Sunday, October 30, 2011

On the Apotheosis of Larry Lucchino

The Red Sox have remade Fenway Park and won a pair of championships in the past eight years. And as they say, "victory has a thousand fathers and defeat is an orphan." Today, Dan Shaughnessy wrote about CEO Larry Lucchino "Controversial, brilliant, combative, and ever-lawyerly, Lucchino represents the past, present, and future of the 21st century Red Sox."

I'd look at it another way, more along the lines of Michael Lewis, "If he's such a good hitter, then why doesn't he hit better." Do Shaughnessy and Lucchino live in a parallel universe where credit is assigned for success and blame referred elsewhere? Everyone associated with the Red Sox got stained by both The Collapse and The Purge that followed.

Somehow, Lucchino stands as the Red Sox blend between The Godfather and the consigliere.  He'd probably take that as a compliment; maybe it is. I don't think that anyone would accuse him of being thin-skinned, self-effacing, or overburdened with humility. But I also doubt that a sit-down for lunch with him would be boring either.

Maybe we'd be able to ask him where he stands on the key issues of the day, like who's the closer for next year...or we can add our own 'lawyerly' answers.

Q. Who will be the closer for the Red Sox next year?

A.  Jonathan Papelbon has done an excellent job for our team and has earned the right to experience the free agent market. There are numerous high quality closers on the market this season, and we're confident that Red Sox will have solid back-end of the game pitching in 2012, whether it's Jonathan or another closer.

Q. What are your thoughts on Carl Crawford?

A. Carl has performed well in the American League for most of his career. We think that last season was more of an aberration than a fundamental change in the player's ability. We expect that Carl and the team as a whole will perform at a higher level next season.

Q. What will your role be in the selection of the next Red Sox manager?

A. We intend to have a very thorough and thoughtful process, just as we did when Tito was selected. Our new General Manager Ben Cherington will lead the process in consultation with other members of both baseball operations and ownership. We have every confidence that the next manager will be the right man to lead the Red Sox going forward.

In summary, a lawyer's job is to argue effectively for their client. If the Sox didn't feel that he were, they'd have someone else in his job.

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