WEEI>On Demand>>Larry Lucchino: No one feels bright and cheerful today

Larry Lucchino: No one feels bright and cheerful today

Aug 9, 2012|

Red Sox President and CEO, Larry Lucchino joined the D&C show to discuss the state of the Red Sox. Lucchino gives his view on how Bobby Valentine is doing as manager, touches on if ownership and the clubhouse are distant, and talks about what's most important to a successful organization.

Transcript - will not be 100% accurate

It's our our three -- without Callahan Dale Arnold into the vacationing Gerry Callahan which I know is going to -- heart that he Kent Giles with the mr. -- managed couple minutes from now. A joining us on the AT&T -- AT&T forgy LT the president of the Boston Red Sox Larry Lucchino good morning Larry how are you up. Good morning John good morning dale and let me apologize in advance I'm a little. Grumpy today it's been a the -- several days here in terms of these them. These losses and a lot I think feels so particularly bright cheerful this morning's. But I should thank you guys or at least. Following up on the suggestion we made. I made -- guys -- few weeks ago that we had a regular reports every Thursday. And this is. Well excesses of the force that he'd done it dead and gone places on twice and I hope we continue if -- -- deceased and so. Well you are to be credited for coming on the morning after what happened last night in on the heels of all this going on right now -- just ask you this as a as a personal -- when you get home from work family cat and dog run for the Cowboys showed behind got -- that'll work. Really. Last night was particularly bad there was a those that are -- we were supposed to go to. My. Thirty can't -- state the I was so willing to go alone and not let media. Stay home eat dinner -- I felt that sort of still -- -- -- -- to -- a piano if you will while I was recovering from the last several days these. But I'm not on this is delayed. Do that we take your job and -- take it -- equally hard. If not even harder and that the total offense but it was a it was a it was a it was a -- to sort of shut out the world. If on possibly could and and that's so -- just -- -- -- anyone around the holy things to work to be grumpy. Which last night that's why I'm warning you ahead. Okay but we're we're river boys we can take -- bring it on -- I'm gonna follow up the softball question about the -- a dog with a very pointed question are you are. Nothing if not analytical. What is the source of the dysfunction on this baseball team. -- -- -- John Henry said I think so well that statement the other day there's a single source that no single person. There's. It's that combination -- factors Ben's been saying that for a while certainly the disability -- effectiveness. Of the starting pitching. Is a is an important place to start it is with almost every game winning team -- losing game. And I think that -- is and he referred me. Talk for years that ad nauseam about the importance of pitching both starting pitching and throughout the bullpen. So the risk of I don't mean to point two fingers. Had anybody in particular because as -- said earlier. It's there are a lot of factors that it contributed to that's -- there's probably transition. Pains to from. From. The organization that we had -- -- the organization was new people and different personalities. But that I think you've got to focus on the on field. Activities the unpredictable really instability as the starting starting pitching. Larry do you think that Bobby Valentine has done a good job as manager of the Red Sox this year. -- -- -- he has I think he has done a good job -- -- -- -- -- -- today's day yet but it that they ask that because we spent a lot of time. And it will those of us are baseball fans second guessing field managers second guessing the general managers second guessing -- The club president and and after last night that a. Bitter loss there a couple of decisions that you could. You've been questioned but that's the nature of the game that's the way it is and not. That you did that they're gonna be decisions that the field manager makes the -- shake your head that and exploit it they don't work out and and marvel at. If they do that he received a guy who put a pitcher and they will they'll put metal works. Get a three run homer and that there. Two nights ago and it looked like get a match on so it's very. It's very hardy to have to react to individual data -- I think he is just about as hard working as committed. Managers we've had. And I am. I certainly think he has yes. At the risk of looking short term here it some it felt a little bit to me late yesterday like he's kind of managing with one hand behind his back because of a lack of availability of bullpen arms is this roster made up the way it needs to be right now don't allow him to to do the things he needs to do. Well I think so -- -- aria. Certainly there are times during the year when you're gonna have. Shortage in one element or another. I mean there was a shortage last night in bullpen arms and he has to adjust it just for that I don't necessarily think it's state. -- roster. -- problem. As much as it is a inevitable. Sort of haven't closed the season they're going to be times when you're not gonna have. Well all of the era element in alliance. And did you have to adjust to that. Bobby. Did Bobby Valentine Larry in your estimation get a fair shot from his players who -- the arise when they heard he was going to be the manager after allegedly. Being told in manager like Bobby Valentine would not be the skipper of this club. What I'm not sure I agree with that can't premised on that the players rolled their eyes and you know which players roll their eyes and and and you make that assumption. I'm sure there'll some players who were surprised they would have been surprised by any managerial selection there was not a easy obvious. Person waiting in line for succession. So I think there would have been some element of surprise to us to a lot of people. And that that that. Comment regarding embodied now Bobby Valentine type it was not made but I -- anybody who's currently employed by the Boston red. That's a Bobby polish yesterday Damascus a managerial decision being questioned and criticized as you say. Is part of the game is part of the game for the fans to do it the media to do it certainly ownership because they've you know they've got the biggest dog in this fight and and and baseball ops people as well. What about managerial styles Larry and I am I Harken back to the criticism of you Kalus and a snide comment to will. Middle Brooks is that something that management would go to. Bobby Valentine and say we don't do it that way here we need to soften the -- little bit. Well. Not the way to Q do you put -- at the press has put it making it seem like. It's been a backs. Their -- communication. I think Bobby put it very well yesterday when he Lydia. Dealt with that issue. I do think that there I know that there is regular dialogue and conversation. With with Bobby -- was stand on job problem myself and we can talk about. Feedback we do have opportunities to to make comments about things to each other. They tell us what they think they need from us and we we talked to them about it. Ideas that we may have that there would be but that might be helpful things that we occurred I think it's important that ownership stake. Connected not just to the manager and the coaches but also to the players and we've tried to operate that way for the last eleven years -- this is our eleventh season. And we had that we do a lot of the same things that commitment the motivation that John Henry Tom Warner myself. All of us and our ownership group have to to winning is the same if anything it's even stronger given the frustration and disappointment we feel this year. So you can you can look at what's the most recent data of course and you must. But I actually also considered against the body of work its lead that engaged since last year's. -- let me be more specific and it'll move on past this did the did the comment that Bobby Valentine make -- will -- Brooks nice ending will. Offend your sense and sensibilities or anybody in ownership. Well I can't speak about anybody you know to ship but it did not defend my sensibility I knew what I've been around managers and coaches and those that. They're not always so so warm and Fuzzy. Mean I grew up with the Earl Weaver. Who is this crusty and sarcastic and that critical as they come. It was highly effective a guy so they. The capacity has sarcastic come sarcastic comment taken out of context particularly given the way Bobby. It explained it afterwards that the it was a great relationship is with will. The time spent with them -- right after that that very game. Talking about the problems that he had when he was a rookie. I think I think that was that the the classic presented the fatigue problem. Is is communication at any level. A problem in the organization and I'm thinking specifically about communication between Bobby and his players. The players and Bobby maybe Bobby in the medical and training staff -- Carl Crawford's four day program that Carl didn't seem to be aware he was on. Bobby found out people found out from different places is very communications disconnect from time to time their Larry. I think that is the -- -- -- I'd like to do you guys but that's the -- valid point. I do think there -- that every organization has to fight to ensure that the left and those with the right hand still. Particularly on an organization that has as many people on this as much. Time intensity and information as soon as we operate with. So yeah I think we could do better in that regard I think got -- on the medical front we -- we have a whole new structure to the medical operation. And there are going to be some. Some glitches and some miscommunication that -- -- time to time but I think it's I can walk over and to inducted Jason war over it does beauty. And they had -- -- the communications problem in this organization and respectively arise he would say yes we constantly. Have to battle to ensure that the right people -- the right information -- right time. So yeah I think we're probably guilty of that. There is a perception in this town based on listening to callers and and listening to fans of the team that there's a disconnect between the ownership. And the team itself would you dispelled that that notion among fans parts. Absolutely. Absolutely as it -- to the -- minute -- -- -- dale we spent a lot of time. Talking to our players we have. Player around people's which is something that I respect very few teams in baseball have -- some do but. We sit down periodically an effort for many many years. But our players several times a year and just sit down and talk directly but it's ownership. I did. Coaches sometimes. The front office people all the time ownership all the time and it would collar around cable because it's a no agenda discussion. And that we've been doing that they have for years that's our modus operandi. This year we've spent time. Getting to talked indoor players responding to our players. I do think he's the best organizations are ones. Where there are no. No goals or more problems between the that he shouldn't say problems always be some issues humidity it was. But walls and barriers between. Honestly. -- communication between players and the front office and around him. Let -- is a possible. While in theory a player roundtable seems like a great thing to keep the lines of communication open and I just ask -- about communication the that in some perverse kind of way could be misconstrued by the players sending a signal that they are empowered to. To to bitch and moan and get their own way. Well I suppose it could be if is that where that tone in the effect. That just kind of wanted to -- or run out and do it. You know that's not a. The way yeah we shop we operate. And I am but I do think there isn't that there's another issue and that is that the it is it is difficult to to have. Down. Honest communication. We're with which your colleagues with the people your employees to people he worked with but the idea baseball players or others. And you got to constantly work ethic. I know that that time is limited here so this will be my final question. Now that you've had a hundred some odd games to look at the performance of your baseball team you wish you had done more to revamp this roster in the offseason. That's a very. An easy question and answer in terms of 20/20 hindsight dale because. We're a 500 team right now and August and we never expected that to be the case. But down. We have media. Gigantic payroll of the highest payroll and Red Sox history. Very numbers float around but diet and other real numbered it's. You know it's going to be somewhere around a 195. Million dollars at second and in all of baseball so -- We have had been sparingly. The -- that that the dollars. We have made an effort to -- we do it used to make an effort to use every avenue available to be it. The waiver wire keeps free agency be it trade that I think we used a little bit of everything minor league free agents this. You know do I wish we had done a little bit more. To stabilize the starting pitching that we anticipated. In advance to kind of difficulties we would have yes has been -- suspected that makes a lot of sense than that and we understand that but we we are you can second guess the decisions we make. But what you cannot do I believe this question our motivation. And our commitment to winning that's been there for a for eleven years and that's a touchdown on which we yeah. But on the franchise assists and not about. Making a few dollars more has never been never been a profit distribution from the state team. Process dividends to lose to the ownership everything we've -- -- re invest in the player payroll in iron again. Operations in an international signings and renovate Fenway Park. So the commitment is there are some -- would make misjudgments you're right absolutely we do. So learn how to just get fixed in rerouted does that happen and you let it happen organically and then attack it and fix in the offseason or the repairs available now. Well there still are some. Limited avenues available this year in terms of August acquisitions as you go to a milk. Straits can be made before the 31 of August that's a little putters before that. But we don't do anything it's is organic or casual. We are analytical. Is to a fault and we will we will sit down and in and get everyone on the same page has improved communication between him among us. And do that we've always tried to do which is make this team better. Recognize in the winning baseball games is what were all about that is the basic. Central focus of the club so we'll sit down and come up with which was -- -- and then new ideas. For next season but we're not focused on next season we're focused on. On improving the club this year finishing strong and accidentally. Malaria Twitter follower named Dennis Donovan what -- -- to ask you is the reds are the Red Sox management front office. And ownership afraid that Sox fans won't buy into a and he said choose whatever term you -- rebuilding year bridge you're reconstructing year and playing playing the youngsters for the end of the season and and doing whatever you need to do are you afraid of a note don't you hate the term bridge year are you afraid conceptually that your fan base will say this is a year we're definitely not gonna win it because they're trying to do something or down the road. Oh that's not in the way we've operated we we believe with the kind of market we have and the passion it. Passion and intensity of our fan base and they financial wherewithal to -- that passion turns into. That we should. Be able to compete year after year mean -- yankees have been in the postseason -- where it was. Competing at least seventeen or eighteen years wrote the Braves won divisions first. Double digit years there way to do it. But there are times when you've got a go which he was young people are stuck -- -- game last night to some of our baseball guys and. And then saying it does it that he on the miserable helped produce the games the ball on the young players. And so they'll they'll they'll beat Taiwan will we will do it equipment we're gonna depend. On young players. Just coming up but it just seems year after year and. What's the best way to be consistently good and -- consistently and is in control your payroll is still have. Good young players every year I frankly think there's a lot of appealed to getting a rising star in that whole slogan. But to and say hey -- you're simply in a rebuild but I don't think you can hear that from -- but you won't hear any and -- a focus on on young players doesn't go forward. -- Larry we have with this that's another question from Twitter Jim -- wants little ball and why does it seem the Red Sox rarely get equal value in trades and are paying money in the second part of that. How does the budget work out how much money is in the budget to eat salary win and if you need to. Well we've demonstrated that we will eat salary went and if we need to. And the year you've got to be a little careful that the -- to a topic -- premature snapshot of the trade. There were. There -- traits that don't look so good today after and the year after that sort of thing and two years later you -- my goodness -- a magnificent trade that was. -- I yeah I can't question the premise that we don't get fair value and that we don't stepped up and tape we need to make it trade to get talented. Settle down. I think that that we've we've proven that we will do. Lou we will do well this is -- serious. Larry thinks the time good talking to you good luck look forward and and and beat -- -- -- in the -- -- yeah all right here and I let you know president Boston Red -- joining us on the AT&T hotline.

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