Liverpool owner John W Henry has given an interview to reporters in America while celebrating the Boston Red Sox’s success.
The Reds principal owner has not spoken directly to the media since February 2020, but gave his thoughts to journalists over in the United States in Boston on Monday night.
Henry also owns the Major League Baseball team the Boston Red Sox, who were in post-season action against the Tampa Bay Rays.
The Red Sox prevailed in their match-up against the Rays and will now compete against either the Chicago White Sox or Houston Astros for a shot at the World Series.
Henry issued a message through the club back in April when apologising over Liverpool’s involvement in the proposed European Super League, but US media claimed this was the first time he had taken direct questions from the press in 20 months.
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Speaking while on the playing field after a famous night in Boston, the 72-year-old answered several questions from journalists.
“We sort of felt all year we [the Red Sox] were ahead of schedule,” Henry is quoted saying in Mass Live .
“We knew we had some flaws, but these guys just kept picking each other up. Wherever we might have had flaws, others made up for it. It was really remarkable.”
“I do,” Henry said, when asked if he thinks the Red Sox are World Series contenders. “We’ll find out. Let’s find out.”
Henry told reporters that FSG “doesn’t listen” to outside noise, when responding to a question around a recruitment decision.
Mass Live explained: ” Henry praised both chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and manager Alex Cora, citing them as major reasons why the Red Sox will be playing for the pennant starting Friday.
“When a reporter mentioned that the decision to hire Cora – who was suspended for a year after being implicated as a major player in the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal, Henry interrupted, noting that the decision ‘was easy.’ When the reporter replied by noting that the hire was criticized by the public, Henry said the ownership group ‘doesn’t listen’ to outside noise.”
On the impact of Cora, Henry added: “He made a huge difference. You see it every night…the decisions he makes, as in 2018, especially in October, his instincts and his intelligence in this game is unmatched.”
And reacting to recruitment work carried out by Bloom back in the summer, Henry added: “He did an incredible job. Look at the guys he brought in. We had a great trading deadline for the future and for the present. He did a hell of a job.”
Addressing the Red Sox in general, Henry said: “We’re still building, but just the heart and soul of this club…someone said tonight, the baseball gods are smiling down on us.
“I think it has a lot to do with the organization, what Chaim and (general manager) Brian (O’Halloran) have done, and Alex.
“The heart of these players, the resilience of this team going through COVID and everything we went through this year.”
Despite not speaking directly about Liverpool, Henry did address something that is relatable to the situation on Merseyside.
Fans were allowed to attend Premier League matches at full capacity this season, a scene which is very similar to the situation across the pond.
MLB crowds have only been able to return earlier this month – and Henry said their involvement helped the Red Sox in their post-season surge.
“Getting the fans back,” Henry told Boston 25News when discussing crucial factors in the Red Sox’s form.
“From the point that we started getting the fans back for October, it just made all the difference.”