Lucchino on Deadline Dealing and Salary Spending
7.25.02 8:15am EDT: Larry Lucchino (LL) on with on with Dennis (JD) & Callahan (GC) on
The Dennis & Callahan Show on WEEI:
JD: I was wrong, the Red Sox were right, the Ted Williams
event was a very, very first-class event. Done perfectly, a nice
bit of closure, give Steinberg a raise... I was dead wrong.
LL: Thank you, nothing but positive comments from fans and
media, event in morning very positive, linger at own pace on
warning track, view memorabilia, proud of the way it was handled,
Ted deserved a salute, celebration, this did it.
JD: One question, "is Ken Burns still talking?"
LL: He was told that each inning was supposed to be five
minutes long... the material he wrote was well... GC: Oh
please, it was the most melodramatic, over-done... LL: Callahan
can find something.... GC: Ken Burns didn't even belong on
the field, on there with these ballplayers and his self-serving
garbage... LL: well... that's why we disagree on these
JD: Absolute highlight, look on Johnny Pesky's face when he
ran on the field, like a 9 yr. old...
LL: Yes, a certain kind of joy...
JD: Alright, Panic Button time yet?
LL: No, no but I'm sure its a half inch from your finger
deficiencies... not supermarket or mall. You find a fit with
other teams, not occasion for panic event, some concern to be
sure... in '83 Orioles went to Series, we had two 7 game losing
streaks over course of summer... we need to reassess where we
are... said the team that stays healthy will prevail... Yankees
have been hurting a bit... Embree hurt, bullpen would have been
helped and we could have won a couple of games.
JD: Before they wanted a hitter, now, after the past week, fans
want a pitcher. Is pitching the top priority now?
LL: Yes, the short answer is yes, at the risk of overdoing this
grocery store metaphor, you can only get what you pay for, never
have enough pitching, very few teams that feel they have enough
pitching are wrong. If you'd like a priority of 3-4 needs:
1. Starting pitcher
2. Relief pitcher
3. Everyday bat
4. Bat off bench
Most significant possibilities... Try to do one, if not one, two,
if not two do three...
First of all it's a deadline, but it's not last chance to pick
someone up. You can make trades in August provided you clear
waivers. With size of contract and teams falling out, more people
on waiver wire available in August than July. Nice to do it in
July, but not a drop dead date.
Can't tell you that it will get done in 6 1/2 days, but if we
don't break the bank on phone calls, we're not doing our job
Jan (email): Does your seemingly close relationship with Bud Selig
give you inside track on Expos deal? Do you have cash to spend?
Will you go head to head with the Yankees at the Expos?
GC: What's the deal here with Montreal?
LL: They had a bad couple of weeks. Since they acquired Colon,
7-13, expected to make run, not lose ground. Understandable that
they might want to move some players, they're publicly saying
they'll wait... if you want to root for someone, root for Expos to
lose over the next week.. about 6 out in wildcard now... not one
word with Bud about Expos situation moved that over to Omar...
historical connection with baseball and friendship with Bud will
not play a role in that at all.
Cash transaction? It will come out of the bottom line, which is
already negative, but we are willing to reach in our coffers if
we can make a move... we're one of the few teams that are willing
to do that.
GC: Why bother? Why not do what the Bruins do and say no, this is
a business, we're not spending any more?
LL: We are running a business but the essence of this business is
competition and winning. Long term image is enhanced by a winning
season. There's a certain fragility to the support that exists for
team... we saw it the end of last year the disarray and swift
decline of people who attended in Aug. and Sept., we need to win
1. We're competitive people, we want to win.
2. It our obligation as the ownership group.
3. It benefits long-term goodwill, you have to do more to be a
successful business, sometimes that means priming the pump.
JD: Castillo out of rotation, Fossum in, chip out of Port's hands?
LL: Plan was for Fossum was to start, sent to Pawtucket to stretch
out. Starting always part of the plan. But yes, our best prospect
was best guy to put into rotation. Irony there. Positive thing
from last night was Casey's performance. Grady wanted to see a
left-handed starter and suggested Fossum be sent to Pawtucket for
that reason. I think we'll see him in there (rotation).
GC: Labor story, encouraging news $70 gap in proposal. Minor
detail in messy conflict?
LL: Wouldn't call it minor. I'm encouraged somewhat. There's a
volatility to the situation. Ebb and flow. People working hard
trying to get reform. Revenue sharing here. Issue is not principle
but degree or amount. More easily negotiable that principle of
salary cap. No one is standing on soap box saying salary cap to be
Increased rev. sharing or competitive balance. tax. Tax 97-99,
Revenue sharing 6 years.
JD: Larry how many years in MLB?
LL: 1979 Orioles.
JD: Have you ever seen player go on DL with dishpan hands?
LL: Sooner or later truth comes out :-)... too weird for someone
to make it up. We had weird injury once... Pete Harnish stepped on
a nail n Toronto...
GC: Did your Washington days predated James Traficant, the
Democrat lunatic, right?
LL: From your end on the lunatic right wing fringe I can see that
you would ask that Callahan...