Taking the Red Sox away from these FAILURES: PT. 2: Blame the CEO

We ask for a second time: Who kidnapped our Red Sox?

Hand me my Red Sox souvenir Giant Foam Finger, AGAIN!

ALL of the above! And it’s time for the Citizens of Red Sox Nation to take their team back!

As we said in Pt. 1: Blame the Owner …[http://bosoxinjection.com/2012/08/06/taking-the-red-sox-away-from-these-failures-pt-1-blame-the-owner/]…Sox fans need to pull together and adopt the Green Bay Packers plan, where the fans own the team, or else we are stuck with a disinterested owner, an ego maniac CEO, who thinks he knows more about baseball than the GM, and a GM who takes out his resentment of the CEO on the manager, who was hired by the CEO.

This post was originally intended to briefly say that everyone from the owner to the manager are responsible for the near death of a proud franchise, but it became apparent that there was not enough room in a single article for all the blame.

Thus, we will use a series format with 6 posts:

1-4 will point the finger at the [1]Owner, [2]CEO, [3] GM, and [4] Manager.

5 will offer a plan to take the team back [think Green Bay Packers]

6 will blame a few players and suggest “deep drill” surgery for the patient. [think trades and prospects]

CEO: FAIL!

Once Larry Lucchino was  told by owner John Henry that he can run the Red Sox, the CEO has increasingly inserted himself into all aspects of the operation; he has become a case study in the dangers of micro-managing.

There appears to be a correlation between the increase in Larry’s micro-managing and the number of Red Sox losses.  The more he meddles, the worse things get.

How did Mr. Lucchino learn so much about baseball that he can run a team all by himself?

After law school, Lucchino practiced law with the Washington, D. C. law firm of Williams & Connolly. The founder, famed litigator Edward BenneT. Williams, had ownership interest in both the Washington Redskins and the Baltimore Orioles. Lucchino’s law practice at Williams & Connolly included a substantial amount of work for those two sports teams. Through that work he ultimately became President/CEO of the Baltimore Orioles and later, the San Diego Padres, and the Boston Red Sox.

He not only played with Bill Bradley on the Princeton University team, he was reputed to be a very good player himself; not a baseball player, a basketball player.

He did not work his way up from “the mail room;” he didn’t earn his way up the chain of a Major League baseball organization like say, Ben Cherington.  He was a lawyer who worked for a team in the NFL and MLB, where his boss has some ownership.  In 1988 the Oriole’s management appointed him President/CEO of the  team.

Alright, so he came in the back door. So, how did he do with the Orioles and the Padres?

ORIOLES: 1993—3rd  place, 85-77, 1992—3rd place, 89-73, 1991—6th place, 67-95,1990—5th  place, 76-85

1989—2nd  place, 87-75, 1988—7th place, 54-107

PADRES

1995 – Padres are the most improved team in the National League finishing with a 70-74 record.

1996 – Padres with the National League Western Division Title with a 91-71 record.

1997 – Last place with a 76-86,  1998 – 1st place, 98-64; Padres win NL flag; swept by Yankees in WS.

1999 – 4th place, 74-88, 2000 – 4th  place, 76-86, 2001 – 3rd place, 79-83.

Overall W-L record: 1,022-1,064

Post-season: Orioles = 0; Padres =  2

World Series wins: 0

Referriong to the current Red Sox fugue state, under the headline:  Blame falls on Larry Lucchino, Ron Borges, BostonHerald.com says:

“It is now clear why Edwin BenneT. Williams never let Larry Lucchino run the Orioles.

When the world’s greatest defense attorney owned the Orioles, it was the best run team in baseball. It won consistently and with dignity. It ran smoothly and did things “the Orioles Way,” which is to say the right way.

Lucchino didn’t run those Orioles. He held EBW’s coat, and wasn’t named president and CEO of the team until after Williams’ death.”

Sure, the Oriole’s didn’t do well on the field, but this Baltimore scribe thinks Larry belongs in a Hall of Fame:

“Lucchino was president of the Orioles in the mid-’80s when he decided his team should have a “park” instead of a “stadium.”

Let’s be clear about the impact of those two ideas. If the Hall of Fame is for the people who made the game better, and dramatically so, Larry Lucchino belongs.

Camden Yards, which opened in 1992, fundamentally changed the way we think of the places where baseball teams play.”

[http://baltimore.orioles.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120103&content_id=26259168&c_id=bal]

1.3 bill

“Williams was Lucchino’s bridge into this career, but it in no way qualified him to trade players, sign free agents or even comment on the status of a roster. So why has Henry entrusted him in this capacity?”

The culture of deceit and betrayal must be removed and replaced with an environment of trust and accountability.”

[http://bostonsportskeptic.wordpress.com/2012/08/06/larry-lucchino-looking-for-love-in-all-the-wrong-places/]

Lucchino serves as the CEO of the Boston Red Sox baseball team, which is owned by John Henry and a consortium know as Fenway Sports Group. Fenway Sports Group is part of New England Sports Ventures which also owns Fenway Park and New England Sports Network.,

He could be fired by the owner, John Henry, but don’t expect it; at least not until Henry decides that doubling his money on his investment is enough of baseball for his taste and sells the team for $1.3 Billion [no typo: BILLION].  Until Henry sells the Sox, you will have Lucchino inflating his role, until some GM or manager stands up to him; only to lose their job.

The more Lucchino takes over the GM and manager jobs, the less the Red Sox win.  And, John Henry, as long as he keeps raking in the annual profits from sell-outs, sales of Fenway trinkets and baubles, food and drink and other products that trade off the Red Sox historical cache, will continue to let Larry be more and even more  Larry.

Even when the revenues start to slip, Henry expects the value of the team to continue to increase.

So, if you are waiting for John to fire Larry, you’re time would be better spent organizing other fans to raise $1.3 Billion to buy the team back from these business successes and baseball failures.

Perhaps the best example of why Lucchino is living in a Megalomaniac Fantasy world is CEO Lucchino’s mid-season email to ticket holders; let’s take a few excerpts:

“We have watched the team coalesce into a close group.  Personalities are enhancing the chemistry…”

[INSERT JON STEWART "WTF" DOUBLE-TAKE.]

Really?  Is Larry confusing the 2012 Red Sox with his Princeton basketball team in 1965?

“We bade farewell, with gratitude, to Kevin Youkilis, who helped us win two World Championships.”

“We” bade farewell?  No, the fans bid Kevin a fond farewell and he thanked them.  You, Henry and Cherington treated him like a fourth-year hen, who wasn’t laying eggs anymore.  You let him read about his fate in the media; you didn’t have the common courtesy to invite him in for a closed door conversation, man-to-man.

Youkilis said. “I don’t know my situation. To be honest, I was never told what’s going on here—let’s get that straight. “

[http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/baseball/red_sox/view/20220613youkilisready_tomove_on_while_he_hasnt_asked_for_a_trade_unhappy_vet_good_to_go/]

“[Youkilis’] unhappiness is a symptom of his state of mind in 2012. He was ticked off in April when manager Bobby Valentine questioned his emotional and physical commitment in a WHDH-TV interview. Youkilis received an apology, but the damage was done.

[http://m.sportingnews.com/mlb/story/2012-06-23/kevin-youkilis-trade-rumors-out-of-lineup-boston-red-sox]

“The one constant on the field has been our beloved Big Papi, David Ortiz.  How thrilled we were that our gregarious leader reached the 400-home run plateau in a career that we hope will forever be with the Red Sox. “

[Gagging] Really?

“”It’s a good situation to be involved in. Who doesn’t want to be involved in a great situation where everything goes the right way?” Ortiz added that he just wants to be a part of a winner.” [Ortiz talking about the YANKEES.]
http://www.nesn.com/2011/10/david-ortiz-says-theres-too-much-drama-with-red-sox-talks-about-idea-of-joining-yankees.html

Ortiz, the longest-tenured Red Sox player on the team, after joining Boston in 2003, on how he was treated during contract negotiations:

“It was humiliating. There’s no reason a guy like me should go through that…And yet they don’t hesitate to sign other guys. It was embarrassing…[they] don’t give me my due consideration, even though I do my thing every year, [expletive] that.”

[http://boston.cbslocal.com/2012/07/05/david-ortiz-says-hes-humiliated-embarrassed-by-offseason-contract-negotiations/]

“Meanwhile, as you come to Fenway Park throughout this season, we hope you will come early—the secret to fully enjoying a sports venue. Now “A Living Museum,” Fenway Park probably leads the league in bronze plaques and commemorative displays along the concourses.  Enjoy them at your leisure early, well before the escalation of excitement as game time approaches.”

“They did a good job at saying, ‘as you come to Fenway Park throughout the season we hope you come early; the secret to fully enjoying a sports venue. Buy our beer, buy our hats, buy our hot dogs,’” said Gresh.

And as for all the names Lucchino used for his players, Gresh thought it was pretty corny.

“It’s like bad wrestling gimmick names,” he said. ”I’m sure the ‘inspired’ Daniel Nava, Scott Podsednik and all the people who have held down the fort through the injuries are happy to hear the management say ‘the return of the varsity.’ That’s nice.”

[http://boston.cbslocal.com/2012/07/13/larry-lucchinos-letter-to-red-sox-season-ticket-holders/]

Perhaps you cannot see around your Law degree, or through your sheepskin, to understand that it’s condescending to tell Red Sox fans that Fenway Park is the long-venerated Green Chapel of Eternal Summers.

You insult the ticket buyers by saying: ‘Come to the oldest and best restaurant in the country, soak in the ambiance: the seasoned paneling, the framed photos of famous people, the abiding history, the fine crystal, the elegant bone china plates…’ and then serve them over-priced hot dogs and beer.

Spoiler Alert for Larry:

Ticket buyers know how to find a good restaurant and a museum, but, when they come to Fenway Park, they expect to also see a baseball game played with enthusiasm, as if the home team cares enough about winning that it “leaves it all on the field.”

The citizens of Red Sox Nation are not the ignorant rubes you think they are; they get it; they find your paternalistic tone laughable:

Jaygee • Rather than sending out a letter, how about sending out a refund!

Brian F • Come early so you can pay $7 beer and $4 dollar hot dogs. Otherwise I will have to use a metal detector to shake all the loose change out of you. The ownership needs to fire their public relations firm. They sound clueless.

C5900 • THE MOST RIDICULOUS LETTER I HAVE EVER READ BY A SPORTS EXECURIVE. ACTUALLY BY ANY EXECUTIVE.

matrix •  How embarrassing for the players. Just really, really, really bad writing first of all, and condescending to everyone involved.

The precursor for the next letter ………… “We need to raise ticket prices, again. Thank You for supporting our bad payroll decisions.”

Coachhubba • THE REAL PROBLEM WITH THE SOX SPEAKS.

Hope11 • The ramblings of a desperate man. No one is listening, Larry.

Let’s assume that Mr. Lucchino is, as the Owner has said, running the team.  Let’s look at the standings and the state of the team.

On his watch in years past, the Red Sox have had great success, but, by increasing his power and scope, Lucchino has magnified a series of bad decisions that have put the Red Sox in a large-contract bind that will keep the team out of the playoffs for a decade.

In his smarmy email to the ticket holders, Lucchino was trying to reprise an old advertising axiom:

“If the meat is rotten, sell the sizzle.”

[http://link.redsox.com/m/1/95601068/b19512-0aaf2554-c039-4652-8619-5e7342781806/9/117/88e502d9-1a43-4ffd-8e2a-21e8b5e140f2]

“Controversy surrounded Larry Lucchino as being the source of leaking information to Dan Shaugnessy in a 2005 article smearing Theo Epstein[9], as well as a 2011 Article smearing Terry Francona.[10]

http://baseballjournal.com/soxspace/blog/2012/04/19/no-invitation-for-theo-epstein/

http://paullebowitz.com/blog/?p=4421

Previously it is reported that when the team traded  Nomar Garciaparra, Lucchino complained about Garciapara’s alleged lack of dedication.

[http://sports-law.blogspot.com/2005/10/theo-epstein-quits-as-red-sox-general.html]

“He’s tough. I’d be lying if I say he was an easy guy to work with. When he has new people around him, it takes a while before he has trust in those people. You have to show him what you can do before he relies on you.” [Kevin Towers]

His insistence on hiring his pal Bobby as manager was not the first time that Lucchino played “micro manager” with his GM:

What Epstein had issues with was Lucchino’s insistence on being involved in every decision, from such relatively minor moves as whether the team should keep Damian Jackson or Lou Merloni — Lucchino insisted on Jackson, according to one team source, over the objections of the baseball ops people — as to the now widely dissected aborted Kelly Shoppach trade with the Rockies.”

Only needing to mollify a diffident owner, who openly says that Larry “runs the Red Sox,” Lucchino inflated his CEO role; even usurping the GM’s role in selecting a manager, organizing trades, and coordinating the farm system.

Apparently, Mr. Lucchino believes that it is only he who knows what’s best for the Red Sox and that requires him to micro-manage all aspects of the organization.  He surely understands the management principle of “delegation of authority;” he just believes that he is so much smarter than everybody else, he can interfere carte blanche.

If the CEO leaks negative information about his General Manager and manager, how do you think the next GM would feel about his boss?  How would you feel if your boss arrogates your first major decision and stuffs a manager down the back of your pants, as part of a weasel prank?

Any GM’s fate and career are tightly bound to the performance of his manager and team, but Cherington was involuntarily tied to Lucchino’s pal in a Three-Legged Race for the pennant.

Ben was the jockey, who rode a horse chosen by Lucchino.  If the horse wins the race; Lucchino takes the credit; if the horse loses the race, Cherington takes the blame and gets fired by Lucchino.

Lucchino might as well be singing this John Prine lyric to Gentle Ben:

“Hey don’t give me no trouble, or I’ll call up my double.

We’ll play Monkey in the Middle with you.”

Ah, trust; most people learn that it is the lynchpin of relationships.

Teams are built on trust, right? And teamwork. Those are probably the two most important things championship teams have, so if there is distrust I think it eventually would have to be addressed. In my experience, those things usually present themselves.” –Bobby Valentine

[http://espn.go.com/boston/mlb/story/_/id/7621571/spring-training-2012-bobby-valentine-says-need-address-lingering-anger]

Does Lucchino trust GM Cherington?

Does GM Cherington trust CEO Lucchino?

Does manager Valentine trust GM Cherington?

Does GM Cherington trust the CEO’s pal manager Valentine?

Do the players trust manager Valentine?

Does Valentine trust Beckett, Ortiz, Pedroia, or any of his coaches?

Does everyone spend too much time trying to find snitches and snitching?

Does a team owner allow a “feeling” of distrust to cast a pall over his organization?

And, which one of the above mentioned is a snitch?

When Dustin Pedroia called out his manager: “That’s not the way we do things around here.” in the media, the management [Henry, Lucchino, Cherington] went mute.

When Middlebrooks committed two errors in one inning earlier in the season, Valentine told WEEI he sarcastically said to Middlebrooks, “Nice inning, Will.”

Once again management had no reply, but the newly gun-shy Valentine promptly ate what he had spit up.

August 2, 2012 Rob Bradford of WEEI tweeted:

“Valentine said Middlebrooks comment on @weei was “stupidest thing I’ve said on radio” Went on to explain story again”

Tony Massarottii of the Boston Globe wrote:

“Valentine came with a reputation for being a pot-stirrer and verbally provocative. And yet, at the first sign of provocation, Red Sox officials effectively neutered Valentine.”

Valentine must have been reminded of that Dylan lyric:

Everybody said they’d stand behind me
When the game got rough
But the joke was on me
There was nobody even there to bluff.

How long will it take for Valentine to complete the song with:

I’m going back to cable tee-vee
I do believe I’ve had enough.

A headline on Bleacher Report today:

Boston Red Sox: Why Bobby Valentine Should Quit Right Now

[http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1285713-boston-red-sox-why-bobby-valentine-should-quit-right-now]

Lucchino is the only man known to have World Series rings (Orioles ’83, Red Sox ’04 and ’07)[7], a Super Bowl ring (Redskins ’83) and a Final Four watch (Princeton, ’65).[8]

He did investigative work on the Nixon impeachment process.

[Talk about your "dysfunctional" management!]

But, “it is now clear why Edwin BenneT. Williams never let Larry Lucchino run the Orioles.”

[http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/baseball/red_sox/view/20220802blame_falls_on_lucchino_man_who_runs_sox_has_clearly_run_afoul/]

The Red Sox have sold out 607 consecutive games going into Tuesday’s series opener against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

“We hope to sell out the rest of the season,” Lucchino said.

Good luck with that, Larry.

The fans have heard the sizzle, but then, they tasted the rotten meat you are serving.

Wake up call for Mr. Lucchino:

Ratings for Red Sox games on NESN over the season’s first half had the Sox in fifth place, down almost 36 percent from their first-place perch last year, according to an analysis of Nielsen Media Research by the Sports Business Journal.

Ratings for Red Sox games broadcast on WEEI-AM were down 16.5 percent, to 107,500 listeners, reported the Boston Globe.

“It doesn’t represent a dip in overall popularity because we’re still selling out,” Lucchino said.

Most people buy their ticket packages a year in advance.  If things continue to slide downhill for the rest of 2012, will those sell-outs continue in 2013?

Whether he is smarter and knows more about baseball than Bobby Valentine or not, Mr. Lucchino’s overblown self-confidence, micro-management style, and apparent willingness to undermine his GMs, managers, and players, makes him the prime contributor to the Red Sox dysfunctional disaster.

RED SOX ANNOUNCER #1:  “Hey, wait, that’s not Pitching Coach, Bob McClure, heading out to the mound…

RED SOX ANNOUNCER #2:   “It’s not Valentine…this guy is wearing a three-piece, pinstripe suit…”

RED SOX ANNOUNCER #1:     “Looking through my binoculars…Wait!  It’s CEO, Larry Lucchino!”

RED SOX ANNOUNCER #2:     “And he’s waving to the bullpen…”

RED SOX ANNOUNCER #1:      “Can you BELIEVE it ??? !!!”

 

CONCLUSION:  New fan owners fire the CEO.

NEXT UP: Blaming the GM

Thus, we will use a series format with 6 posts:

1-4 will point the finger at the [1]Owner [http://bosoxinjection.com/2012/08/06/taking-the-red-sox-away-from-these-failures-pt-1-blame-the-owner/], [2]CEO, [3] GM, and [4] Manager.

5 will offer a plan to take the team back [think Green Bay Packers]

6 will blame a few players and suggest “deep drill” surgery for the patient. [think trades and prospects]

00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

 

Topics: AL East, AL Wild Card, Anti-trust, Ben Cherington, Bill Veeck, Blame, Bobby Valentine, Branch Rickey, Bud Selig, Carl Crawford, CEO, Congress, David Ortiz, Ex, Exemption, Fail, Failure, General Manager, GM, Green Bay Packers, Jackie Robinson, John Henry, Larry Lucchino, Lary Doby, Manager, MLB Commissioner, Part 2, Pt. 2, Reserve Clause, SEC, Supreme Court, Taking The Red Sox Away From These FAILURES: PT. 1: Blame The Owner, Taking The Red Sox Away From These FAILURES: PT. 2:, Taking The Red Sox Away From These FAILURES: PT. 3, Taking The Red Sox Away From These FAILURES: PT. 4, Taking The Red Sox Away From These FAILURES: PT. 5, Taking The Red Sox Away From These FAILURES: PT. 6

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