Red Sox owner John Henry, angry with what he was hearing on 98.5 The Sports Hub this afternoon, arrived at the station at 2:20 p.m. and demanded to be heard.
Henry was primarily upset with the discussion between hosts Michael Felger and Tony Massarotti regarding the Globe’s story on Wednesday that detailed the collapse of the team in September. He called their statements “misleading.”
Henry was allowed into the studio and, during a 70-minute interview, made several revealing comments regarding the team. Primary among them was that he opposed the idea of signing free agent left fielder Carl Crawford to a seven-year, $142 million deal.
“[Crawford was ] definitely a baseball signing. In fact, anyone involved in the process, anybody involved in upper management with the Red Sox will tell you that I personally opposed that. They all know that,” Henry said.
“I’ll just tell you that at the time I opposed the deal, but I don’t meddle to the point of making decisions for our baseball people. Theo will tell you, this was driven by our baseball people. It wasn’t a PR move.”
Henry also admitted that general manager Theo Epstein had received permission to speak “with another team” and had told the Red Sox that he didn’t see himself as the general manager long term. Epstein has accepted a five-year, $18.5 million deal with the Cubs and the teams are discussing compensation for him.
“I’d love to have Theo back. I would have loved for Theo to have been our general manager to be our general manager for the next 20 years. That was my hope. That would have been my hope. But you don’t always get what you want,” Henry said. “I did everything I could, personally —and so did Tom [Werner] and Larry [Lucchino] — to make that happen. But the fact that is, and I think people don’t understand this, the fact is that being the general manager in Boston or being the manager in Boston is a terrifically tough job.
“He never saw the general manager’s role as longer than 10 years for himself. I mean, maybe he did early on, but, certainly, after a few years, he knew the stress of this job was too much.”
Henry said that Lucchino is at the end of his contract, but will continue on as team president. He said that Lucchino runs the team and has done a good job of it.
On the antics in the clubhouse: “If Dustin Pedroia didn’t know, how were we supposed to know? Told by Felger that Pedroia was lying, Henry shot back, “You don’t know Dustin very well.”
On the team’s September collapse: “What happened is that our starting pitchers had a 7.08 ERA. … It was all seven of these guys. … I didn’t see one player out there who wasn’t busting his ass to try and win games.”
On Josh Beckett: “He’s one of the most competitive guys I’ve ever met.”
On the future of the team: “Everybody is blaming everybody for everything, but we don’t blame everybody for everything. … “But if fans hang in there, I’m going to hang in there. We’re going to be back as an organization. We’re going to have a top class manager and general manager, and we’re going to have a great team next year. People right now are forgetting that this was a great team before September. They’re concentrating solely on September. And I don’t blame them for that. We are, too. We are concentrating on what happened in September.
“But I love this team, and I’m going to do everything I can to get it back to where it needs to be.”
Listen to the audio of his appearance in the player embedded here: