WEEI>On Demand>>9-24-08 John Henry, Boston Red Sox Principal Owner

9-24-08 John Henry, Boston Red Sox Principal Owner

Sep 24, 2008|

Red Sox owner John Henry joined the annual Dale and Holley Owners Series the day after the Sox clinched a spot in the 2008 Playoffs. Mr. Henry talked with Dale and Michael to discuss the state of the Boston Red Sox.

Transcript - will not be 100% accurate

Joining us right now the third part of our owners series we begin with Robert Kraft on Monday. Jeremy Jacobs yesterday. Joining us right now is one of the principle owners the principal owner of the Boston Red Sox. John Henry has witnessed John it's dale and oops I gotta hit the right button here John -- Dylan Michael again how aria. Well very well Johnson congratulations. -- -- -- was the great social pressure a lot of -- feeling. All -- work at a conference. This highly challenge these you know. In this position. These -- great. So operation. We talked with Terry Francona earlier and he said. Each playoff appearances different its journey is different. For you what what does what does this does this journey. Symbolize what is it mean compared to some of the other. I'll play off season you witness with the Red Sox. Well there. They're you know they're all different -- player seasons giving important innings and well yeah. It was there's -- out that about it stuff. News Curt Schilling became the think about games. The -- well. Yeah. -- you know -- -- came to. Period do we have we have. -- we have. A lot of challenges this year and needed a lot of -- Patience that you can. TO. Able collected pieces. That really -- well chase based press. Who we were just talking before you you came on -- it's about. How you build a franchise in Major League Baseball and and the thought that in many people's minds your your organization has now become the model franchise how you build an organization. First of -- the field that's the case and second of all how did you guys go about doing it. Well -- It was going to be Duke and agree that. A baseball operations. I think maybe. Certainly one of the best. In in the game and -- -- can some. Distance. It's certain. To. -- Major League record for taking so. So. I think at this point. Feel that we. Were on the right track we have the right way. -- -- Take its distance. Sports. -- it's just. You know if you look quickly approaches to. -- Seems like every other year they they are just about the best -- -- be able to do it stayed that you. That he works would. Created these scouting. What what they've accomplished its. Its its meaning. -- it's there. There was. -- Giants want to go back for a second -- talked about some of the challenges that the team face this season no Schilling Josh Beckett on the DL. David Ortiz being her for a while going to Japan. Another challenge. Was the Manny Ramirez situation Manny Ramirez traded during the season. What was that period like for you before Manny was traded and he is calling out the organization and he's making references. To use some things he was promised what was what was that like. It was so frustrating in. In this. I think the players would say. Two if it was what person we bent over backwards to me. The years. And essentially and a happy new provision in the contract he signed it yours. -- A lot of good things. Brought Russell. It was frustrating. Did you did you have to be. Talked in two moving him into being that I'm I'm asking it that way because I'm not really sure of the process does. He'll have to talk you into something. A deal of this magnitude do you go to Theo me. What was what was that like before Manny was actually traded. Well I think more than anyone else quiet talk actually. You know my feelings to contract his contract. It should -- up to his contract. -- was going. Well since. We made the trade. -- He did all right. -- -- -- -- -- Then you said it perfectly John. You guys not just not just ownership in the front office that. The manager and the players too bent over backwards to make sure. Manny was comfortable and protected and ways in retrospect. It didn't really -- it he really didn't give you the benefit of the benefit of the doubt when he needed something so I guess it begs the question. Is that the right approach to take -- the player to protect some of his foibles and quirks. Well you'd be talking about one of the best hitters to. You'd do I think his age we have paid. And I don't -- script is. -- -- with special players sometimes use. Put up with things. With a ticket that. It is flawed policy. But it happens not just baseball -- The entertainment industry. And others to make allowances people really. In in 2004. When Theo made the deal at the trading deadline. Every one I think would agree that the Red Sox traded away the best player in the deal. And got better. In this case I think most people would agree that the Red Sox have traded away the best player in the deal and got better. Would your prior baseball experience have led you to believe that could be the case not once but possibly twice now. I think people. As successful as it was -- people -- attend under -- look at. He's a he's a drink and the on the faces a lot of traits that they happen generally look terror. You look at where we weren't 2004. That was an aging team yes it was a world changed. He had to make -- series trip to Church of trades series on line. -- -- people. The criticized the -- a lot of players action. And Raikkonen but anyway point is that we went from being championship team that was old championship team. Question that was real you know. -- refuse. To. I don't think you can look at a -- -- deal. Thank you look at what took place -- in 2004. Didn't do that much. See. We let you to do it in. I don't. It. The team has been better. -- People watch the Major League franchise they sit in this ballpark where we're sitting right now. And they see the obvious financial commitments that you made is an ownership group. To the the team that's on the field and the facility that you play -- What they don't see is the financial commitment made. To the minor league development system and and more importantly to signing draft picks how significant has that. Financial. In investment ban on on the part of ownership here. Well it has been. Significant. Shall we take a lot of criticism with this -- all. Higher -- for spending. What they considered the respect to. With the results. John how how would you. How would you compare. The period in 2005. When when the -- contract was up the last time to. Currently when we were all. This kind of cruising by and we all were. Well on the outside looking in week we heard that deal had agreed to a contract. Well not -- been signed and so we I think. His comment about that response to questions. We were. It. Very different -- two we do -- is about to. There had ever been able to be patient publicity. -- So. -- we just signed Wesley. Well that's -- -- would not talk about the contract specifically how about in general because we think about that time in 2005. When we heard -- wouldn't deal eventually came back we heard that this will be good for the franchise this is a good time for -- reflective will be stronger for this. How has that manifested itself. Well I think there were questions on. On directional -- questions. Reaction to. And and there are -- shoes. We address those. It was as he wasn't. Period -- to reflect on. -- make sure that we all. -- -- It's. Has been controversy in extra. We've. Been able to accomplish things won't which. We work really well yeah. We have vacation again. All of this we've we've just kick it and each other. On. It. So where. We feel extremely fortunate. This team I think it's proved to be right. The the manager of your baseball team with Theo Epstein hired. Will now be in the playoffs for the the fourth time in his five years here at the head of your franchise. What are the strengths that you think Terry Francona brings to running the baseball operation here. Well I can't a lot of things behind it that people don't. See. An excellent decisions we criticize. The manager's decision. Because we don't have full picture we. Age. We don't know it's. As. Much as. Think. Injuries. Ability to manage. It's just much tougher than people know. These guys play 162. Games after -- came. Traveling together. And the publicity. Kind of pressure because we have. Roundtable. Players. Discuss issues. Be able to go places. Then. They can. Help the road so it's it's a pressure packed. He's. Manages to. To deal with I think it's just. And the other end. It would it is decisions. To change a few. -- A lot of a lot of treatments. That. As a result is long term contract. No we always like to go over some of the major changes that have happened. In your game and we talked to you every year. Last year I think the idea of instant replay it was floated out there by some people. This year it's a reality. What's your opinion of instant replay. I. Process it's hard to argue against this tactic or did. I don't have a problem with -- at all right now did you think it would you be in favor of more expansive views of replay. You know effective I. What we're doing right now excellence. Will watchable. The year no well -- look at it again -- they might make. And speaking of expansion we've grown accustomed to you. New additions to Fenway Park whether it's seats on top of the monster or the Budweiser -- that would look at that now. Do you have any other plans for expansion whether it's in the ballpark itself or some. Other Red Sox mean to restaurants. Facility. That there were not aware of right now. Well hopefully -- couple things. Here. -- you know the Yankees. Very. -- average ball. Excuse we do. To. The captain to. Sure. Will be looking to do whatever we do but there's only so much we can do. -- -- If you -- things that we're limited. That is -- -- can. -- The Yankees have actually downsized capacity wise as they move into the new Yankee Stadium next year. I'm not sure you have to get a whole lot larger capacity wise here do you think you need to. Well I don't agree even if we could. Needed. Even if we wanted to just don't think. It's. Do you feel like you're probably what 99 point 9%. Capacity as far as what you can do here. Or at least ninety. When you look at the string of 400 and however many consecutive sellouts it is now. And how long it's been under your ownership that you haven't played to an empty seat. I'm sure you've thought of wonderful things when you bought the franchise in World Series championships and all -- did you ever envision this being what it is right now. It and everything championships sellouts interest. About the footprint that the Red Sox Nation has coast to coast. No line when we came it was just such -- this is already such a great. -- you create an area for baseball tested. Country course so. To be able to build upon it's. We news. Whatever we did here it would matter people. Intact. Life. True it's true U -- well. There's nothing more exciting. The tactic. I'm very happy to report -- I know people were concerned last night they just put three new bases out on the field. So Jonathan Papelbon didn't give away all the bases he won't yes. -- That was agree. In LB dot com. If they optional. We know how the players celebrated last night. How did you celebrate and and -- have a a general way of of celebrating. Playoff births compared to celebrating a World Series championships. -- It's a little more restraint. Those that. I'm not a smoker that sort of like these cigars. The players give you that one. Our average. Well it was -- little better sized. -- Well congratulations on the playoff berth last night the -- continued success with the the franchise we always appreciate taken the time to join us. During this series of of interviews and we really appreciate it. And let me just add this to John I was saying yesterday it's kind of tough. In other cities I'm sure. They hear that we're doing and -- series. With. A team that won the championship last year in the Red Sox that a team that won a championship last year in the Celtics. That a team -- to had a a great string of success. With the Patriots and they say when and what did you talk about. So it's a pretty good time to do an -- series. It is. You know we we on great relationships. Should groups. I can't mention. -- after. -- Publicly since. The record. So. It's well I think all of you. Some years. We try to export its its. Finally. We care as much use. Care. John thank you for the time we always appreciate. Take care thanks John that is John Henry principal owner of the Boston Red Sox.

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