sox Daisuke Matsuzaka John Henry Larry Lucchino

After taking an interest in sabermetrics and statistical analysis Troy began trying to use it to an advantage in fantasy baseball. He started the website RotoSavants.com and also spent time at HardballTimes.com and FantasyPros911.com. After a few years the interest in the Red Sox drew him to start a Red Sox-oriented site (Yawkey Way Academy) with fellow writer Lee Perrault. A short time later he joined Fire Brand. Writer from: December 14, 2009 – July 24, 2010, March 3, 2011 – May 10, 2012.

3 Responses to “Judging Red Sox ownership” Subscribe

  1. Walt in Maryland April 12, 2012 at 12:25 PM #

    Some decent points, although as someone who vividly remembers prior ownership groups, I'm inclined to cut these guys some slack. The day the Henry group bought the club from the Yawkey Trust should be noted as a regional holiday in Red Sox Nation.

    That being said, the Tito situation troubles me. When it was announced that he wasn't returning, he said most of the right things, such as, "Maybe they need to hear a different voice." He never came out and said he was fired, and he at least preserved the illusion that his parting with the Sox was mutual.

    However, at one point, he lowered his guard and suggested that he felt "ownership didn't have his back." While this was no doubt true — Henry apparently wanted him replaced for some time — I think that was the comment that caused the Red Sox to unleash their PR hounds.

    Lucchino has inisted several times that the owners were not the source of the leak that led to the Globe story (and the assassination of Tito's character). I've never believed him, and it's clear Tito doesn't either.

  2. donna April 12, 2012 at 4:55 PM #

    yep have to agree with Tito and the sentiment that there was not quite above board things happening…
    at least this 1-5 start can hopefully let Mr. Francona laugh a bit and breathe a sigh of relief – we all know it was not patently his fault for the 0-6 start last year, nor was the September-to-forget his fault, either.
    I do wish they could be much more tight-lipped and professional – the stuff about Tito's personal life was just plain mean-spirited and makes me sick, absolutely no reason to print it – oh wait – that s–t sells…

    when folks stop renewing their season tix/or the fluffed up sold-out streak stops ( i truly do not believe they really sell out every game – think it is just a supply-demand thing that tix get sold (sure) but real fans are not getting in to see the team/seats are left unused. )
    I just wish Francona the best… still miss seeing him in that dugout…darn it

  3. Danny April 13, 2012 at 6:56 PM #

    Not to sound too critical, but there are a number of typos in this particular post.