AUDIO: Listen to John Henry on the Felger and Mazz Show on 98.5 the Sports Hub
I've gained a hell of a lot of respect for John Henry. Last Friday morning the now infamous Boston Globe Collapse Article had taken on a life of its own. The popular opinion among Red Sox heads was that the Ownership Group was behind the anonymous sources, and were kicking Terry Francona on his way out. I was beginning to lean this was too, as the Owners were the only ones that didn't have mud on them by the end of the piece. I wrote the following on Friday morning in reference to the owners and the collapse article:
"Their collective silence has been as loud as Beckett, Lester, and Lackey's - and it's really making me question their ethics and savvy."
Little did I know that only a few hours later John Henry would break that silence with a style and passion only he could bring. I've always supported this Ownership Group, and truly belive they've been the best thing to ever happen to the Red Sox. Far too long the Red Sox organization was a racist country club, and was never run like a proper business. I have nothing but shame for Tom Yawkey, and think it's an embarrassment to every fan of the game that this spoiled, rich, arrogant, and bigoted man is in the Hall of Fame. It's a disgrace, and his legacy still left a foul stench around the franchise when John Henry took over in 2002, and he immediately started putting the futility and mediocrity that was associated with the Red Sox in the past. Instead of being behind the curve, Henry was now placing the Sox ahead of it by hiring the best baseball minds in the business, and embracing both the tried and true ways of Scouting, and the still unmined field of Sabermetrics. There never was a curse of the Bambino, just the Curse of having a racist drunk as your owner.
Henry's legacy should be shining with the public, he has not been cheap in Free Agency, has helped revitalize and save Fenway Park, and most importantly - helped bring two World Championships in a 10 year period. But despite these facts, he saw his image being tarnished with the passing of each hour, and on Friday he burst onto the airwaves unannounced at 98.5 the Sports Hub on the Felger and Mazz Show to defend his name, honor, and the ball club he owns. The silence was no more.
Henry's appearance erased any thoughts I had that he leaked information in the Globe article, but that ended up being secondary in my opinion. If this showed us, the fan, anything, it showed that he cares about this Team as much as us, and that the Sox are going to do whatever it takes to be in the thick of it next year. It was certainly a new chapter of weird having him show up unannounced to talk for an hour and a half. This off-season is one of never ending drama, but this is what you get when all parties, from the ownership to the fans, care so much. That said, it'd be nice to see one of our multi-million dollar pitchers step up and take some blame or ownership for the collapse. Eye's have certainly shifted directly towards them now...we'll see if there's a real leader amongst the Three Amigos, but I'm not holding my breath. To a man though, Henry owned up, and owned up with a passion, and that's all you can ask.