While Red Sox principal owner John Henry's claim that he was fined 500,000 for remarks about baseball's revenue sharing system may seem like a fanciful exaggeration, it turns out that Henry was indeed socked with that figure, according to sources.
In Novemeber of 2009, in remarks supplied by e-mail simultaneously to CSNNE.com and The Boston Globe, Henry complained that too many teams were accepting revenue sharing from big-market clubs but failing to re-invest the money properly to produce a winner on the field. Henry decried the current revenue sharing system and expressed a wish that revenue sharing would be given a drastic overhaul in the next collective bargaining agreement.
Henry revealed Tuesday, in an interview on WEEI, that as a result of his comments, he was fined 500,000 by commisioner Bud Selig, who has placed a gag order on owners as negotiations for a new CBA draw closer.
A spokesperson for the commissioner's office offered no comment citing MLB policy on fines assessed by Selig. However, an industry source said the 500,000 cited Tuesday by Henry was "not inaccurate." The source was unsure whether a fine of that magnitude had been assessed before or since Henry's comments.
Last month Yankees owner Hank Steinbrenner echoed some of Henry's complaints from 2009, and in a rare bit of fraternity with the rival Red Sox said the two American League superpowers were on the same page on the issue of revenue sharing.
It's likely that Steinbrenner and the Yankees were also fined for those remarks, though that could not be confirmed Tuesday.
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Pablo Sandoval hit his fourth home run of the spring and Rusney Castillo had three hits to lead a Red Sox split squad to a 7-5 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday in Port Charlotte, Fla.
Sandoval, who has won back his third base job after missing nearly all of last season following surgery on his left shoulder, connected for a three-run shot, batting right-handed, against Rays starter Ian Snell in the fifth inning. The switch-hitting Sandoval had abandoned hitting right-handed in 2015, his last full season with the Red Sox.
He's hitting .353 this spring with a 1.051 OPS and 19 RBI.
Castillo, the Cuban outfielder signed to a seven-year, $72 million deal late in 2014 but again likely headed for Triple-A Pawtucket, went 3-for-4 and is hitting .368 this spring. Catcher Blake Swihart, also probably Pawtucket-bound, had two hits and is hitting .325.
Kyle Kendrick strengthened his bid for a spot in the rotation by allowing two runs in six innings and striking out six and Jackie Bradley homered as a Red Sox split squad played to a 3-3 tie with the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday in Fort Myers, Fla.
Kendrick, 32, a non-roster invitee to spring training, allowed eight hits and a walk in his sixth start this spring. He's been the Red Sox best starter with an ERA of 2.17.
With David Price out until May and lefty Drew Pomeranz still a question mark, Kendrick could find his way into the rotation behind Chris Sale, Rick Porcello, Steven Wright and Eduardo Rodriguez.
Bradley went 2-for-3 with his third homer of the spring. He's hitting .244 in spring training games.
The Phillies pushed across the tying run in the ninth off lefty reliever Robby Scott, the first run he's allowed this spring in 10 innings.
The Minnesota Twins host the Red Sox on Sunday at 1:05 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers.