This has not been the type of offseason that the Boston Red Sox envisioned.
In the ideal universe, Xander Bogaerts would still be in Boston. Their numerous offseason targets would be coming on board instead of spurning them, in some cases, for the exact same contract elsewhere. The Red Sox would not have needed to overpay for an aging closer and an “outfielder” with a questionable glove.
John Henry finding ways to shift blame from Boston Red Sox
Had that been the case, the Red Sox would not have to answer to an angry fanbase who is tired of the losing and excuses. Questions about the commitment from ownership have gotten much louder. While ownership only really cares about selling out Fenway, getting people to sing ‘Sweet Caroline,’ and squeezing every cent possible out of the fans, that is difficult to do when the team is awful.
The Red Sox needed an excuse that came from somewhere outside the organization. Fortunately for them, the Boston Globe stepped up, blaming the Red Sox inability to attract free agents on the “Millionaire’s Tax” where anyone earning over $1 million has to pay an additional 9% tax.
Maybe that would be reasonable in a vacuum. The problem is that John Henry also owns the Boston Globe, essentially making it a propaganda arm for the organization. Let’s ignore the fact that they offered Zack Eflin the exact same contract that the Rays did; the Red Sox should be able to outbid a franchise whose free agency budget is typically found in the couch cushions in the visitor’s locker room.
But that would not fit the narrative. The Red Sox would be forced to look at themselves and re-evaluate how they value players, both within and without the organization. Chaim Bloom may be told that close is no longer good enough. And maybe low-balling Bogaerts, Rafael Devers, and other internal options would be considered the problem.
Instead, the Red Sox and their fans have to be content with trying to try, especially with such an onerous tax in place hindering their ability to attract free agents. Questions about how the front office values such traits as leadership and whether or not they understand the human element of the game can be ignored – the problem is that pesky tax.
The Boston Red Sox propaganda machine is running at full steam. The Boston Globe claiming that a tax is why the Red Sox cannot get a free agent is laughable.