I was thinking about how close we came to the utter devastation of the Red Sox culture and experience back in 2002, had we not been sold to John Henry and NESV. Specifically, here's where we could stand if we'd been sold to Frank McCourt.
Following the acquisition of the Red Sox in 2002, Frank McCourt immediately unveils a plan to bulldoze 90 year old Fenway Park to build a generic HOK-designed Mallpark on his 24 acres of land in South Boston. Though Save Fenway Park! launches a furious campaign to save the structure, McCourt continues with the plan, scheduled for Opening Day of 2005. The move alienates many in the fanbase, as the new design's echoes of Fenway make many question why it needed replacing to begin with. The Mass. legislature votes against funding the new park, forcing McCourt into deeper debt.
Dan Duquette is replaced as General Manager with [generic old-school baseball guy], who fanatically avoids any Moneyball principles. Nomar Garciaparra and Pedro Martinez are signed to extensions in spite of injury history, which limits team flexibility. David Ortiz becomes an MVP candidate DHing for the Mariners. Red Sox continue without positive results in the AL East. Yankees win back-to-back championships in 2003 and 2004.
Generic Mallpark opens on McCourt's land for the very first game of the MLB season against the defending champion New York Yankees. Pedro Martinez gives up 6 through 3 2/3rds as the Yankees win 9-4.
Demolition of Fenway Park begins after attempts to save the Jersey St. exterior fail. Generic Mallpark's 45,000 seats are not sold out for the entire season.
After several middling years with early playoff exits, the Red Sox are rocked by divorce proceedings between Frank McCourt and his wife & CEO of the Red Sox Jamie McCourt. The Red Sox are unable to make major moves in the offseason due to the financial strain of the divorce, and the team falls further behind the Yankees and Rays.
Now, obviously this is conjecture, but not all of it is far from a possibility. McCourt was a definite possibility to buy the Red Sox: home town guy, owns buildable land for a new park, money to spend. But the Dodgers are currently in a hopeless morass, trying to borrow money from Fox just to maintain their finances.
Meanwhile, even with my problems with Theo, we have a great, committed management group, 2 rings, the best park in baseball, a huge payroll, and a radiant future. Plus, just for kicks, a sister club in Liverpool with equal history and standing.
Thank god for NESV.