After spending considerable energy dispelling a Fox Business report he was thinking about selling the team, principal owner John Henry addressed a number of issues concerning the 2012 season and beyond for the Red Sox during a radio interview on WEEI.
Most pressing is the status of manager Bobby Valentine, who is signed through next year but has received assurances only that he will finish the season.
Henry maintained that position.
"We haven't made any decisions about retaining Tom Werner or Bobby Valentine," said Henry, making a joke at the expense of the owner of the next biggest chunk of the Red Sox, Werner.
Henry reiterated he does not hold Valentine at fault for the Red Sox' woes.
"When we look at what has happened this year, again, I know I've said it before, but I don't blame Bobby Valentine for this," said Henry. "I think we have a lot of culpability ourselves at the highest levels of the Red Sox. One of the things we should have been looking at is how much injuries have played a part ... in this club since 2006. But we still continued to concentrate on high-ticket players rather than depth. That really hurt us this year.
"You can't use injuries as an excuse. Therefore, I would say we weren't as prepared, hadn't realized and hadn't caught on quickly enough, I think, how important it is to have what Earl Weaver used to talk about and Larry (Lucchino) has talked about this year that's called deep depth."
Henry said Lucchino, who was believed to be working without a contract for some team, had re-signed with the team and will be employed by the Red Sox through at least next season.
About the Aug. 25 mega-deal with the Dodgers that shed more than a quarter billion dollars of payroll, Henry said, "We did it for one reason and one reason only: to provide payroll flexibility. We didn't have a lot of payroll flexibility. Neither the Yankees nor the Red Sox, as you've noticed over the last year, have had great financial flexibility."
Not getting along
Relations between Valentine and reliever Alfredo Aceves do not seem to be thriving.
Wednesday, the mercurial reliever made sure he came nowhere near Valentine when the manager came to the mound to relieve him.
"You always want people around who know the difference between right and wrong, and sometimes when people don't know the difference, you can talk all day long to them, and it doesn't matter," said Valentine, who has already suspended Aceves for an outburst he had in the manager's office. "In Alfredo's case, I think that he understands what he's doing."
Valentine said Aceves remains on the roster, will not be fined and "when we need him, he'll still pitch."
Ross waits to hear
Valentine said he did not expect the league to discipline Cody Ross, who was ejected during a heated exchange with umpire Alfonso Marquez on Wednesday.
"It used to be, you'd have to touch someone or say something really bad," to be suspended or disciplined, said Valentine.
As for his own ejection, a franchise-record sixth for a manager in a single season, Valentine was surprised the number was so low.
PawSox win IL title
Mike Rivera had two hits, Nelson Figueroa was the winning pitcher and Josh Fields earned the save as the Pawtucket Red Sox completed a three-game sweep of the International League Championship series with a 4-1 win last night over the host Charlotte Knights in Fort Mill, S.C. It was the first Governors' Cup title for the PawSox since 1984. The PawSox will face the Pacific Coast League champions Tuesday night in Durham, N.C., for the Triple-A championship. ...
Last night's 2-0 loss dropped the Red Sox to a season-worst 16 games under .500. They are 5-10 against the Yankees this season, 2-7 at Fenway. The Red Sox were shut out by the Yankees for the first time at Fenway since July 25, 2008. ...
The Yankees have hit .183 against last night's starter Felix Doubront in eight games since 2010. He had four quality starts against the Yankees this season. The last Red Sox lefty to have four quality starts against the Yankees was Bill Lee in 1974. ...
Pedro Ciriaco had the only extra base-hit, a double in the eighth inning. In his 11 games against the Yankees this season, he is hitting .429 (18-for-42). ...
Dustin Pedroia was not at the ballpark. He and his wife had their second son, and everyone was doing well, Valentine reported. On a night when the Red Sox had just six hits and no runs, the absence of Pedroia was glaring.
"He's one of the best players in baseball," said Valentine. "There's a few of them that are out of that lineup. We miss him."
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