DISCLAIMER: John Henry was absolutely wherever he said he was this past weekend. But, in case he wasn’t...
I really was going to head to Springfield. I must admit, I was looking forward to putting my differences with management’s stinginess this offseason aside for one panel in particular. I’ll give you three guesses, the first two don’t count, and I’ll even give you a hint: the noise people in the crowd would make would sound a whole lot like “boooooooooo.”
If it’s juvenile to revel in fans booing the man who owns the team I love, the owner that brought us four championships in fifteen years, I would retort that I’m getting tired of ownership using these championships as a deflection whenever other teams around the league use the radical strategy of spending on talent to yield success.
Everything is a scapegoat to these guys, the billionaires whose team was, for much of last season, trotting out openers three days a week; the billionaires who demand the highest ticket prices in baseball. The “Fenway experience” is meant to supplant any effort to cut the check for a full rotation, and this has been the case for a couple of years running. But, hey, that was Fitzy Mo Pena’s article yesterday.
So I digress: rather than “experience” so much fan anger that the restaurant workers in Springfield would need to secretly remove tomatoes from all sandwiches, John Henry cancelled the town hall that he sheepishly grimaced his way through last year, claiming that baseball players were too expensive. A town hall he was too good for, conflicting with “previous commitments.” Remember, he owns this team.
Disclaimer: I do not, ultimately, believe John Henry was being untruthful with his commitments. But, if he was, here would be the likely places he would be:
In a bathtub full of money, watching the Paris Saint-Germain game
It’s no secret that Kylian Mbappe is a good soccer player (or for those overseas, a footballer). In fact, if given the opportunity, he might be better at football than several people who play what I call football in New England this year. But, where his ability draws the ire of Bostonians is that Fenway Sports Group-owned Liverpool has expressed interest in Mbappe, who played Saturday night and scored two goals against Union Sportive Orleans. Another player in the Mbappe sweepstakes, a soccer team you may have heard of called Real Madrid, had set a deadline for Mbappe of January 15 to decide if he’s transferring there. It’s after January 15. Henry may have been working on his “gooooooooooooal” yell.
At the dermatologist’s office... but not just any dermatologist’s office. Let me explain.
In November, which is now two months ago, MassLive’s Chris Cotillo reported that coveted rotation lefty Jordan Montgomery, owner of a five-pitch repertoire and eater of at least 150 innings in each of the last three seasons, was living in Boston with his wife, who’s a dermatologist at an area hospital. Good on all sources as well as Chris for using restraint on poor McKenzie Montgomery, because I can’t imagine hearing “can ya check out this thing on my ahm? Speaking of ahms, the Sox could shuh use an ahm like ya husband’s!” every half hour for the entire winter would be a lot of fun. If speculation is true that the market is cooling on the pitchers remaining, the question would then be if the amount desired is still too rich for FSG’s blood.
In Texas, not realizing that Trevor Story’s camp was over and most of the attendees would be in Springfield.
While I don’t blame Henry for wanting to know if Marcelo Mayer made the same mistake and went late, I also wouldn’t blame him for wanting to get a sneak peek of newbie Vaughn Grissom, see how former first round draft pick Nick Yorke is progressing, or seeing David Hamilton make this SpongeBob reference, probably...
In all seriousness, I know the camp was held weeks ago now. But, given Tom Werner’s scapegoating of defensive woes and the “efforts” to correct that this year which will apparently lead to nine more wins (ha, ha, ha, good one), I’d just want to make extra sure that that infield is more sound than last year, on a team that finished third in errors with 102.
At Rich Hill’s House
I have nothing here. Hey, might as well run it back with pitchers who are aging but reliable, right? I just shudder to think of what this rotation looks like in June, and at this point, a devil we know — and one who we know can finish 5 innings — would be a welcome addition. It would be much better than seeing Alex Cora pull a guy 60 pitches in down by one run, lose control of the game, and then sputter about an overworked bullpen when asked about completely mismanaging medium-leverage situations after the game
He Was There, But With A Fake Mustache
And if he did have the fake mustache, he would’ve been a perfect counterpart for Jonathan Papelbon’s talk show. In case you were there, can you confirm if this guy was here or not?
Honestly, it just proves that anyone — anyone — can look like Dennis Eckersley with a well-grown mustache. Except maybe Craig Breslow.
Again, John Henry definitely had other plans last weekend that did not include engaging with the fans of the baseball team he owns. We can take whatever we want given the context of the team’s performance and the lack of willingness to spend this offseason despite the numerous pieces that could have, plain as day, made this team better in a tough division. I’ve gone long enough in this article without making a full throttle joke, so my last place is:
At any of the easily Google-able auto shops called Full Throttle, including but not limited to shops in New Bedford, MA, Webster, MA, or East Windsor, CT.
At least, if this is the case, if and when anyone uses the term well-oiled machine to describe their vision for the team, we’ll know what they meant.
I hope John Henry had a good weekend, whatever he was doing, I hope everyone at Winter Weekend had a good weekend, and I hope anyone who decided that not spending money on a team that doesn’t spend for them had a good weekend - and may anyone who fits into that last category have 81 “previous commitments” from April to October.