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John Henry denies that Red Sox players demanded Bobby V. be fired

Aug 15, 2012, 1:44 PM EDT

Liverpool Football club's co-owner, John Getty Images

Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe spoke with Red Sox owner John Henry, who refuted the part of the report from Jeff Passan in which players specifically demanded that Bobby Valentine be fired:

“What Tom, Larry and I heard in the player meeting was one overriding sentiment. Players felt responsible for the record. They weren’t blaming injuries or anyone but themselves. At the same time they openly spoke about what could improve in addition to their play. They made substantive points. We addressed those points. No one in that meeting at any time took the position that Bobby should be or needed to be replaced.

Well, someone’s lying then, because Passan’s sources told him that players did, in fact, say they no longer wanted to play for Valentine.

I have no idea who’s telling the truth. Passan’s source has whatever his motivation is. Henry clearly has a motivation to restore some semblance or order to the proceedings.

It’s interesting, though, that Henry also spends a lot of time talking about how no one has ever revealed the substance of those sorts of meetings, which they’ve had often over the years.  Well, they’re doing it now, truthfully or otherwise, so even if his claims that all is rosy are mostly true, something is amiss, it would seem.

  1. Old Gator - Aug 15, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    And you can believe John Henry, because he never lies and he’s always right. He came to Macondo, promised to build a stadium himself if he couldn’t get public money for it, and damned if he wasn’t as good as his word.

    • sarcasticks - Aug 15, 2012 at 2:53 PM

      It’s likely that he’s being technically honest, while being realistically dishonest. I doubt any player specifically requested Valentine be fired during the meeting. It doesn’t seem that any of the players have that amount of moxy at this point, as evidenced by Pedroia and Gonzalez’s recent backtracking. However, players don’t incite a meeting with ownership to simply announce how they feel fully responsible for the team’s lack of performance. “What could improve in addition to their play” says all that is necessary. What else could “improve”?

  2. eric174 - Aug 15, 2012 at 1:48 PM

    Pretty obvious what is amiss.
    The yahoo report is false.

    Not exactly difficult to figure out.

  3. frenchysplatediscipline - Aug 15, 2012 at 2:17 PM

    Wait… when did the guy from Night Court become owner of the RedSox???

    Where the hell have I been? I watched the show when I was a kid, but I don’t remember it being THAT successful…

  4. willclarkgameface - Aug 15, 2012 at 2:28 PM

    The last time you could have even partly believed anything Red Sox brass or management have said was the 1990s. These guys that own the team now tell the media NOTHING truthful and when you do finally hear news, it’s a deep throat situation with them leaking info and throwing people under the bus.

    They are all fuckers in Boston. The owners, management, the players, and even that fucking group of media members. DISGUSTING.

    Fuck ‘em all.

    • xsherr - Aug 15, 2012 at 2:30 PM

      Tell me how you really feel…

      • Old Gator - Aug 15, 2012 at 2:50 PM

        Well, he doesn’t like Florida, and he doesn’t like Boston. So much for the eastern seaboard. I wonder how he feels about cities astride major fault zones?

      • crisisjunky - Aug 15, 2012 at 3:27 PM

        A line from John Prine’s album ‘Sweet Revenge,’ “Like a man who’s fallen off a cliff and hadn’t hit the bottom yet,” forms the best description I can think of.
        Not that I’m standing in line to migrate east, but then I am standing in a relatively ‘No Fault’
        part of Cali.

    • anvil35 - Aug 15, 2012 at 3:38 PM

      Goddamn conspiracy, right? What an idiot! I guess you would believe Dan Duquette and the lousy ownership group prior to this one. I think Henry is just trying to quell a fire that wasnt too important to begin with. Moreover, I think the idiot reporter from Yahoo probably heard about the meeting and filled in his own blanks probably not knowing anything about what was talked about or discussed. What is the expression – making a mountain out of a molehill – because it fits with the narrative of the Sox season that the media loves to protray.

      You’re a joke.

      • willclarkgameface - Aug 15, 2012 at 4:19 PM

        Are you really sticking up for John Henry? If that’s what I’m reading, I’m disgusted. The guy would rather pump money into his soccer franchise in another country than make the Boston Red Sox a competitive, winning franchise.

        They are all about the show over on Yawkey Way. They don’t care about the baseball game on the field. They want to sell you a pink hat. They want to sell you a brick. They want to sell you a coffee table book. They want to sell you on the garbage line that the Red Sox are in the middle of a sellout streak. It’s ALL nonsense. Do you believe ANY of it? I think you do.

        It makes me sick.

        They don’t give a shit about baseball. When they do let me know. I may start rooting for them again.

      • anvil35 - Aug 15, 2012 at 9:39 PM

        I am sticking up for Henry. I believe this teams payroll is 170 mil+. How is he not spending his money on this team? You are probably a Theo Epstein fan too. HE is the sole reason this team is average. He signed Lackey and Crawford(who I like) and resigned the fucking idiot Beckett. Lester is hanging out with these two shitty pitchers (Lackey and Beckett) and allowing their influence to bring him down too. Thank god Buchh aint getting involved with these pussies. If anyone needs an adjustment it is Lucchino – he demanded Valentine be hired and then would not allow Bobby to fill the coaching ranks with people of his choosing. McClure needs to be shown the door. He sucks.

        And no other team in the league markets and sells products with their logo attached? Seriously. I’m glad you are no longer rooting for them. Nothing worse than fair weather fans…

    • imodan - Aug 15, 2012 at 7:51 PM

      Well, nice to see Ocho making comments here. Awesome vocabulary :)

    • bigleagues - Aug 16, 2012 at 1:12 AM

      If willclarkgameface is asserting that John Harrington and the Yawkey Trust were any more truthful than the John Henry Trio, then I’ve got a ballpark in the Fens section of Boston for sale.

  5. Ben - Aug 15, 2012 at 2:29 PM

    Jeeezus this saga is boring as hell.

  6. uyf1950 - Aug 15, 2012 at 2:31 PM

    “Well, someone’s lying then…” Everyone’s heard the saying “How can you tell if a politician is lying? A: His lips are moving.” Substitute John Henry for politician and there is the answer to well someone’s lying then.
    Sorry couldn’t resist that. But seriously whether your a fan or not does anyone really believe John Henry here.

  7. brewcrewfan54 - Aug 15, 2012 at 2:32 PM

    So why would the players request and receive a meeting with upper management if it wasn’t about getting the manager fired?

    • Old Gator - Aug 15, 2012 at 2:51 PM

      They want to switch the team fried chicken delivery from KFC to Church’s?

      • badintent - Aug 15, 2012 at 6:17 PM

        nah, just wanted some “Jerk” Chicken . To go with the owner choking his chicken.

      • scratchnsniffnblog - Aug 15, 2012 at 8:47 PM

        Pollo Tropical?

  8. randygnyc - Aug 15, 2012 at 2:40 PM

    There’s a difference, I suppose, semantically, between demanding a manager be fired, or saying you’ll refuse to play for him.

  9. mrobinson14 - Aug 15, 2012 at 3:27 PM

    Key words: didn’t DEMAND! They could’ve asked and then ownership answered with a friendly how about no.

  10. umakenosense - Aug 15, 2012 at 3:27 PM

    The real news is management has destroyed this team. They have over paid for average players. When you have one all star with the payroll they have are you really any good to begin with?

  11. timpaz - Aug 15, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    This mess couldn’t happen to a better team LMAO. GO YANKS.

  12. buffalomafia - Aug 15, 2012 at 3:34 PM

    Are the Sox going to bring Tito back?

    By the way bring out the brooms this weekend! Go Yanks!

  13. crisisjunky - Aug 15, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    Check the position of Mr. Henry’s hand in the pic… Attire him in a hooded cloak, and he could be saying, ” You don’t want to fire this one…he’s of no concern to you…. he can go about his business…
    move along…..”

  14. theboysofdallas - Aug 15, 2012 at 3:45 PM

    Does anyone like valentine

  15. thepancakebandit - Aug 15, 2012 at 3:46 PM

    I am a die hard fan of all Boston sports, particularly the Sox. At the same time though, I have to admit, everything about them is very hard to love this year.

    That doesn’t make me any less of a fan. That’s what a true fan is — You stick with your team through thick and thin, whether they’re World Series contenders or cellar dwellers.

    I will say this though — I’m already looking forward to next season, or at least this one mercifully coming to a close.

  16. willclarkgameface - Aug 15, 2012 at 4:28 PM

    I will not blindly follow this team into the future.

    They have three contracts that are going to RUIN this team going forward: John Lackey, Carl Crawford, and Adrian Gonzalez. That’s right: Adrian Gonzalez. He hasn’t hit ANYTHING close to what he should be since the All Star break in 2011. Since then he is a $20 million dollar singles hitter. Just what the doctor ordered, right?

    They could have kept Rizzo and been in just about the same place they are now, saving themselves $100 million dollars along the way.

    They aren’t going to be able to rebuild because they are in the process of crying poor mouth with the luxury tax issue and paying these guys for little to no production. Expect YEARS of mediocre baseball in Boston, just like those lean years in the early 90s.

    • ocgunslinger - Aug 15, 2012 at 7:04 PM

      Sounds like they need “Moneyball” to come to Boston.

  17. spudatx - Aug 15, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    “[...]Passan’s sources told him that players did, in fact, say they no longer wanted to play for Valentine.”

    I think some would say those same players have barely played for Valentine all season.

  18. bigleagues - Aug 15, 2012 at 5:39 PM

    I’m at the point that I’m not sure who to believe either.

    Beyond the public agendas, there seems to be several factions at odds within the organization – not the least of which seems to be dissension among the players themselves.

    Add in a blood thirsty media (national and local) and you have a rancid stew of truth and fabrication boiling over and fogging up the windows as nosy passerby’s attempt to peer in and see what stinks.

    One thing that cannot be disputed is that at least a few people within the organization (players? ownership? GM? Manager? Trainer?) are pissed and/or frustrated enough to keep feeding info to the media.

    All I can do is use my common sense in light of the given information, and even that seems to be failing me with this 12-month saga.

    I don’t know why but – it reminds me of the movie Swimming With Sharks.

    If you haven’t seen it – a thematic thread throughout the entire movie is identifying and taking what it is “you really want” out of life. Frank Whalley plays an aspiring screenwriter who lands an internship as the Assistant to a powerful Hollywood producer played by Kevin Spacey.

    Despite first impressions, it turns out that Spacey’s character is a selfish, narcissistic hot-head. Unhappy with the treatment he has gotten at the hands of his boss, Whalley eventually takes Spacey hostage in his own home and proceeds to take out the angst of his own insecurities on his boss by beating and torturing him.

    And just when you think its curtains for Spacey he explains why he is the way he is, which Whalley seems to reject as an excuse. That’s when Whalley’s girlfriend (and an ex-lover of Spacey’s) shows up and pleads for Whalley to not kill Spacey – despite Spacey now begging for Whalley to pull the trigger and put him out of his life’s misery, berating him as a coward for not doing it already.

    And then . . . Spacey makes one final demand of Whalley to decide what it is he really wants – which Whalley finally does.

    And to me, at this point, it doesn’t seem the Sox are going to decide what it is they really want until (figuratively speaking) a gun is put their heads.

    That gun will be season ticket orders and NESN viewership in September – which at this point is likely to fall off the table as soon as the Patriots season gets underway.

    • deathmonkey41 - Aug 15, 2012 at 5:58 PM

      John Henry looks like death warmed over…

  19. delawarephilliesfan - Aug 15, 2012 at 8:46 PM

    But wait – is Henry contradcting Passan? Seriously – this looks like a non-denial denial to me. Passan wrote:

    “Gonzalez and Dustin Pedroia were among the most vocal in the meeting, in which some players stated flatly they no longer wanted to play for Valentine”

    Henry retorts:

    “No one in that meeting at any time took the position that Bobby should be or needed to be replaced.”

    Splitting hairs here, but technically if the players simply said “I do not want to play for him any more”, that gives Henry wiggle room to say “No one actually said he should be replaced” – because, well, that isn’t the words they used

    I think Henry is pulling “depends what the definition of ‘is’ is”, and Passan is telling the truth

  20. proudliberal85392 - Aug 15, 2012 at 9:22 PM

    I live out west, so I can honestly say, Who Cares? The Yankees and Red Sox are not the entire universe

  21. sawxalicious - Aug 16, 2012 at 1:34 AM

    That picture is not very flattering at all…come to think of it, he may be one of the most in-photogenic people in history…he looks like a bad guy on Harry Potter movie or something….P.S. I’m really tired of hearing about this seventh-gradesque alleged smack talking…Oooh, Bobby V, A-gone is gonna kick your butt behind the bike rack after gym class!!!!! Come on people!

  22. sawxalicious - Aug 16, 2012 at 1:36 AM

    UN-photogenic!!! E D I T B U T T O N !!!!!

  23. bbil2012 - Aug 16, 2012 at 9:23 AM

    Thankfully we have Apollo Passan to look to for the truth. Thanks for straightening us out on the Carl Crawford story too!

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