John Henry's state of the Sox

The Guru
Contributing Writer

Red Sox principal owner John Henry, who has been relatively quiet this year, went on WEEI's Mut and Merloni show Thursday to give what amounted to a "state of the team" address.

Henry said,
"Last year in my mind was an anomalous year. People seem to be surprised that we are in first place and that we are a decent team. I think everybody predicted us last, almost unanimously. I think that is because you get — when you have a bad year, you assume that it’s going to continue. I heard a lot of feeling as if the good days were over with the Boston Red Sox as a franchise. We had a great run of 11 years or 10 years, but last year was certainly an anomalous year."

Henry also said the team made a concerted effort to get back to the winning formula that proved so successful in '04 and '07,
"The way we look at it, we took a certain turn back in 2008 away from our core philosophy. I would say in May of last year we decided that we — there was some emphasis that we needed to get back to that." Henry continued, "You have to give Ben Cherington a lot of credit for what is going on.”

The Red Sox owner made sure that manager John Farrell was given credit as well,
"[Farrell] has been everything you could ask for in a manager from a teaching point, his man management so to speak and his day-to-day approach. This is a very resilient team, and you can see it in the manager’s office as to why that might be the case."

Asked whether hiring the-manager-that-shall-not-be-named was the right move last season Henry said,
"In retrospect, it certainly was a mistake. But I thought he did everything he could from his perspective or from what he should have done, but Bobby is a force of nature. He is a strong personality and it did not work with that group. You can blame us as much as anyone for what happened last year.”

Henry touched on a variety of hot topics including signing Dustin Pedroia to a long term contract saying there's no "urgency" to get a deal done now, the health of Clay Buchholz, "if he's healthy it will be a heck of a pennant race" and Jacoby Ellsbury's upcoming free agency saying "we would very much like to retain [him]".

The Red Sox, in first place with the best record in the American League (58-39), return to action following the All-Star break when they begin a three-game series with the New York Yankees Friday night at Fenway Park.

Follow The Guru on Twitter @TheGuruGS
More musings from The Guru.