|John Henry on M&M: 2013 not ‘that big of a factor’ thanks to early success||04.04.14 at 1:46 pm ET|
Red Sox owner John Henry joined Mut & Merloni on Friday to discuss the 2014 season and contract extensions. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page. For Henry’s comments on Jerry Remy, click here.
For Henry, Boston’s early success has allowed the team to turn the page on the World Series championship in 2013.
“Winning cures everything,” Henry said. “The fact that we have two wins under our belt, I don’t know if we feel like we haven’t already turned the page. If we were 1-2 or 0-3, we’d be thinking about it, but I don’t think it’s that big of a factor.”
Boston’s one loss came on the first day of the season when Jon Lester came away with the loss despite giving up just two runs on six hits in seven innings. During spring training, Lester and the team decided to put talks of a contract extension on hold.
“It’s not surprising that given where the market is right now, it’s just something we haven’t been chasing the market this way,” Henry said. “Some other teams have. Jon wants to come back. He really wants to be with this club. We’re going to do as we did with Dustin [Pedroia] last year — everything we can to bring him back. He’s an important part of this club, but we’re not going to do what some clubs might do.”
Lester has said that he will take a hometown discount to remain with the club.
“When someone says that, you need to treat them with respect,” Henry said. “I know Jon personally, so, no, you don’t try to take advantage. We didn’t try to take advantage of Dustin last year in his situation — I don’t feel we did.
“It won’t be easy to come to a deal, but we’re going to work very creatively, both sides, and hopefully there will be a deal.”
|John Henry: ‘I had no input whatsoever’ regarding Boston Globe editorial critical of Jerry Remy||at 12:56 pm ET|
Red Sox owner John Henry checked in with Mut & Merloni on Friday, shortly before the start of Opening Day at Fenway Park, and touched on the Jerry Remy controversy while clarifying his relationship with The Boston Globe staff after his purchase of the newspaper last year.
Henry has voiced support for the longtime NESN Red Sox broadcaster whose son sits in jail accused of murdering his girlfriend. Remy has acknowledged enabling his son, who has a long history of domestic abuse accusations.
A week after the Globe published a lengthy, detailed story about Jared Remy‘s sordid history and his father’s attempts to protect him, the paper posted an editorial calling for Remy to delay his return to the NESN booth. This created confusion among Red Sox Nation, as it was believed that Henry would have to approve of his paper’s editorial.
Henry explained that that was not the case, insisting: “I had no input whatsoever, and I disagreed with it.”
“If it’s my paper, they’re second-guessing me,” Henry said. “As far as I’m concerned, it’s not my paper with regard to the Red Sox. They asked me if I wanted to see that article. There’s no way that I’m going to tamper with or even see in advance an article on the Red Sox. There has to be a wall there.”
Added Henry: “They have to be independent of me. If they can’t act independently, then it’s not The Boston Globe that we’ve all known over these years.”
Henry declined to reiterate his support for Remy, noting that he has done so already. However, asked if he thinks Remy will make it through the season, Henry replied: “I do.”
|John Henry on Jerry Remy: ‘All of us in Red Sox Nation stand behind him’||03.26.14 at 9:41 am ET|
Red Sox owner John Henry voiced his support for NESN analyst Jerry Remy, two days after a Boston Globe report painted a picture of Remy as an enabling father of an oft-troubled son who now stands charged with murder.
Remy has been broadcasting Red Sox games for NESN at spring training, but he returned to Boston this week in order to participate in negotiations regarding custody of his 5-year-old granddaughter. Jared Remy stands accused of killing the girl’s mother, Jennifer Martel, at the Waltham apartment they shared. He has pleaded not guilty and will go on trial in the fall.
The Martel and Remy families came to an agreement Tuesday that gives the Martels custody but allows the Remys visitation rights.
|Red Sox owner John Henry: Marlins ‘should apologize for their regular season lineup’||03.08.14 at 5:21 pm ET|
With word trickling out of Jupiter, Fla., that the Marlins were reportedly “outraged” about a visiting Red Sox lineup earlier this week that featured just one potential big league regular (Jackie Bradley Jr.) — a number that fell short of the four regulars required by Major League Baseball in all spring games — Red Sox principal owner John Henry offered a pointed return of such criticism.
“They should apologize for their regular season lineup,” Henry wrote on twitter.
They should apologize for their regular season lineup.
The timing of Henry’s dig was unexpected, given that Miami president of baseball operations Michael Hill had said on Friday that he’d received an email from Red Sox GM Ben Cherington in the middle of Thursday’s contest apologizing for the absence of Sox regulars. Hill had told reporters on Friday that the Marlins had no issue with the Red Sox.
|John Farrell speaks to his world champions and reminds them of ‘today’ message||02.20.14 at 5:03 pm ET|
FORT MYERS, Fla. — Chuck Noll had a motto he liked to tell his Pittsburgh Steelers after they won a Super Bowl in the 1970s – “be tomorrow people.” Don’t be content with past accomplishments. Push forward and be driven to succeed.
John Farrell, trying to get his Red Sox to similarly repeat as world champions, had a different take Thursday on a similar theme as he addressed the team before the first full-squad workout of 2014 spring training.
“It’s to get back to a mindset that was the first day of spring training last year, and not the most recent memory, which was a great one but to recognize that there was a lot of work, a journey that went into getting that final out recorded at Fenway,” Farrell said.
“I think as you’ve been around the guys since they’ve reported, the conversation, the is about what we do today and not what’s happened previous. In a nutshell, that was probably the overall message.”
Like Noll, Farrell says he doesn’t have to worry too much about complacency because of the makeup of his clubhouse.
“No, and we talked about that in the meeting because of what of them now as people in our uniform for a full year, they’re driven by what a team can accomplish, not by what a personal achievement might represent and they’re bonded together forever by an incredible year last year,” Farrell said. “And they’re hungry to do something similar to that this year.”
Ownership, led by John Henry and Tom Werner, was on hand for the meeting and they had a chance to speak.
“If you’re able to hear the number of people speak, there was some common thread to the messages,” Farrell relayed. “There was an overall sign of unity. I think in a word, there was a tremendous amount of trust from top to bottom.”
Did players speak?
“No, nope,” Farrell said. “They had some comments but they weren’t up speaking.”
With a World Series title under his belt, Farrell knows how different the backdrop might be 12 months removed from his first speech but what he noticed Thursday were the similarities, starting with friendly faces.
“That’s the probably the biggest thing, the familiarity,” Farrell said. “It’s knowing your picking up relationship with individuals that have had a timeout from the offseason but no less than important to continue to work to build their trust each and every day.”
As for the first full day of workouts, Farrell said he was pleased.
“More than anything, first full day, it was good to see everybody out on the field,” Farrell said. “Full compliment of the roster. Encouraged by the first bullpen of Jake Peavy today. Overall, a solid day.”
“It was really his first bullpen but the fact that he’s back in the flow of things. He was held out because of some discomfort in that hand, and that’s not there so that’s a good thing. He’ll probably need a couple of more bullpens before we get to BP. I can’t say that it’s going to have a real long delay for his first outing in camp. There’s still plenty of time to get him up to the appropriate number of pitches to start the season.”
|Mike Petraglia, Alex Speier talk David Ortiz and John Henry and whether a deal gets done||02.19.14 at 5:29 pm ET|
FORT MYERS, Fla. — WEEI.com’s Mike Petraglia and Alex Speier address the significance of David Ortiz‘s press conference on Wednesday at JetBlue Park and whether or not Red Sox principal owner John Henry can get an extension done with his slugger by the end of camp.
|Principal owner John Henry on Red Sox’ operating model, smart spending and the quest for a fourth title||at 3:44 pm ET|
FORT MYERS, Fla. — A year ago, when Red Sox principal owner John Henry met with the media at the start of spring training, the press conference seemed more like an interrogation. The Red Sox were coming off three straight years without a postseason appearance, along with their worst season in nearly half a century. The publication of “Francona: The Red Sox Years,” a book that offered several less-than-flattering depictions of the team’s ownership group, further made the team’s owners seem embattled.
No longer. A World Series has a way of reshaping a narrative. Instead of being the steward of a faltering, ill-managed organization, Henry this year faced questions about the foundation of their success in the past — three titles in 12 seasons — and going forward.
“This is an ever-changing challenge. It’s incredibly difficult,” said Henry. “You have 30 teams that are doing everything they can every year on and off the field to try to win. For us to win a fourth championship would be cornerstones of the careers of everyone involved here and who have been involved in these three, all the way down to two or one.”
Henry said that the Sox would remain true to the operating philosophy that helped the organization achieve its titles in 2004, 2007 and 2013, chiefly, an emphasis on avoiding the sort of cumbersome deals that bogged down the club in the 2010-12 seasons and searching for market inefficiencies to exploit. In other words, rather than flexing financial muscle at the risk of inefficiency, Henry articulated a vision for a club that spends a lot, but spends wisely and carefully.
“We got away from [the model of contracts of limited terms and dollars] for a long, for a certain period of time. Not a long period of time. I think we learned from it,” said Henry. “I think there are a few other clubs that have learned from it. All you have to do is take a look at the results over the last, say, 10 years of what that kind of approach has meant. It’s a very very risky thing to do. I don’t see us necessarily changing. Read the rest of this entry »
FORT MYERS, Fla. — Shortly after Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz reiterated his desire for a one-year contract extension for the 2015 season, Red Sox principal owner John Henry suggested that the team would be open to exploring just that. At a time when Ortiz, the team’s owners, front office members and Ortiz’s agent are all in Fort Myers, Henry said that it was worth discussing whether common ground could be found in the pursuit of a goal that is shared by the Red Sox and Ortiz — chiefly, the conclusion of Ortiz’s historic career as a member of the franchise with whom he is entering his 12th season.
“It’s conceivable. It’s something that we’ll talk between. We’ll definitely meet with him,” said Henry. “He’s meant so much to this franchise, to New England for so long now. He’s helped carry us to three world championships. I know where he’s coming from. He wants to finish his career here. We should try to make that happen.”
That said, just because there’s a shared interest in working out a deal doesn’t mean that one will get done during the spring. Still, the two sides should get a sense in the very near future of where they stand in talks.
“I don’t know that it will get done, but I think it’s good to have the conversation at the beginning of spring training,” said Henry. “We’re all here, or we’ll all be here by tomorrow at least. The sooner it’s resolved one way or another, the better it is for everyone.”
Henry noted that even if a deal isn’t done in the spring, the two sides could “absolutely” work one out and keep him in uniform for the duration of his career after the season. Still, he said that the matter is one that the Sox “should listen to and consider” at this stage as well. Henry also said that it was “certainly great to hear” that Jon Lester is willing to take a hometown discount to remain with the Red Sox beyond 2014 rather than pursuing free agency, but said that questions of re-signing both Lester and Ortiz were best addressed to GM Ben Cherington. Still, asked if he viewed the two players as cornerstones, Henry left no doubt.
“They certainly are,” he said.
|John Henry: Red Sox thought about making Theo Epstein president, Ben Cherington GM||10.21.13 at 2:18 pm ET|
Henry revealed that Ben Cherington, who took over the general manager position in 2012 after Theo Epstein left for the Cubs, was being groomed for the position, and that Boston had a plan that would have paired Cherington and Epstein together in the front office.
‘We knew for years that [Cherington] was going to be our next general manager,’ Henry said. ‘At one point we’d even talked about Theo becoming president, allowing Ben to become general manager.’
That plan never materialized, as Epstein became president of the Cubs in 2012, and Larry Lucchino remained the team president, while Cherington slid into the position vacated by Epstein.
‘We made a decision where we were going to concentrate on having more depth,’ said Henry, before the Red Sox’ Game 6 ALCS win that sent Boston to the World Series. ‘Instead of spending 20 or 25 million dollars for a player, we’re going to go out and get two or three players.’
|John Henry on M&M: ‘I probably would have preferred to play Cleveland’||10.03.13 at 1:09 pm ET|
Red Sox owner John Henry joined Mut & Merloni on Thursday, one day before the Red Sox open the American League Division Series against the Rays at Fenway Park, and talked about the challenge his Red Sox face against their AL East rivals.
“I was watching the game last night, and I probably would have preferred to play Cleveland, because Tampa is so tough,” Henry said. “We play them 19 times a year. Every game is tough. We got the better of it this year. But their pitching is extraordinary. And our offense is the best in baseball. So it should make for an exciting three, four or five games.”
A meeting with Cleveland would have meant a reunion with former Sox manager Terry Francona, who had a falling out with Henry and the Sox ownership after his departure following the 2011 season.
“It would have added an extra dimension, no doubt about it,” Henry said. “It would be sort of like playing the Dodgers in the World Series.”
Henry said the in-house projection for this year’s Red Sox team was to post a win total in the high 80s, as it was a year ago when the Sox stumbled to a 69-93 mark.
“It was an incredibly frustrating year,” Henry said of 2012. “You lose 93 games, that’s 93 nights — and more, because you have off nights sometimes following. It’s just, I don’t know how to put it other than pure suffering. You suffer through that. The games were painful.
“This year it was just really fun to watch and be a part of.”
Henry said the key was a return to the team’s core philosophies, including on-base percentage.
“If you just look at simple things like the at-bats the players had, grinding out at-bats,” Henry said. “The difference between last year, when we had consistently poor at-bats, and this year, it’s amazing to see that turnaround in one year.”
Added Henry: “I think the players and John Farrell and his great staff and Ben [Cherington] and his staff are what got us back to where we were. You saw our on-base percentage last year dropped to either 13th or 14th. And we led the majors this year in on-base percentage. So, there’s definitely been a change in that regard.”
Henry also pointed to the Red Sox’ strategy last offseason, when they stayed away from the big-name free agents and instead loaded up on solid but unspectacular players.
“You saw Ben become much more depth-oriented, as opposed to going after, say, Josh Hamilton or someone like that last year,” the owner said.
Added Henry of Hamilton: “To my knowledge, we didn’t pursue him. Any time he was brought up for discussion, we weren’t pursuing him.”
“People have talked about Tom [Werner], as well, as commissioner. But they both seem pretty happy here,” Henry said. “Last year, I think people on the outside thought we were — you remember we had one phone call over whether or not the team was for sale.
“Even at the worst of it, I think Tom and Larry were committed. We were all three — and everyone in the organization — pretty much committed to getting back on track. And now that we are, I don’t see any of that changing, at least personnel-wise.”
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