John Henry

Red Sox Twitter roasts John Henry after Dodgers sign Mookie Betts

Red Sox Twitter roasts John Henry after Dodgers sign Mookie Betts

Red Sox fans saw Mookie Betts develop into one of the best players in baseball in Boston — but now they'll have to watch his career continue in Dodger blue.

Seeing Betts traded to Los Angeles after Boston couldn't sign the outfielder to a long-term extension was a tough enough blow for Red Sox Nation.

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But seeing the Dodgers ink Betts to a 12-year, $365 million extension on the eve of the 2020 season was the cherry on top. After all, it's not like the Sox are a small-market team. They had the biggest payroll in MLB in 2019, spending almost $230 million. 

So it was no surprise that Red Sox Twitter exploded into a frenzy upon news of Betts' extension, with angry Sox fans absolutely roasting John Henry and the organization for letting one of the best players in baseball slip through their fingers as they cut payroll. 

Here's some of the best (worst?) tweets — and these are just the responses without excessively NSFW language:

 

A low bar: 2020 season will be a success if we end up hating Red Sox less

A low bar: 2020 season will be a success if we end up hating Red Sox less

The Red Sox brand is a malleable thing. Unlike the consistent they-hate-us-cuz-they-ain't us ethos that has defined the Patriots for two decades, public opinion of the Red Sox tends to bob like a buoy.

When seas are calm, they're a stable beacon. But when the ocean starts churning, they thrash to keep their head above water without becoming unmoored.

Needless to say, the last nine months have featured their share of roiling, 40-foot waves.

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The Red Sox defended their World Series title by winning an uninspiring 84 games and finishing well out of the playoff race. Dave Dombrowski lost his job. Alex Cora followed in the wake of cheating accusations. MVP Mookie Betts departed in a salary dump.

Along each step of the way, fans became a little more disillusioned.

Why invest in watching a player like Betts grow, only to see him given away? Why continue paying some of the highest ticket prices in the game if the team is more concerned with the luxury tax than the product on the field? And what exactly are we to make of Cora? Either the Red Sox cut bait with a successful manager to ease the heat of a burgeoning scandal, or they were actually guilty of something that taints the 2018 title.

Add the collectively disgraceful acts of baseball's owners during the pandemic negotiations, when we heard not a peep from John Henry and Co. while the owners pushed for the shortest possible schedule to limit player payroll, and you've got a sport and a team that engenders more ill will than any other in Boston.

With the games set to resume next week, the Red Sox have a chance to make belated amends. Expectations haven't been this low in a decade. The shortened 60-game season means anything can happen — at a similar point last year, after all, the Red Sox were tied with the Rangers for the second wild card spot.

So what needs to happen for the season to be a success? Quite simply, we need to hate them less.

Fans who feel burned by Mookie's departure, the unwillingness to spend, and the tone-deaf hopes of filling Fenway Park after a nasty labor negotiation could use an overachieving squad that exceeds expectations. It would do the team and its fans a world of good.

We need to be reminded that there's hope for the future. It's not beyond the realm.

An offense built around Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts, J.D. Martinez, Andrew Benintendi, and Alex Verdugo can compete with anyone. If they can stay healthy (an admittedly big if), a 1-2 punch of Eduardo Rodriguez and Nathan Eovaldi is actually pretty solid atop a rotation that will need to get really lucky in the 3-5 spots. And the underrated bullpen finished last year as a strength, led by borderline unhittable closer Brandon Workman.

The shorter schedule plays in their favor, since they simply need to finesse their way through 60 games. Had the season ended at that point last year, not only would the Red Sox have been visiting the Rangers for a one-game playoff, but four other teams would've been within two and a half games of them.

If 10 of the 15 AL teams still have something to play for as this truncated season enters its final week, that's a success for baseball. There's absolutely no reason the Red Sox shouldn't be one of them.

Crazier things have happened, and even if the odds are realistically remote, the Red Sox need to start rebuilding not just their team, but their image.

Might as well start now.

What John Henry regrets most about Red Sox sign-stealing investigation

What John Henry regrets most about Red Sox sign-stealing investigation

MLB finally revealed its findings from its Boston Red Sox sign-stealing investigation on Wednesday and the organization said in a statement that it supports the league's conclusion.

The punishments, which took several months for MLB to hand down, weren't all that harsh. Boston was stripped of its 2020 second-round draft pick, and video replay system operator J.T. Watkins was suspended through the 2020 postseason and cannot be the team's replay operator through 2021.

Former Red Sox manager Alex Cora was suspended for the 2020 season due to his actions with the Houston Astros in 2017, not for his actions in 2018 with Boston.

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Red Sox principal owner John Henry shared his thoughts on MLB's findings, including what he regrets most about the entire ordeal.

“I believe MLB went above and beyond in order to ascertain facts that led to their conclusion and I support the findings,” Henry wrote, via Alex Speier of The Boston Globe.

“What I regret most about all of this beyond the toll it took on our organization is the position it put our fans in — having for months to wonder if the 2018 championship could actually be the result of unfair play. It’s clear from the report that these isolated occurrences in 2018 happened during the regular season. The report references how often those instances called into question had an opportunity to take place and within the context of the overall season all one has to do is the math to see the net potential result. But I’ll let others do the math."

With the lengthy investigation mercifully over, the Red Sox can shift their focus completely to the 2020 campaign. Ron Roenicke, who was named the interim manager in February, had his interim tag removed Wednesday officially making him Boston's 48th skipper.