The Boston Red Sox continue to suffer fallout from the Mookie Betts trade. On Monday morning, it could be argued they brought negative feedback on themselves. On the team’s official Twitter page, owner John Henry issued a letter to the fans, trying to explain why he oversaw a trade of the club’s best player.
In the letter, Henry starts out by saying he knows it’s been a “challenging” offseason. He adds that while he knew there were challenges over the winter, he trusts the leadership in place for the Boston Red Sox. Henry also tried to take the tact of a fan, saying he was a fan of the team when he purchased them. He added that as a fan of the club, he understands how some others might be more than a little angry about trading away Betts.
It was Henry’s decision to invoke another famous Red Sox trade that drew the ire of fans on social media. In explaining the decision to trade away Mookie Betts, the franchise’s owner decided to mention the Nomar Garciaparra deal.
“Some of you no doubt felt the same way in 2004 when we traded Nomar, who like Mookie was a hugely popular homegrown player. All of us in the organization hoped we could avoid having to ever go through something like that again. But most clubs face similar dilemmas like that from time to time.”
One fan was quick to point out the comparison between Mookie Betts and Nomar Garciaparra wasn’t an apt one.
“The comparison to Nomar is lazy. Nomar was 31 and was recovering from a terrible Achilles injury. He wasn’t considered the best player on the team. Betts is 27 and hitting his prime.”
Another user wondered how ownership could be in Boston and not realize it isn’t about the players that have been moved out. It was about feeling like the Red Sox were no longer interested in competing. Another simply posted “cool, now I’m mad about Nomar again, thanks.”
Most would agree the team needed to do something to explain itself after the Mookie Betts trade. While most fans and baseball insiders believed the team was going to trade the slugging outfielder over the winter, there was still quite a bit of outrage when the deal finally went down.
That outrage was increased when the teams involved in the trade couldn’t find a way to complete it for days after initial reports surfaced it was happening. If social media reaction is any indication, the letter wasn’t the right way to go.