Murray Chass, sources with knowledge=John Henry's "Malarkey"--NY Times
Murray Chass has found someone who thinks the Red Sox wanted Matsuzaka, but in any case didn't want the Yankees to have him:
- "The Red Sox will never acknowledge that publicly. But in private, at least some members of their ruling triumvirate — John Henry, Tom Werner and Larry Lucchino — have told a person who works as a consultant in Major League Baseball that had they been unable to sign Matsuzaka to a contract, they would still have considered the enterprise a success because he wouldn’t be on the Yankees.
The person who spoke to the Red Sox ownership about the pursuit of Matsuzaka requested anonymity because of what he viewed as the private nature of his conversation with Red Sox executives. In an e-mail message, John Henry, the team’s principal owner, called the account “malarkey” and “utter nonsense.”
The Red Sox, according to the account that Henry is denying, figured that they would get the negotiating rights to Matsuzaka but would probably be unable to negotiate a deal for him with his agent, Scott Boras, who can be particularly tough to deal with in high-profile bargaining."
- Of course, it all ended up working out. But Chass has a priceless segment at the end of his column--some Sox were asked their 2007 predictions:
"And so, a question was recently posed to Red Sox players: Is there any reason why Boston shouldn’t be picked to win the division title?
- “No,” Mike Timlin said, laughing at his bluntness.
“I don’t know,” David Ortiz said. “I don’t have no time right now. We’re looking good, we’re looking good.”
- “I can’t answer that,” Manager Terry Francona said, opting to be diplomatic. “I would never fall into that trap. You guys are the experts. That’s what I always hear. I’m just a manager.”"
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