Aug 16, 2012|
President and CEO of the Boston Red Sox Larry Lucchino joined the D&C show to discussed various issues surrounding the team. Lucchino talks about if Bobby Valentine will be the manager for the rest of the season, gives context of the meeting sessions with the players, how ownership and the players are feeling about the situation they've been put in, and gives his take on the chances the Red Sox turn it around the rest of the season.
Transcript - will not be 100% accurate
You Larry Lucchino credit for the us. Got up early owners' meeting out in Denver joins us on the AT&T hotline AT&T forgy LTE good morning Larry. Good morning category we're doing very well quick question right off the bat will Bobby Valentine be your manager for the rest of this year. If unequivocally. Yes. About next year. I want to love and I get up early so like -- -- few things like so let's hit the invitation. So disconnected a couple of they expect crisis evidently left right center. One is toward eight do -- -- to our fans out there. The they gratitude expressed regret the gratitude we feel for the outpouring of affection for Johnny Pesky. And that keeps things in perspective here. But -- he has the pesky outpouring has been sensational that Nationalists and beautiful thing to see there flowers. Piling up over Fenway Park. And -- -- fans have been that great so under the take the invitation you guys give me just say is direct thank you to them condolences for the pesky family intend to do some more things. Two memorialize Johnny and keep these guys that are sort of and lives. Is there any chance there will be a separate events were people 37000 people can come to Fenway Park any memorial for Johnny Pesky side again. Are working. Towards that and it was with family. Tell us just say something about the the player roundtable with the added that he exceed two weeks ago. -- there. I'm going to be. Security what I say about it because the code that principle on which is -- is that one of confidentiality. We've been doing -- upbeat meeting sessions with our players. Since 2002. And the practice goes back here before that so those. So this has been going on here about the effort for ten and had -- and one thing that's been consistent as we haven't. Talked about. The contents. The participant. Or opinions of things that that it had done jobs and racist statement yesterday. When he said that of does that does point these meetings -- Simply to look -- it. Improve communications. And to find out there additional things that we can do should be doing to it to win. So. I think that people. I need to know the disk and go on for some time and would ever. Report came about it. About it is the first it's kind of pretend had tears and and avoid met their ports and exaggerated and inaccurate. And then beyond that I I would be violating. Our code or our our principles. If I talked about the content out there and that -- said it -- -- -- -- -- I'm not gonna do tested -- and make it a little easier for you. But don't you usually invite the manager to those round tables. Yeah we do usually but -- that -- Meetings for the managers have been presently in meetings and general manager has been president in recent meetings when it's not all dealers have been present it it makes it. Is its mixed up the directed normal man normal practice is that. Is to try to guess many of us there's -- That make you nervous if they had won and didn't invite you. No not really I mean actually that's effective have been there have been many but I think as a lot about me. But I'd better understand this case we got it was there was if there were series of meetings. And -- India protect it done took place over a month ago so it's a little bit of old news and I hope we don't get it's coming up on this on this side. Practice that we've been engaged. If if John Henry did indeed call the meeting as he said in his email yesterday why it was a full squad not -- why just less than steel 1718 whatever was. -- it's never gonna mandatory meeting and by the way that -- wrong. It. So is not meant I -- for a mandatory decision. -- sort of but I invitations spread the word. And -- So. And he said the one overriding sentiment in the meaning was that the players took the responsibility blame no one but themselves is that accurate. Wouldn't I don't remember here. It's statement exactly the that was certainly one of the principal themes of the meeting. Larry how would you describe the mood and the tone and the atmosphere in the offices of ownership and management these days. Well. In. Demoralized. We flew out to center John -- myself throughout. On late Tuesday night. After. The game Tuesday night then we were. Complaining to each other. -- each other commiserate with the is. Getting an opportunity to actually just say something that does need to be said. John Henry and Tom Werner are intensely competitive people they -- passionate about this team. And about its performance and wanna win desperately acute. Then with the as far as I'm here you're seeing it just leave. The palpable -- of of depression of the demoralization that was setting in after after a couple of like that have to getting getting -- that they these guys are present. They are involved in the governance of the club. And it's against the otherwise there's many people have done with this notion that they're more focused on other things than does the -- -- is just misleading the public. Do you do you blame the media or any of this for this culture of this. Toxicity. -- and in club closer around this team and I do. I do a little bit yeah I do it quickly. -- are blamed for might have been some things that we could have done earlier and better. I mean myself as well to look. Two -- ensure that it didn't. And development quite too quick to levels that it has but I certainly think that he had culture of the the passionate sports that you like about -- with not just one but two sports. Talk radio stations and not just one but two regional sports networks and not just one city -- several cities in the Cleveland since. Newspapers cover. The to the team I think there's an intensity an idea and it and it. -- It is the and men media coverage here that is that is. Different than in most of the places like that at the -- -- last night dinner last night next to Dave Montgomery. Who is the presidency it was Padilla filled. And now we're talking about how. We should have the table. Reserved for our folks like us who who had very high expectations. For this season who have performed historically quite well over the last decade has built an exceptional. But who are. Stumbling terribly. And we dot there was our situations were probably similar but it started up but support -- Philadelphia's state. He said -- sympathies -- what we were going through in in Boston. But the one thing that bothers you now apparently is that meeting in the and the fact that it was leaked and it became an issue. That's not the media's fault that somebody on your club in that meeting and. Perhaps there's more likely someone I don't I don't believe that certain someone at that meeting I I I think it's someone who may have hurt. About it in the normal course of affairs. And and and reported on it but that you have the general question not just about this I was trying to react respond generally to the notion -- the intense. And media. Terrorism exists and watch -- and I recognize that -- double its award is for the things that keeps our fans. Interested and and passionate. And then dependent on the very knowledgeable. As a fairly is that a real danger of misleading the public -- that -- comes about somebody said the circumstances. Larry Larry you -- -- manager who said last night because of this kind of scrutiny in this kind of media attention and all the drama that seems -- -- his team some players don't wanna come here. Well I I think it's not just I hear Bobby say that but my sense is that that has been. They conventional wisdom for a long time the -- certainly years before we got here it was something we were determined. To change. When we got here and many times and some that had to do. Where they've yet to be sure I think there's no question mark that that goes back or wait you can go back and it is just stories of Ted Williams in the media Bill Russell of the media and the and the kinds of other stories that were told about it. The scrutiny that -- players are under here also had to do with facilities. Here for baseball at the some players like the -- appointments of Fenway Park some places which -- they. Facilities the training -- weightlifting -- all the stuff they're just doesn't president Boris why bother. And as to whether you know it's teams. In Southern California to a certain. Appealed that there is -- on quite as president -- -- but we made a concerted effort we got here to change that. Despite. Talked into our players you know roundtable sort of began way that we first got here. To improve the facilities. What we haven't had much luck has been improving the the and -- -- You wuss that you flew out to Denver for the owners' meetings with John and Tom and we'll commiserate about how the season has gone. Taken the temperature of of the three of -- in that airplane can this season in your estimation get fixed in if you think the answer to that is just tell me how that happens -- Well. I wanna be Pollyanna -- it's. It is tough but. There are what seven weeks left this -- -- almost season just -- to which third. Earned them. So is that theoretically possible absolutely sick and -- games back in the walked over seven weeks ago. You can just look in the and collier colleagues and Saint Louis and and -- and today. And not ask them what happened in September last year how far back they work. And what they thought their cases were some theoretically yes it can be done it will be hard because there are a number of slopes. There we do play. We started this week we had eleven series. I think I'm correct numbers eleven series remaining this year with teams that were ahead of us. Does that provide its. Is some opportunity. Two to bridge the gap so I think yeah it can be on but with the the ark lot of of injuries the they continue to hit -- hard David Ortiz we can't get. Back in the lineup because of the nagging Achilles it's. And now we were told originally was and it was going to be paid attendees to leave them put them on the disabled list because he's likely be ready before that. So. You've got to work. There's going to be some sort of cease from the injury problems that is that we've said and that and this stabilization of the starting pitching. You know Larry you're a generally considered. The guy who. Who thought of Bobby Valentine came up with the ball in your Valentine idea it was coming out of the blue talked about it in the past and you're the guy and you've got the credit for when he got here and we're all excited I think most people. Bought into it it's not working out and indeed this do you feel like. Maybe it was who was a good idea that -- -- just hasn't worked out at this point in May be true. Mean that is that very question at the end of the season under an argument -- -- -- that's the purpose of it is wrong. As I said -- media. We're making decisions collectively. And -- was picked -- by a collective. A process server the participatory process that they are calm myself then all engaged in. And in terms that it length of relationship with Bobby John Henry goes back even farther than I do. -- -- that I know and -- It's certainly I was Acadia reported this desire -- commitment. So it -- a bit. You wouldn't say it was your idea. All I would say is that you know I don't know couple of us. But put together lists and his name appeared on a couple of different -- That you know our. I was actively involved in it and and I'm not total I'll walk away from them but it's misleading to think this is one person. Making these policy decision was one of us have made the decision to our bench Harrington. It was -- collective process very debated and discussed and and move forward. But we all agree that Carl Crawford was just the -- fault -- I know one -- we've gone through that one before -- I don't. But clearly you know blog -- that we liked the idea because we sent make the players and comfortable that's good -- they were too comfortable in September. Are you surprised that they didn't. React better to -- developed and we all thought to be very motivated the -- was on the line September was just embarrassing to all of them. And here we -- it's almost like September has continued for a full calendar year. I am surprised as that the media aftermath of September it's last year is somehow still with us. Forgive me for reporting -- of lines from Faulkner but we've spoken on that day that passes instead it is in the past. And the same is true but last September. It and that is -- you and fully passed yet there was. And certainly in the minds of some of our fans that that's true as well. I do think that. I was hopeful that we had done something to prove we hit the ground running in. It in in April. We would not be. Battered by the rash of injuries that -- -- Until he plays through it that would be a leader Crawford. -- I don't. And more recently you know middle and that middle Broxton Ortiz. Recognizing about it and that's something like 27 campuses just to say it was some people can say. Oh you're just citing an excuse -- teams have injuries or thought excuse it's the reason part of our job is to look at what reasons costs. The that he performance this year in the continuation of the idea. These. Performances began last September and -- you have to look at these things objectively political excuse or reason I'd prefer a couple reasons. Larry what do you think your customers and think about your players. -- Or think it's. The extent I -- of course. -- last night. And although woman who works as the Rockies. Got here and -- now that was actually has dealt. It came it came up to me and embraced me. And said I work for Iraqis that are from Worcester I love the Red Sox notices that stuff here Belichick has to know how much I love them. And I gave me a big big embrace. So that's one thing and not that's not the fans like difficult talk radio and express outrage at the poor decisions of Latinos making -- -- without -- making their insurance is making. So I think there's a wide range of opinion there certainly is significant settlement. That -- of disappointment out there and people had very high expectations. And this team and I think we're guilty of having. -- decree does high expectations over the last ten years with a good track record. We have an average overnight to win of the year I think it's somewhere around there. And now I think it does does this necessarily a lot of disappointment and some anger that. That they. Players aren't doing -- fans feel they need to do is to be worthy of their support. Larry going forward with 44 games to go and then the offseason I'm getting back to the how does this get fixed question is -- culture in this clubhouse that needs changed other people that need to go to effect change for next year. Well I don't want to talk about the people who need to go I do think that club house. Culture is different when the team is winning and they yes star players that there. Regularly and let leading the team in the club buses slope on the field and not from the disabled list. So yeah I think we we're -- we'll see. And improved it. Culture next year I mean it's not our job if it's -- if it's broke -- fix it. You know on I have -- -- responsibility. To be sure for the other. -- is Francesca and then they took pride in my share responsibility for success we've had over the last ten years. I take my share responsibility as well but it's our job in my job. I'm -- -- John -- Thompson of the people who aren't. Blesses -- responsibility. To still operate just came in these stewards of the same to bring it back and that may. Getting getting them. More -- in the clubhouse. We will do that that means making some -- changes and in the whole and it in the uniformed personnel we will do that. What about eating more contracts there's no policy now where you're not gonna do that anymore after all of the those gas is there I'm and we still would know. Have a -- policy it is we will not as. You contract buried here is some votes significant portion of the contract. We. Been tried to try to be careful on the case by case basis but if you look at -- Most recent deal involving Kevin Youkilis and involved us. Having to have. Paid some some part of this -- salary. Do you you're old school we know you've been around you or general we've girl that do you cringe that some of today's ballplayers. Gripes you know of ago. It's not completely comfortable they're not happy they need to know today in advance of the get a day they don't wanna. Maybe pitch that these next two days rest not so specific here but. Without again critical of any particular individual I would say you -- a -- there a little bit and the F. -- -- and maybe it's just the passing of time but I do remember very a different culture I think part of that. It is significantly -- that part the labor process that we've been engaged since the last thirty years. Players have had very effective. Labor lawyers and the CA they've got certain rights and benefits and opportunities and and as a result of that does that not the same kind of that same kind of perspective perhaps the players. And done these before. That is the raft of changes that are taking place almost altogether it is advantage. In the increasing the CPA negotiations. So I yeah I I look back. -- And I think with great admiration as some of the people I've played with two left. Who played. With nagging injuries there seemed to be able to. Together together under very adverse circumstances I have great admiration for. For the kind of personality and for those kinds of people. Now correct me if I'm wrong you went to work while undergoing chemotherapy. Did you ever missed like a month or more with the crick in your neck. At any point in your career. The and not about my hit my history but no I never missed them almost similar to African my -- but I -- next time when I was -- to be here. And he's the guy who still out what the creek. Any thought -- just saying goodbye it's over at the end of this year would Daisuke went on to say we're done with this this little drama you can go home now. -- positive cricket and access something that was utterly insignificant doesn't I don't know. They that debts and severity of Daisuke. Parents turn entry I think he's gonna be ready get to. Come back and and an acceptance currently at this club since December. Larry how will we know the white flag has been waived for this season. I don't know because in light of last year's September. One it's got to be careful of white flags so or cavalry charges because. We had the rules are rewritten a bit last September's position because it's in our mind. My Michael historically as a baseball executive this has always been has the team in contention through Labor Day. Now with the change in the rules -- this year for the first time. The commissioner has got the exact competitive dynamic -- wanted to there's more faith and hope and more cities for a longer period of time because of the too -- cards available so if you I think we're have to wait and see it's gonna take it take a little while I can't I can't predict. Now what I think we'll have approach is certainly have better indication about Labor Day. I would only add to that that there are five teams in front of you that would have to failed you have to crawl over and to get to 89 wins which is generally thought to be the sort of watershed mark with 44 to play Red Sox would have to go 32 and twelfth to get 89. We felt we -- had done that to be sure but it's -- you don't -- that and if that happens to will be talking about video come back here. For the ages. So let's be realistic about it but -- little of what I wanna see us play. Winning intense competitive. And based -- further and further at this season as well among the and let the record does develop as as it does so we need to start that fixing what's what's wrong with this there was this club. And we you know that the data we yank get over the next forty. -- do you consider yourself a baseball guy as a baseball guys do you have a theory on what happened to Josh Beckett a year ago he was a Cy Young contender. He had an ERA in the mid to lose enough and I always got one win three months Larry and his. That's so that is a very difficult question and answer in fact we're talking about it earlier one of these mistakes. That we made was not anticipating the difficulties. That are. Two co -- would have this year but was there any. Basis. For predicting. That kind of difficulty. This year I don't think you -- -- correctly that. Just -- it was it was a real force in the September last year is activity or a yeah it was as exceptional is that. He was -- one of the most effective pitchers in baseball. Last year that the Hamburg and so the what we need it was very -- pieces -- is city of of fortune teller someone you can look at the future and being able to. To calculate with some accuracy win players. Demise is likely ended -- visit -- at the -- just -- of regression from which you return and all the time will be spent people who know a lot more pitching and I gave China and there are analysts that question the subsidies. Speaking about people who know more about pitching than we do you do I'd do we get asked this all the time I don't know the answer. Why didn't Bobby Valentine get that pick and hire his own pitching coach. I think has that that's a little -- -- misleading. There because. There was a process that included body and and Ben -- -- in particular and several other folks in baseball operations. Came up with is that names because that we hit some some coaches who were under contract. And and so a number of of alternative -- -- out to for a body he if he would says I did not want to have this person to be about pitching coach. That person would not these pitching coach he did have a right to talk to participate. But he but it is true that he inherited. Three. I think -- -- -- coaches and any selected to from scratch I think through forest go to. That's the idea of having your players for one game when you return to Fenway Park all Wear the number six been floated and would Major League Baseball allow you to do that. Oh we think it's a very appropriate gesture. And I had a conversation it's. But the commissioner's office and the bureaucracy that -- like about it and now of course there was so very supportive of the idea. So we just got to get a and of formal and protect us from the from the bureaucracy. And the I'm optimistic that look today. May -- correctly assume that you have your best -- on this doctor Charles the maestro on whatever the the the memorial what do with a tribute to Johnny Pesky. Indeed we do hope we are oppressed person our best to people on. They're McKenna who has worked with -- for many many years is also. Deepening didn't engage and make sure we give a fitting tribute and so I'm not a candidate. Anything you can share with -- -- specifically towards its -- of. Well I don't know the details. Yet I think it. It will be. Perhaps reminiscent of what we did fortunately it was. With some displays around the ballpark and not. And all of that because we have. To a protecting Logitech in Valentin consultant escaped and that's that's that's one thing but there and he could be a -- a larger memorial services and finally I would like it and to have happened and we would definitely speed. And actively involved with them and doing that then by the way if we didn't do very well to do the jerseys. This camera little deceived -- -- Conduct that stated that the -- and radio telethon. Next week's first Jimmy Fund. And so while there's there's so there's a lot of thinking going on mr. Powell we considerably honor economy. And -- -- the case in the the memorial larger event would be separate events separate from a ball game is that correct. I think so that's something that's that's the way it's headed right now. -- got a birthday. -- have a birthday coming up since September. -- you guys are take going to be in for a lot of things Larry but that's something you'll never get criticized for. In the way you treated. Johnny I know before you get your predecessors weren't always so. Deferential and respectful after the guy and and you did the right thing. Well thank you I think this decision that. John made to spread bring about to the a World Series in 2004. Decision example of that. Police to try to say over and over are we understand that this is an historic protest Obama. I wish look people who preceded us and we hope that the people who come after us. Are able to look back and and then treat us for the some degree of of respect and admiration for the job we've done. I'm about that but you know these are the market. That pesky let he raised the banner to ruin your day with yeah -- -- we have a group. We had a great chat on April 20 this year and 100 anniversary. Barbie -- Johnny Pesky side by side that's the last time and that in Red Sox uniform. And it it. Very touching touching -- What did you guys did you guys that can keep me here. All Manila resilient or you're supposed to ask -- the reason I'm here Larry -- got something he's gotten and I doubt at least eight I was partied -- Springsteen sang in the rain and all my followers feel -- morale volatile week Larry I mean I'll be there when my 35000 please just go and I absolutely. Every -- blaze -- Speaking of spring they -- and nice tribute he made two -- pesky was the total amount Tuesday night that is very touching and very -- I asked the prevailing mightily question Daniel Bard. Organizational. Decision on -- what the heck is wrong with -- -- Boy there's many opinions on matters. There are people examining it. His last outing was quite effective Vista a couple of days ago. But I still. Maintain. Some hope and -- and and in Daniel Bard I think it's. You'd get if you get it until together I hope he gets -- gets back appear in September and gets the chance to. Statement about. Being here. I -- think that there that is. It's at this point given the kind of dismal season it has got to be psychological. Had -- -- different competence and and the -- an ability to visualize the success success in the. Our Larry thanks for get up early Colorado immigration I'm talking to talk -- down the road. The deal with the DNC on the AT&T AT&T forgy LTD Bobby Valentine will be the manager. IPod -- to the end of the season next year but against the -- That's asking personally hurt you know what I -- that could fire in the -- farm that mobile Larry's dead bodies and Larry will be its ias and get the final vote obviously I'll defend and that the yes yes yes the option I guarantee you he considered to a vote you know you think he. Like here and players complain about it wide and about to host the note there are hints. Did drive some Nazis. Maniacal he's. Hard hard work and old school. I'm bitches if he -- is when John -- hands -- when you say if you had to guess some know for a fact -- it would be his style when he's not Larry up and Henry goes into full fan boy mode must. Just offend the sensibilities. Of -- with her before Elena guys on the club -- Snap and of people here in which they kind of could use ovals and but you know what ourselves a lot more optimistic a -- on Ford and -- -- -- I would. Yeah well. It's not -- let's let's go before we're at forty or more games going forward -- aria probably -- wanted to further that. Nobody's under contract. We also found out that the -- Twosome my stuff for Jon Lester Daisuke and didn't come back in -- it was over and -- Texas that's a good idea they're gonna separate memorial for at midway park and they will do it right it will -- you'll. It'll they'll do right won't be overdone no overwrought they won't be any you know fireworks light shows it'll just be simple. It'll be poignant in the it'll be very well done and Shaughnessy wrote about the -- that these guys -- and -- things that really did well was. -- tribute to the unrest over an old it was a one time amid it was over and over games included in everything. It was always at spring training always in -- ceremony he'll raise the banner in and they. Remote to Saint Louis and he was in the club house or championships killings and those crimes involved and it meant so much to him it was his whole life and they knew at that recognized that they. And they never in let. And left out of -- our popular your phone calls decks of the NC.