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Red Sox source: “Baseball and soccer are completely different”

Feb 10, 2012, 3:05 PM EDT

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That seems rather obvious, but I guess it’s something you have to say when a major national media figure makes lazy assumptions about why you didn’t sign any big time free agents this winter. From the Boston Herald:

In response to a blog post Thursday, a Fenway Sports Group source strongly disputed the notion that the Red Sox’ unusual financial restraint this winter is related to overspending for players on owner John Henry’s English Premier League soccer team.

“Roush Fenway (Racing), NESN, the Red Sox and Liverpool are all profitable businesses that do not have to rely on revenues moving from one to another … Baseball and soccer are completely different.”

We should probably lay off Heyman here, though. They haven’t explained why his CBS research staff’s budget has been slashed. But here’s one guess: revenues are down ever since they cancelled “All in the Family” in 1979.

  1. cur68 - Feb 10, 2012 at 3:09 PM

    “Lay off Heyman”? Are you nuts? If we lay off him, what else am I going to do with my otherwise dull afternoon of figuring out where all the commas are supposed to go in 150 pages of dense text?

    • bigleagues - Feb 11, 2012 at 1:07 PM

      Craig was simply attempting to be unblocked by Hymen.

  2. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Feb 10, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    I still wish Heyman had something useful to say, so I could quote Filter and say “Heyman, nice shot.”

    • Bryz - Feb 10, 2012 at 3:18 PM

      Oh geez, this wins HARD.

    • bigleagues - Feb 11, 2012 at 11:52 AM

      That song is as dark and subversive as they come. It’s a first person reaction to the live on-camera suicide of Budd Dywer, a PA public official, who having steadfastly maintained his innocence and that he was framed, calls a press conference, steps up to the podium makes a statement, and takes his own life.

      The song was written to reflect shock & anger by ‘the viewer’ but also support Dwyer’s individual choice given the heavy sentence he faced. That ESPN made it a highlight reel soundtrack at the time was rather distasteful to me – much like I find Heyman distasteful. And while sometimes I wish he’d disappear, he can be great comic fodder and I wouldn’t wish Dywer’s fate on anyone.

      • cur68 - Feb 11, 2012 at 2:18 PM

        I know that story, ‘leagues. I think I was watching the news, or saw one of the unedited airings of it back in ’87. Horrible thing, especially as it seems pretty conclusive that Dwyer was innocent of what he was convicted with. The main witness against Dwyer admitted to lying under oath, and implicating Dwyer, to obtain a lighter sentence or something. I think their might even have been a movie about it.

      • bigleagues - Feb 12, 2012 at 1:33 AM


        yeah, it was a big story not only because of the circumstance but because it caused news orgs to examine how to handle such disturbing footage. It’s a story that has stuck with me for well over 2 decades and yes! there was a documentary done in 2010 which is where the confession of lying under oath came from. It is now widely held that Dwyer was an innocent man – and yet his story is still largely unknown outside of PA and media circles. He was a victim of a witch hunt, and because he told the truth and everyone else around him lied to cover their own asses . . . he took the fall. Sometimes our judicial system wrongs the rights. We need to be better than that.

        I’ll come down from my ivory tower now.

      • Utley's Hair - Feb 12, 2012 at 10:10 PM

        The major issue was the fact that he called the press conference for just after lunch—around the time that most kids in the area had gotten home after schools closed early due to a major snow storm, so they were watching the whole thing live. I never saw it, but I know a whole bunch of people that did.

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Feb 13, 2012 at 12:03 PM

        It was just a pun, leagues. Nothing more.

      • bigleagues - Feb 14, 2012 at 3:53 AM

        I know, I know, Stairs!

        I’m generally a happy go lucky self effacing kind of guy . . . but I have my ‘humorless triggers’ and while I love that song for what it is . . . I hate what ESPN made it.

        Please know that I was coming down on ‘The Man’ – not you!

  3. drmonkeyarmy - Feb 10, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    That is a lie….all EPL’s teams lose significant amounts of cash. I don’t think it is unreasonable to think that spending roughly 120 million dollars just to procure 4 players (that is not including their salaries) since the end of last winters transfer window can have an impact on what John Henry feels comfortable shelling out for the Red Sox.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Feb 10, 2012 at 3:14 PM

      Except Arsenal…by and large they operate within their fiscal means.

    • quintjs - Feb 10, 2012 at 3:29 PM

      the same was spending hundreds of millions of dollars last off season on Gonzalez and Crawford prevented Liverpool from spending roughly 120 million dollars just to procure 4 players (that is not including their salaries)?

      Why don’t people get 2 businesses owned by the same person can be separate entities. The Red Sox budget is determined by the revenue of the team. Same as Liverpool. It was obvious last year to most people that with Gonzalez and Crawford, the Red Sox had done their big ticket shopping for a couple of years. The money cleared from Drew and the like went to giving half the team pay rises – people seem to forget the home grown talent is getting expensive now.

      Heyman is just trying to justify why Boras couldn’t get a big market team to show any real interest in any of his players, including a SP and a Closer. It wasn’t that they didn’t want to, everyone wants a Boras client, its that the team is broke.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Feb 10, 2012 at 3:32 PM

        The issue is, EPL teams frequently out spend their budgets hence the notion of the them losing money. Often times the owners have to sink in tens, if not hundreds of millions of dollars to balance the books. I don’t think it is ridiculous to say that sinking large quantities of cash into another business venture might prevent the owner from sinking large sums of cash into another separate venture. Also, those players were purchased before that of Crawford and Gonzalez.

      • kopy - Feb 10, 2012 at 3:53 PM

        Although you’re right, I had thought that Liverpool FC was profitable last year.

      • Alex K - Feb 10, 2012 at 4:00 PM

        I think the problem I have with your reasoning, Doc, is that you don’t have first hand knowledge of the budgets of either the Red Sox of Liverpool. I appreciate that a lot to most EPL teams lose money (I’m not sure if it is as dramatic an amount as they claim), but without knowledge of the specific budgets and balance sheets of the businesses you don’t really have a leg to stand on when you say that one team has any impact on the other.

      • quintjs - Feb 10, 2012 at 4:13 PM

        players were purchased before Crawford and Gonzalez?

        So they spent big in the EPL, then spent big on the Red Sox, and then what exactly .. noticed that spending costs money??

        And none of this really matters, the Red Sox have a massive payroll, and at no point started a fire sale this offseason. They even had a perfect excuse to unload Beckett, clean start or whatever and didn’t even entertain the notion.

        While it may be a nice story that Liverpool is the cause of the Sox not spending, it is in no way based in even a hint of fact.

        It isn’t even like they are a terrible team, terrible April, terrible September and they won 90 games. A bit more discipline and they will be ok. Beckett Lester Buchholz is still a respectable top 3, the bullpen looks ok, the lineup is still great.. what is everyone on about?

      • natstowngreg - Feb 10, 2012 at 5:40 PM

        The finances of some English pro soccer team is a distraction from the real issue. The Red Sox (and Yankees) are cutting back on their overspending because the penalty (luxury tax) has gotten bigger.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Feb 10, 2012 at 5:49 PM

        Net gains and losses from EPL teams are reported. I don’t have first hand knowledge but I do know that they are in the negative year in and year out.

      • Alex K - Feb 11, 2012 at 10:07 AM

        They may be losing money, but probably not nearly as much as they are reporting. Without fist hand knowledge of the balance sheet there is no way for us to know how much for sure. We can be reasonably sure, however, that the Red Sox pretty much print money.

        At this point we can’t do anything but take Henry at his word that the two teams are totally independent of one another.

      • bigleagues - Feb 11, 2012 at 12:56 PM

        That’s an interesting point w/ regard to Boras, and one angle I hadn’t considered. Epstein’s interactions with Boarass had always been characterized as a good working relationship. Aside from Heyman I’m now wondering if the Red Sox made a conscious decision to use the fresh start with Cherington as something of a reset on Boras . . . especially with Ellsbury looming.

    • cktai - Feb 10, 2012 at 3:58 PM

      The 120 million spend on players is offset by the selling of Torres, Konchesky, Meireles, Babel and N’Gog in the same time frame bagging about 120 million dollars in transfer income.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Feb 10, 2012 at 5:48 PM

        Mildly offset…I mean Torres was big money but the others were on the cheap (relative). Well, maybe not Meireles….though I don’t believe his transfer fee was disclosed.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Feb 10, 2012 at 9:45 PM

        Okay, I did a bit of research on the transfer fees. In pounds, Torres was 50 million, Babel was 5 million, N’Gog was 4 million, and Meireles and Konchesky were not reported. Konchesky was probably real cheap seeing as how he went to a Championship side and his fee when Liverpool bought him from Fulham wasn’t all that great. I will estimate Meireles at around 9 million pounds, given he is quality and Chelsea were desperate at the time. So, the total is around 70 million pounds. Andy Carroll was purchased for 35 million pounds, Suarez for 18 million, Jordan Henderson cost 20 million, Charlie Adam 7.5 million, and 20 million for Stewart Downing (which is shocking to me…I forgot about that. Seems a bit much). Total expenditures around 100 million pounds. The difference is a around -30 million pounds or -45 million dollars. So, there outs in no way compensated for the ins.

      • bigleagues - Feb 11, 2012 at 1:02 PM

        The transfer fees are meaningless in the grand scheme of things. Year-to-year P&L is a barometer and no longer the bottom line for ownership groups with the resources that FSG boasts.

        Where P&L is vital to the discussion is in the cases where ownership is highly leveraged without any significant additional assets . . . ya know, like Frank McCourt.

  4. Utley's Hair - Feb 10, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    While that may be true, they’re both equally all kinds of awesome.

  5. - Feb 10, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    I would be perfectly happy they raided the Red Sox and put all that money into the Roush Fenway stable.

  6. chiadam - Feb 10, 2012 at 3:38 PM

    Baseball and soccer = not the same. I should write that down.

  7. ireportyoudecide - Feb 10, 2012 at 3:52 PM

    Just another MLB Network insider that is difficult to watch. The good news about baseball is once the season starts it’s mostly about what is taking place on the field, unlike football where they play one game and then talk about it for 6 days. However watching some of the “talent” on the MLB Network is pretty painful in the off season. I like Brian Kenny and the highlight show quick pitch is just awesome once the season starts but the network really needs to do something when Heyman is one of your go to guys for info.

    Heyman nice shot, wow great reference Matt Stairs, post of the day! Going to have to break that song out on the ride home tonight.

  8. aceshigh11 - Feb 10, 2012 at 4:48 PM

    The Sox have really lost control of the narrative since their September meltdown.

    This season is going to test the mettle of true Sox fans…we’ve had it good for almost a decade, but now we’ll see what the fanbase is made of.

    Still a solid team, but with the Rays, Yankees, Angels, Rangers and Tigers all getting better, the competition will be stiffer than ever.

  9. neelyisgod - Feb 10, 2012 at 4:57 PM

    Oh Meathead…

  10. kjt929 - Feb 12, 2012 at 1:02 PM

    He spent 178.somthing million on socer so what is trying to do get the sox killed

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