Henry makes surprise appearance on 'Felger and Mazz'

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Henry makes surprise appearance on 'Felger and Mazz'

Prompted by what he said were misleading statements from Michael Felger and Tony Massarotti on 98.5 The Sports Hub's 'Felger and Mazz' show, Red Sox owner John Henry made a surprise visit to the studio and engaged in a sometimes testy exchange with the two hosts.

"We've been smeared. You guys have been smearing us," said Henry of accusations that the Red Sox deliberately badmouthed Terry Francona and leaked information to the Boston Globe's Bob Hohler for the story on the clubhouse problems that ran earlier this week. "The author of the story has gone on the record as saying we did not participate in it. So I don't know what else there is to say about it."

He said as he was listening to the show while driving through the city, "All I could think to myself was, 'Journalists don't knowingly mislead the public'." And he said that's what led him to go to the studio and ask to go on the air.

"Maybe you're entertainers sometimes, journalists sometimes, and maybe you're more entertainers today than journalists," Henry told the two, who added: "It's important for the public not to be misled."

Henry was frequently challenged -- and interrupted -- by Felger and Massarotti, prompting him at one point to comment: "You guys don't need me here. All I do is give you facts, but you're much more entertaining than I am."

Among the highlights of their conversation . . .

He said he was opposed to the Carl Crawford signing. "Anyone involved in the process, anyone in upper management with the Red Sox, will tell you that I personally opposed that," said Henry. "We had plenty of left-handed hitting. I dont have to go into why. Ill just tell you that at the time I opposed the deal, but I dont meddle to the point of making decisions for our baseball team."

He also denied that the Crawford signing and the trade for Adrian Gonzalez were P.R. moves in response to declining television and radio ratings after the 2010 season.

Henry said the notion that the Red Sox weren't trying to win during their September collapse was ludicrous. "Did you watch any of those games?" he said. "I didn't see any of our players doing anything other than busting their ass to win games."

"The chaos" surrounding the team at the moment "is much more external than internal," said Henry. "You said, 'The Red Sox are in ashes.' That's not how we feel about it . . . There's not a sense of desperation, except when we turn on the radio. We're going to be successful next year."

He said the situation on the Sox was not nearly as bad as was depicted in the Globe story. He said the players, in fact, did their conditioning work. "Unless our training people are lying to me directly, the answer is yes, they did their work," said Henry.

He also wouldn't comment on Theo Epstein's situation, but said he didn't want to see Epstein leave the organization.

"I really can't go into it," he said. "There's a prohibition against announcements being made during the postseason in baseball . . . As far as I know, he's still involved with the Red Sox operation.

"I'd love to have Theo back. I'd have loved to haveTheo as our general manager for the next 20 years. But you can't alwaysget what you want . . . The fact is, being general manager in Boston isa terrifically tough job.

He said the Sox are working on a multiyear contract extension with president and CEO Larry Lucchino.

He expressed incredulity when Felger said he didn't believe Dustin Pedroia was telling the truth when he said he didn't know players were drinking beer and playing video games in the clubhouse during games.

"You think Dustin Pedroia's lying, too? Boy, you don't know Dustin very well," said Henry. "So you think he's a liar, I'm a liar, Lucchino's a liar . . . "

He promised the team would rebound in 2012.

"It broke my heart to see this club fall apart at the end," he said. "We were devastated to lose that last game, and night after night after night to find ways to lose . . . You put everything you can into trying to win a World Series. To have it fall apart at the end is upsetting. And painful . . .

"But if the fans hang in there, then I'm going to hang in there . . . We're going to have a great team next year."

Red Sox trade Shaw, prospects for reliever Thornburg

Red Sox trade Shaw, prospects for reliever Thornburg

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The Red Sox got the bullpen help they were seeking Tuesday, but it came at a steep price.
     
The Sox obtained righthanded reliever Tyler Thornburg from the Milwaukee Brewers, but it cost them infielder Travis Shaw, highly regarded shortstop prospect Mauricio Dubon and pitching prospect Josh Pennington, according to an industry source.

In Thornburg, 28, the Red Sox get a hard-throwing reliever whom they control for the next three seasons. He became the Brewers' closer after the trade deadline last year and recorded 13 saves while posting a 2.15 ERA and avergaing 12.1 strikeouts per nine innings.
    
He will serve as the Red Sox' primary set-up option to get to closer Craig Kimbrel.
     
One potential issue for Thornburg is that he's dealt with some elbow issues in the recent past. As recently as 2014, it was thought that he might require Tommy John surgery, but he instead underwent PRP (platelt rich plasma) treatment and has remained healthy.

Given that the last set-up reliever obtained by Dombrowski, Carson Smith, underwent Tommy John surgery last season, Thornburg's injury history raises a caution flag.

In dealing Shaw, the Red Sox are now expecting Pablo Sandoval to be their primary third baseman -- at least in the near term.

Sandoval missed all but a few games in 2016 with a shoulder injury and his conditioning has been an issue since signing with the Red Sox two years ago.

The Red Sox have Brock Holt to help out at third in 2017, with both Yoan Moncada and Rafael Devers waiting in the wings.

Dubon is the second top prospect to be dealt by Dombrowski in the last 13 months. He included Javier Guerra in a package with three other prospects to obtain Kimbrel in November of 2015.

Dubon posted a .912 OPS in half a season at Portland last year and recently played in the Arizona Fall League. He has limited power, but strong athleticism and makes good contact.

Pennington is 20, a hard-throwing (94-98 mph) righthander who could profile either as a late-inning weapon or a starter. He's years away from the big leagues and has already undergone Tommy John surgery.

The Boston Herald was the first to report that the teams had made a trade. Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com was the first to report the details.

New photo surfaces of noticeably thinner Pablo Sandoval

New photo surfaces of noticeably thinner Pablo Sandoval

When it comes to Pablo Sandoval and his weight, a picture is worth a thousand words.

During spring training it wasn’t a good thing. Sandoval made headlines when a number of photos revealed significant weight gain for the Red Sox third baseman.

But the last two images have been more positive for Sandoval.

In October, a noticeably thinner Sandoval was photographed at an FC Barcelona game.

On Monday, Dan Roche of WBZ tweeted a more recent picture of the new-look Sandoval.

Sandoval, 30, is entering the third season of a five-year, $95 million contract. In his lone full season in Boston, 2015, Sandoval hit .245/.292/.366 with 10 homers and 47 RBI.