Larry Lucchino

Larry Lucchino on D&C: 'My job is pretty much the same that it has always been'

February 25, 2015 - 5:07 am
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Red Sox president/CEO Larry Lucchino stopped by for a visit with Dennis & Callahan from spring training in Fort Myers, Fla., on Wednesday morning and downplayed reports that his power may have been diminished in the front office. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page. Red Sox minority owner Michael Gordon has increased his importance since purchasing more shares of the team, but Lucchino explained that Gordon's role is more crucial with Fenway Sports Group than the day-to-day operations of the Red Sox. "Mike plays a new and different role than he played the first few years since he acquired a much greater interest," Lucchino acknowledged. "John addressed that yesterday. Very active in FSG matters, particularly Liverpool. But we use him as a consultant on Red Sox matters. He's got a terrific financial mind." As for Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy questioning if Lucchino is "losing a power struggle at Fenway," Lucchino brushed off that assertion. "He may hear rumors that he believes. Believe me, I can't explain Dan Shaughnessy's machinations, nor do I try," said Lucchino, who turns 70 in September. "I certainly am getting older, that's a fact of life. At some point there will be some changes. But I don't know what Dan's sources are and where he's getting that." Lucchino is one of the members of the group that purchased the Pawtucket Red Sox, adding to speculation that he might be looking for another venture as he eases out of his role with the parent club. He says that's not the case. "It's pretty much been the same situation that we've had for 14 years except that Mike is more involved now, his role in FSG has expanded," Lucchino said. "But no, my job is pretty much the same that it has always been. And even the new Pawtucket responsibilities will be more advisory and ballpark-oriented and will not change my day-to-day job." Lucchino said the PawSox venture, which includes plans to build a new park in Providence, is something he believes is a sound investment.. "There are a lot of good reasons for it," Lucchino said. "One is baseball. It's a great business to be in. I've been in it for most of my career. Doing something like this, putting a new ballpark in Providence for Rhode Island, would be a great undertaking, and I'd enjoy it. I've had plenty of experience doing ballparks over the years. "Secondly, it's a good business. I think it will be a good business for our investors and for ourselves. We think it's a growing business. It's been well run, certainly in Pawtucket they've got an experienced executive team there. But I think we can bring a few things from the Red Sox. The Red Sox are an owner of the club, one of the minority owners." Following are more highlights from the interview. On John Henry saying Tuesday that the organization has "never been better": "I think he's talking bigger picture. I think he's talking the internal governance, the depth of the team. We talk all the time about deep depth on the ball club, on the roster. We have that same kind of deep depth among the front office members. There are a lot of good people in important positions throughout the front office, and I think that's what he's talking about. And there's a harmony and a familiarity that comes after all these years together as well. Of course, the situation with the manager and the general manager is stable and very positive. So I think that's what he's referring to, the front office organizational [situation]." On manager John Farrell receiving a contract extension despite the team finishing last in 2014: "We do like stability, but we think John Farrell is a heck of a manager. And we didn't make it easy for him on July 31st when we decided to do some other things to build for this year and the future. He's a very solid manager and a terrific addition to this organization. It would be unfair in the extreme to blame last year's poor performance on him." On the team not meeting the Cubs' price for Jon Lester: "We made a judgment. This is an imperfect science, baseball talent evaluation. We made a judgment that we were going beyond where we were comfortable, how far beyond where we were comfortable would we go, would we be driven by other teams. We drew a line, and when it got past that we said that's beyond what we thought was appropriate." On the 2015 season: "I am really eager for the season to begin, more so than I can remember. Maybe it just seems that way each spring. But there are so many questions about this team and so many interesting possibilities for this team, new players and young players. ... So that makes this season I think really fascinating. I think there's a bit of a buzz about this season going on back North as well. If I was a betting man, if you're asking me to predict something, I think that Dustin Pedroia is finally going to be healthy, as he hasn't been for the last two years, and I would bet on him returning to form." For more Red Sox news, visit the team page at weei.com/redsox.

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