Red Sox Execs Shoot Down Sale Rumors; Jays GM Hints At Tampering In Farrell Deal
The absence of Red Sox Owner John Henry and Chair Tom Werner at yesterday’s press conference to introduce new manager John Farrell was “accompanied by speculation that they are becoming increasingly disengaged from the business of the club,” according to Gordon Edes of ESPN BOSTON. That speculation "feeds rumors that Henry is looking to sell the club.” Red Sox Exec VP & COO Sam Kennedy said, “That’s an easy one to address. He’s absolutely not looking for a buyer. He’s absolutely not looking for a partner. I don’t think he could have been any more clear about the fact that he’s committed to the Red Sox. I think he says, it’s what I do, sort of who I am. John is as actively engaged and committed to the Red Sox as he ever was. I either speak to him on the phone or e-mail with him every day. I know [Red Sox President & CEO Larry Lucchino] probably multiple times a day, [GM Ben Cherington] probably multiple times a day. ... I think they’re unfairly criticized for not being physically at every single thing that happens at Fenway Park.” Kennedy added, “They really haven’t changed their management style over the years. It’s understandable when you have other high-profile sports assets and then when you don’t perform, people are going to say, ‘Have they taken their eye off the ball?’ No, that’s on us. We -- management -- have made poor decisions that haven’t worked out because we’re not playing baseball in October” (ESPNBOSTON.com, 10/24).
FOUL PLAY? In Boston Scott Lauber writes Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos expressed "disappointment over what he calls ‘gamesmanship’ in negotiations" to free Farrell from his contract, but Anthopoulos “stopped short of accusing the Red Sox of tampering by talking to the manager before they were given permission.” Cherington “rejected the notion that the club acted inappropriately.” Talks between the two teams “existed primarily at the ownership level” between Lucchino and Blue Jays CEO Paul Beeston, “friends for more than two decades” (BOSTON HERALD, 10/24). Lauber in a separate piece notes Cherington “already appears far more at ease” with Farrell than former manager Bobby Valentine, whose "marriage to the GM had been arranged by ownership and Lucchino, and therefore was doomed from the start.” Cherington said, “It’s important I have a relationship with the manager that’s strong to the point that you can disagree and be candid with one another and walk away knowing the relationship is intact. I have a better chance at making (good) decisions if that relationship allows for that candor.” Farrell said, “I think that unity can be felt by the players” (BOSTON HERALD, 10/24).
FAMOUS LAST WORDS: Valentine appeared on NBC Sports Network's "Costas Tonight" last night and said he “worked for some pretty good people” at the Red Sox. Red Sox President & CEO Larry Lucchino “treated me like you want to be treated” and Owner John Henry and Chair Tom Werner “are super people.” Valentine: “It’s not like I’d do anything to make their life anymore miserable than I’ve already made their life for a season” (“Costas Tonight,” NBC Sports Network, 10/23).