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 son has broken out here at jetBlue park in Fort Myers, Florida joining us on the AT&T hotline from up in Boston. You'll be making his weight down here to Fort Myers later today the president and CEO of the Boston Red Sox Larry Lucchino where we got the weather all in order for your arrival later. Today and you know pretty hero order the first they'd be here not battered the jury and -- yeah the girl. Yeah we're doing fine that's you break now you're gonna bring it out you get a raise level -- you gonna tell me the period that deter it a little. So good so positive so upbeat he would definitely. Of the area. To help the impact on the -- As a true you got him going for you Larry they can say what you want them be able to -- what you want but the Red Sox. You'll always have Pedroia. These -- of this just as rock this little. Five foot six edge under in sixty pound rock for your franchise at least to get tackled. Well I think Detroit did he he he -- -- -- 51 of the faces of the franchise has been I hope will be for a long time. -- here you -- just said about him yesterday about just contract 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 -- this prognosticators. Punted when everything is they have. Are are more often wrong and right it's a very complicated day game very difficult to project. Definitely expect the last couple years -- kind of success. They that he is predicted for a 2011. When necessary. But just 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 I -- -- -- 650 -- 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. No I am expecting more. Like that not a couple but with this specific number I have a crystal ball look at it is we actually like. But I I do think there's a core of very solid team there and we had seven. Free agent acquisition this off season one major trade for a closer. That's been the baseball operations teams systems major step to us -- -- he's better help much if they. Will be determined by help you guys know that good Dustin people who -- that does what you ask him what factors might be important to him he started. It would help. And it does make it gigantic difference but every team has had some injuries to be sure the question as well it's reached epidemic proportions -- key players. That applies across the board so. Well they read that makes it harder to predict before this season you know whose rotation is going to be awfully well we want to know Formosa our pitchers it's there are others turned -- Every time I think -- or Avery -- you -- 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 to make the president CO a little queasy. It would if if I didn't hear from the medical team. But aside from that to. Or projecting forward if he will be ready by by opening day again it's not an exact. Science. For protecting your recovery from an Achilles. Injury which those it's going to be back -- can't -- it takes time. But I think parity kept up with his rehab those days of the offseason. And it's. Agility drills as demonstrated -- medical team they -- conditions. On if he's ready 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 one I think it's the right -- 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. Like this certainly was it was discussed does it should make it seems like it was. Rubber stamp. But does it came from our from Adam Grossman -- the year or -- vice president for. For marketing and and this was his goal was so close so large want to kind of transparency. And and acknowledgment of the problems that we had. And up to a couple -- some. Different -- diverting -- team that really deal with the directly because. We all feel its senses. Disappointment we all know what it how frustrating. Last month of those 20111. This season 2012. And now we have we have they have an obligation the opportunity to. To restore things to reload the ones -- -- Larry let's talk what you're 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 your movement on you're looking to the future because it just doesn't seem like a nature I could would have value. Times by -- does all we really need to write. Right place but that's a good point in this case it makes perfect sense. Oh. 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 so you know it's the mystery. As has translated and written by Dan Shaughnessy so excuses there honestly twist to it -- -- Oh yeah I think many of us know what that can mean and the things -- decide he'd greeted the NC the probability on base so it's ever 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 2008. Season. Is is -- and has been the off season and demanding as -- for us to do but just so these. That the franchise needs. Yeah a debate. On the side of what's right and what's wrong. Is that it that it's highly selective. But it but it it up for it reaffirms. All the worst they're types of you three all in of that Detroit -- Henry and especially you we went through all the references and virtually every reference even the book includes some kind of descriptive phrase or adjective of you know bully years hard charging hard -- made it -- And I and a Timmy and I we would try to be fair because if it -- -- anything it's you know fair and balanced and -- there but. Like John -- was just it was and talked about some being personal and private and you know between us. And and and -- and think 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 the -- we're we did not anticipate would be subject -- being the tiger for four -- afterwards and that's the Lola troubling that diets. On Felix -- for a Tito I have good memories about what happened. I understand it he left feeling it's village -- A certain way in. 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 how Dan Shaughnessy translated a lot of these things and characterize -- -- my view this character as that. I'd give me an example -- where when it into the book I told is that we care more about money than winning. We care more about marketing in -- and play in the profits that will be generated for baseball but that's the -- It's wrong with our track record. We had the -- -- their highest payroll in baseball for years. We've won more games are dictator for decades and any team that they vote that the Yankees are paying most that hires these quotes that the Yankees. We re invested 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 -- to do it once penny of profit distribution. -- up everything we generated. From the activities and reinvested in the team in the payroll in the scouting or development amateur signings for inciting. And we with Williams we've. Doesn't take in the revenue is generated put it back in this team for the success of the team. 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 it and money it should be self evident should be clear from our from our track record. Ever you wanted to go with -- special license what you're. You're a 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 tonight did you see if they. And it's worn some kind of. -- that baseball would do. Or just beware of the waited it was it was basically just been mentioning with the team members were discouraging them. From the -- some people. Close this post was I think -- That's the only unit goes. A couple adult ticket and to get the Bentley talked to people. I think obviously it's. Larry given the -- -- 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 -- -- 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 the Boston Red Sox. I think there is there a little edit some elements surprised that the body of work. Would not have instilled a greater sense of both confidence and and people about our ability to us. Do run at the right way but. I do know that that's the Boston an attempt to market. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- And then so -- do know that there is that's it's kind of par for the course were expected to win and in some ways we do we've created. Our own fate here we we've won now a lot typical release. Eleven years we have been here and now. -- 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 Kennedy keep -- 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 -- -- -- I know that don't we will say is that we have great confidence. John Farrell. It -- didn't do it. To restored this team. Get it back to oh where where it belongs we have great trade there's little to the leadership and the coaches -- people who are -- stated that this. Operation. It was I without going back to focus groups and sexy it's as along all that was are a lot of deliberation about maybe. Going after a Josh Hamilton in the offseason may be -- and -- big ticket free -- as opposed to some of them you know -- sexy look less sexy platoon guys like electric Gomes or. Or an -- for that matter. What we can think of the people you mentioned. Let's look sexy a platoon guys. I think both of interest -- -- was speaking to these that these players that can play this game. We can go outlook for the most continue. And that's -- that we can. Guys that would that be good teammates -- tenth -- to think this that he. So while one attempt to dale -- and an -- Large ticket free agent. We have shifted our focus a bit that the issue we've been. Obvious about that I think it. -- publicly about that we are highly skeptical long term. He also I think the body of of evidence. In baseball over over many many years demonstrates the -- of those things since the end of the ineffectiveness of those kind of contracts. And so we will be careful or we won't ever exclude the possibility 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 -- of success here. We've -- it was a bit waited to redeploy. Money we saved from similar at all to. Hillary 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 888 culture in the clubhouse that is that much more positive to produce wins on the field. Well the whole issue of whether it wins 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 -- us that. 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's baseball. So we do. We are careful try to be careful about who we bring in because we know this is a particular. Different -- crucible for people to perform and but we still look for talent. Eight years ago terrific senior what's so he. That the species each year has to be any ET. Not enough talent -- do we have enough talent and so the first question is talent. But it very close second and inequality is of teammate and the psychological apparatus player. 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 read they read that you know he's over liberal pool leagues. Not focused on the baseball team anymore or is with LeBron or is an -- NASCAR race. Are -- One of those who reads that and perceives it divided divided pitcher you too close to the situation and you. When you have -- close enough to know that it's been. Thirty years it's mr. and -- it over Liverpool line -- outs and nobody is ever sat out with LeBron James. I think noted the that the. Think it's an owner has. Other business interests. Can also be portrayed is distracting -- diverting but the truth is it is -- opposite. Passionate. Baseball fans it is is first love and and he uses that as active and helpful if they operations. Club this is never good. Now I read that he didn't really love baseball and you didn't -- you guys are real baseball guys. It. Well you know as. It can be what can be a little defensive when I went back Adam. Tillie misses -- and I've been in baseball for over thirty years and walked away from legal profession. And I played the game -- my whole life and I you know area being defensive I don't want to do that but the my career is way it is and I'd love for the game is what it is that. Try to do. Explain it to doing. I think a lot of -- yes. Right I think a lot of things the book would annoy you beginning with the sweatshirt thing I didn't. And we get a views -- accused of being you know this letter is stooge as I said what's the big deal the best in the -- they switch it and they. And that's which has 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 great calm on the sent. Terry Francona because he was born into the major leagues essentially born into 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 does 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 a dwelling. There is just that is 100 misconception in the -- that I did know what that -- to. Does it -- is notions as some models we Tom myself but he in the ownership group. Was responsible for. Slamming -- -- on the way out disclosed private. Negative information about him that's just didn't happen we've -- Over and over there. Porter who wrote it to college that does to us Terry Francona has said it's it's just does this girl this kind of gossip that the the -- the credited as an offensive chances to put put it. But no one believes you Larry they 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't 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 -- swap 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 battled that information and share the ball polar. That's. Absolutely. But you must have told Terry that you listen to her it wasn't me it was. He has to believe it was us. See personally is -- said that since the book is ask about and it is that the often times things skid. Translated. By this team I think we all did as -- distinctive kind of. Negative wise guy style so it he's not likely to be the way the prices for American history. No but we knew which shot as he was capable of I was surprised at with the passion. With -- which Francona got you know got his revenge you Larry I mean he takes you guys down and I 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 they've been. It's quite quite positive and but us personally so. I'd prefer to do it but being. If I'm wrong about that I all our first -- well take what he has done recently is a better patient does policy. If on the ownership. -- or the management group. But the Cleveland Indians and I read this book Mike Huckabee a little more careful of things that I say to Terry maybe preface everything with and by the way this is off the record Terry. That -- do yourself a disservice I guess a little -- 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 cold in baseball as well as anyone Larry you've been -- along -- baseball guy you don't love the game like he did -- 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 -- this this this type of. Both book is -- He's I think it was -- which is what you learned at do you get you know everything -- county. And it was it was much more about his managing style and that techniques and and not so much at the -- had this thing happened. -- you'll do well. Yeah if you and I assume -- in this avoid reading the book. I'll just give -- to him. That's helped plant 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 like likely to lead is tempered -- You got to go a long flight down here -- Kennedy read 23 other books in my bag so -- one -- they -- 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 now I've got. I -- we -- Michelle Obama are on. Nolasco idea. Funny frank is an index. Last night don't want and I wanted to see a biography of yes they sorry yeah -- Jefferson answered -- but could get and take what they did take several months to get to that. And but I just do it yesterday. Want to I want to lighten -- get a Harlan Colvin not. A roll every pass. He's not that -- yes the B yeah you know he doesn't will be seen -- 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 godfather and you were -- green. And Tito is Michael Corleone I mean. Maybe Shaughnessy was the guy with a gun but Tito was Michael -- -- and you -- Graeme. Well you get down. I do like good movies and I do believe it is a lot of like that you could learn from my guess -- I prefer not to accept that characterization. This -- one thing before we have to see that he -- this debate on whether you know a good Italian can be seeded olive 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 a father this. Great pathetic. A diet cooking so it's hard for me to find -- But change a thing restaurant with -- post as quality isn't as good or that they sent for -- Thank you Larry you can you made my case Larry thank what are you know you're from Lithuania and definitely benefit. All right Larry safe flight we'll see when we get down here thanks Larry Larry Lucchino president CEO the Boston Red Sox with the Austin Callahan will be right back.