Red Sox front office power play?


There is a possible power play going on in Boston and it is not from the languishing Bruins.

The Boston Globe’s Dan Shaughnessey wrote about some potential stirrings that may result in a shift in the power base – a term often applied to geopolitics but certainly appropriate in the business world.

The odd man out in this scenario is Larry Lucchino, President and CEO of the Red Sox, and the man who may be in is Mike Gordon, who is currently number two, behind John Henry, as a shareholder in Fenway Sports Group. Gordon purchased the New York Times share in the Red Sox and along with other positions he had previously held moved him up in the internal rankings.

Who is Gordon?

Gordon’s background is in finance as in being a top dog at Fidelity before venturing into his own start-up, Vinik Associates, with a Fidelity associate, Jeffery Vinik. Gordon reportedly is “close” to former Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig. Gordon, age 49, currently resides in Brookline Massachusetts and has been active in the operation of Liverpool in that “other” football league.

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Gordon and Henry are financial players with similar backgrounds and with Gordon you do have the potential for gathering the necessary financial clout for a future purchase of the Red Sox.

There is nothing new to the power politics that are often associated with the Red Sox. The John Henry group took control of the team after the rejection of Frank McCourt. A step back further and there was the in fighting with the Buddy LeRoux group versus Haywood Sullivan legal battles.

Larry Lucchino, age 70, usually elicits responses similar to if you like Lima Beans – hate it or love it – there is no middle ground. Often portrayed as the Machiavelli of baseball there is one sure thing about Lucchino – success.

The Baltimore Orioles, San Diego Padres, Washington Redskins (is that still allowed?) and the Boston Red Sox show a level of experience and success that is difficult to match. Lucchino knows the operations of a sports franchise and has been a primary force in the development of a baseball and sports empire for the Fenway Sports Group.

So what gives?

Has there been some internal rumblings? Is the Boston Globe – owned by Henry – being used to float a trial balloon? Is it possible that eventually the Henry group will sell to a group led by Gordon? To me this is all about potential transition and I view this as potential stage setting for a transfer of ownership. So much for today’s conspiracy theories.