WEEI>On Demand>>Larry Lucchino, President and CEO of the Boston Red Sox, sits down with D&C in Fort Myers

Larry Lucchino, President and CEO of the Boston Red Sox, sits down with D&C in Fort Myers

Feb 21, 2014|

Larry Lucchino joins Dino, Gerry and Kirk for his annual Spring Training visit with Dennis and Callahan. He talks about the key factors in the World Series title run and what the 2014 edition of the Red Sox will look like.

Transcript - will not be 100% accurate

Our 3-D. CES jetBlue park as they are -- putting up. Another world championship better here enough Fort Myers, Florida joining us -- the broadcast site as he does every year is sort of bizarre. Official kick off to work time down here the president and CEO of the Boston Red Sox Larry Lucchino got mourning Larry how -- -- morning guys I'd like the -- sure that the players have taken turn the page when did you and ownership during the. Page. I know I can't think for all of ownership but I think I've got a pretty good estimate and that's when we get down here really we grew up at least I felt free -- relative to celebrate ten to. Go places was the trophy and do things like that doesn't have season. But it seemed to me that once we got here and and had. The full squad assembled it was a time for us to us turn the proverbial page. There were probably a hundred reasons that you won the World Series beating the Cardinals in game number six what was the one imperative the one critical one in your mind at that put you over the top. Oh boy. It's so hard to two. Do you separate the factors and so many things went went so well. And health of the club the chemistry of the club to contributions from so many different people I think favorite. David Ortiz is -- one thing that kind of put us in the top. That's the answer you're looking for a coach may be Koji encourage Ellis -- a full day whether that was there's a little they need to force me to. To choose and it's it's a somewhat unfair question because inevitably overlooks contributions a lot of -- along the way. But the -- at the alliance the confidence that exists with the bullpen. The end of the game and and David's. Unearthly performance. Let's get down the real question everyone wants to know from you Larry what did you see -- Bobby Valentine anyway a just -- -- this man man. Yeah yeah yeah yeah -- understand it -- -- -- did strategist John Ferrell and 2012 well that's -- up and don't worry about it we'll fare under the of the they would never seemed so relaxed he -- -- give us the lineup and don't he gave us the opening night lineup. We didn't know he's got Pedroia hit second Ortiz third we didn't know that until the pro am joined us and reveal that but. Iced it strikes me that you've been here how many -- -- well the -- thirteenth. Have you ever had a better time and more relaxed time on a more joyous time heading down here to warm. It's no I think that. And I think that's fair to say there was something special about the win last year the way it happened the worst to first thing the idea that all you guys in the media were completely wrong there's so many sources satisfaction. I. And of course -- and strong element that is that came into it. EU it was terrific but there's also down here right now maybe is a consequence of that than them because of the people we have seen in leadership positions here. There is a good vibes coming out of camp there's a good feeling around here. And what was I going to DP -- -- -- John -- made a major -- The closeness and the -- of the -- last year and -- and balls -- all signs of point and after. Question -- limited any negative publicity but buying up one of the bigger newspapers. Get Ellison elusive very did you grateful. I mean I Hugo Chavez -- But it's tough there's no one threatening to walk out a note that Ortiz thing is the biggest issue we have. Is that a big issue Q it seems almost like ownership has resigned itself to. Getting it done. Like I think we would like to use to get something done with David and that anything that relates the David Ortiz is is a big issue. He's been such a critical part of it's just that team over the last a decade. He's the only one I guess who's been here on the in uniform. Since we it. For all three of our wins in the last decade and the otherworldly place both of for the Red Sox and baseball. It's aren't those girls are remarkable. And so anything in the -- they're really serious is is so well being is focused. Possible distraction -- qualify as a semi big deal is that a conversation to be having you know whether ownership front office if Ortiz and -- publicly and say you -- you deal of saying to you being pressured by Ortiz. To do do you responding to what he's saying write your own would you call. Well we are responding to their request that came to us from. David representative. I think that's affairs say he really wasn't a catch -- but get the kind of years that they had. It's and you're at stages career that he is not entirely surprised. Look at my second unfair question because it's ask you to read the mind of David Ortiz did it once another year do you think David wants another year because he has convinced 100% Larry. That he will be viable a viable productive baseball player two years from now. Or in his heart of -- he thinks he might not be. Very hard for me to put myself and David David teases mindset. Mike and initial reaction to your question is because he thinks he's going to be a very good player for years to come. And he wants the security that comes from that that wanna play this year religious still Bible and get fifty million dollars after the -- That may be the case but eight if you are coming off a historic year in the it with a historic success the club. It's it seems. -- -- on the other side it was seemed to me it would be propitious time to say yeah. I'm public enemy as limited security act that they have with players who who really likes security I played -- -- -- -- dealt with players and economic team. Players who really do like security Tony Gwynn. Even the middle of his career he -- -- in who's -- it for years to come. He loads of security and no I mean this contract was placed certain people wrote that you have that mindset. David -- one of those that you were you surprised by Ryan Dempster is announcement and in all your years. How many players have you seen do that walk away voluntarily walk away from thirteen million bucks. I was not only surprised I was I was. It shocked. Yet when I heard him explain it to and -- -- a -- more about the rationale for it. My admiration for him increased dramatically. I haven't three I don't remember any other guys that are. Done that did have one guy for the euros to talked about how we should give back half his salary. Because of the year he had a big guys who he had talked about it and I. It goes in the game close. -- role on this team was was exceptional last year -- -- you guys. You've probably talked him into. He was such a leader such -- source of the solid chemistry they came together last year. He is going to be missed enormously -- is one of the most. Well liked and respected players. Associate with -- hope we can get him come back and do some things this year. Maybe maybe for us and maybe some of the way I would love to -- -- love to have with a were achieved. He worked my -- got to shape there's and it and number three -- -- a I don't think he's going to be -- -- reporter though I had I had a Nazi -- that's not the future why not it doesn't look good and hold him back hold me back yeah. Active enough if -- and I love negotiating contracts immediate swabs tested. If I don't I've Jon Lester comes it comes in there right now today it's this five years 100 million dollars. When you signed that deal. Not can negotiate visit accidentally hit a good question I don't know eight EE EE -- oh man I don't I don't reeker I think -- day it sets the parameters for a private negotiation and a public -- over the public Airways I think that -- stupid thing to respond to. But it was nice try what he will what I would do if he came in years and thank him. -- the extraordinarily gracious things he said about the Red Sox such franchise and his commitment to the Red Sox. It's also rare to hear players so retirement -- rarity it's also weird to -- rarity here player. Speeches I candidly is openly forthrightly as -- Jon Lester did about his desire here. And he's one of the few because Pedroia that we know took hometown discount -- wants to. Mike Napoli and we think it turned down any three year offers he had big utilization. I wanna be there did you ever -- Think you'd see the day it would. Boston the Red Sox would be the destination would be a destination place for ballplayers and to whom do you give the credit what. First Santa -- -- ever -- day yes absolutely envisioned it I mean that's a critical part of the success of the team. It starts with a robust farm system you've got to have that but you also have to have a place for players like to play right players feel respected. Way the fan base is passionate and enthusiastic. And wives or have their wives caddies that are you got it you've got to have a holistic approach to it it is players experience here. And now yeah I did I did expect that we would get there I think we have been there before. And now I hope we can stay there for for a long time we're we're not gonna succeed exclusively on the attracting free agents that. And because of the quality of life in Boston wanted to baseball life in Boston but -- -- gonna succeed. Because of that along was similar to who gets the credit. No I think he did that say a broad base thing I think it starts at the top I think you've got to give. John Tom and our ownership group -- Some credit for creating a culture creating a making commitment to winning. Players can hear fundamentally about being part of a winning team when you're playing a pickup game this afternoon on the basketball court. Oh they're playing pretty in the post season in October these guys are competitive animals and wanna win and and I think that's. That's first and foremost but I certainly would give a lot of credit to us. To. John Farrell and he and his coaches too often we don't. Give -- coaches to credit them blame and they deserve. This is an exceptional group of coaches who have come together and made life for the ballplayers here. Comfortable and and and they've been helpful and they growth and development of these guys. So -- and certainly a bench Arrington and and the baseball operations squad as there may. Vote of confidence and -- and a pat on the back for assembling the right kind of guys in creating helping to create the right and the chemistry. We can circle back to Lester Ortiz -- -- to -- a -- that -- and what is more compelling more moving. Two ownership and front office David Ortiz requesting another year or Jon Lester saying I'll take a hometown discount this is where I wanted to be. What is more moving -- -- notable. They're -- slow Barry lets say this they're both the important to -- -- -- -- -- cornerstones on which is franchises built. And so. We we do care about there there mindset. There that frame mind their focus. It was I was moved by. Lester is a commitment of the of the franchise. Coming as it did. From the heart. And am I but I'm on. Movie is not the right word for it for David or negative for David Ortiz but was not entirely surprised by it. Look forward to successful resolution and issues we'll Jacoby Ellsbury be missed that to -- fans -- -- yes yes he will be a concern you. Yeah of course it does of course there's just one of the on certain issues we have what was his team not just -- bats in the order that is so role on the team they training he's trying. -- that he said defense he provided. And the comfort level that people had with him in the end with the place. And of course to get Jackie Bradley junior agrees Sizemore had two guys competing for that position. But. -- that I'm and I missed the guys. Left I missed a salty as well there's a lot of the a lot of sentiment because of experiences. Last year and the years we've known these guys. But. As -- was off -- before you can't follow in love with your veterans you know that was then this is now. We talked about this -- with you last June -- toward the end of the year is there. -- organizational shift and some focus with guys like Bogart's Bradley be given the keys to the Carter -- looks like they gonna play every day. From the start that probably wouldn't -- been the case for five -- -- -- a little finally listening to me up and tell you this for years get to give these guys China several parts may be unique example. What we are doing it and I'm of the humble little concerned there was no talent and -- who -- -- getting. He's usually when Kennedy read her own but this one. It is right stages of the game that belongs to young players young people. That we and we had this conversation. Ad nauseam with. Was among ourselves with John and diamond and then. Their whole lot of reasons for it the essence of amphetamines gone from the scene of -- absence of other. Enhancing drugs. That's part of part of what's what's the result in this but just having a little faith in young players for. Decades younger players to make contributions. And it's it's a tough thing started to do there's there's an awful lot of us. Tension between. On that issue that I had in football and -- sorry in my career football and I've seen it in in baseball. Setting aside the high profile young players have pulled Carson broke the front of -- Question for me from the people that you've talked to the from the the stuff that you witness which are scouts are saying what Ben is saying give us the name of somebody who we -- be heard -- you think -- behind by the in a year the impact on this baseball team. Policy but the young catcher guaranteed Jeannie a month and not many guys that there's a yet. Again I was. Major League hitting approach -- a result he said he was in the minors. I know it's awfully awfully 443. You're I think I'm a plus he's getting around how excited I just I guess that it's funny how that good size van susteren. Larry good to talk to you thank Diaz -- is a great to visit with you enjoy the golf balls enjoy the the luncheon we'll talk to go on the -- okay Larry Lucchino CEO president Boston Red Sox. I will take a quick timeout 61777979837.

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