Larry Lucchino on D&C: ‘We’ll welcome anyone who comes in to play us’
|10.10.13 at 9:56 am ET|
Red Sox president and CEO Larry Lucchino joined Dennis & Callahan on Thursday morning to discuss the Red Sox’ postseason run and their upcoming American League Championship Series matchup against either the Athletics or the Tigers.
The Red Sox eliminated the Rays in four games in the American League Division Series, advancing to the ALCS for the fifth time in the last 11 seasons. The series is set to kick off on Saturday, as Boston will play host to Game 1 at Fenway Park.
Lucchino would not bite when asked which team he would rather face in the best-of-seven series.
“I can’t speak for others, I don’t think everyone does have a preference. I’m agnostic, I am going to sit back and wait. We’ll be there on Saturday and we’ll welcome anyone who comes in to play us and has the right to play us in Fenway on Saturday,” Lucchino said. “I just haven’t done that level of analysis on the individual teams that we may be playing against. … Truthfully, these are both talented, pesky, difficult teams. You don’t get to be in baseball’s final four unless you are a talented team for whom a lot of things have gone right. So, we will see what we will see, but you won’t get a prediction from me or a preference from me as to which team I would rather play.”
While the Sox have had an incredible turnaround season and look impressive so far in October, Lucchino said that he is still worried about the competition that the Sox will face in order make it back to the World Series for the first time since 2007.
“I think the pitching of the teams that we’re going to face, and the style of the teams that we may face. The style of the Oakland team, they’re a loose bunch of guys who seem to have … some terrific young pitching. Look at Detroit, and you see a team that’s hitting on all cylinders. It has every element of the baseball menu in place. I worry about both of these teams,” Lucchino said. “I think these are very formidable opponents, and you add that into the uncertainty to the game and the string of good luck we’ve had and you can say there are plenty of reasons to worry, but that’s not the emotion that I want to talk about today.
“The sense of pride, the sense of accomplishment, this sort of magic that this team has brought about and the good will, the good feeling, that it’s engendered in this entire region and dear I say in the entire nation.”
On whether the start times for the ALCS have been set: “Well, that’s a very frustrating topic. We spent a lot of time on the phone yesterday with Major League Baseball because these games are organized by [MLB], they consider them their game, not our game. We’re just participants in the MLB process that is the league championship series. … The last word I got last night is that we would be playing at 8 o’clock on Sunday and the probabilities are that we’re going to be playing at 7:30 on Saturday.”
On how far along the the Red Sox “redemption tour” is: “We thought that the first step we took from the apparition, as I’d think of it, the end of 2011 and the 2012 season, that 13-month period, I hope was an apparition for our ownership and I hope for our organization. This is the fifth, I believe, ALCS we’ve been in in 12 years. We’re proud that we’re back to this position, but we knew that we would be better this year. All of our internal projections and internal analysis suggested that this is going to be a better team, but no one could predict that this kind of magic could come together and this team can produce as much as it has.”
On the idea that hoping for a postseason berth seemed ridiculous at the start of the 2013 season: “It started last year with the Dodger transaction, and you’ve got to give John [Henry] and Tom [Werner] a bunch of credit for their participation in that transaction, and of course Ben [Cherington], he used that money brilliantly and deployed it into seven different acquisitions this offseason that made this team not only better but much more appealing, much more of a team … That was a goal, but that’s a very hard thing to accomplish as well.”
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