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Red Sox President/CEO Larry Lucchino Responds to the Terry Francona Book

Feb 13, 2013|

Boston Red Sox President/CEO Larry Lucchino spoke with Dennis and Callahan about what was written about the ownership in Terry Francona's book. Lucchino described the team's offseason approach to free agency and reaffirmed the front office's commitment to winning.

Transcript - will not be 100% accurate

Welcome back Dennis and Callahan broadcasting -- -- on Red Sox spring training yes the sun has broken out here at jetBlue park in Fort Myers, Florida joining us on the AT&T hotline for -- Boston. You'll be making his way down here to Fort Myers later today the president and CEO the Boston Red Sox Larry Lucchino where we got the weather all in order for your arrival later. And you know pretty kill order -- the first they'd be not battered the jury and you the girl. Yeah we're doing fine that's you break now you're gonna bring it out you know -- level you gonna tell me the period that -- the little. So good so positive so upbeat he definitely. -- To help the impact on the -- it was. As a true you've got him go on for you Larry they can say what you want an omnibus they would you -- but the Red Sox. You'll always have Pedroia. These -- of this just as rock this little. Five foot six inch under in sixty pound rock for your franchise at least to get tackled. Well I think that's right indeed HT TPC 51 of the faces of the franchise has been I hope will be for -- time. We are you -- just said about it yesterday just context but also the kind of player that he is hum so we are. Optimistic that they he's going to be a part of the core is April capital. Hey Larry and places not called the Red Sox clubhouse the expectations for this year is baseball team are very very low. Does that insult you are you OK with that which you thought comment on that idea. Actually I'm OK with that. I senses that -- does the expectation that this prognosticators. Punted when everything is they have. Are are more often wrong and right it's a very complicated. Game very difficult to reject. Generally expect the last couple years of the kind of success. They that he is predicted for a 2011. -- catastrophe. Being. So. Yeah I think it was the greatest self I kind of prefer seeing the the underdog -- the scrap the hard charging team that that people don't does expect much from. I think that's maybe a bit of a competitive advantage. And I think gives us. If we fall under that category so be it. 650 years these preceded guesses or are likely to to me very much. But do you expect. Well a lot from this team get -- expecting in a 73 wins. Still like them expecting more. Like that not gonna come off but with this specific number I have a crystal ball looking into this side of the actual life. But I I do think there's a core of very solid team there and we had seven. Free agent acquisitions this off season one major treat her -- -- As the baseball operations teams to the -- -- to us the basis he's better help much if they. Will be determined by help you guys know that -- -- people who just what you ask him what factors might be important to him we started. It would help. And it does make its gigantic difference but every team has had some injuries to be sure the question -- will -- reach epidemic proportions and its key players. That applies across the board so. Well they read that makes it harder to predict for the seat you know whose rotation is going to be awfully well we want to know Fortis our pitchers it's there are others turned up. Every time I think it'll or every every no one mr. So that that does this kind of practice and they depict. Larry speaking of health and does David Ortiz pronounced himself not yet a 100% with the heel injury and heel injury by the way that took place on July 26 make the president -- little queasy. It would if its site didn't hear from the medical team. But aside from that to. Or projecting forward city will be ready by by opening day again exactly. Science. For protecting your recovery from an Achilles. Injury which those we can't beat back the intensity. And it takes time. But -- security. Kept up with is rehab days of the offseason. And it's. Agility drills and demonstrated to our medical team -- conditions. On the degree to go when you won the bell goes off on opening day that's. How much debate was there -- in the inner circle the Red Sox. Organization for the new marketing concept that says it was broken we have to fix it because I think it's a bold move I think it's an accurate -- think it's the right when you're taking ownership of what happened last year whose idea was it -- meet with much resistance. It didn't meet with it was any resistance. It was this certainly was it was discussed does it should make you think like it was. Rubber stamp. But does it came from Mars from Adam Grossman who's the or vice president for. For marketing and this was his goal was so -- so large want to kind of transparency. And and acknowledgment of the problems that we've had. And up to a couple what some. Different -- diverting task team that really deal with the directly because. We all feel it senses. Disappointment we all know what it how frustrating. Last month -- -- 20111. This season 2012. And now we have we have they have an obligation and opportunity to. To restore things to reload the ones -- -- Larry let's talk what your strategy is it as far as the book goes and I think you know what book were talking about. Are you really gonna stick this idea that you're not generated. You talk and respond you're moving on you're looking to the future because it just doesn't seem like good natured guy good would have value. Times by nature's -- all we really need to write. Right place but that's a good point in this case it makes perfect sense. So. I certainly heard a little bit about books like themselves it's. The but if I did read it. I would probably find its even more disappointing -- I've heard that it's highly selective. And -- you know it's the mystery. As. Translated and written by Dan Shaughnessy so excuses there honestly twist to it -- -- I think many of us know what that can mean and that seems that if I did greeted the NC the probability on them in tapper mark. Or or getting involved some collateral. Discussion it was prevent me from doing my job right now I got a full plate of things the 2013. Seasons. Is is demand has been they'll -- and demanding -- slots for us to do but just so these. Apprentice states. Yeah a debate. On the side of what's right and what's wrong. Is that it it's highly selective. But it but it it up for it reaffirms. All the worst stereotypes of you three all you know that the troika Werner. Henry and especially you we went through all the references and virtually every reference you in the book includes some kind of descriptive phrase or adjective of you know bully years hard charging hard I have made it edit. And -- to me at we would try to be fair because if it -- We're anything it's you know fair and balanced and balanced there but. Like jobs felt was just it was and talked about some being personal and private and you know between NASA. And an atom -- and that's not the way the last manager looked at things. Everything became fodder for the book do you feel at least that in that regard that you were violated that there was that nothing was off the record. Nothing was confidential between you and the manager over eight years. On well it certainly a lot of things we talked about. Well we're we did not anticipate would be the subject or these that your four or walk afterwards and that's the Lola troubling that diets. On feelings for her first Tito I have good memories about what happened. I understand it he left feeling it's militants. A certain way and. About the organization and about us but you guys believed that he is set a whole number of positive things since then. And I just prefer not to get in the kind. A discussion about -- Dan -- translated a lot of these things and characterize them -- my view this character is that. I'd give me an example -- where when it into the book I'm told is that we care more about money than winning. We care more about marketing and ratings and money in the profitable -- generated based -- -- this week. It's wrong with our track record. We had the -- that there has been or baseball for years. We've won more games or dictator for decades and any team -- they vote that the Yankees are rules that hires these -- that the Yankees. We've reinvested not just into the ball. Team that into the ballpark. In discovering player development. It's just -- it seems to me that the that the body of work. Demonstrates that and we have not taken one prostitute to one penny of profit distribution pattern split up everything we generated. -- he's -- he's been reinvested in the team in the payroll in the scouting or development amateurs signings for inciting. And we would we we've. Doesn't take in the revenue is generated put it back in this case for the successes came. The preservation of the ballpark and I think there's that's speaks for itself I don't need to be out there I was saying oh my goodness we hear. More about winning -- and money it should be -- self evident should be clear from our from our track record. Ever you wanted to go with switcher special license what you're. Zero tyrant and a bully how can you expect an awareness special Red Sox sweat shirts in the parade. Got what. You remember that episode -- that you know it was the first chapter night that it easily if they. And it warned some kind of. -- that baseball would -- Or just beware of the waited it was it was basically just demonstrating with the team members were discouraging them. From the -- people. -- this post was I think it's time that. That's the only -- goes. A couple adult ticket and to get the -- the people. I think obviously it's. Larry given -- -- -- that you just. Enunciated about the accomplishments of this ownership group is there any disappointment. -- any discussed. Based on the response in the reaction to -- ownership group that is come down based along you know a season and a month. A bad baseball based on the fact that this is as you point out the ownership group the rough two World Series of Boston Red Sox. I think there is there a little edit some elements surprised that the body of work. Would not have -- a greater sense of both confidence and and people about our ability to us. -- -- at the right way but. I do know that -- the Boston for the handset market. We did joke -- -- -- sucks good the proverbial one game losing streak and didn't drive it media folks crazy. And then so like do know that there is that's it's kind of par for the course expected to win and in some ways we do we've created. Our own -- here we we've won now a lot overseas. Eleven years we have been here and now. And we're expected to. We did he and I appreciate we set the bar high level ourselves so we're not surprised that other folks. People that and. I asked John Ferrell earlier this morning what his message to the team will be when he meets with the assembled group later on in the spring. The orders message be win win you addressed the team at a certain point where what what what do you want them to know that you're thinking. Well I think it by definition those kinds of -- surprised that they don't want things I know that -- we will say is that we have great confidence. John -- It -- didn't do it. Two restored this team. Get it back to world where where it belongs we have great places to -- to the leadership and the coaches that people who are charges stated that this. Operation. It was. Without going back to focus groups and sexy and -- on all that was -- a lot of deliberation about maybe. Going after a Josh Hamilton in the offseason may be -- and gotten big ticket free -- as -- to some of them you know miss. Less sexy look less sexy platoon guys like electric Gomes -- Or an apple for that matter. What we can think of the people you mentioned. Let's look sexy -- platoon guys. I think it does for the -- -- he was speaking to these that these players that can play this game. We can go outlook for the most continue. That's -- that we can. Guys that would that -- -- teammate that has talent but this that he. So while one attempt to dale -- and an -- Large ticket freeagent. We have shifted our focus a bit that the issue we've. Obvious about that I think it. -- publicly about that we are highly skeptical of long term. He also I think the body of of evidence. Baseball over and over and in many years demonstrates the -- -- decency of those things and the -- -- effectiveness of those kind of -- tax. And so we will be careful or we won't ever exclude the possibility of some exceptions to that rule. I think we have to people all all that use open. But it does it there was discussion about done Hamilton but it became clear that it was likely to be a -- success here. We it was a that it waited to redeploy. The money we -- from similar law. Baylor has the climate in the clubhouse as it relates to losing in any kind of toxicity or dysfunction at that creates increased your appreciation for. The need to have a unified. 88 culture in the clubhouse that is that much more positive to produce wins on the field. Well the whole issue of whether it winds produced the culture chemistry or chemistry produces -- win. You know you could debate that endlessly. We do want to have people and problems to -- good teammates. People plus plus the but there can be proud of because when they played the intensity with which they played the dirty uniform that they display. And be here and general. Approach to Boston baseball. So we do. We are careful try to be careful about who we bring in because we know this is a particular. -- -- crucible for people to perform and but we still look for talent. Eight years ago never -- seeing here what's so. That the species each year has to be -- ET. Not enough talents do we have enough talent and so the first question is talent. But close second and inequality is of teammate. The psychological apparatus there. Elect John Henry who spoke to the media without you or anyone else present I was very impressed he said that that. You have but didn't think he would do it in this you know at this moment as. I did -- and and it was candid about this said that limited partners accused of divided his attention is divided. Because a Liverpool -- says that's just what they -- they read that you know he's over liberal holdings. Not focused on the baseball team anymore or is with LeBron or is an -- NASCAR race. Argued. One of those who reads that and perceives a divided divided pitcher you too close to the situation and you. When you have a close enough to know that it's been. Thirty years it's mr. it over Liverpool like close outs and nobody is that percent with LeBron James. They note that that the. Think it's an owner has. Clear business interest. Can also be portrayed as distracting it diverting but the truth is it is two opposite. Passionate. Baseball fan but he is uses first love and and he uses -- as active and helpful if they operations. Club this is never. Now I read that he didn't really love baseball and you didn't even you guys are real baseball guys. Well you know as. It can -- what can be a little defensive when I went back -- Really -- And I've been in baseball for over thirty years and walked away from legal profession. And I played the game in my whole life I you know area being defensive I don't want to do that with the my career is way it is and I'd love for the game is what it is. Try to do. To explain it to doing. I think a lot of yes. Right I think a lot of things in the book would annoy you beginning with a sweatshirt thing I didn't. And we get a views I get accused of being you know this letter is stooge as I said what's the big deal estimate where they switch it and they. And that -- disappeared that would (%expletive) off anybody. And and other things like that plus the whole idea of everything you said in confidence is now in this you know bestselling book but. When I read that -- and I thought of Henry and you saying. What I I and and Steve Buckley wrote a great calm on the sent. Terry Francona because he was born into the major leagues essentially born and a baseball has no. Claim on loving the game more than anybody else -- -- don't even have to be you or Henry. To say I love baseball every bit as much as Terry Francona just -- he never had a real job. Doesn't mean he loves baseball more than you or Henry or you know. That the fans who were -- you know flying down to see you guys spring training I mean can't everybody loved the game. Absolutely -- he said it quite well yourself I don't think it's dwelling. There is just that is 100 misconception in the book that I did know. This erroneous notion that somehow we Tom myself but he in the ownership group. Was responsible for. Slamming. Speed on the way out disclose private. Negative information about him that just didn't happen we've -- Over and over there. Porter who wrote it -- college that does to us Terry Francona is that it it just does this girl this kind of gossip that the the -- be. Credited the chances to put put it. But no one believes you Larry that -- don't believe you we. And at this stage that's. That's up to them but it's just they just did not true. Well I can tell you how I know but I know what you just said is true and -- I've mentioned this on the air a couple of times a couple of occasions. And in each one of those occasions again we get accused of being -- Larry Lucchino. You know rump -- but like I know for a fact -- you were saying it's true that was not ownership was a source it was somebody else who -- -- information and share it with Bob -- That's. Absolutely. But you must have told Terry that you listen to her it wasn't me it was. -- -- believe it was us. See personally is serious said that since the book is ask about and it is that the oftentimes things -- Translated. By this challenge saying we all businesses distinctive kind of. Negative wise guy style so -- he's not likely to be the way the prices for American history. No but we knew when Shaughnessy was capable of I was surprised -- with the passion. With -- which Francona -- you know got his revenge you Larry I mean he takes you guys down and I think it's. A cop out to say -- that's Shaughnessy style you know your manager for eight years. Did not -- respect a meat on your bones in this book come I know you haven't read the whole thing but. -- to various continents since then. It's quite quite positive and but I personally so. I'd prefer -- it is if they. If I'm wrong about that I -- -- first -- -- take what he has done recently is better patient does policy. If on the ownership. All the management group. But the Cleveland Indians and I read this book Mike Huckabee a little more careful of things that I say that Terri may be preface everything with and by the way this is off the record Terry. That he do yourself a disservice I guess -- -- you in terms of establishing trust. Based on your relationship not yours in particular but ownership relationship with him there vs what you face -- we've been good for. And do another good hold in baseball as well as anyone Larry -- -- -- your baseball guy you don't love the game like -- -- -- but you're a baseball guy. Have you seen this before did that Earl Weaver write a book about his owners when he was done in Baltimore. The book. It was not those this this this type of. Both book. I think it was -- which is what you learned at do you get you know everything that county. And it was it was much more about his managing style and that techniques and and not so much of the -- -- this thing happened. You would do well. Yeah if you and I assume -- in this avoid reading the book. I'll just give it to him. Axle plants grow and will read I just don't want it. I wanna I wanna read it now I've got a bunch of those things to do it hasn't said earlier -- likely to lead disrupted tapper mark. You got to go a long flight down here Kennedy agreed to free other books in my -- of what what are they what are your read on the way down. The I'd guess. A book about die younger next year which this is second version of that. And I'm reading -- I've got. -- to -- Michelle Obama are on. Nolasco idea. Barney Frank is an index. Last night don't want and I wanted to see -- a biography of yes they sorry guys Jefferson -- -- but could get -- take what they did take several months it is that. And but I just -- Want to I want to lighten up -- a -- Coleman not. Oh please -- He's not that -- yesterday via an -- -- be seen as least educated informed and but I'll just you're a movie guy I'm sure Larry I'll I'll just give you visual. This book reminded me of the godfathers and you were -- green. And Tito is Michael Corleone I mean. Maybe Shaughnessy was the guy with the gun but Tito was Michael Corleone in -- normal green. Well you didn't. I do like good movies and I do believe it is a lot of like particular conflict. I prefer not to accept that characterization. This -- one thing before we have to see that -- -- this debate on whether you know a good Italian can be seeded all of garden this in a while ago in their hotel right near the ballpark so. Would you be seeded -- and it's good to meet. You know. -- -- royal. Grandfather -- my father of this. Great pathetic. A diet cooking so it's hard for me to find -- The changes tang restaurant the complicity. Of quality isn't as good or that they sent for the -- Thank you Larry you you made my case Larry thank what are you know you're from Lithuania should definitely benefit. All right Larry safe flight we'll see when -- get down here thanks Larry Larry Lucchino president CEO the Boston Red Sox with Dennis and Callahan will be right back.

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