Larry Lucchino on D&C: Silver lining to be found in Biogenesis case
|06.06.13 at 9:55 am ET|
Larry Lucchino joined Dennis & Callahan on Thursday, and the Red Sox president and CEO tried to find a silver lining in the ongoing Biogenesis situation.
News broke earlier this week that MLB is seeking to suspend about 20 players, including Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun, for PED use connected to the now-closed Miami anti-aging clinic. The league reportedly convinced Biogenesis owner Tony Bosch to give details.
Lucchino said there could be a positive to be pulled from the mess, however.
“There’s an element of both in there. It’s unfortunate there is this scandal — that’s obvious to the world,” Lucchino said. “But it does demonstrate a continuing demonstration on baseball’s part to not avert its eyes to something. If there’s a PED problem out there, the commissioner and players association are determined to come down hard and to deal with these issues in a forthright way, and I think the issue that it sends to other players is, ‘This is for real, guys. These guys aren’t kidding anymore.’
“There will always be some yahoo that is going to try to cheat the system, but if you start to demonstrate that these yahoos are going to get caught and punished severely, I think that’s a positive thing for baseball.
“I do think the number of players allegedly involved does give it a certain size and magnitude that will have reverberations,” Lucchino added. “And some of those quite positive in terms of the enforcement ethic that it demonstrates.”
Lucchino mentioned that everything he knows has been restricted to what has been released by the media, and that there has been no formal briefing from the league since the investigation is ongoing.
Looking at Red Sox issues, Lucchino said a trip to the disabled list is a possibility for Jacoby Ellsbury.
“That’s a medical decision and sort of a timing decision,” he said.
Asked to pick a team MVP other than Clay Buchholz, Lucchino had trouble coming up with one name.
“It’s hard to say because this team has come together so well and so many different elements have contributed so well,” Lucchino said. “But if you force me to answer, you’ve got to give Dustin Pedroia a tremendous amount of credit playing in every game as he has. He contributes defensively, offensively, as a baserunner, as a guy who sets the tone for the clubhouse in many ways.
“David Ortiz is hard to overlook given [his] performance, albeit in a shorter period of time. I’d hate to have to vote on that, and mercifully I don’t have to.”
On whether other Boston sports teams’ success helps or hurts the Red Sox: “Actually yeah, there’s quite a lot of thought given to that by sports theorists, and it’s divided into two camps as you might expect: those who think that we help each other by creating a climate that the fans can enjoy and identify with, and one team’s success spills over to another. And of course there’s the polar opposite, which says we compete with each other for fan bandwidth, and it’s not a good thing.
“I tend to put myself in the first camp. I think people will enjoy sport, get the exhilaration of victory, get a sense of civic pride, enjoy the spirit at the ballpark or the arena — that tends to spill over from one season to another.”
On his “drinking buddy,” Bruins forward Shawn Thornton: “He comes to the games and we have a beer or two every once in a while. I think he’s a bit of a soft guy deep down. Just poke him around a little bit — he’s all bark and no bite.”
On how failing to acquire A-Rod a decade ago worked out: “I was thinking about that and yes, in many ways one can take that position because of a length of time remaining on the contract, if for no other reason.
“We were pretty eager in ’03, ’04 to win. We won  games in our first year [as owners in 2002], then we lost in the Aaron Boone debacle. We were determined to do whatever we could. We increased our payroll significantly, we were looking everywhere for talent that could help us, get us over the top, and we had a real keen interest in A-Rod and his contributions to this team.
“But now, more than 10 years later, it does look very different today when you look at the remaining obligations that the Yankees have on that contract and [A-Rod’s health].”
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