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Larry Lucchino on D&C: ‘I do think that we will be active’ leading up to trade deadline 07.24.14 at 10:47 am ET
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Red Sox president Larry Lucchino joined Dennis & Callahan Friday to discuss John Lackey‘€™s future in Boston and the team’€™s strategy as the trade deadline nears. To listen to the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

With just one week until the July 31 trade deadline, Lucchino said that the team’€™s performance over the next seven games — all against AL East opponents — will play a huge factor in determining whether to buy or sell.

“I don’€™t think it’€™s a binary process, I don’€™t think you’€™re either one or the other, you may see some moves that take place and some other moves that do not take place,” Lucchino said, continuing: “We’ve never been in this position in our 13 years. We have never been in a position where we haven’€™t been anything but aggressive buyers because we’ve always, even in the catastrophic years of 2011-12, we were well over .500 at this stage of the season, so this is relatively new to us. … I do think that we will be active. … We’€™re always active.”

Lackey has one more year remaining on his contract, which will pay him the league-minimum sum of $500,000 in 2015 — a far cry from the $15.25 million the righty is earning this year. Lucchino said that the team will negotiate with Lackey after the season in an attempt to keep him with the team beyond next season.

“I think that there will be some contract negotiations with him probably at the end of the year as well and we’€™ll see what his frame of mind is with respect to longer-term contracts. … We will explore how we can keep John Lackey as a member of the Boston Red Sox.”

The Red Sox front office could lose a vital cog in its machine in the coming days, as assistant general manager Mike Hazen is one of the finalists for the Padres vacant general manager position. The Padres have had a history of plucking officials from the Red Sox organization, as former Boston COO Mike Dee is now the CEO of the Padres, while the last two San Diego general managers –€“ Jed Hoyer and Josh Byrnes –€“ were Sox executives first.

“Mike is an extremely talented, versatile, valuable member of our front office,” Lucchino said. “He is a right hand to Ben Cherington. He has a great future in baseball. He ultimately will be a general manager someday, of that I have no doubt. I just hope it’€™s not right now. I know that’€™s a little selfish of us to say, but I hope Mike stays with us. I will say that he’€™s in the final four in San Diego and they have been known to take some of our front office people in the past, but we want to keep Mike Hazen if it’€™s at all possible.”

To read Lucchino’s comments on the stalled Jon Lester contract negotiations, click here. For more Red Sox news, go to the team page at weei.com/redsox.

Read More: john lackey, Larry Lucchino, mike hazen, Red Sox
Larry Lucchino confirms Jon Lester contract negotiations tabled until after season at 9:28 am ET
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During his appearance on Dennis & Callahan on Thursday, Red Sox president Larry Lucchino confirmed that contract talks with Jon Lester have been put on hold until after the season, just before the left-hander officially becomes a free agent.

“[Ben Cherington] may still have some continuing discussion with [agent] Seth [Levinson] on other issues or other matters, but certainly the negotiation, the parties have agreed to let’s step away and do this after the season,” Lucchino said, adding: “Jon made very clear to us that that was his preference.”

Lucchino said Lester wants to concentrate on his pitching for now.

“It’s done in part out of respect for Jon Lester and his desire to postpone this until after the season,” Lucchino said. “He’s on an extraordinary roll. His last five or six games, his ERA is I don’t know, 0.90 or something like that. He’s leading this team, leading the rotation, and his very strong preference, as I think you might have heard from him just a day or two ago on national television was not to have his family and himself distracted and focused on something other than pitching and winning baseball games.”

Lucchino said the move does not mean the Red Sox have given up on re-signing the pitcher, but he refused to talk about any specifics.

“I’m not going to answer a question about the analysis of the stages of this negotiation, because the negotiation will continue,” he said. “It will continue after the season, to be sure, but there will be an opportunity for us to resume negotiations with Jon and with his agent — they have made that abundantly clear to us. So, looking back and doing an analysis of, ‘Was this a wrong step or was this the right step,’ would only be counterproductive.

“I think that your listeners care about whether Jon Lester is likely to stay as a member of the Boston Red Sox for future years. And that probability will be diminished if we talk prematurely or excessively about various stages of the negotiation along the way. That’s not the way to sign Jon Lester. I know it makes for less good radio because you don’t have stages and details and ‘Who shot Jon’ analysis of various parts of the negotiation. But if the goal is to sign Jon Lester, it seems to me, and to keep him a member of the Boston Red Sox, again, negotiation on the radio waves is not the way to do it.”

To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page. For more Red Sox news, visit the team page at weei.com/redsox.

Read More: Jon Lester, Larry Lucchino,
Larry Lucchino on D&C: Stephen Drew signing ‘a rational decision when it was made’ 06.13.14 at 10:19 am ET
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Red Sox president Larry Lucchino joined Dennis & Callahan Friday to discuss the state of the Sox. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

The Red Sox have been scrutinized for the signing of Stephen Drew. Not only is Drew struggling at the plate, but now he’s sidelined with a right oblique injury. But Lucchino said it’s too early to call the move a mistake.

“I think we need to wait and see exactly what kind of contribution Drew makes,” he said. “I think it was a rational decision when it was made. Circumstances were such that we needed to improve this team, and one thing we didn’t want to do was improve the team and lose talent, prospects in the minor league system. We tried to avoid that.

“So the idea of paying money rather than paying in prospects was appealing to us, and I think we’€™ll just have to see if he makes a contribution over the next nearly 100 games.”

One person in particular who criticized the move was Peter Gammons, who said the media manipulated the Red Sox into signing Drew.

“I’€™m baffled by that. I don’€™t remember a lot of media manipulation or media advocacy,” Lucchino said. “There was a wave of media support after it happened, but we didn’t feel — or at least I didn’t feel — a lot of media pressure on that issue. In fact, if anything, it seemed like it had been resolved and put away.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Larry Lucchino on D&C: Manny Ramirez chosen to throw out first pitch because he was 2004 World Series MVP 05.29.14 at 10:16 am ET
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Red Sox president and CEO Larry Lucchino spoke with Dennis & Callahan on Thursday about the club’€™s recent 10-game losing streak and the 2004 World Series celebration at Fenway Park on Wednesday. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

The Red Sox welcomed many members of the 2004 World Series team to Fenway Park for a pregame ceremony on Wednesday. The ceremony has drawn some flack for the team choosing Manny Ramirez, who created his fair share of baggage both in Boston and in other markets, to throw out the first pitch.

“There were so many people that could have thrown out the first pitch. Jason [Varitek] was the captain, Curt Schilling has gone through some extraordinary times these days, Pedro [Martinez] is always enormously popular and charismatic,” Lucchino said. “But the simple fact is that we were honoring the World Series championship of 2004, and the MVP in the World Series was Manny Ramirez.”

Lucchino added: “€œA choice had to be made among several candidates who were fitting or appropriate. I believe the decision turned on the World Series MVP as the rational [decision]. That’€™s what we were honoring — the World Series championship — and that seemed to be a rational decision. We would never please everyone, you know that.”

The Red Sox finally have won three games in a row but still are reeling from a 10-game losing streak from May 15-May 25 that has the club eight games out of first place.

“€œWe are fans first. We’€™re in this because we’€™re highly competitive people and we want to win. … But we’€™re also people who have been in the baseball game for a long time and we understand that maintaining some equilibrium is awfully important,” Lucchino said. “So there’€™s kind of a yin and yang. … This is part of this damn unpredictable game that we work in.”

Lucchino continued: “€œI was really down, very pissed for the latter part of that streak, but I tried to recognize that there is volatility to the game of baseball, and you’ve got to recognize it and live through it. … This was bad, this was a really tough streak.”

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Larry Lucchino on if Red Sox will renew Jon Lester negotiations during season: ‘I certainly expect so’ at 9:30 am ET
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Negotiations with Jon Lester have stalled, but Red Sox president and CEO Larry Lucchino made it clear during an appearance on Thursday’s Dennis & Callahan show that the team still holds out hope of a deal with the pitcher before he hits free agency in the offseason. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

While members of the front office previously expressed discouragement about the way the negotiations have gone, Lucchino acknowledged that the team anticipates renewing discussions with Lester’s representatives during the season.

“I certainly expect so,” Lucchino said.

The Red Sox were roundly criticized for their initial lowball offer, reported to be around $70 million for four years.

“I think it’s a mistake to discuss the status of ongoing negotiations as it is a mistake to get fixated on an opening offer,” Lucchino said.

For more Red Sox news, visit the team page at weei.com/redsox.

Read More: Jon Lester, Larry Lucchino,
Larry Lucchino on D&C: Wednesday’s rainout ‘an unsatisfying situation’ 05.01.14 at 10:29 am ET
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Red Sox president and CEO Larry Lucchino spoke with Dennis & Callahan on Thursday about the team’s decision to reschedule Wednesday’s game as a doubleheader on Thursday. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

The second game of Boston’s three-game series with the Rays was postponed on Wednesday because of a threat of rain.

“The rain is obviously something we can’t control,” Lucchino said. ‘There’s never really a good solution. We simply tried to schedule it as close to the game as possible so maybe some of the people who came from longer distances might be able to stay, might be ably to partake in it this afternoon, but it’s an unsatisfying situation.”

Marc Topkin of the Tamp Bay Times said via Twitter that the Rays had concerns about playing the two games on Thursday and saw potential for “practical alternatives” to the doubleheader.

“We have a little organization we call the ‘rain trust’ — not the brain trust, the rain trust — and there are four or five of us who confer with our private weather service, who confer with Major League Baseball, talk to the opposing team, and yes, there was plenty of dialogue that took place yesterday,” Lucchino said. “Apparently they had a preference for a game in late September, but the problem with that — we’ve been able over the last 12 years to get every game in. We’ve been able to play 81 home games — which is quite remarkable given the weather we’ve had here — we’ve been able to play 81 home games and work games in. If we had waited until late September and had rain again at the point, there’s a much more likely probability that we would miss a game or two and they matter in the standings and of course there are substantial ramifications as well. Our policy and our preferred practice is try to get them in sooner rather than later.”

Lucchino added that he thinks the league should once again look into a situation where teams in warmer climates or teams that have stadiums with domes have a home-heavy schedule during the month of April.

“The short answer is they say they try,” Lucchino said of the league scheduling games with weather in mind. “My experience has been it’s an insufficient effort. There was at one time an effort to have a warm weather and dome schedule so that teams with warm weather sites or dome facilities had a heavier home schedule in the month of April. Apparently it didn’t work out particularly well that year — there was a lot of bad weather in May and April wasn’t so bad, and we seem to have left that schedule behind — the schedule bias behind us — when we probably should have continued again, but I do think they try to take it into consideration. I just think there should be a larger presumption in favor of that kind of warm weather scheduling.”

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Larry Lucchino on D&C: ‘By the end of the day today we’ll have closure on the 2013 season’ 04.04.14 at 10:18 am ET
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Red Sox president and CEO Larry Lucchino spoke with Dennis & Callahan on Friday morning about winning another World Series trophy and other news surrounding the team heading into Opening Day at Fenway Park. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

No MLB team has won back-to-back World Series titles since the Yankees in 1999 and 2000.

“The unpredictability of the game is where I would start,” Lucchino said of why winning consecutive championships is a challenge. “So many things have to go right for you in terms of health, in terms of randomness, chance — the other things that influence the upcoming games. Probabilities being what they are, it’s hard for those various factors to fall into place, and a couple of years in a row, that’s just not how numbers work, probabilities work. That’s one factor.

“I think the factor that everyone is gunning for you, is shooting for you, is a second factor. Human nature being what it is, there’s a possibility that players, team, management can be less-highly motivated. I don’€™t think that’s the case with this crew here, but those are some of the factors. I would put health up there — it probably deserves its own spot on the list — you’ve got to have consistently good health.”

The Red Sox have said since spring training that the 2014 season is about turning the page. For Lucchino and the team, finishing all of the World Series ceremonies and focusing on the new year is part of that process.

“We actually were eager to have the White House ceremony occur early in the year — ordinarily it gets set kind of haphazardly perhaps in May, perhaps in June,” Lucchino said. “It seemed to us the best thing to do was to get everything done up front. Ideally, we got a break in the schedule with the team being in Baltimore, so we wanted to do all of this — celebrate as I think we should, as our fans want us to do, but our players certainly want us and want themselves to turn the page.

“By the end of the day today we’ll have closure on the 2013 season — as glorious as it was, as much fun as it is to savor it, and look back on it, it is time to move ahead.”

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