John Henry

Transcript of John Henry's opening statement at Dave Dombrowski press conference

Rob Bradford
August 19, 2015 - 5:23 pm

With Red Sox principal owner John Henry, chairman Tom Werner, newly-hired president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski and soon-to-be president Sam Kennedy lined up in front of the media for Dombrowski's introductory press conference, Henry took it upon himself to kick things off Wednesday afternoon ... Here is a transcript of the owner's opening statement: '€œThis is a great day for the future of the Red Sox. It is a tribute to our city and great fans that Dave has elected to join us as president of baseball operations. I thought a personal reflection was appropriate. In 1998, I made the decision to buy the Florida Marlins after their general manager had been forced to disperse the players of a world championship team. They lost 108 games that year, they were facing a daunting rebuilding process. "I sat down with the general manager Dave Dombrowski because whether or not I was going to move forward was dependent on one decision: Would Dave remain the general manager? I was convinced that the man who had built great teams in Montreal and had taken an expansion franchise from creation to a world championship would support a rebuild of another championship team. A few days after that purchase, after it went through, Dave and I were walking along the street in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and he was asking me what I knew about Minor League third basemen for the Yankees, since I was a part owner of the Yankees. His trade under my ownership was acquiring Mike Lowell from the Yankees for three starting pitchers who ended up starting a total of six games in the Majors. Mike had made almost 1,500 starts. With that, Dave began an ambitious build for a championship. A few months later, he signed 16-year-old Miguel Cabrera and a high school pitcher named Josh Beckett. And then a high school first baseman named Adrian Gonzalez about a year later. When it became clear after three years that I was in for a very long political siege in trying to get a ballpark built in South Florida, I decided to sell the Marlins. I said to Dave, throughout your career, you'€™ve never had the resources to build and keep great teams except for one year. I don'€™t know who is going to own this club. If you can go somewhere where you'€™ll have a chance to have better resources, you should do so. Dave found a great home in Detroit as president and general manager. "I was lucky enough to land here and the Marlins won the championship in 2003, a combination of David'€™s base building and very smart moves on the part of new ownership. And then many of our Marlins ended up here, Josh Beckett, Mike Lowell, Kevin Millar to name a few. Over the summer, there has been much discussion about strengthening our baseball organization internally. On August 4, when the Tigers announced the shakeup of Dave leaving, I spoke to Tom and Ben about having a conversation with Dave. Tom and I wanted to see if there was a fit for Dave within the Red Sox organization. Ben did not object. Would our philosophies coincide in the present day? Tom, Mike Gordon and I subsequently met with Dave on August 13 at Chicago'€™s Owners Meetings and had a long discussion about the future, about baseball philosophy and whether or not there was a fit. We all left there thinking we could substantially strengthen the organization with Dave as president of baseball. We realized that our baseball views were, in fact, going to be in sync. That Dave tends to balance scouting, data analystics and player makeup and all the tools in his tool box. We hoped that Ben Cherington would remain as general manager but we knew there was a substantial risk he would not. "This was our decision to make. Tom and I have an obligation to do everything we possibly can to win for the city of Boston and Red Sox fans everywhere. As owners, we'€™re ultimately responsible for the poor results we'€™ve had over the last two years and the results going forward. Dave Dombrowski is not just a baseball man, he'€™s always been a force in his community as a family man. Today is about the future of the Boston Red Sox. We have a history of success over the past 14 years characterized by a certain boldness and purpose. That'€™s very much alive here today. Dave Dombrowski is an architect of team building the right way. For almost three deades now. He'€™s earned the respect of everyone in the game. We feel sure that this city will embrace him and his family. There'€™s a very strong organization supporting him."