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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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Read More: David Ortiz, Jared Remy, Jerry Remy, Jon Lester
Yankees president Randy Levine returns fire: ‘I feel bad for Larry’ 02.21.14 at 9:13 pm ET
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Randy Levine returned fire Friday, just hours after Larry Lucchino ripped the Yankees for free agent spending. (AP)

Randy Levine returned fire Friday, just hours after Larry Lucchino ripped the Yankees for free agent spending. (AP)

Any thought that the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry is dormant can be put to rest.

Just minutes after learning that Red Sox president/CEO Larry Lucchino had ripped his team’s spending habits in free agency, Lucchino’s counterpart with the Yankees responded in kind.

“€œI feel bad for Larry; he constantly sees ghosts and is spooked by the Yankees,” Yankees president Randy Levine told the New York Daily News. “But I can understand why, because under his and Bobby Valentine‘€™s plan two years ago, the Red Sox were in last place. Ben Cherington and the Red Sox did a great job last year winning the World Series, but I’€™m confident Cash and Joe and our players will compete with a great Red Sox team to win a world championship this year.”

Cash and Joe would be general manager Brian Cashman and manager Joe Girardi.

During that same press conference in Fort Myers in which Lucchino ripped the Yankees, Lucchino was asked if he thought he might be a good candidate for commissioner once Bud Selig steps aside.

“I’ve made lot of friends in the game,” Lucchino said, before adding, “and lot of enemies, too.”

We know one of the enemies without a doubt now. Lucchino, for the record, said Friday he wants no part of the commissioner’s job, as he is too happy and content with his role with the Red Sox.

Read More: Boston Red Sox, Larry Lucchino, MLB, New York Yankees
Larry Lucchino: Red Sox ‘a very different animal’ than ‘inimitable, old-fashioned Yankees’ at 2:50 pm ET
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FORT MYERS, Fla. — Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino suggested that his organization and the Yankees are operating in markedly different fashion. Over the last two offseasons, the Sox have signed just one free agent to a deal of as many as three years (Shane Victorino, who is entering the second season of his three-year, $39 million contract). By contrast, the Yankees added four players this offseason — Masahiro Tanaka (7 years, $155 million, plus a $20 million posting fee), Jacoby Ellsbury (7 years, $153 million), Brian McCann (5 years, $85 million) and Carlos Beltran (3 years, $45 million) — to deals that have exceeded anything the Sox have given out during that stretch.

Lucchino’s take?

“We’re very different animals. I’m proud of that difference,” said Lucchino. “I always cringe when people lump us together. Other baseball teams sometimes do that. They are still, this year at least, relying heavily on their inimitable old-fashioned Yankees style of high-priced, long-term free agents. And, uh, I can’t say that I wish them well, but I think that we’ve taken a different approach. … If you compare what we did last year in the offseason to what they did this year, there’s quite a contrast there.”

That said, Lucchino suggested that just because the Sox have steered clear of such commitments, they won’t rule out the possibility of a major free agent splash.

“We do keep open the prospect of having, signing a long-term deal with a free agent paying a sizable amount of money to attract a star in his prime. We haven’t ruled that out,” said Lucchino. “There’s just a rebuttable presumption against doing that, but you can rebut it. The circumstances can allow for you to go ahead and do it. The Yankees do it more often, it seems to me that they do it more often as a matter of course. And for us it would be more the exception than the rule.”

Read More: Larry Lucchino, spring training 2014, Yankees,
Larry Lucchino on plans to talk to David Ortiz and Jon Lester after letting Jacoby Ellsbury walk at 2:32 pm ET
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FORT MYERS, Fla. — Red Sox president and CEO Larry Lucchino confirmed WEEI.com’s report on Thursday that team officials met with slugger David Ortiz, the beginning of what the Red Sox hope will be a process that will help to ensure that the 38-year-old remains with the Sox for the rest of his career.

“We’re obviously not going to talk about the negotiations in any public way, but we did have a chance to see David yesterday and have a conversation with him. But other than that, we’re going to give it the priority it deserves,” said Lucchino. “We want it to happen. We want him to be a guy who essentially came in with us — even though it was 2003, our second year — and stayed with us for the rest of his career. I think it’s a great thing, I know it’s a great thing for us. I think it’s a great thing for David. And it will be a great thing for baseball and Red Sox fans. He feels connected. He’s committed. He’s the face, certainly one of the most important faces of baseball, as well as for the franchise, so we’re eager to resolve something if it can be done.”

Asked if he could imagine Ortiz ever leaving the Sox, Lucchino said, “I can envision anything. It’s not impossible. But it’s certainly not something I’ve thought about till the question was posed. Can I envision it? Yeah, my mind is facile enough to envision something like that. But do I anticipate it happening? No.”

Lucchino also said that the team plans to discuss a contract extension with left-hander Jon Lester this spring. The CEO expressed appreciation for Lester’s comments this offseason that he wants to remain with the Sox for the duration of his career and is willing to take less than full market value to do so.

“That was certainly, for me, one of the highlights of the offseason, were the comments Jon made about the organization, wanting to stay here. He was so forthright and blunt about it, no game-playing or whatever,” said Lucchino. “It was really nice to hear it when you’re in our position. It’s really nice to hear it. We will explore that matter as well during spring training.”

Though the Sox have pursued an operating model focused on shorter-term deals in recent years, Lucchino did allow that the team was open to top-of-the-market contracts for the right players in their prime. That being the case, he was asked, why didn’t the Sox make an exception to their preference for shorter-term deals for Jacoby Ellsbury prior to his securing of a seven-year, $153 million deal?

“There are exceptions,” said Lucchino, “but the proposal they made to him was obviously very appealing to him and sometimes you have to say good-bye to people you’d like to keep here because the appeal of the economics are so great.”

Read More: David Ortiz, Jacoby Ellsbury, Larry Lucchino, spring training 2014
Larry Lucchino on D&C: ‘There’s a good vibe coming out of camp’ at 9:00 am ET
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Red Sox president/CEO Larry Lucchino checked in with Dennis & Callahan on Friday morning from spring training in Fort Myers, Fla., to revel in the 2013 World Series championship and look ahead to 2014. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Lucchino acknowledged that there’s never been a more relaxed and joyous feeling heading to spring training.

“I think that’s fair to say. There was something special about the win last year, the way it happened, the worst-to-first thing, the idea that all of you guys in the media were completely wrong,” Lucchino said. “There were so many sources of satisfaction. And of course the Boston Strong element that came into it. It was terrific.

“But there’s also down here right now — and maybe as a consequence of that, and because of the people we have in leadership positions here — there is a good vibe coming out of camp. There’s a good feeling down here. Without going into the detail on it, John Farrell made a major point of the closeness, the unity of the club last year. And all signs point in that direction again this year.”

David Ortiz made news with his public request for a contract extension, and Lucchino indicated that he takes no offense with Ortiz’s intention.

“I think we would like to get something done with David,” Lucchino said. “But anything that related to David Ortiz is a big issue. He’s been such a critical part of the success of the team over the last decade. He’s the only one, I guess, who’s been here in uniform for all three of our wins over the last decade. The role he plays both for the Red Sox and in baseball, those roles are remarkable. So anything that relates to his well-being, his focus, possible distraction, I think that qualifies as a semi-big deal.”

Added Lucchino: “We are responding to a request that came to us from David’s representative. I think that’s fair to say. He was under contract. But if you have the kind of year that David had and you’re at the stage of his career that he is, it’s not entirely surprising.”

Pitcher Ryan Demspter announced Sunday that he would skip the 2014 season, and Lucchino said he was as surprised as the rest of Red Sox Nation by Dempster’s decision.

“I was not only surprised, I was shocked,” Lucchino said. “Yet when I heard him explain it and I heard a little more about the rationale for it, my admiration for him increased dramatically. I don’t remember any other guys that have done that. ‘€¦ Dempster’s role on this team was exceptional last year. I know you’ve probably talked to him. He was such a leader, such a source of the solid chemistry that came together last year. He is going to be missed enormously. He’s one of the most well-liked and respected players I’ve ever been associated with. I hope we can get him to come back and do some things this year. Maybe for NESN, maybe in some other way.”

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Read More: David Ortiz, garin cecchini, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jon Lester
David Ortiz: No agreement to wait until end of season to negotiate 12.16.13 at 12:12 am ET
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PUNTA CANA, Dominican Republic ‘€“ David Ortiz isn’€™t about to wait.

On the final day of his celebrity golf tournament on Sunday, Ortiz wanted to make it clear that he and his agent, Fern Cuza, won’€™t be restricted in trying to get an extension done before his current contract runs out at the end of the 2014 season.

There had been reports that Ortiz and the Red Sox were under an agreement that restricted the two sides from talking contract prior to his current deal (which runs out at the end of ‘€™14 and pays him $15 million) expires.

‘€œWe don’€™t have any agreement that says we have to wait until the end of the season to negotiate,’€ Ortiz told WEEI.com. ‘€œWhy would I do that? I want to get a deal done.’€

According to Ortiz, Cuza already has started conversations with Ben Cherington. The talks were first revealed by the designated hitter Friday during the media session for his charity event.

‘€œWe gave them what they wanted. I don’€™t have next year guaranteed, and I think I can play another one. We’€™re working on that,’€ he said. ‘€œWho knows? As long as I feel good I’€™m going to want to play. I think everybody is in good shape to negotiate another year and move on.’€

When asked if he would want to wait until the end of the season to renegotiate another year, Ortiz said, ‘€œWhat for? You know what’€™s going to happen if I’€™m healthy and good to go. I just hate the situation where I have to sit down at the end of the year and talk about my following year. Let’€™s do it now. We’€™re world champs right now.’€

Appearing on the Mustard & Johnson show during the Christmas at Fenway event Saturday, Red Sox president Larry Lucchino wouldn’€™t reveal if negotiations had begun between Ortiz and the Sox — as the DH said they had — but did touch on how the organization views the 38-year-old’€™s future.

‘€œWe would like to have him play the rest of his career for the Red Sox,’€ Lucchino said. ‘€œI think David feels he can hit until he’€™s 50 or 60, but at some point the realities of aging will catch up. I’€™m glad he has a strong interest in signing with the club going forward that will make the negotiating process, whenever it occurs, a little easier.’€

Lucchino also admitted that Ortiz’€™s off-the-field value should be factored into any negotiations.

‘€œWith certain players it is, absolutely,’€ he said. ‘€œTheir leadership. How much they’€™ve represented the franchise nobly or well over the course of their career. David has all of those things going for him. He’€™s a leader. He brings a sense of humor and a big heart to the job and to Boston. So, yes, all of those things are factors, particularly when you’€™re talking about someone like David Ortiz or Dustin Pedroia.’€

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Larry Lucchino on D&C: ‘The core of this team will remain’ for 2014 11.01.13 at 9:50 am ET
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Larry Lucchino

Larry Lucchino

Red Sox president and CEO Larry Lucchino checked in with Dennis & Callahan on Friday morning to talk about the team’s World Series championship.

With the 2012 Red Sox finishing last, expectations were low heading into this season. But as the team proved itself to be a contender, Lucchino said the goals were adjusted.

“There was a kind of buzz about the team that developed all along, throughout the season, and came to a fever pitch at around the postseason time,” Lucchino said. “It was almost like we caught a wave right at the right time. I think the fans, and certainly, I speak for myself, I did realize how important it was to get to the World Series. That’s always the special measurement of a team, getting to the World Series. But sure, I would have been terribly disappointed had we not won, because as the team played, our expectations grew. And our sense of how historic this might be, because of the worst-to-first concept that was at its heart, they also grew.”

Lucchino said he’ll “remember the personality and maturity of the team,” but the front office can’t spend too much time reliving the success of 2013 as “the preparations for 2014 have already begun.”

Looking at expectations for next season, Lucchino said the hope is to make it to the postseason and see what happens from there.

“Our goal from the beginning is to be playing October baseball, so I’d be disappointed if we weren’t playing in October next year,” Lucchino said. “But I know how hard it is for some of the things to come together. I’m constantly talking about randomness and unpredictability of baseball. You could add to that the randomness and unpredictability of the health of our players.

“So many things have to come together so well to win it all. To win in such a magical way, as we did this year in such an appealing way, you can’t expect that every year. But what we can expect every year is to field a team that’s worthy of the fans’ support, a phrase we come back to all the time. So I will be disappointed if we’re not playing in October next year, absolutely.”

Discussions about next season’s roster were taking place even before this year’s title was secured.

“We try to celebrate, we try to remember that we’ve got to be in the moment, celebrate this moment, because we’ve all been in baseball a very long time and we know how rare these moments are,” Lucchino said. “But we must balance the future. I will tell you that on Wednesday, the day of Game 6, we had a couple-hour meeting that afternoon that was all about the topic [of pending free agents].

“It’s important that Ben Cherington, who did just an absolutely extraordinary job this year, that he keep one eye especially on the issues that develop immediately after the World Series. The World Series conclusion is the trigger date for a number of options and qualifying offers and a bunch of things that happen quickly thereafter. So as much as you try to stay in the moment and enjoy the moment, there is a responsibility to look forward. And Ben never loses track of that.”

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Read More: ben cherington, john lackey, Jonny Gomes, Larry Lucchino
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