Red Sox

Red Sox president Sam Kennedy on Xander Bogaerts, Fenway prices, and Boston fans

“We’ve got a responsibility to do everything in our power to make sure that we’re built to be competitive into the postseason..."

Sam Kennedy Red Sox
Sam Kennedy, president and CEO of the Boston Red Sox. (Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff)

As the Red Sox endure their toughest stretch of the season to date, the club’s president and CEO Sam Kennedy appeared on WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show” Tuesday morning.

Kennedy covered a range of topics, from David Ortiz’s Hall of Fame induction to a report naming Fenway Park as the most expensive MLB ballpark for a family of four to attend a game. Of course, Kennedy also addressed rumors surrounding shortstop Xander Bogaerts potentially being moved before August 2nd’s trade deadline. Here’s what he said:

On David Ortiz

When asked about beloved slugger David Ortiz’s recent induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame, Kennedy had high praise for Big Papi. “In terms of … what this guy means to not just the Red Sox, but all of New England, he is clearly the most important player in our history,” Kennedy said.


“It was great to see all his former teammates and friends and family there supporting him – great day for the organization and just an incredibly well-deserved honor for Big Papi.”

On the relationship between Alex Cora and Chaim Bloom

Kennedy rejected the notion that manager Alex Cora has been pleading for help from chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom through the media.

“I can say with absolute certainty that Chaim and Alex Cora have perhaps the best manager – general manager relationship that I’ve seen in my time here,” Kennedy assured Hill. “They’ve got incredibly open dialogue, honest dialogue – all of us talk all the time on a daily basis.”

On Xander Bogaerts

When asked if he could envision Xander Bogaerts in a different uniform, Kennedy bluntly replied, “No, I cannot.”

However, Kennedy did not directly say that Bogaerts would not be traded prior to next Tuesday’s trade deadline.

Hill asked if he could guarantee that Bogaerts would be a member of the Red Sox after the deadline, to which Kennedy responded, “All I’ll say is there’s been no discussions or commentary internally or externally about moves related to the trade deadline involving Xander or [Rafael Devers] or anyone else to my knowledge. At this point, we’re focused on getting back in this thing and winning.”


Kennedy did express his desire to keep his stars with the club, telling the show, “We’ve got a responsibility to do everything in our power to make sure that we’re built to be competitive into the postseason, and Xander, Raffy, and the guys who have gotten us there in the past, we hope they’re a part of this for a long, long time.”

On the commitment to winning

As the Red Sox have come under fire for their handling of the Bogaerts and Rafael Devers contract situations, Kennedy reinforced the club’s commitment to winning.

“No one is waving the white flag – we’ve gone through an incredibly difficult stretch – we are not built to be a .500 club,” Kennedy said.

He also defended ownership’s commitment to putting the team in position to succeed, saying, “I would say that thanks to this ownership group, we’ve been at the very, very top of spending in Major league baseball ever since we’ve been here.”

“Any narrative that this ownership group does not invest into this club is simply false,” Kennedy continued.

On Lebron James calling the city of Boston racist


Kennedy acknowledged that he cannot speak on James’s experiences in Boston and recognized that, regrettably, acts of racism have occurred in the city’s sports scene, saying “unfortunately, there’s a small minority of people from time to time over the past two decades that have violated that code of conduct, and we’ve taken a strong stand on that. So we acknowledge that, we know that it happens, and there’s just no place for racism or hate speech anywhere, and especially in our sports venues.”

He defended Red Sox fans as the “best baseball fans in the country,” and touted the work the Red Sox have done in creating a welcoming environment.

“We’ve tried to be a positive force for change in the city of Boston … we’ve tried to make Fenway Park a welcoming, warm, hospitable place for fans, our players, our employees. I think we’ve made great strides, but the work is never done,” Kennedy said.

On Fenway Park as the most expensive MLB ballpark to attend a game

When asked if there was an internal concern that Fenway Park was named as MLB’s most expensive ballpark for a family of four to attend a game, Kennedy responded, “Absolutely, … the good news is we’ve worked hard over the last couple years to make sure that that next generation of fans can come here, and while we acknowledge our tickets are expensive and the cost of going to a ballgame is expensive for a family of four, we certainly appreciate the investment our fans make. We’ve taken specific steps to try and make sure that everyone can access Fenway Park.”


He pointed to the Red Sox’s “Student 9s” and “Family 4-Pax” offers as ways for fans to attend Red Sox games at a reasonable price.

Listen to the full interview here.


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