John Henry: Red Sox not for sale

Updated: February 11, 2013, 5:08 PM ET
By Gordon Edes | ESPNBoston.com

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Boston Red Sox principal owner John W. Henry, departing from custom, met with the media here Monday unaccompanied by fellow owners Tom Werner and Larry Lucchino, and reiterated in strong terms that he has no interest in selling the club.

The increasing values of franchises -- the Dodgers sold last year for $2.1 billion -- is not an incentive to sell, he said.

[+] EnlargeHenry
Gordon Edes/ESPNJohn Henry said it's ludicrous to think the Red Sox make any moves for PR purposes. "We're wins-losses oriented," he said, "and have been from Day 1."

"Tom and I have made a lot of money," Henry said Monday morning, sitting on a picnic bench outside the Red Sox training facility. "That [franchise values] doesn't drive us.

"What drives us is the experience. We're determined to be successful. That hasn't changed. We don't think in terms of [franchise value]. We think about it in terms of our day-to-day lives.

"As long as we can do it, the three of us are committed to being here."

In his recently released book, former Red Sox manager Terry Francona said that ownership was preoccupied with sagging TV ratings and hired marketing consultants, who urged the team to place a greater emphasis on "good-looking stars" and "sex symbols." Henry ridiculed that notion Monday.

"People can say we're brand-oriented, revenue-oriented," Henry said. "The fact is, we're wins-losses oriented, and have been from Day 1.

"I have to laugh. ... It's ludicrous to say we signed any player since we've been here for PR purposes."

Henry also once again shrugged off the perception that owning a soccer club in England's Premier League has negatively impacted the Red Sox. He did acknowledge, however, that some fans think his owning Liverpool has taken attention and resources away from his baseball team.

"[Liverpool], I think it has affected perception. Everything affects you," he said. "The things that have been said, repeated over and over and over again are fairly ludicrous. The last time I was in Liverpool was in May of last year. I don't know where this distraction comes from. You can say every major league owner is distracted if you want to make a case for it because they all have other businesses and other endeavors. I think the major thing has been the perception. Imagine if I had nothing else to do other than the Red Sox, what do you think would be different?"

Henry praised fired skipper Bobby Valentine as "a great manager" but added: "It's clear in retrospect he wasn't the right man for that group. You can't blame Bobby for that. I think you blame us -- me, Larry, Tom.

"But I think he should manage again. He can be a great manager for the right team."

Henry said losing was not "fun." The Red Sox finished last season 69-93, in the basement of the AL East.

"To finish in last place is something I never thought would happen," he said.

He said he believed the 2013 team will win.

"Playoff team?" he said, responding to a question. "It's hard to know at this point. We may not be finished [making moves], but I definitely think we could contend."

Gordon Edes

Red Sox reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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