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UPDATE: John Henry shoots down the report of a Red Sox sale

Sep 13, 2012, 11:33 AM EST

John Henry, Tom Werner AP

UPDATE: Peter Abraham of the Globe just spoke to John Henry and he shot the Fox report down in no uncertain terms:

“A sale of any kind is so far from our thinking it hasn’t even come up apart from technical planning issues involving death or disability. This report is completely without foundation.

“Regarding unnamed sources: Any sale discussions that may have taken place were missing three key people — Larry (Lucchino), Tom (Werner) and me. The Sox and any of the other components of FSG are not for sale and will not be for the foreseeable future.”

Makes one wonder what the Fox report was based on.  Maybe that estate planning stuff? Some hypothetical market research? God knows that in a day and age when the Dodgers sell for $2 billion that one might want to figure out what your team could bring you in a sale.

But yeah, that’s a pretty stark refutation.

11:33 AM: Earlier this year John Henry flatly denied rumors that he and his partners were looking to sell the Red Sox.  Now this, from Fox Business Network:

The owners of the Boston Red Sox are mulling a potential sale of the storied baseball franchise, and have even begun quietly shopping the team to potential buyers, the FOX Business Network has learned.

It’s still a shopping, not a final decision to sell, FOX reports. And it has a lot to do about Fenway Sports Group’s desire and/or ability to run both the Sox and Liverpool FC, it’s English Premier League team.  Both of which, by the way, have seen significant cost reductions and the dealing of players lately.

Harbinger of a sale, or just a business assessing its current position in light of recent setbacks?

  1. eric174 - Sep 13, 2012 at 11:38 AM

    This was directly refuted this morning.
    Non story. Nice try though.

    “Oh nonsense,” he said. “They feel the same kind of competitive juices that I feel, that our fans feel, to put this team back on the track it was on for a decade. For better or worse, we are the guys that you’re going to have to kick around for awhile.”

    • geoknows - Sep 13, 2012 at 11:50 AM

      How about citing your source? It might give you more, you know, credibility.

      • bankai78 - Sep 13, 2012 at 12:19 PM

        I don’t blame you geoknows. Evidence would have been nice to have. If i hadn’t heard it this morning on the radio I wouldn’t have believed him. Here is the article talking about Red Sox president on WEEI.

        http://www.weei.com/sports/boston/this-just-in/21227531/report-sox-owners-quietly-shopping-team

      • psousa1 - Sep 13, 2012 at 12:35 PM

        It’s pretty easy to be a so called ‘sports journalist’ these days. Just keep throwing in your own thoughts and attribute them to ‘Unknown Sources’.

        It is so irresponsible. I don’t recall any retractions where in this site – Ryan Dempster was on the plane to LA to go play for the Dodgers.

        The sad thing is these guys have to keep naming/fabricating ‘unknown sources’ in order to make themselves relevant. If the story from the unknown source doesn’t bear fruit – Who cares? Nobody is going to remember it anyway. I always wondered how writers didn’t call other writers on the carpet about these sources but then I figure 99% of them do it.

        Larry Luchinno refuted this on the radio this morning this was bullshit

      • CJ - Sep 13, 2012 at 12:45 PM

        @psousa,

        That’s what Browns fans said 2 months ago. Come back around the winter meetings and call BS again and see how smart you sound then….

      • bigleagues - Sep 13, 2012 at 2:40 PM

        But according to people with direct knowledge of the matter, the biggest challenge for Henry is running two expensive sports franchises. Fenway Sports purchased the Liverpool team for $476 million in 2010, and has been widely criticized for overpaying for players who have under-delivered.

        In fact, Henry recently wrote an open letter to Liverpool fans, vowing not to overspend on talent in the future, but stating his commitment to keeping the team.

        If this ‘business reporter’ is gonna report on a sports business story, he should at least fact check a few things before he mixes facts with fiction.

        FSG has not OVERSPENT on acquiring talent in Liverpool. It was Henry’s predecessor that vastly overspent on transfers and got little return for the investments made.

        IN FACT, Liverpool fans criticism of Henry & FSG has been the exact opposite! They have complained that Henry has not SPENT enough to compete with the billionaire Sheik who owns Manchester City, last year’s Champs. BTW – virtually no one but Warren Buffett has enough to compete with this Sheik . . . who lost in excess of $200M last season.

      • j0esixpack - Sep 13, 2012 at 3:54 PM

        Yes – but you do understand that even if they are exploring a potential sale, they have to deny it publicly don’t you?

        There is nothing wrong with exploring a sale. Any smart sports team owner would be willing to do so – especially after the value of the team has increased so dramatically.

        And if, as reports suggest, that other profitable ventures they own such as Liverpool soccer and NASCAR, are taking their attention away from the Red Sox, from a fan standpoint, one would WANT to see a new owner that would focus solely on the team.

        Just as GMs deny trade rumors until the trade is complete, owners deny exploring the sales of teams, until the sale is complete.

        This is common sense and it’s nothing to be upset about.

    • savocabol1 - Sep 13, 2012 at 12:21 PM

      Just to stick the fork in eric a little bit more…..There were reports that the Cleveland Browns were for sale during this past offseason. The owner and president both denied the stories……well three months later they are sold.

      So ya, trust everything you hear from owners eric174.

      • eric174 - Sep 13, 2012 at 4:44 PM

        So I should trust some hack journalist who won’t name his source?

        Doubtful.

    • lardin - Sep 13, 2012 at 12:42 PM

      smoke=fire

      • bigleagues - Sep 13, 2012 at 2:44 PM

        no spark/no fire

        If this team is for sale, right now, I don’t see anyone paying the asking price until we are out of the toxic world financial predicament we are currently in.

        And that won’t be for a few more years, at least.

      • CJ - Sep 13, 2012 at 3:05 PM

        bigleagues, you’re totally right. McCourt doesn’t have a chance in hell at getting 1B for that financial disaster he created out in LA.

      • bigleagues - Sep 13, 2012 at 7:51 PM

        I understand your point, CJ.

        What you may not understand is that in the world financial circles, things have changed (for the worse) since that sale went through.

  2. sportsdrenched - Sep 13, 2012 at 11:39 AM

    Interesting. Could they sell for (best Dr Evil Voice)…Three Billion Dollars?

  3. hittfamily - Sep 13, 2012 at 11:39 AM

    I’ve got 5 bats secured in Caiman accounts, un taxable, thanks Geaorge. Anyone else wanna pony up the other half?

    • stlouis1baseball - Sep 13, 2012 at 12:42 PM

      He was apparently a very funny dude. I searched him to find out where he was and learned he died of a drug overdose in 2008. Too bad…cause’ it seems the kid had a great attitude. At least in this interview anyway. Sorry to rain on everyone’s parade.
      I just thought you might like to know what I learned.

  4. frenchysplatediscipline - Sep 13, 2012 at 11:40 AM

    Too bad Chipper isn’t playing in Boston again this year.

    Maybe they could give him the team as a gong away present?

  5. hokiegajanisgod - Sep 13, 2012 at 11:40 AM

    memo to john henry: Can we at last have a price??

    I’m interested in purchasing both the team and fenway park.

    thanks

  6. hokiegajanisgod - Sep 13, 2012 at 11:41 AM

    memo to john henry: Can we at least have a price??

    I’m interested in purchasing both the team and fenway park.

    thanks

  7. uyf1950 - Sep 13, 2012 at 11:42 AM

    As a Yankee fan I hope John Henry and Company never sell the Red Sox. They appear to be the epitome of the saying “the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing”. As a baseball fan though I think selling the team to an owner more focused on baseball than “their” other interest would benefit both the team and MLB in general.

    • pisano - Sep 13, 2012 at 11:49 AM

      Again, you speak volumes, this group is like the Marlin ownership. Gator, I left the door open for you, step in.

      • Jeremy Fox - Sep 13, 2012 at 12:42 PM

        I wasn’t aware that John Henry destroyed the Expos, got pressured by MLB over how little he was spending on players, and all the other things the Marlins ownership is often (and in my view rightly) accused of.

        The Red Sox have made a bunch of questionable decisions lately and the team is currently going in the wrong direction. But they’ve had a lot of success under Henry’s ownership, more than the Marlins have had over the same time frame. So I’m confused why you think Henry’s a bad owner, and also why you think he’s bad in the same way the Marlins ownership is bad.

      • chill1184 - Sep 13, 2012 at 12:52 PM

        As much of a disaster the Red Sox are in, comparing Henry and Co to Loria is foolish. Hell Loria makes Fred Wilpon look good by comparison

      • bigleagues - Sep 13, 2012 at 2:05 PM

        It never ceases to amaze me what some baseball fans think they know about the Red Sox and the opinions they form on that false info.

        If I don’t know enough background about a particular team, I either frame my comments as such, or don’t comment.

        And it’s even more bizarre when someone who makes so many inaccurate and even fictitious statements in a three sentence paragraph gets seems to get so much agreement.

        Jeremy Fox and Chill1184 are right on with their rebuttals.

      • Old Gator - Sep 13, 2012 at 7:35 PM

        Pisano – what you mean is, you pried open the elevator door for me while the elevator was stuck in the basement. Nice try.

    • 1baseballfan - Sep 13, 2012 at 11:50 AM

      Hmm. How about Mark Cuban?

      • chill1184 - Sep 13, 2012 at 12:03 PM

        Sadly Mark Cuban will never be let in MLB or any other league for that matter. Hell the NBA can barely stand him.

    • okobojicat - Sep 13, 2012 at 11:52 AM

      Interestingly, since the FSG purchased the Red Sox, the Sox have 2 WS titles and the Yankees 1.

      13 months of wacko mismanagement is nothing comapred to the 30 years of the Boss and the 2 years when Hank was allowed way to much power up in the Bronx.

      • uyf1950 - Sep 13, 2012 at 12:04 PM

        Why is it no surprise that a Red Sox fan would try and turn an article about the Red Sox and their team ownership into a commentary on the Yankees. My friend your apparent envy of the Yankees must be a terrible cross for you to carry.

      • paperlions - Sep 13, 2012 at 12:36 PM

        It actually isn’t all that interesting. The RS owners have pulled a Jerry Jones (pushed out a competent leadership because they made winning look so easy that thought their opinions were as valid as those that actually know what they are doing), we’ll see if they step back and let baseball people start making decisions again instead of thinking they know what they are doing….actually, they pretty much pulled a Steinbrenner, the more he was involved the more the Yankees sucked, too.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Sep 13, 2012 at 12:48 PM

        They’re also about to miss the playoffs for the third year in a row, which the Yanks have done since the 93 season.

      • uyf1950 - Sep 13, 2012 at 12:54 PM

        paperlions, I won’t get into a pissing contest with you about the merits of George Steinbrenners owners of the Yankees other then to say he ran the Yankees with an iron fist from 1973 to 2007 or 2008 whe his health started to fail. One only has to look at the Yankees record during that entire time to see the value of Mr Steinbrenner’s ownership. Even in the 80’s when the Yankees failed to win a World Series they played in 2 post seasons and from 1980 through 1989 only had a losing record 2 seasons. And their postseason appearances starting in 1995 is probably unmatched in Major Professional Team Sports.
        And please don’t anyone bring up Basketball or Hockey where virtually every team makes the postseason.

      • okobojicat - Sep 13, 2012 at 12:56 PM

        Well, ufy, I’m a Cubs fan, not a Red Sox fan. Moreover, you turned it about the Yankees when in your first first sentence was “As a Yankees fan” so don’t put this on me.

        Its not my fault that your team is old and everyone is overpaid. My team just sucks.

      • uyf1950 - Sep 13, 2012 at 1:01 PM

        okobojicat, If you can’t see the difference between my initial comment and your subsequent reply god help you. But you are correct about one thing the Red Sox do stink, your words not mine.

      • uyf1950 - Sep 13, 2012 at 1:04 PM

        You will have to allow me the luxury of going on the premise that you are indeed a Red Sox fan even though your latest comment said Cubs.

      • paperlions - Sep 13, 2012 at 1:54 PM

        No need to piss, the resurgence of the Yankees was due mainly to the fact that GS was suspended for a couple years and once reinstated, he was less involved in baseball decisions for many years. He was a great owner within the context of putting winning first and putting up the necessary cash….but the more he was involved in baseball decisions, the worse they got….even during the early 2000s, when he was meddling more and more each year (along with the TB contingent associated with the Yankees), the team suffered for his interference in baseball decisions.

        To say that Steinbrenner being more involved in the daily (or weekly or monthly) baseball decision making process helped the Yankees win would be to ignore all facts.

      • bigleagues - Sep 13, 2012 at 2:28 PM

        uyf1950

        Of course, if you are a true Yankees fan, familiar with the team’s fell history, rather than just it’s recent history (2009), then you’d already know that the 17-year title drought was overcome when Steinbrenner was BANISHED from day-to-day operation of the club, and to his credit, left Stick Michael in charge of the day-to-day operations.

        Steinbrenner’s ironfist ways ceased in 1990. Once he was reinstated he let his baseball people drive the bus and was a noticeably more restrained, less meddling Steinbrenner.

        It was Stick and his protege’s Watson, then Cashman that have been by far the most responsible for the resurgence of the Yankees’ fortunes after that long title drought – caused by years of questionable big spending decisions and absolutist statements that didn’t endear him to many Free Agents.

        The three titles that Steinbrenner’s teams won in the 1970’s were mostly because Steinbrenner was by far the most aggressive team early on in Free Agency. Again, to his credit . . . but I hate it when his legacy is overstated.

        He was a GREAT if not controversial owner. He cared about winning first and budgets second. But having said that – he was not a baseball genius. He was an extremely savvy, uber competitive business man who loved his baseball team.

        And you are right . . . the Yankees post-season appearance streak is incomparable to basketball . . . mainly because teams that have done it in basketball have done it with an actual salary cap. With the Yankees falling back to the pack and other teams amping up revenues – we’ll finally find out how resourceful the Yankees will continue to be. Certainly not as resourceful, as say . . . the Lakers.

  8. thatyankeedude - Sep 13, 2012 at 11:49 AM

    Maybe they will sell for some Oprah tickets and a few million dollars.

    • 1baseballfan - Sep 13, 2012 at 11:52 AM

      From Forbes a year ago:

      http://www.forbes.com/lists/2011/33/baseball-valuations-11_Boston-Red-Sox_330700.html

      Team Value $912 mil

      • j0esixpack - Sep 13, 2012 at 1:27 PM

        Excellent point.

        And that’s JUST for the team which they purchased for $380 million in 2002.

        That doesn’t even count Fenway Park – to which they’ve made major renovations and improvements.

        Nor does it count NESN or WEEI – which is probably worth a few hundred million alone.

        So as you point out the value of the team as of last year – BEFORE they dumped $270 million in Theo’s salary mistakes (making them worth even more today) – had increased 3x in just a few years.

        Part of that has to do with their investment in the team, stadium and sports networks and 2 World Series Championships.

        So it’s not a stretch to think that the Sox, one of baseball’s most historic organizations, might even be worth more than the $1.5 billion paid for the Dodgers.

        That’s quite a nice profit.

        And if the new owners are going to solely focus on the Red Sox, and not Liverpool Soccer or NASCAR like the current ownership, that’s only going to be a big plus for Sox fans.

        Here’s hoping it happens during this offseason!

  9. j0esixpack - Sep 13, 2012 at 12:04 PM

    I’ve been saying this for 3 weeks… Though Larry Luchino “emphatically denied” the team was for sale this morning on WEEI

    But common sense says this is the perfect time to sell.

    They just dumped $200 million in salary by getting the Dodgers to take on the contracts.

    The Dodgers themselves just sold for $1.5 billion.

    The current Sox ownership bought the team AND the NESN sports network for half that much.

    Common sense says that with payroll at an all time low, and the clear need for a new coach, now is the time to sell high after buying low

  10. sdelmonte - Sep 13, 2012 at 12:09 PM

    I bid a dollar. Let’s seen anyone top that!

  11. sabatimus - Sep 13, 2012 at 12:17 PM

    I was about to write “thank GOD” until I saw the report came from Fox.

    • Old Gator - Sep 13, 2012 at 7:39 PM

      Yeah, I gave up on Faux when their weather reporters kept swearing that Hurricane Isaac was heading for Veracruz and that everyone ought to watch the Republican Convention anyway.

  12. willclarkgameface - Sep 13, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    I heard that the Los Angeles Dodgers are interested in buying the Red Sox.

    Could be interesting.

    • j0esixpack - Sep 13, 2012 at 3:59 PM

      That was from a few weeks ago.

      And they did “buy Red Sox” – they took on the albatross of $270 million in Red Sox salary – which, with the exception of Gonzales (who is good but still overpaid), was money that was going to prevent the Sox from being future contenders.

      If they’re interested in picking up the remainder of Lackey’s $82 million contract they’re welcome to purchase that Red Sox as well!

      • Old Gator - Sep 13, 2012 at 7:42 PM

        They took an albatross off the Feesh, too, in the form of the Hanster, and since albatrosses eat Feesh, they may have saved the life not only of Billy the Marlin but of countless other marine eat-me advertising icons as well, like, oh, Bubba Gump the Shrimp and Charlie Tuna.

  13. randygnyc - Sep 13, 2012 at 12:42 PM

    Steinbrenners should create a straw buyer and then run the team into the ground whilst milking the Boston fans to cover the losses.

  14. willclarkgameface - Sep 13, 2012 at 1:57 PM

    Believe NOTHING this man has to say. What good would it do for him to come out and tell the truth while he is out and about “secretly” shopping for the highest possible bid from people he knows would pay BILLIONS for this team.

    He’s a schmuck. Believe THAT.

    • mazblast - Sep 13, 2012 at 4:56 PM

      Anyone who remembers his days as the Marlins owner would know that if his lips move, he’s lying.

      • Old Gator - Sep 13, 2012 at 7:43 PM

        Funny thing about owners of the Feesh, that.

  15. dowhatifeellike - Sep 13, 2012 at 4:59 PM

    The Red Sox are not for sale – Bobby Andino already owns them.

    • bigleagues - Sep 13, 2012 at 7:49 PM

      BOOYAH!

      I’m a Sox fan . . . and ya know what?

      AWESOME line, dude!

    • j0esixpack - Sep 13, 2012 at 8:59 PM

      Yup… Credit where credit is due from another Sox fan. Great line!

      We’re all baseball fans first and you gotta pay respect to some of those clutch plays.

      And who knows what happens if they make the playoffs that year? Frankly I think the flameout will be good in the long run. Those guys got fat and lazy under Francona.

      The Sox should get a new manager but keep Bobby V on retainer as an ongoing threat to bring him back if they ever get fat and lazy again.

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