SBD/February 20, 2014/Franchises

Red Sox Owner John Henry Talks Free Agent Philosophy, Future Of Fenway Park

Henry estimated that Fenway Park would be viable for another 30 years
Red Sox Owner John Henry sees "no deviation from the recent philosophy of shorter-term deals for free agents, even while other big-market teams" like the Yankees and Dodgers "continue to hand out long-term megadeals like the Red Sox used to," according to Nick Cafardo of the BOSTON GLOBE. Henry yesterday said, "We did (long-term deals) for a certain period of time and I think we learned from it. ... Very risky thing to do." He acknowledged that the team has "tried to keep its payroll under the luxury-tax threshold" of $189M this season, but he "now questions the merit of doing so." Henry also spoke about Fenway Park, indicating that Sox ownership "would not have to deal with new stadium talk." He estimates that the ballpark is "good for another 30 years." Henry: "Structurally, there is an expiration date. Someone, at some point decades ahead, will have to address a new ballpark." But he added, "We need to deal with the press box, right? It's just not great. We've taken care of the fans. We're doing smaller things up top. You won't see major changes." Henry also said that there have been "upgrades to the visiting clubhouse." Meanwhile, he said that he had "ideas about how to replace" MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, but "wasn't willing to share his thoughts at this time." Henry: "He will be extraordinarily difficult to replace. Extraordinarily. That process is underway but it's extraordinarily difficult" (BOSTON GLOBE, 2/20). Henry said of building a new ballpark, "Hopefully we'll still be around, but we'll leave that for the next ownership group" (ESPNBOSTON.com, 2/19). 

LOVE IT WHEN YOU CALL ME BIG PAPI: ESPN BOSTON's Gordon Edes wrote the Red Sox "should extend" DH David Ortiz's contract because they have "never been in a better financial position to do so." MLB is "flush with cash, national TV revenues have taken a big spike, and there's no quantifiable way to measure how Ortiz's contributions have increased the value of the franchise." Edes: "We have metrics like WAR that can help gauge the dollar value of wins and losses, but that only begins to tell the story of Ortiz's impact. ... We just know it's huge" (ESPNBOSTON.com, 2/19).
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