When Red Sox owner John Henry, 59, married 30-year-old Linda Pizzuti in July, it seemed like your standard old-rich-guy-lands-hot-young-wife situation. No, it wasn’t exactly a Anna Nicole Smith situation but let’s be honest - if Henry weren’t made of cash, he probably wouldn’t have landed a hot young wife. We should all be so lucky…and so rich.
Red Sox fans might have gotten a bit of a kick out of their team’s owner landing a hottie, but they were probably unprepared for what’s happening to the happy couple now. Not content to just lavish his bride with gifts and his undying love, Henry has now installed her as the team’s vice president for planning and development. Rachel Phelps thinks it’s a questionable move.
Henry hired his wife to replace ousted VP Janet Marie Smith, after Henry booted Smith in June. Now, to be fair, Pizzuti has experience in real estate development so it’s not like she’s just some bimbo straight out the strip club. Still, quotes like this one from the BOSTON HERALD don’t help:
“Janet Marie was told to go because Linda’s taking over the whole damn place,” said one person familiar with Smith’s exit. Another source said, “Janet was thrown under the bus and everything is a mess as a result of the young bride. The Chinese symbol for conflict is two women under one roof.”
Smith, 51, recently ended her eight-year stint with the Sox. She is credited with sparing the storied ballpark from the wrecking ball, installing Monster seats and improving the 97-year-old stadium.
Congratulations, Janet! You’ve turned Fenway from a falling-down dump to a cash cow for your employer, and your prize is…to not let the door hit you on the way out! But is this a case of Henry making way for his wife or is it something deeper? Team President and CEO Larry Lucchino was a staunch supporter of Smith within the Red Sox organization. Could this be a small step towards a new direction for the team’s front office? Tune in next time for “As The Red Sox Turn” to find out!