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Larry Lucchino on D&C: No question pace of play will be addressed

08.19.14 at 10:39 am ET
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Red Sox president Larry Lucchino joined Dennis & Callahan on Tuesday morning as part of the Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon. He discussed Red Sox chairman Tom Werner‘s presentation for commissioner and changes he’d like to see under elected commissioner Rob Manfred. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Werner said one of the biggest changes he pushed for in his presentation was to speed up the game, something Lucchino said he expects to be discussed sooner rather than later.

“I don’t think there’s any question that the pace of the game and the length of the game is going to be addressed,” Lucchino said. “I would say in the next year or two, certainly before the next CBA, because the player’s association has to be partners with us in this effort to reform the game.”

Manfred beat out Werner to replace Bud Selig as the game’s 10th commissioner on the sixth vote taken last Thursday. Werner may not have won the commissioner’s post, but Lucchino said his ideas were instrumental in starting discussions about changes in baseball.

“We haven’t had those kind of substantive conversations at the league meetings on these things,” Lucchino said. “They’ve been more or less handled by committees.

“It’s a problem. I think the benefit of Tom’s candidacy, he brought these things to the forefront. I think we’re going to see a lot more debate, discussion and I hope implementation.”

Lucchino said Werner didn’t decide to run for commissioner until mid-July. But Lucchino was impressed by his preparation in such a short time frame.

“I think that the problem is the process went by so quickly and Tom made a decision after people came to him and asked him to consider,” Lucchino said. “He made a decision in mid-July to do this. It’s kind of hard to get all the platforms out that quickly. He did have a very cogent and appealing presentation, which is what got him to the final round.

“The question now is will Rob Manfred be able to develop the consensus that’s necessary to implement some of these things. It’s easier to come up with the ideas than it is to implement the ideas, but I think Tom is determined to press forward.”

As for the changes themselves, Lucchino said they’re basic concepts that may not have been discussed had Werner not been the one to call attention to them.

“They’re simple common-sense items,” he said. “I think the benefit of this process is we elevated the conversation, Tom elevated the conversation. There’s now greater eagerness and willingness to fight for some of these changes.”

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