Lucchino: The Red Sox Years


Lucchino: The Red Sox Years

Tuesday was Truck Day at Fenway Park, but for a brief moment, Larry Lucchino stepped away from the hunky dory festivities to address a very serious issue

Francona: The Red Sox Years

"Ive got more compelling, true, non-fiction I want to read," Lucchino said, when asked for his take on the recently-released book from Francona and Dan Shaughnessy.

But as the Herald's Mike Silverman writes, even though Lucchino hasn't read the book, "he's heard enough, he says, to know that the authors he only cites Shaughnessy write misleadingly about how the team truly operates and is governed. And 'the notion that (Henry and Werner) are not passionate baseball fans and deeply committed to winning is just absurd and offensive.

SRO TAKE: OK, first of all, there's no way Lucchino hasn't read this book. At the very least, he's read all the parts that are about him, and I'd guess, everything about the owners in general. I don't say that because he's Larry Lucchino, but because he's a human being. Someone writes a highly-publicized book filled with "misleading" statements about the way you run your business, and you just ignore it? No one has that kind of will power. Not even the almighty Lucchino.

Second of all, Larry can deny and refute every single word of what Shaugnhessy wrote, but almost no one in Boston is going to give him the benefit of the doubt. It's not that Francona's incapable of stretching the truth, but compared to Lucchino, Tito's Abraham Lincoln. If only one of them is being honest, who do you believe?

Lastly, in this situation, there's only one way for Larry to really earn the trust and respect of Red Sox fans.

Read the book, or just admit that he's read the book. And then collaborate with me on a response Lucchino: The Red Sox Years.

We'll sit down for two months, and talk about everything that was reported in Shaughnessy's version. We'll talk about the truth. What really happened. Correct all the misleading aspects of what Francona and Theo Epstein had to say.

Of course, his words can't tell the whole story. I'll have to find a few other people not John Henry or Tom Werner to back up and complement his version. But seeing that his version is the truth, it shouldn't be that hard. And at the end of the day, won't it be an enormous weight off his shoulders? No more lying. No more spin. No more deceit. Just complete transparency and a real behind-the-scenes look at the negativity that's surrounded these Red Sox owners.

Finally, we'll know and understand the truth. And by next Truck Day, life in Red Sox Nation will be nothing but puppy dogs and ice cream.

And whatever lies are told in the meantime.
Rich can be reached at Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

NLCS: Cubs eliminate Dodgers, reach Series for first time since 1945


NLCS: Cubs eliminate Dodgers, reach Series for first time since 1945

CHICAGO -- Cursed by a Billy Goat, bedeviled by Bartman and crushed by decades of disappointment, the Chicago Cubs are at long last headed back to the World Series.

Kyle Hendricks outpitched Clayton KershawAnthony Rizzo and Willson Contreras homered early and the Cubs won their first pennant since 1945, beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-0 Saturday night in Game 6 of the NL Championship Series.

The drought ended when closer Aroldis Chapman got Yasiel Puig to ground into a double play, setting off a wild celebration inside Wrigley Field, outside the ballpark and all over the city.

Seeking their first crown since 1908, manager Joe Maddon's team opens the World Series at Cleveland on Tuesday night. The Indians haven't won it all since 1948 - Cleveland and Cubs have the two longest title waits in the majors.

"This city deserves it so much," Rizzo said. "We got four more big ones to go, but we're going to enjoy this. We're going to the World Series. I can't even believe that."

All-everything Javier Baez and pitcher Jon Lester shared the NLCS MVP. Baez hit .318, drove in five runs and made several sharp plays at second base. Lester, a former World Series champion in Boston, was 1-0 with a 1.38 ERA in two starts against the Dodgers.

Deemed World Series favorites since opening day, the Cubs topped the majors with 103 wins to win the NL Central, then beat the Giants and Dodgers in the playoffs.

The Cubs overcame a 2-1 deficit against the Dodgers and won their 17th pennant. They had not earned a World Series trip since winning a doubleheader opener 4-3 at Pittsburgh on Sept. 29, 1945, to clinch the pennant on the next-to-last day of the season.

The eternal "wait till next year" is over. No more dwelling on a history of failure - the future is now.

"We're too young. We don't care about it," star slugger Kris Bryant said. "We don't look into it. This is a new team, this is a completely different time of our lives. We're enjoying it and our work's just getting started."

Hendricks pitched two-hit ball for 7 1/3 innings. Chapman took over and closed with hitless relief, then threw both arms in the air as he was mobbed by teammates and coaches.

The crowd joined in, chanting and serenading their team.

"Chicago!" shouted popular backup catcher David Ross.

The Cubs shook off back-to-back shutout losses earlier in this series by pounding the Dodgers for 23 runs to win the final three games.

And they were in no way overwhelmed by the moment on Saturday, putting aside previous frustration.

In 1945, the Billy Goat Curse supposedly began when a tavern owner wasn't allowed to bring his goat to Wrigley. In 2003, the Cubs lost the final three games of the NLCS to Florida, punctuated with a Game 6 defeat when fan Steve Bartman deflected a foul ball.

Even as recently as 2012, the Cubs lost 101 times.

This time, no such ill luck.

Bryant had an RBI single and scored in a two-run first. Dexter Fowler added two hits, drove in a run and scored one.

Contreras led off the fourth with a homer. Rizzo continued his resurgence with a solo drive in the fifth.

That was plenty for Hendricks, the major league ERA leader.

Hendricks left to a standing ovation after Josh Reddick singled with one out in the eighth. The only other hit Hendricks allowed was a single by Andrew Toles on the game's first pitch.

Kershaw, dominant in Game 2 shutout, gave up five runs and seven hits before being lifted for a pinch hitter in the sixth. He fell to 4-7 in the postseason.

The Dodgers haven't been to the World Series since winning in 1988.

Pitching on five days' rest, the three-time NL Cy Young Award winner threw 30 pitches in the first. Fowler led off with a double, and Bryant's single had the crowd shaking the 102-year-old ballpark.

They had more to cheer when left fielder Andrew Toles dropped Rizzo's fly, putting runners on second and third, and Ben Zobrist made it 2-0 a sacrifice fly.

The Cubs added a run in the second when Addison Russell doubled to deep left and scored on a two-out single by Fowler.


Maddon benched slumping right fielder Jason Heyward in favor of Albert Almora Jr.

"Kershaw's pitching, so I wanted to get one more right-handed bat in the lineup, and also with Albert I don't feel like we're losing anything on defense," Maddon said. "I know Jason's a Gold Glover, but I think Albert, given an opportunity to play often enough would be considered a Gold Glove-caliber outfielder, too."

Heyward was 2 for 28 in the playoffs - 1 for 16 in the NLCS.


Kerry Wood, wearing a Ron Santo jersey, threw out the first pitch and actor Jim Belushi delivered the "Play Ball!" call before the game. Pearl Jam front man Eddie Vedder and actor John Cusack were also in attendance. And Bulls great Scottie Pippen led the seventh-inning stretch.