Larry Lucchino

Larry Lucchino on D&C: 'I would say I am a little embarrassed' by Red Sox' overall performance

July 02, 2015 - 6:21 am
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Red Sox president and CEO Larry Lucchino joined the Dennis & Callahan show Thursday morning to talk about Rick Porcello, Hanley Ramirez and the team's performance as a whole to this point in the season. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page. The Red Sox looked to be on their way back up, winning three straight games, but that quickly came to an end when Boston lost to the Blue Jays 11-2 Wednesday afternoon. The loss was just the second time in the last 13 games that the Sox plated fewer than three runs and are still 8-5 over that span. Still, being seven games back in the AL East and sitting at 36-44 on July 2 is not ideal. "I would say I am a little embarrassed, particularly by the overall performance," Lucchino said. "We expected much more, and I wonder what kind of conversation we'd be having today if we had won yesterday instead of lost and I'd come into this conversation with a four-game winning streak and a major uptick. We were six games behind yesterday with more than half a season remaining to be played, yet it still feels frustrating, it's still disappointing." Part of the frustration, at least on Wednesday, was exacerbated by the trouble Rick Porcello has had on the mound. In his past eight starts the righty has posted an 8.18 ERA in that time, allowing 40 earned runs in 44 innings on 59 hits, while allowing nine walks and striking out 31. Opposing batters have slashed .335/.378/.528 against Porcello over that span, too. On Wednesday, he gave up seven runs, all earned, in just two innings. "I think it's frustrating to be sure, no one's more frustrated about his performance this season than Rick himself," Lucchino said. "We're not going to throw anyone under the bus. That may surprise you, we were all part of [signing and extending him], so if there's going to be a bus accident, it's going to involve several of us in the front office. But for the last several years, he's demonstrated that he's a quality major league pitcher. There's a danger that we overreact to half a season, now that's been a disappointing half season, no doubt about it, but we still have his track record to rely on and certainly hope that he's going to bounce back at some point and show us the kind of performance we expected we would get." Lucchino stressed Porcello is well-suited to play in Boston, noting the pitcher is the "solid, dedicated, intense kind of competitor that will thrive in virtually any market." When asked if Hanley Ramirez drew any comparisons to Manny Ramirez in left field, Lucchino said though the two might be similar in terms of position, name and hitting ability, the similarities end there. He also emphasized the need for understanding when it comes to the adjustments Ramirez has had to make this season. "I think Hanley's style leads to a misinterpretation of him," Lucchino said. "He is a positive guy in the clubhouse, he is someone who has fit in very well and he took on this challenge mid-career to change positions. I'm sure he hoped it would come more quickly than this, but we've seen a number of left fielders in recent Red Sox history take time to develop and turn themselves into decent left fielders. I think that Hanley has a chance to do that, but let's just be a little patient with him, please." He noted too that Boston didn't just pluck Ramirez out of thin air -- the Red Sox signed him as an amateur free agent in 2000. "We have known Hanley since he was 15, 16 years old, and he was in our system for several years," Lucchino said. "We had a sense to know what kind of person and personality he is, so this was not a pig in poke. This was a well-known person and personality to us, and we made a decision that he can play in Boston and that he would be a positive force for our returning to success and we're sticking by that."

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