|Tom Werner on D&C: ‘Winning is the best revenge’ for Terry Francona book||05.03.13 at 9:13 am ET|
Red Sox chairman Tom Werner joined Dennis & Callahan on Friday morning to talk about the team’s early season success and promote Saturday morning’s Run-Walk to Home Base charity event.
Following last year’s forgettable season, the Red Sox entered 2013 with low expectations around baseball.
“I am an optimistic guy, and we certainly thought we were going to do much better than we did last year,” Werner said. “We were amused at the preseason predictions. I think there were something like 41 ESPN analysts and they had 20 predicting the Toronto Blue Jays were going to win the division and I think 18 having the Rays win the division and zero having the Red Sox winning. So, it’s certainly been a very enjoyable month. And clearly, everybody is contributing.”
Werner credits the team’s new manager as the key.
“I think John Farrell, you start with how he’s turned around this pitching staff,” Werner said. “And not just Clay [Buchholz] and Jon Lester, but the back end of the rotation, it’s been terrific.”
The Red Sox stayed away from making any major splashes in free agency this past offseason, signing less-heralded players Mike Napoli, Shane Victorino and Ryan Dempster to short-term deals.
“I think you guys know that we always want to win, and we have the resources to win. But you don’t necessarily win by signing those high-priced players,” Werner said. “It’s not that we cut our payroll this year. I just think we used it in a different way. We avoided the $150 million, five- or six-year contracts, the Carl Crawfords, and I think there’s another way to win.”
The turnaround comes after the ownership group was the recipient of some criticism in a book by former manager Terry Francona.
Said Werner: “Winning is the best revenge for that book, isn’t it?”
|Buster Olney on M&M: Rival GM says Red Sox would get ‘nothing’ in trade of Alfredo Aceves||04.24.13 at 1:17 pm ET|
Buster Olney of ESPN joined Mut & Merloni on Wednesday to talk about what the Red Sox might do with Alfredo Aceves in light of his mounting issues, and about some of Carl Crawford‘s recent comments about his time in Boston.
Olney said he doubts the Sox would get much, if anything, by trading Aceves, more because of his attitude problems than his pitching.
“I’d be surprised, after he had that incident in spring training, if you guys remember — the live BP session in which he wasn’t giving 100 percent effort,” Olney said. “I asked one general manager, what could you get for him? And he said, ‘Nothing.’ Basically, because his reputation as a teammate is so bad. That’s not to rule out the possibility that he would go someplace else and actually pitch OK, but I think all the personality stuff we’ve seen in the last two years is going to certainly mitigate some teams’ interest in adding him while giving something up that they consider to be worthwhile.
“Maybe the best thing the Red Sox could hope for would be some degree of salary relief, and there are certainly teams out there that would take a shot at him because they’re struggling for pitching. The Angels, who are absolutely starved right now, maybe they would take a shot at him, but again, I don’t think they’re going to get anything serious in return based on what I’ve heard from rival general managers.”
Meanwhile, in a Wednesday column by ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, Crawford said that he’ll always carry his time in Boston with him, “because it did so much damage to the inside of me.” Before Crawford came to Boston, Olney said, there were people in the Rays organization who were concerned about his ability to move to a higher-pressure market. There also were members of the Yankees organization who had the same worries, even as the Yankees showed an interest in him.
Even so, Olney said he thinks Crawford’s attitude toward Boston since being traded to Los Angeles is more an effort to keep himself sharp than anything else.
“I think a lot of what you’re reading from Carl is him finding and developing a chip on his shoulder,” Olney said. “I was around Carl for a good number of days when he was with the Red Sox. I didn’t think he was mistreated at all. I thought he was treated great. Relative to how he was performing, yeah, he got booed a little bit. I don’t think the media was really all that tough on him. But I think that what you have is, Carl will tell you about, people back in high school didn’t believe in me, I had doubters, people wondered, and I just think this is a way to motivate himself on a daily basis. And he is a motivated guy. The guy’s getting up at 4:30, 5 every day to work out. … It’s like he’s playing ninja mind games with himself.”
|Carl Crawford: Boston media ‘worst thing I’ve ever experienced in my life’||03.07.13 at 1:49 pm ET|
Carl Crawford continues to struggle to get on the field with the Dodgers, while continuing to complain about his experience with his former team. On Thursday, he took some shots at the Boston media.
“That smile turned upside down quick,” Crawford told Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com of his time in Boston. “I think they want to see that in Boston. They love it when you’re miserable.
“Burying people in the media, they think that makes a person play better. That media was the worst thing I’ve ever experienced in my life.”
Crawford, traded to Los Angeles last August, said he’s still hoping to play Opening Day, but he’s still limited as he recovers from Tommy John surgery last season.
Meanwhile, talking about his time in Boston, he said that he realizes signing with the Red Sox was a mistake.
“It just wasn’t the right place for me at the end of my day,” he said. “I didn’t do my homework. Maybe they didn’t, either.
“At the end of the day, it just wasn’t the place for me.”
Crawford’s numbers took a dramatic decline during his injury-plagued 1½ seasons in Boston, but he’s convinced he can bounce back now that he has “that free-spirit feel” he used to have when he played for the Rays.
“I feel like I’ve got a lot of baseball left,” he said. “But over there [in Boston] I felt like my career was almost over.”
Crawford acknowledged that his performance was worthy of criticism in Boston.
“I get it, I didn’t perform,” he said. “I got the money. I didn’t perform. I gave them every reason.”
That said, he complained that the criticism was too much.
“I took so much of a beating in Boston, I don’t think anything could bother me anymore,” he said. “They can say what they want — that I’m the worst free agent ever — and it won’t get to me. But it bothered me the whole time there.
“Look how they treat [John] Lackey. Adrian [Gonzalez] hit 30 home runs [actually 27], and they talked about him not hitting home runs.”
|Larry Lucchino on the state of the Red Sox||02.14.13 at 4:48 pm ET|
FORT MYERS, Fla. — Red Sox president/CEO Larry Lucchino, in a 30-minute media session, fielded questions on all things Red Sox. He expanded on comments made earlier in the week by team principal owner John Henry, who suggested that the team had shifted away from the core philosophy that had yielded six playoff appearances in seven seasons between 2003-09, and that a course correction is now in effect.
Lucchino highlighted the team’s basic emphasis of on-base percentage and long at-bats that drive up the pitch counts of opponents as centerpieces of the philosophical drift.
“[Henry] feels pretty strongly that we deviated from a basic philosophy of grinding relentless at-bats deep in the count, on-base percentage, some of the fundamental things that got us to the success we had. We have fallen considerably,” said Lucchino. “We used to have incentives in contracts relating to on-base percentage to show you how important we thought it was. I think there was kind of a deviation from that, somewhere along the way.”
Asked why that deviation occurred, Lucchino offered the following.
“I think it kind of grew gradually, and if you’re not ever-vigilant, that can happen to the organization. That’s one factor,” said Lucchino. “Perception that everybody now gets it, everybody now understands it, and don’t we have to look for some new metric or approach? And we in some ways outsmarted ourselves. Those are two of the factors.”
Among other topics: Read the rest of this entry »
Outfielder Carl Crawford, traded from the Red Sox to the Dodgers last summer after 1½ injury-plagued seasons in Boston, said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times that he’s happy to have moved on from the “toxic” environment around his former team.
“I knew with the struggles I was having, it would never get better for me,” Crawford said. “I just didn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel. It puts you in a kind of depression stage. You just don’t see a way out.”
Added Crawford: “Toughest two years of my career, by far. From the outside, you watch guys playing over there and you think you can go and play. But you realize, once you get there, it’s a little tougher than you expected.”
Crawford acknowledged his poor performance did not help the situation.
“It was just everything,” he said. “Me not playing well. Me being in an unfamiliar area in an environment that was toxic. Just all those things combined. You start to say, ‘Is this ever going to end?’ ”
Asked if he regretted signing with the Sox, Crawford said: “A lot of times I did. You hear a lot of talk about how I just wanted money. At some point, you just wondered if you made the right decision.”
Crawford, who worked out Wednesday with his new teammates at spring training in Glendale, Ariz., said he’s hopeful he’ll be able to turn things around when he eventually returns to action following last year’s elbow surgery.
“I’m in a place now where I feel a lot better about myself,” he said. “I just feel like the player I once was.”
|John Henry says Red Sox aren’t for sale, reveals Larry Lucchino has signed extension||09.13.12 at 3:32 pm ET|
Red Sox principal owner John Henry called in to Mut & Merloni on Thursday to refute Fox Business reporter Charlie Gasparino‘s report that he and the Red Sox ownership group have held discussions about selling the team.
“I’m disputing his sources,” Henry said. “Whatever his sources are telling him, I’m completely disputing anything they’re saying along those lines.”
The biggest piece of news to emerge from the conversation is that president and CEO Larry Lucchino will return to the team next season after signing an extension.
Here are some bullet-points of the conversation, which could be heard here:
• Henry said that Gasparino’s source, which Gasparino said minutes earlier in an interview with Mut & Merloni has “direct knowledge” of the situation, is incorrect.
“I guess one response I have is that sometimes journalists have sources that just are completely off-base and don’t know what they’re talking about,” Henry said. “I guess that’s what I would have to say having listened to the interview, that whoever he’s talking with, especially when he mentions that there’s been talk with a buyer and so forth, it’s just so far apart or out of the horizon of things that have been going on, as are a number of things. For instance, that all of our time is spent on Liverpool, and that we spend our time at Fenway with Red Sox people talking about Liverpool. It’s just not true.”
• Henry adamantly disputed that there were internal discussions about selling the team.
“I think that if there have been any discussions, they certainly haven’t included Tom [Werner] or Larry or I, so I don’t know who’s discussing it. Certainly not minority partners, because we’ve had changes in ownership among minority partners even this year. As you probably know, The New York Times was a significant owner at one point. They owned 17 or 18 percent, and they now own zero. That’s been going on, and others have changed the ownership interest, but there’s certainly been no discussion. We have quarterly partner meetings, and there’s been no discussion among partners, even in executive sessions about a sale of any kind. I don’t think there’s anyone in the partnership who’s interested in selling any of the aspects of Fenway Sports Group.”
|James Loney: ‘I know they’re always trying to build a championship team here’||08.26.12 at 2:58 pm ET|
James Loney knows full well what he’s getting into.
The 28-year-old veteran first baseman arrived in Boston Sunday as the only major league-ready player to come from the Dodgers in exchange for Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto. He knows what kind of year it’s been in Boston.
“I knew a bunch of those guys that got traded,” Loney said in the Sunday press conference before going out and making his Red Sox debut at first base. “I know a bunch of guys here still but I know they’re always trying to build a championship team here. I know it didn’t work out and this year I guess there were some things going on.”
He’s heard all about playing in the intense baseball market of Boston from the outside. Now, he gets to experience it first hand.
“I’ve heard that,” Loney said. “You hear that. I think a lot of big-market, big city teams are like that. You don’t think about it when you’re out there. You just go out and play.” Read the rest of this entry »
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