Sam Kennedy on OMF defends Red Sox' popularity

Alex Reimer
July 12, 2018 - 1:33 pm

Red Sox president Sam Kennedy offered a defense Thursday against charges the first-place club hasn’t connected with fans this season. 

In an interview on OMF, Kennedy said he doesn’t think the 65-win Red Sox need to show more personality in order to attract attention. “You have to think about the way the season lays out,” he said. “You’ve got six months, 162 games in 185 days. You hear some of the columnists and talk radio hosts in town talking about baseball’s pace in comparison to other sports. If you take a step back and look at the data, you recognize the Red Sox over a six-month period are drawing 2.8 or 2.9 million fans, and if you add up all of the other team’s attendance over the course of a year, it’s less than 2 million –– including Patriots, Celtics, Bruins, Revolution. We have a huge amount of inventory –– games. It’s a season-long, half-year long undertaking. And our fan base buys it. I think when you see guys showing real emotion, it’s during special moments.”

While Red Sox ratings are up this season, there are once again questions about the buzz surrounding the team. The most talked about player is David Price, whom routinely gets lambasted on the airwaves for his passive-aggressive media availabilities and porous pitching against the Yankees. 

Kennedy said he recognizes negativity sells. 

“It’s difficult for David,” Kennedy explained. “He’s had some ups and downs, obviously. I think when you’re in an environment where you have to be accessible and accountable to the media –– it’s hard for me to personally put myself in his shoes. With David Price, we know what type of competitor he is, the talent he has. We’ve seen it. We’re not going to go very far without him. He is a huge part of this team, we support him, we’re there for him, and I think what he’s been trying to do is put the focus and attention on the team. I know a strong winning team doesn’t always lend itself to great fodder for talk radio or newspaper columnists. I’ve been in the radio business, I know what sells. I know what doesn’t sell. There’s not a ton of great storylines for controversy or discussion or debate when things are going really well. We recognize that, and we’re just trying to go about our business here, and David Price is doing the same thing.”

Overall, Kennedy said the Red Sox encourage their players to interact with the media, but recognizes everybody’s personality is different. 

“We strongly encourage our guys to interact with the media all season long and be accessible,” Kennedy said. “I just think the personalities change. There are some guys who are more comfortable doing it than others. That definitely changes season to season. I do think with this particular group of guys, a lot of them have come up through the minor leagues, they know each other really well, they’re genuinely close. It is a real team atmosphere down there in that clubhouse. They have each other’s backs. And there may be a little hesitance to put yourself out there in front of the entire team. I don’t know for sure, but I do sense that a little bit based on how tight the group is.”

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