Doing things the Red (Sox) Way: What we can learn from FSG’s ownership of Boston’s Reds

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If you’re at all like me, you’ve been anxious about LFC’s transfers.

My daily regimen for checking on transfers goes a little like this: check BBC’s transfer gossip page at 7 pm EST (I’m guessing that’s midnight over there or close to it) and check again upon waking up the next morning with other news sites; keep up Twitter to see anything with a Liverpool or LFC hashtag pops up; check EOTK; curse the heavens; repeat.

This hasn’t been the most disappointing of windows because our squad has improved with the arrival of Jordan Henderson. The only disappointment is that we’re not closing. We seem to be linked to players daily then nothing happens. That might be best, though. Perhaps this way, LFC will avoid high transfer fees and salaries. That’s a responsible way to do business and I’m sure John Henry et al. at FSG know that.

That does nothing for us, though. We’re the ones itching for news of a new signing that will further improve the team, but it isn’t happening at quite the rate we want.

So, instead of cursing the heavens again, I did a little research on FSG’s ownership of the Boston Red Sox and what they might have learned to apply to LFC.

The way that players move teams in baseball is usually through trades, sometimes including cash. Football is the other way around: cash first, players second. The window for transfers in baseball is much bigger as well and extends through several farm teams. Think of these teams as youth teams with no age limit. Most moves are between the Major League club and their subsequent farm teams to cover injuries but trades are popular between these teams.

This is important because these teams are stocked with prospects for the future.

The Red Sox have made make good value of these trades. In November of 2003, about a year before the Red Sox won their first World Series title in 86 years, the Red Sox sent three prospect pitchers-Casey Fossum, Brandon Lyon and Jorge De La Rosa-and minor league outfielder Michael Goss and got Curt Schilling, who had been an outstanding player for several years beforehand.

Schilling played a key role in the Red Sox winning the 2004 World Series. He pitched in the 2004 American League Championship Series with a recently repaired ruptured tendon sheath in Yankee Stadium and allowed one run over seven innings. Blood was seeping through his sock but he pitched on.

(Another aside: If you have the time, watch ESPN’s 30 for 30 called ‘Four Days in October’. It’s on YouTube in its entirety. It follows the Red Sox through games 4-7 of the 2004 ALCS when they trailed the New York Yankees, the Manchester United of baseball, 3-0 in the series. These four games were like watching the 2005 Champions League final spread over four days. Also, you get to see how closely the Red Sox fans parallel LFC’s fans. The Curt Schilling stuff starts in part 3 around the 5:10 mark.)

The thing to take from this trade is that the Red Sox took a few coins and made a dollar out of it.

This concept has been made popular by Boston-based ESPN writer Bill Simmons (he’s a Red Sox fan and has been a Tottenham fan in recent years-but he’s open to switching teams if FSG markets LFC strongly in Boston. He’s the type of fan that we want. He’s also the creator of the 30 for 30 series on ESPN and he’s the guy on the left in the black Red Sox shirt and hoodie in the link above.). His expertise is in the NBA and he likes to talk about trades.

You’d always rather have a crisp dollar bill in your pocket than a pocket full of change. You always want to turn coin into paper. Curt Schilling was the dollar and the prospects were the change.

Now, take the Charlie Adam transfer into consideration. They’re asking for £8(ish) million and some players in return albeit on loan.

In this situation, Charlie Adam is the dollar and the players (I’m hearing Danny Wilson and a few others) are the change. The additional players would help Blackpool immensely in the Championship, probably more than having Charlie Adam.

I think we could see many more of those kinds of exchanges happening in the future. Shipping a few young guys out for a season to get one player who would see regular first team action makes sense all the way around. I expect to see plenty of it in coming years.

Another transfer that is easy to point out is the David Ortiz transaction. In 2003, the Red Sox signed David Ortiz to a $1.25 million contract. In baseball, that’s not much money. At that point-age 26, not old by baseball standards-he was a hitter who had shown some promise but wasn’t in high demand.

He became one of the best hitters in their lineup and without his bat, the Red Sox would not have won the World Series in 2004.

Think of this in terms of the reported Diego transfer. He’d cost around £8 million. In this market for the type of talent that Diego might be, that’s not an obscene amount of money.

If Ortiz didn’t pan out, the Red Sox weren’t out too much money. If the transfer for Diego goes through and he doesn’t pan out, LFC should be able to get at least £4-6 million for him in two years. The risk is low and the potential outcome is high.

The transfers will come. Who comes and for what money we won’t know until it happens.

But it will happen. And the deals will be good for LFC.


  1. Nice approach, tying together the MLB with the EPL.

    Have to say I do happen to detest Bill Simmons who is a serious front-runner. Hopefully he’ll stay far FAR away from LFC.

    1. Why would you not want Bill Simmons mentioning and promoting LFC? It’s free publicity and with his Grantland project, he and his staff writers are free to write articles that normally wouldn’t make it to ESPN’s front page and a story about the resurgeance of our club would be prime material for a front-page Grantland story (they wrote a 3 page article about cricket, for god’s sake).

      My point is, Simmons has a very dedicated readership and one that, with a lock-out looming in the NFL and NBA, will probably be curious to see what all the fuss is with this “soccer” stuff. Any publicity is good publicity.

  2. The whole dynamic of baseball is different though as you pointed out. Baseball prospects rarely amount to much except trade bait in most cases. From what I can tell,teams would much rather trade away their prospects for known big time more established players as it takes a while for the prospects to pan out. Here, we’re trying to keep our young nucleus for the future as the market is very inflated for young talent…

  3. well done keep up the good work,,me personally i would like to see football go more like baseball in the transfer market,,as the money getting spent in football players at the minute is ridiculus,,and the contracts that players r signing arnt worth the paper they are writ on!!

  4. you liverpool fans are really the most embarrisin creature’s in the whole world. quote from this article about bill simmons” he’s a spurs fan but he’s open to switchin teams, he’s the type of fans we want”. hahahahaha how bad is that.

    1. funny the way a blue shite is scanning LFC websites, whats wrong is there no activity at WOODISON. You fuckin GIMP

    2. Why wouldn’t we want Simmons as a supporter? He did a column a few years ago about picking out his team and Spurs beat out Liverpool only because they were too similar to the Red Sox. He would switch teams if LFC became like family in Boston because blood is thicker than water. He’s a huge American writer with a big, loyal following. More fans, more money.

      Have fun in the Championship next season.

      1. @carden hedelt. your obviously not from merseyside. the point being you dont switch teams you idiot. if thats the sort of fans you want the sort that switch alligence then by all means your welcome to them. ”blood is thicker than water” hahahaha you really are confused about the meaning of this saying……

        1. You’re absolutely right. I’m not from Merseyside. Why should I care if someone from the US, with no real ties who only really started their half-fledged allegiance to any team becomes a Liverpool supporter? The American experience of the EPL is inherently different from the British experience. Here’s Simmons’ selection process that he wrote about.

          If he switches, I have no problem. Shea from Tenn is right–publicity is good. That’s where Everton are hugely lacking–the EPL is becoming a global game. You’ve had two of the most popular American players on your team in the last few years and you have nothing to show for it. You have no foothold in America. Your ship is sinking and it’s a miracle that you’ve held on to Tim Howard and David Moyes as long as you have.

          1. irish hab, shea from tennese, josh from baltimore an cardan hedelt hahaha. you local reds are givin me all the ammunition i need. thanks. as the song goes” have u ever seen a scouser in the kop” and ” your not from liverpool, your not from liverpool. ” an are sinkin ship only just finished below ur so called massive club last season. you spend atleast 50- 60 million a year more on players wages than we do. an 1 league place is all you got to show for it………

  5. Problem is, £8m plus player loans is way too much for Adam who has just a year left on his contract. £8m, or half that plus player loans, possibly with add ons depending on how Adam does. I REALLY hope we don’t buy him for the quoted price + players. We’d be mugs.

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