Henry ready to write next chapter

Henry comments on Red Sox GM situation

BOSTON -- In a lengthy and wide-ranging interview with WEEI-850 AM in Boston on Thursday, Red Sox owner John W. Henry compared the devastation he felt from Theo Epstein leaving the organization to the way he felt after Aaron Boone ended the 2003 season with one swing in that infamous Game 7 of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium.

The moral of the story? The day after Boone crushed hearts all across New England, Henry went to his Fenway Park office and immediately embarked on a mission to help make that pain go away for those passionate fans of the Red Sox -- who then won the World Series in 2004.

Henry sees no reason that the Red Sox can't make a similar rebound from the departure of Epstein, as jarring and stunning as it was.

"We're going to be fine," Henry said on the popular afternoon-drive program, "The Big Show", hosted by Glenn Ordway. "You talk about damage, yes, this hurts, but that night in October also hurt, but we came back from it. We'll come back from this. We're still the Boston Red Sox; we're going to be fine."

The Red Sox, as of early Thursday evening, had not yet contacted other teams for permission to speak with potential GM candidates.

However, Henry said that there was time spent at the office on Thursday preparing a list of potential candidates, another sign that the Red Sox, after the chaos that dominated most of the week, are ready to start life after Epstein.

"We said good-bye [Wednesday]," Henry said, referring to Epstein's press conference. "It was very emotional. It was one of the most emotional days of my life. But today is a new day. Do we have a choice? You have setbacks in your career. We lost three games in a row to the White Sox. That hurts, but does that mean we're going to give up? No, that means we have work to do. And we lost Theo. That means we have work to do."

Henry was clear in taking the blame for Epstein's departure during Wednesday's news conference. During his radio interview a day later, he was more specific about some of his regrets.

Back in Spring Training, Epstein suggested to the Red Sox that they take care of his contract then so it wouldn't turn into a media-infested distraction after the season. Henry regrets not being more proactive in taking Epstein up on that suggestion. He knows that if he had, things might have wound up differently.

One of the things Henry is most upset about is all the media leaks that occurred during the negotiations.

"Had I acted six months ago or nine months ago to bring this to a resolution, maybe to force a resolution, to put those guys in a room and say, 'You're not leaving until we have a deal,' none of that would have come into play," said Henry.

At one point during Wednesday's press conference, Henry said, "Maybe I'm not fit to be the principal owner of the Boston Red Sox."

A day later, Henry admitted that he was being overly emotional, and the fact that he was sleep-deprived didn't help matters.

Yes, he still relishes holding the principal ownership stake in the Red Sox.

"The great thing is, actually I'm glad now that I did say that because it should help spur me to prove that I deserve that title," Henry told the talk show.

While the Red Sox took pains to keep the negotiations out of the public eye, Henry actually thinks that, in hindsight, maybe it worked to their detriment.

"If there's anything I learned from this process, it is that we need to be accessible," Henry said. "It's not always possible to do in negotiations, and you can go too far. We need to try to be accountable and let you know what's happening so you can discuss what is actually happening instead of what might be happening. If you don't talk to the media, what drives the media is speculation. Some of it is not always accurate.

"Red Sox fans care so much and they talk about it so much so they have a right to know what's going on."

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.