The Boston Red Sox are having an undeniably horrible year, but are things really so bad that ownership might consider selling the team? According to Fox Business News analyst Charlie Gasparino – yes, yes they are.
“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” he wrote in a recent column, pointing out that the franchise could garner anywhere from $1 to $1.3 billion on the open market. And while that figure is noticeably lower than what the Los Angeles Dodgers sold for out west, it’s worth remembering that the Dodgers came sans TV deal.
Shortly after Gasparino's report hit the newswire, John Henry came out to deny, deny, deny.
“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,” told the Boston Globe (via ESPN).
"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 (Fenway Sports Group) are not for sale and will not be for the foreseeable future."
Later, when Gasparino said that he was standing by his initial report, Henry went back out into the field and continued to reject the notion that he was actually pondering selling the Sox.
"Sometimes journalists have sources that are completely off base, don't know what they're talking about," Henry said on WEEI. "I guess that's what I would have to say having listened to the interview.
"Whoever (Gasparino) is talking with they are certainly, especially when he mentions there has been talks with a buyer and so forth, it's just so far out of the horizon of things that have been going on here."
So a bad year, non-stop negative publicity and a seemingly inevitable coaching change aren’t enough to scare Henry away. Fair enough. There is no reason not to take him at his word.
That said, you would be hard pressed to think of a better time for him to jump ship than right now. Sure, the Sox aren’t a winning team at the moment, but they just shed a quarter million in salaries. As it is presently constructed, this squad could easily be peddled to the highest bidder, and that person would be free to shape and mold it in whatever vision they have.
Plus, the Dodgers set a pretty solid bench mark. It’s tough to envision any other team outside of the Yankees selling for a hefty enough total to raise the Red Sox’s market value.
But this is all just empty talk because, again, Henry says he isn’t going anywhere.
"We're in this for the long term. We're committed to the Red Sox and committed to getting back to where we need to be."
Sorry, Boston fans.