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Lucchino to leave Red Sox in shakeup

On topic of sports subsidies, he is a switch-hitter

Larry Lucchino — master of flexibility
Larry Lucchino — master of flexibility

Larry Lucchino, the sharp-elbowed executive who helped John Moores line his pockets with a subsidized ballpark, now named Petco Park, will be leaving his job as president of the Boston Red Sox, according to Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe. The team is mired in last place in the East Division of the American League.

After winning a big ballpark subsidy in Baltimore, Lucchino joined Moores in San Diego and preached the wisdom of governments subsidizing ballparks for the ultrarich. Then Lucchino left to be president of the Red Sox, and switched completely — twice.

First, when the Red Sox built a fan base without a taxpayer subsidy, Lucchino boasted in 2010, "We knew the perils of of asking for public money." Fans "get annoyed when teams teams ask taxpayers to build a stadium, and then raise ticket and concession prices on the very people who paid for it." In San Diego, he denigrated anybody who uttered such statements.

But it didn't last. This year, Lucchino and some other moneybags bought a Red Sox farm team in Pawtucket. Lucchino then turned around and was spearheading an effort to get a fat yearly subsidy from Rhode Island to move the team to Providence.

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Larry Lucchino — master of flexibility
Larry Lucchino — master of flexibility

Larry Lucchino, the sharp-elbowed executive who helped John Moores line his pockets with a subsidized ballpark, now named Petco Park, will be leaving his job as president of the Boston Red Sox, according to Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe. The team is mired in last place in the East Division of the American League.

After winning a big ballpark subsidy in Baltimore, Lucchino joined Moores in San Diego and preached the wisdom of governments subsidizing ballparks for the ultrarich. Then Lucchino left to be president of the Red Sox, and switched completely — twice.

First, when the Red Sox built a fan base without a taxpayer subsidy, Lucchino boasted in 2010, "We knew the perils of of asking for public money." Fans "get annoyed when teams teams ask taxpayers to build a stadium, and then raise ticket and concession prices on the very people who paid for it." In San Diego, he denigrated anybody who uttered such statements.

But it didn't last. This year, Lucchino and some other moneybags bought a Red Sox farm team in Pawtucket. Lucchino then turned around and was spearheading an effort to get a fat yearly subsidy from Rhode Island to move the team to Providence.

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Comments
54

I'm sincerely curious about how he managed to get the three rings listed in the photo caption. Was he a player, or a coach, or a manager, or just an office weenie? Larry does what it takes to survive personally. Like so many others, he'll tell you what you want to hear up until it's time to tell some other person what he/she wants to hear. And then you get these jarring contradictions. Nothing to see here folks, just move along.

Aug. 2, 2015

Visduh: Yes, if you keep track of Lucchino pronouncements, you find that many are stark contradictions. As you point out, he says what the listener wants to hear. He was against ballpark subsidies when he was with the Red Sox because the team was not going in that direction.

I think you will find he got his NCAA ring with the Princeton basketball team when Bill Bradley was its star. He got the World Series ring while an executive with the Red Sox. Super Bowl ring? That I don't know. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 3, 2015

don bauder People in San Diego may hate him hate him, but the Red Sox won three world championships and set the longest sellout streak in professional sports history during his tenure. I doubt either of those things is likely to ever occur in San Diego.

Aug. 3, 2015

I, for one, don't hate Lucchino. I wish he would have stayed with the Padres. It's my understanding that the reason he left was Moores didn't want to spend the money necessary to build the franchise and farm system to a level that it should have been after Petco Park was approved. Even after the ballpark was opened, Moores was pleading poverty--while raking in untold millions (hundreds of millions?) in the areas around the ballpark that JMI controlled. The Padres would have been much better off if Lucchino had stayed with the Padres.

Aug. 3, 2015

aardvark: Remember all those promises Moores made? If you build me a stadium, I will spend money to produce a team. He got his stadium, didn't spend the money (in fact dumped a bunch of good players), and loped off to Texas with hundreds of millions of dollars that he raked in because the city council gave him land in the ballpark district for almost nothing. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 4, 2015

Don: Which was the point I was trying to make. Moores wouldn't spend the money, and Lucchino couldn't convince him it would have better for the franchise if he had. That's why (IMO) Lucchino left San Diego, and why the Padres were, shall we say, less than a success on the field under John Moores.

Aug. 4, 2015

aardvark: I have heard Lucchino and Moores had a disagreement, but I don't know what it was over. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 4, 2015

aardvark, There is one person on this page who has expressed his disdain for Lucchino on many occasions. The comment was for his benefit. I have the same understanding as to why he left as you. His talent as an MLB executive is shown with both Baltimore and Boston. I agree that had he stayed with the Padres, the team would have been much better off.

Aug. 4, 2015

danfogel: San Diego has to get its initial world championship first. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 3, 2015

don bauder I believe that the original iteration of the San Diego Sockers won several Championships in both the MISL and the NASL.

Aug. 4, 2015

danfogel: Oh my yes. The Sockers were great. We went regularly as a family when our sons were young. It seems to me the Sockers won 9 out of 10 championships (in two different leagues) -- something like that. I thought we were talking about baseball. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 4, 2015

don bauder, And so we were. Based on previous past performance by the most recent ownership, I find it highly improbable that the good folks in San Diego will witness their team win a World Series.

Aug. 4, 2015

danfogel: How about a Super Bowl? Could San Diego win one? Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 5, 2015

don bauder I believe the answer to that question would be dependant upon the answer to these 2 questions:

  1. How much longer will the Chargers remain in San Diego.

  2. How much longer will the Spanos clan continue to own the Chargers.

Aug. 5, 2015

danfogel: I, for one, believe that if the Chargers move to L.A., as they want to do, and may well do, they would not be much more likely to win a Super Bowl. The owners would rake in more money, definitely. But given NFL rules, I don't know that the team would improve significantly. I would appreciate your input on this. I may be wrong. The team would get to retain more funds from the boxes and seats for the affluent. That sum would be higher than the team now gets in San Diego from these sources. But would and could the team spend that money bettering performance? All the teams get oodles of money from TV. Salary caps hold down what they can spend on talent. Again, correct me if my information is wrong or out of date.

Second, I have stated before that I think it is likely that the Spanos family will sell the team, or at least half of it, or some other fraction. But who will run the team? Dean Spanos's sons? Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 6, 2015

don bauder Well put. Let me refer back to the questions in my previous comment. If the Chargers move to Los Angeles, or anywhere else for that matter, and in succeeding years manage to win a Super Bowl, it would no be the San Diego Chargers winning the Super Bowl. As to my second question, where ever the Chargers end up playing, as long as the Spanos clan controls the purse strings, I don't think that they will spend the money on the players they need for long term success. I believe that they are about middle pack in the salary cap, but about 25 percent of there payroll is tied up in just 3 players, Rivers, Gates and Weddle, all of whom are unresricted free agents after this season. That's a long way of saying that no, as long as the Chargers are in San Diego and continue to be controlled by the Spanos clan, they will not win a Super Bowl.

Aug. 6, 2015

danfogel: Well stated. And probably right on the money.

What I was trying to get at was this: with the salary caps, can any team better itself by having its home town build it a new stadium? It may be able to rake in more money from the luxury boxes, personal seat licenses, etc. But under NFL rules would it be able to spend more than other teams? In baseball, there is no question the team will have more money, and can spend it, with a new ballpark. The Yankees, for example, have more money and consistently have good teams. But in the NFL, I am not sure that a team with more money can spend more on a team. Let me know your thinking on this. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 7, 2015

Puke.

Aug. 3, 2015

Twister: Is that one-word blog entry aimed at me or Lucchino? Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 3, 2015

Special reserve for special cases.

Aug. 3, 2015

Twister: Special cases? Now you are back on the subject of beer again. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 3, 2015

I drink non-alcholic Becks. Is it still made in Deutchland?

Aug. 4, 2015

Twister: Don't ask me. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 4, 2015

twister Several years ago, Anheuser-Busch InBev started brewing Beck's meant for US consumption in St. Louis. A couple of months ago, a preliminary settlement was reached with a group that sued, claiming deceptive labeling was used to mislead customers into believing the Beck's beer sold in the U.S. was made in Germany. I also believe that since at least the beginning of the year, Beck's sold in the UK is being brewed in the UK. Apparently, nothing is sacred anymore.

Aug. 5, 2015

One of the high points of my life was visiting the Urquell brewery in Pilsen, where I had a helluva good time with the braumeister, a real nice guy. I can't even come close to the quality, even the imported stuff. Now when this outfit starts brewing here, it will be the end of ze vorld. I remember that when we met up with friends at a Prague restaurant I drank so much beer, I could hear it sloshing in my stomach every step I took down the hill.

Aug. 5, 2015

danfogel: You mean beer isn't sacred anymore? I went to the University of Wisconsin. I can't believe that beer is no longer an object of reference, like sacramental wine. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 7, 2015

Is this in reverence to Sacramento wine?

Aug. 7, 2015

The Super Bowl ring came from the Washington Redskins. According to the Boston papers, Lucchino was a protege of Edward Bennett Williams when EBW owned the ' Skins.

Aug. 3, 2015

Jimgee: Yes, Lucchino was a protege of Edward Bennett Williams who, incidentally, had a dubious background. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 3, 2015

don bauder Wasn't Bennett involved with the Redskins when Jack Cooke Kent was the owner? I believe at the time Cooke also owned the Lakers and the Kings and built the Forum. I know that Jerry Buss bought Forum, Kings and Lakers in from Cooke in 1979, so I think that by the time the Redskins won their first Superbowl, Cooke was majority owner of the Redskins and Williams owned something like a 10 percent stake. I'm not sure when Cooke got Williams' share but I believe he was the sole owner by the time the Redskins won their second Superbowl, which I remember all to well.

Aug. 5, 2015

danfogel: I have a book on organized crime's relationship with the NFL and Williams's name shows up on 21 pages. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 7, 2015

Actually, his award for the being a member of the Princeton 1965 Final Four team is a watch, not a ring.

Aug. 3, 2015

danfogel: I will take your word for it. I didn't write the caption and it was news to me. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 3, 2015

Don, you better take Stickler 101 again.

Aug. 4, 2015

I simply prefer accuracy whenever possible when listing ones accomplishments.

Aug. 4, 2015

danfogel: Accuracy is better then inaccuracy. Some of us forget that on occasion. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 4, 2015

Reminds me of the old story about comparing the Colt '11 Army .45 automatic and the German Luger.

Best, Twister

PS: Another typo! For shame, for SHAME!!! Me, I never make a misteak.

Aug. 4, 2015

Twister: For me, my time spent in the military was one big mistake. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 5, 2015

Why, Don! Don' tell me you didn' wanna be a HERO! My time in the military permitted me to understand great art--like the movie "Lonely Are the Brave," which summed up many of the "heroes" I served with in the scene of the in-lieu-tenant in the helicopter! (This is a "must-see" film.)

I should have been a consultant for the movie, "Dr. Strangelove," which was released smack-dab in the middle of my career--it was a mild interpretation of the real thing, but did capture the spirit of it. I worked in the Security Service and SAC Intelligence (in the war-planning room deep in the earth) in the "Penetrations Branch" planning B-52 nuclear strikes.

I can't tell you any more because . . .

Aug. 5, 2015

Twister: I still have nightmares that I am walking down the street, and a lieutenant grabs me and says I haven't completed my term in the National Guard. In the next scene, I am fighting at the front, toting a rifle. Then I wake up, horrified. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 7, 2015

Twister: I am too old to take any courses -- 101 or otherwise. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 4, 2015

A'couse!

Aug. 4, 2015

I meant to say a' course. Another misteak. I must be schlepping.

Aug. 5, 2015

Twister: You are not schlepping. You are punning. And schlepping in that instance is one of your better ones. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 7, 2015

don bauder, When directing a comment to you, you'll notice the norm for me is to include your name, as is the case in this comment. Because I am aware that you don't write the captions, and your name was not in the comment, it would be a safe assumption that the comment was not directed to you. Since I am personally acquainted with two people who played in the Final Four in the 1980's and have seen their final four watches, I felt it appropriate to offer the information.

Aug. 4, 2015

danfogel: 'Tis better to win a Final Four watch than watch a Final Four win. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 4, 2015

The longest game in the history of professional baseball was played at McCoy Stadium, it went 33 innings. And McCoy Stadium looks like it went 33 innings many times, it's a dump. They've attempted to retool the place many times, but you can only fix a broken relic every so often before you have to replace it. One could drive from Pawtucket to Providence in less time that it takes one to drive from Petco Park to Poway. I'm not nuts about (and have been very publicly against) lawyers like Lucchino and Alderson and others involved in professional sports, but this attempt seems docile compared to other efforts. If this is simply a money-grab, then it isn't much of one. They'll likely propose a stadium that seats 12-15 thousand, in downtown Providence, and in short time it will likely bring more revenue than did the old site which was away from crowds that would gather in the summer for whatever other reasons.

Aug. 3, 2015

David Dodd: I had an item earlier this year on that Providence attempted taxpayer shakedown. I don't know what has happened to it. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 3, 2015

Read it. http://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/20...

I don't know about yourself, but if I invested $85 million with the expectation of receiving $120 million 30 years later, then you should never hire me to invest your money. Minor League baseball isn't the bees knees when it comes to profit. I know Lucchino has been the financial mouthpiece for ownership all of his storied career. I also know that the Padres have PUBLICLY thrown Lucchino an invitation to join the ownership group in San Diego. THAT is far more dangerous than Lucchino heading up an effort to replace McCoy Field in Pawtucket, all things considered. Sandy Alderson was an excellent tool for Padres ownership to screw the tax payers, right? Imagine what Lucchino could do here if he returns. They're lawyers, Don, it's what they do. I'm guessing that if Larry draws $4 million per year from Providence, it's a pittance compared to what happens in the bigs. Let the sleeping Lucchino lie!

Aug. 4, 2015

David Dodd: Don't talk to me about 30-year investments. I am 79 years old. I don't even buy green bananas. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 4, 2015

No worries. I'm only 54, but I think twice before purchasing an entire loaf of bread. But you're still sharp as a tack. I think you'll be just fine.

Aug. 4, 2015

David Dodd: I would hesitate to use a thumb tack that is only as sharp as I am. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 5, 2015

don bauder I find your self-deprecation to be rather whimsical. But while I will never profess to agree with all of your points of view, nor should anyone feel the need to, the fact remains that you are indeed still sharp as a tack. Were it not for your writing, I have no doubt that the number of readers and commenters would drop precipitously.

Aug. 5, 2015

danfogel: Your comment is nice to hear. Clarification: no one agrees with all my views. It's impossible, especially when I contradict myself. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 5, 2015

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