I’ll just start this post off with a bang by saying the following:
Screw you, John Henry. SCREW. YOU.
As you may know, Mookie Betts just signed a contract extension with the Los Angeles Dodgers that will pay him a total of $392 million over the next 13 seasons. While that's awesome for Mookie, he should have signed that same deal with the Red Sox to keep him in Boston for the rest of his career. Unfortunately, scenarios like these have become quite commonplace for the Red Sox, as ownership has repeatedly refused to pay some of the team's homegrown stars top market value. Instead, the team has made a habit of letting those players go in order to spend millions of dollars on outside free agents who largely haven't panned out (*cough cough* Pablo Sandoval, Rusney Castillo, the list goes on).
In my short lifetime, I've had the pleasure of witnessing the Sox win it all four times already, which is incredible. At the same time, however, it always hurts whenever I see substantial talent leave the organization. In 2008, it was Manny Ramirez (in fairness, that was a pretty good trade for Boston at the time and Manny didn't come up through the organization), in 2014, it was Jon Lester and now it's Mookie Betts. Like Lester, I had hoped that, even after being traded, Mookie would re-sign in Boston upon reaching Free Agency. But, just like the Lester situation, thanks to John Henry, it never came to pass.
As I'm writing this, it appears that I've uncovered a trend with the Red Sox where, every 6 years, its star player/face of the franchise is traded. So, to look forward a bit, it looks like the big name who could potentially be on the move in 2026 (should this trend continue) is none other than the Ice Horse himself, Michael Chavis. Now, by no means am I comparing Michael Chavis to a top 5 player in all of baseball like Mookie Betts, but if he continues to improve as his Big League career progresses, who knows how good he could be 6 years from now. For all we know, he could possibly be the best player on the team at that point -- will he be the latest Red Sox player to be sent packing by an Ownership group too cheap to keep him?
For anyone who either might not be a Red Sox fan or might just be unfamiliar with John Henry's track record, this guy has legitimately created State Media in order to minimize criticism of his team. He owns The Boston Globe as well as NESN, the network that broadcasts Red Sox games. As a result, very rarely is the team that he owns criticized in any way through these outlets. Those same media sources will routinely resort to trashing the Patriots or covering up any misdeeds the Red Sox have committed. Henry also owns another sports franchise, Liverpool Football Club; I don’t know much about soccer, but I'm pretty sure that they're good (if you know soccer, let me know in the comments if this is true). I do know, however, that Liverpool takes up a great deal of Henry's attention and financial capital.
Has his investment in Liverpool caused John Henry to be as adamant as he's been about having the Red Sox avoid the luxury tax? Especially when accomplishing this feat caused him to lose one of the best players in the game, someone who helped ensure his ballpark was sold out night in and night out? While we may never know for sure, the fact that the face of John Henry's franchise was traded away for pennies on the dollar in order to grant him some financial relief is just inexcusable. However, it was likely inevitable that Mookie was leaving after the team low balled him so many times (even though the deal he got was slightly less than what Boston offered him annually), but I'm glad that he got what he deserved.
Now here's the part of this post where I'm really going to rant. There's LITERALLY no salary cap In baseball, just the luxury tax. I mean, I guess that it's sort of like a salary cap, but it's not a ceiling to what you can spend. You can go over the luxury tax and just face some penalties, which the team has already done in recent years. The team apparently didn't want to continue paying these penalties, which is one of the primary reasons it traded Mookie, along with dumping the remaining years and money on David Price's contract. Using Mookie as a means to get under the luxury tax threshold is absolutely nuts and ultimately led to losing him forever. Soooo...
SCREW YOU JOHN HENRY, YOU THINK YOU CAN RAISE PRICES TO SIT IN CRAMPED SEATS AT FENWAY PARK AND CHARGE $15 FOR A BEER BUT YOU CANT GO OVER THE LUXURY TAX AND GET A LITTLE FINE TO KEEP YOUR HOMEGROWN TALENT?!? I HOPE TO GOD THAT THIS ISN'T ANOTHER CURSE OF THE BAMBINO, DEAR GOD DON'T LET IT BE OR I'LL BE PISSED. SO SELL THE TEAM JOHN HENRY, SELL IT NOW YOU PIECE OF TRASH!!!
Oh, and also: good luck in LA, Mookie. We still love you.
But SCREW YOU, John Henry.