SBD/June 22, 2012/Franchises

Red Sox Players, Owners Respond To ESPN's Report Of "Toxic" Clubhouse

Ortiz said people need to leave the Red Sox alone, after Olney said club was toxic
Red Sox DH David Ortiz and team Owner John Henry responded to a report by ESPN's Buster Olney that claimed a "toxic" atmosphere surrounded the Red Sox. Ortiz told Peter Abraham of the BOSTON GLOBE: "It seems every day there is something new about players. People need to leave us alone and let us play ball. It's becoming the (expletive) hole it used to be" (BOSTON GLOBE, 6/22). Henry said, "I have a lot of respect for Mr. Olney but the important thing is that everyone is working hard on and off the field." Henry acknowledged that everything "is not perfect, but nothing that is going on appears to be so monumental that it will keep the team from doing its job." Henry said, "Whatever problems exist didn't just crop up this year." He added, "From my perspective things seem to be falling into place. ... If our starting pitching is decent this year, we have an opportunity to win it all with everyone coming back in July" (BOSTON HERALD, 6/22).'s Sean McAdam followed Olney's report and wrote of the Red Sox, "Club insiders paint a picture of a handful of alienated players, a detached manager, an absentee ownership and a general manager caught in-between." The ownership has "gone from present and involved to increasingly distracted by other business interests." While Henry, President & CEO Larry Lucchino and Chair Tom Werner "make themselves visible at high-profile series such as last weekend's three-game set at Wrigley Field or the 100th Fenway Park anniversary in April, they're not nearly as visible as before." Fairly or not, "some around the club see the owners as less immersed in the day-to-day operation of the club, and more preoccupied by other investments." One player said, "It used to be that the owners knew everything that was going on around here. Now they have to hear about it from others" (, 6/20).

MILLAR CITES THE MARKET: MLB Network’s Kevin Millar said the controversy stems from being in the Boston market. He said, “This is what we’re talking about in the big market. You have basically four or five beat writers per paper, so there’s 20 stories going on per day and everybody has a job to do. So you’ve got to create something. You hear about this and all of this stuff and now there are clubhouse problems going on in the Red Sox locker room. But yet, you talk to all the players and everything is fine. I don't know who makes these stories up or who creates these stories, but it becomes a distraction” (“Intentional Talk,” MLB Network, 6/21).
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