Red Sox Principal Owner John Henry Speaks
Fort Myers, Fla. (AP) - After their new players added up to another
last-place finish, the owner of the Boston Red Sox figured out the
team's math was wrong.
''I think we were reliant too heavily on analytics,'' John Henry
The Red Sox, with ace sabermetrician Bill James in their front
office, have helped lead the majors-wide movement toward using
advanced numbers to make decisions.
Henry reconsidered that strategy after Boston finished last in the
AL East for the second straight year, and for the third time in
''I spent at least two months looking under the hood and I came to
the conclusion we needed to make some changes,'' Henry said. ''One
of the things we've done - and I'm fully accountable for this - is
we have perhaps overly relied on numbers and there were a whole
host of things.''
''I was shocked at how bad we were last year,'' he said.
The Red Sox brought in two high-priced free agents before last
season - Pablo Sandoval for five years at $95 million and Hanley
Ramirez for four years at $88 million. Both had tremendously
disappointing seasons as Boston went 78-84.
Henry said it was not one particular miscalculation the team made
last year that bothered him.
''I would say the more I looked from my own perspective, the more I
found not to be happy about,'' he said.
He came to the conclusion that a change in philosophy was needed.
''We were never as far toward analytics as people thought we
were,'' Henry said. ''And even now - I'm an analytics guy - I think
we needed more of a balance. I started reaching it last season. I
won't go into all of it but there were various aspects of our
overall philosophy needed tweaking and we did.''
''Baseball is a complex, dynamic, living thing that has to really
be nurtured on a daily basis 12 months of the year,'' he said.
Henry took over the team in 2002 and the Red Sox have won three
World Series championships since then, most recently in 2013. Under
his reign, Boston has had one of the highest payrolls each year.
''A lot of our advantage was purely financial,'' Henry said.
Last August, in a signal that his priorities were changing, Henry
brought in Dave Dombrowski as president of baseball operations and
general manager Ben Cherington stepped down. Dombrowski was GM of
the Marlins when Henry owned the team from January 1999 until
''Very hands on,'' Henry said of Dombrowski's management style.
''He has made adjustments. It hasn't been a revolution. It's been
more of an evolution. But he has a different style than what we're
used to here and I think it's melded very well with the front
Boston's offseason moves reflect the organization's change in
philosophy, Henry said. But he knows the team needs more than a new
philosophy to be successful.
The Red Sox signed lefty David Price to a seven-year, $217 million
deal, hoping he can revitalize the rotation. Closer Craig Kimbrel
was acquired from San Diego for four young players.
''The biggest thing that has to happen is the players on the field
have to perform,'' Henry said. ''We didn't get as much of that last
year as we needed.''
NOTES: Henry said Sandoval's body-fat ratio has been measured at 17
percent since the third baseman reported to camp earlier this week,
down from 21 percent last season. ... Outfielder Rusney Castillo
was not in camp on Wednesday and is expected to be out several days
with an illness.