Oh, Henry! Red Sox Owner John Henry Is a Spiel-Driving Man

Oh, Henry! Red Sox Owner John Henry Is a Spiel-Driving ManSix weeks after bailing on Twitter, Boston Red Sox owner John W. Henry is blathering online again. And this time, he’s using a lot more than 140 characters.

This time, the gazillionaire has his own blog on NESN.com, the web site for the Red Sox’s television network. In Henry’s first blog entry, “Sometimes, Sports Really Are Just Fun and Games,” he engages in humor, controversy, and name-dropping. And in his second entry, he even explains – sort of – why he quit Twitter, and defends Sox slugger David Ortiz. Oh goody.

Henry starts out his blogging career by telling us – again – how he was only joking in his Twitter remarks this summer, when he suggested that Boston’s archrival New York Yankees were somehow cursed by Mark Teixeira, griped to “Curb Your Enthusiasm” star Larry David about the Yankees’  payroll, and made fun of the new Yankees Universe fan club.

Henry still insists he was just having fun with all those remarks, although he admits he “quickly found out that having a sense of humor on Twitter produces quite an effect”:

Perhaps people don’t generally expect a baseball owner to have a sense of humor. It’s almost certainly of paramount importance to have a sense of humor, though, over the course of the seasons. Tom Werner and I manage to laugh about certain things on a daily basis. When you lose 60 games a year, you need comedy. And Tom’s had a magnificent career in comedy.

Yes, Sox co-owner Tom Werner has indeed “had a magnificent career in comedy,” with shows like “Cosby,” “Roseanne,” “That 70s Show,” and “Third Rock from the Sun” on the TV producer’s resume. Henry, not so much.

Maybe it’s that he’s so used to people laughing at his jokes  – when you make Forbes’ Billionaires List, that kind of comes with the territory – that he still doesn’t get it that he is, at best, mildly amusing (and I’m being kind here.) Not to mention that the Sox are on base to lose more than 60 games a year.

Henry does finally does seem to understand that his barbs – or “jokes ” – about the Yankees will get headlines:

Now I realize that if I, for instance, joke around about a curse … oooeuff! Some people seem to take everything seriously in sports — everything. I don’t know how anyone can take curses seriously!

I kidded about Yankees Universe and the fact that Red Sox Nation has ceded many of the planets in our own solar system to the Yanks … oh boy. Some took great offense. “SOX OWNER BASHES YANKS!”

Yeah, who’da thunk it? A Boston owner Twitters tweaks about his team’s biggest rival, and people payed attention! Imagine that.

But I’ll give Henry this. The Red Sox owner and blogger knows how to leave  the readers wanting more. He ended his initial blog post by writing:

I stopped Tweeting a couple of months ago and stopped updating Facebook at the same time for reasons I’ll go into in my next entry.

What on earth could  it be? Did he get Carpal Tunnel Syndrome from tweeting too much? Was he too busy working at the Widget Factory in Yoville? Maybe he’s still smarting over a bruising game of MafiaWars.

Or perhaps there’s a simpler solution. As I noted last month, ever since the New York Times reported that Boston legend David Ortiz was on the infamous 2003 performance-enhancing drugs list, Henry stopped tweeting. Coincidence?

And as it turns out, I was on to something. In his second blog entry, entitled “Nothing Will Stop David Ortiz From Leading With His Heart,” Henry admits that he “stopped writing during that period” when Ortiz was accused of using steroids.

So six weeks after the fact, when the story is completely dead, Henry blogs a defense of Ortiz against the charges. He says the Sox slugger’s “name was illegally leaked from a list of players — many of whom (not all) “tested positive” for performance-enhancing drugs.” He complains:

“Even after David offered an articulate defense of his actions, no member of the media said that perhaps there had been a rush to judgment, or that perhaps their remarks should be reexamined, or that perhaps, given their knowledge of David’s character, he should be given the benefit of the doubt.”

Why did the media not do that? Because Ortiz’s “I only used supplements” story took ten days to come up with. Because Ortiz dissembled when he intially said he was “blindsided” by the news he was on the list. And because it looked like Ortiz’s press conference comments – with Players’ Association counsel Michael Weiner at his side – were more about plausible deniability than straight shooting. But even so, the story fizzled after the presser.

So what does Henry do?  Give writers an excuse to talk about this dead story again. Nice going! Not that this Yankee fan is complaining or anything. Keep on blogging, dude! Let your freak flag fly!

Photo by webjedi

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Lisa Swan, a lifelong Yankee fan, grew up in Passaic, N.J., where her favorite player was the talented but insecure Reggie Jackson. Today she lives on Staten Island, where her favorite player is the t ...read more


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