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Sam Kennedy on K&C: We are living in 'golden era' of Red Sox baseball

WEEI
February 20, 2018 - 11:32 am

Earlier this week, Red Sox owners John Henry and Tom Werner defended their team’s recent performance, emphasizing its back-to-back first-place finishes. Red Sox president and CEO Sam Kennedy delivered a similar message on Kirk & Callahan Tuesday, just hours after the club inked J.D. Martinez to a five-year contract.

“We've been here for 17 years. These guys have won three world championships, they've been in the postseason more often than not. They've saved Fenway Park; they've given hundreds of millions of dollars away through the Red Sox foundation and other personal contributions to charity,” Kennedy explained. “I think this has been a golden era in Red Sox baseball. I'm glad it's going to continue hopefully for another 16 or 17 years. These guys are all about winning. They want to win the World Series each and every year. ... The Boston Red Sox have been in good hands with John Henry and Tom Werner, and continue to be.”

Despite winning 186 games over the last two seasons, the Red Sox have been labeled “unlikable,” perhaps due to their lack of personality in the post-David Ortiz era. Television ratings on NESN declined last year as well. Kennedy says this ownership group takes all of those issues seriously, especially MLB’s pace of play problem. The players’ union recently voted against establishing a pitch clock, which the commissioner’s office has advocated for. 

Instead, other subtle changes will be implemented, such as restricting mound visits to six per game. 

“Pace of game is something extremely important to the Red Sox, and extremely important to Commissioner Manfred,” Kennedy said. “They did make a deal with the union. They are making steps towards improving the pace of game. I think a lot of people at the clubs are hopeful to continue down this path and continue making rule changes. That's one thing Rob Manfred has done. He's making rule changes. 

“People don't want to get home at 11:30 or`midnight. They have to work the next day. We understand that. We'd like a crisp, faster game. We'd like every game to be started by Chris Sale. You get an amazing product. “

Kennedy also addressed his recent criticisms of WEEI, which he articulated last week to the Boston Herald. 

“It's a relationship that we've enjoyed for 20+ years. We've had a terrific partnership with Entercom and WEEI. We've been on different stations over the years. The three of us have been involved in charitable activities together, we've spent time with Jimmy Fund-related activities, raised a lot of money for really important causes –– I know you two personally care about those causes. I care about those causes,” he said. “However, that doesn't mean for one second that as an organization we can't get frustrated from time-to-time with our partners, whether that's WEEI and Entercom or another partner. We feel free to speak up when we get disappointed."