The Miami Marlins and Boston Red Sox played a spring training game last Thursday in Jupiter. The Marlins anticipated a big crowd as they would be hosting the World Champions and were rewarded with a sell out crowd. Unfortunately for the paying customers the Red Sox decided to send a lineup full of minor leaguers to the game with not a single starter from last season making the trip.
The Marlins were upset about the inferior product the Red Sox delivered after their customers expected to see some of the postseason heroes. Red Sox General Manager Ben Cherington called Marlins President Michael Hill the following day to offer an explanation and apologize and with that the matter seemed to be resolved.
It was resolved for everyone, but Red Sox owner John Henry who out of left field sent out the following tweet:
They should apologize for their regular season lineup.
— John W. Henry (@John_W_Henry) March 8, 2014
Normally I would say the Marlins deserve such a comment, after all, through their various ownership groups they have fielded more than their share of embarrassing lineups. The current ownership group is especially culpable as they continued to put out an inferior lineup even after getting a new stadium from the local government. The only problem with Henry’s comment is that he was part of the problem, having owned the Marlins from 1999 through 2002.
The Marlins payrolls during Henry’s three season of ownership were $15 million in 1999 which ranked last, $20 million in 2000 which ranked second to last and $35 million in 2001 which ranked 27th. The data does not suggest that he was trying very hard to put a lineup on the field that he did not need to apologize for. That 1999 team had the third worst record in team history with just 64 wins.
Among the better moves made by Henry’s Marlins was the trading of a young left handed pitcher named Johan Santana to the Minnesota Twins for relief pitcher Jared Camp. You may have heard of that Santana guy as he would go on to win a couple of Cy Young awards for the Twins.
All this is to say that while Henry’s message may have some merit, he is the absolute last person who should be delivering it. It just seems that success may have gone to Mr. Henry’s head and left him with a very short memory.