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Friday, February 15, 2013

Buckley: Larry Lucchino’s underdog comment doesn’t fly

Screw Muldowney…Mull Lucchino!

ni

The problem with the 2013 Red Sox being labeled as “scrappy underdogs” is that it shouldn’t be Larry Lucchino who gets to deliver the message.

Scrappy underdogs? That’s a term that should be reserved for fans, sportswriters and talk-show hosts, not the CEO of a big league ballclub whose payroll this season will be in excess of $160 million.

Speaking with reporters yesterday morning at JetBlue Park, Lucchino made it sound like this year’s roster includes Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn, Willie Mays Hayes, Pedro Cerrano and those other lovable misfits from the film “Major League.”

“I actually like being the underdog,” said Lucchino, who then compared his club with the rebuilt, back-in-business Toronto Blue Jays, who spent a ton of money this offseason in an attempt to revitalize baseball in a city where most people tuned out the game since the Roberto Alomar-Joe Carter glory days of the early 1990s.

Lucchino said he reminded Blue Jays president Paul Beeston that “there’s no trophies for winning the offseason. If he wants to go into the season feeling he is the prohibitive favorite, that’s great. We’re just scrappy underdogs trying to win for our franchise and for our fans.”

Repoz Posted: February 15, 2013 at 10:23 AM | 36 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: red sox

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   1. philly Posted: February 15, 2013 at 10:34 AM (#4370205)
“I actually like being the underdog,” said Lucchino, who then compared his club with the rebuilt, back-in-business Toronto Blue Jays, who spent a ton of money this offseason


Cot's has the Jays payroll at <115M with no huge arbitration cases coming as far as I can see. So the scrappy "underdog" Sox will be spending ~45M more tha then the go for it team that merely won the off-season trophy.


   2. jmurph Posted: February 15, 2013 at 10:36 AM (#4370206)
It continues to be true that Larry Lucchino needs to shut up.
   3. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: February 15, 2013 at 10:39 AM (#4370208)
I don't think there is any argument that the Sox aren't an underdog this year. Most predictions and projections are putting them 3rd/4th and out of the playoffs. I don't really give a damn about the "scrappy underdog" thing or anything like that but the Sox sure as hell ain't favorites (nor should they be). You're either a favorite or an underdog and the Sox certainly have no reason to be considered the former.

More importantly to me I hope the Sox do have a chip on their shoulder. After going 69-93 I'd like to think they're kind of embarrassed and pissed off.
   4. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 15, 2013 at 10:42 AM (#4370209)
The Red Sox have less talent than the Yankees, Blue Jays, or Rays. The Red Sox are projected to win fewer games than the Yankees, Blue Jays, or Rays. By one perfectly normal accounting, the Red Sox are clearly underdogs.

Of course, the Red Sox are underdogs because they have, since 2010 or so, systematically squandered a variety of significant structural advantages which they still hold over most other clubs in baseball. So there's that, too.
   5. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 15, 2013 at 11:08 AM (#4370220)
“scrappy underdogs”


At least Lucchino gets the last 15 letters right.
   6. salvomania Posted: February 15, 2013 at 11:37 AM (#4370233)
After going 69-93


I was surprised to see this---I didn't realize that they were that bad last year!!

That's a record I would normally associate with the Cubs or Royals. Has any megapayroll (top 3, say) team in baseball, in any era, been so awful?
   7. JJ1986 Posted: February 15, 2013 at 11:46 AM (#4370244)
Has any megapayroll (top 3, say) team in baseball, in any era, been so awful?


1992 Mets went 72-90. I'm not sure if the 1993 Mets were top 3, but they went 59-103.
   8. Jason Michael(s) Bourn Identity Crisis Posted: February 15, 2013 at 11:46 AM (#4370245)
"You may have acquired 3 good-to-great starting pitchers, a batting title-winning shortstop, and a batting title-winning outfielder - but we got your manager, Beeston!"
   9. Ellis Valentine's Bright Future Posted: February 15, 2013 at 11:47 AM (#4370246)
The Marlins had the exact same record last year, but they were only 7th in payroll.
   10. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: February 15, 2013 at 11:58 AM (#4370252)
I was surprised to see this---I didn't realize that they were that bad last year!!


Yeah it was ####### awesome. I honestly don't think I've ever rooted for a team in any sport for a season that was so miserable, particularly once Middlebrooks got hurt. There was just nothing to be excited about. At least when other teams have had bad years you had some draft pick excitement, the Bruins nabbed Joe Thornton and Sergei Samsonov in the same draft, the Celtics had hopes of Tim Duncan and (tee-hee) Greg Oden in a couple of seasons, even the Dolphins (yes, really) always have the hope of an exciting pick. The baseball draft doesn't offer the same immediacy and the Sox didn't really have young players at the big level inspiring much hope (the farm was great at least).

The one thing I learned from last year is that the idea that there is no difference between 69-93 and 81-81 is flat out wrong, at least as a fan. 81-81 you've got some decent players and you aren't that far away. Being absolutely atrocious is just misery.
   11. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: February 15, 2013 at 12:15 PM (#4370265)
Has any megapayroll (top 3, say) team in baseball, in any era, been so awful?
The 2003 Mets led the National League in payroll and were second in losses (66-95). Overall, they were second in payroll and only three times (Rays, Padres and Tigers) lost more games. I think that's the standard for terrible high payroll teams.
   12. Nasty Nate Posted: February 15, 2013 at 12:16 PM (#4370266)
I honestly don't think I've ever rooted for a team in any sport for a season that was so miserable, particularly once Middlebrooks got hurt. There was just nothing to be excited about.


I had tickets to a game late in the season and I didn't want to go - and I literally couldn't give them away.
   13. bobm Posted: February 15, 2013 at 12:32 PM (#4370273)
I'm not sure if the 1993 Mets were top 3, but they went 59-103.

#2 in NL. #5 in MLB.


http://content.usatoday.com/sportsdata/baseball/mlb/salaries/team/1993
   14. What Zupcic? Posted: February 15, 2013 at 12:44 PM (#4370277)
As the scrap-meter goes, the Sox are probably up there, right? At least compared to year past version of the Sox... Ciriaco, Victorino and Gomes are all fairly scrappy. Dempster, as an old dude with a beard, is about as scrappy as pitchers get. Daniel Nava's career is probably pictured next 'scrappy' in the dictionary and, of course, Pedroia is the Ace of Scraps in my hustle themed deck of cards.
   15. Nasty Nate Posted: February 15, 2013 at 12:51 PM (#4370281)
Lucchino's comments also included an acknowledgement that the sellout streak is probably soon-to-end. The last game not sold out at Fenway was in 2003 against the Rangers and featured an appearance from a future Cy Young award winner and Bill Mueller playing 2B and Mark Teixeira playing outfield.
   16. Dale Sams Posted: February 15, 2013 at 01:03 PM (#4370284)
systematically squandered a variety of significant structural advantages


And one advantage they do (did) have -the ability to overspend- they seem determined to curtail. For better or worse.
   17. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 15, 2013 at 01:08 PM (#4370288)
And one advantage they do (did) have -the ability to overspend- they seem determined to curtail.
They're spending right up to the luxury tax threshold. In previous seasons they've been willing to go over it by $5M or so. This is a very minor change.
   18. Nasty Nate Posted: February 15, 2013 at 01:11 PM (#4370290)
They're spending right up to the luxury tax threshold. In previous seasons they've been willing to go over it by $5M or so. This is a very minor change.


No, because of Liverpool and hedge funds and the Punto trade they are now a small-payroll team despite having a high payroll.
   19. JJ1986 Posted: February 15, 2013 at 01:49 PM (#4370307)
an appearance from a future Cy Young award winner


Dickey?
   20. Nasty Nate Posted: February 15, 2013 at 01:58 PM (#4370314)
Dickey?


yep

I was going to say that the Rangers' offense was impressive, featuring Teixeira, Mike Young, A-Rod, Palmeiro, Carl Everett, Juan Gonzalez, an effective Blalock, but the team as a whole had only a 96 OPS+. That shows how high the scoring environment was. Colby Lewis had a winning record despite a 7.30 (!) ERA.
   21. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: February 15, 2013 at 03:06 PM (#4370341)
It was in Niagara Falls. Niagara Falls!
   22. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: February 15, 2013 at 03:12 PM (#4370343)
I'm sure I'm outing myself as woefully uncool but I don't know who that woman in the picture is but she is creeping me the hell out.
   23. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: February 15, 2013 at 03:17 PM (#4370344)
I'm sure I'm outing myself as woefully uncool but I don't know who that woman in the picture is but she is creeping me the hell out.

I sure dint know either, until I google-imaged it
   24. Dale Sams Posted: February 15, 2013 at 03:22 PM (#4370347)
Re: The Toradol 'scandal'..(sorry that thread is long buried) So the guy fired after season is that little short guy who would come out to the mound with the skipper? That sucks.
   25. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: February 15, 2013 at 03:54 PM (#4370358)
No, because of Liverpool and hedge funds and the Punto trade they are now a small-payroll team despite having a high payroll.

karlmagnus' secret identity: finally revealed.
   26. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 15, 2013 at 04:02 PM (#4370363)
Re: #22, #23--
Underdog Lady is one of the eternal shining stars in Howard Stern's rotating universe of damaged loons. You can keep Mount Rushmore, I'll take Underdog Lady, Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf, Eric the Actor and Sour Shoes.
   27. jack the seal clubber (on the sidelines of life) Posted: February 15, 2013 at 04:48 PM (#4370385)
Lucchino reminds me of this kid I used to play one on one basketball with. Every time we played he'd go on and on about, I have no chance; it's a mismatch; I just hope I score once, etc. The idea was that it would put more pressure on me to win.. and then if he won, it would be the 1969 Mets all over again.

What it really did was make me want to kick his as$ even more.

The Red Sox are underdogs like the Lakers are underdogs. You can't spend millions and millions of dollars stupidly and then turn around and claim that you are "scrappy". Like Andy says, take off the first letter of that and you have it right.
   28. FrankM Posted: February 15, 2013 at 04:55 PM (#4370390)
"You may have acquired 3 good-to-great starting pitchers, a batting title-winning shortstop, and a batting title-winning outfielder - but we got your manager, Beeston!"

I think most Blue Jays fans would consider the part after the "but" as qualitatively similar to the part before.
   29. Nasty Nate Posted: February 15, 2013 at 05:04 PM (#4370396)
The Red Sox are underdogs like the Lakers are underdogs.


Wrong. Before the season the Lakers were one of the teams given the best chance to win the championship by predictors and gambling linesmakers. They were a favorite. The Sox are not even close to that, thus they are underdogs. That's what underdog means, it does not necessarily mean some lovable underrated team or person.

ou can't spend millions and millions of dollars stupidly and then turn around and claim that you are "scrappy". Like Andy says, take off the first letter of that and you have it right.


I agree.
   30. Tripon Posted: February 15, 2013 at 05:46 PM (#4370422)
I really dislike it when a middle manager like Larry Lucchino feels like he can speak to the media as the 'voice' of the organization. Makes him seem more important than he really is.
   31. Nasty Nate Posted: February 15, 2013 at 06:09 PM (#4370433)
I really dislike it when a middle manager like Larry Lucchino feels like he can speak to the media as the 'voice' of the organization.


Unfortunately, in this case, it is not him feeling like he can do it, it is an explicit part of his job.
   32. Bob Tufts Posted: February 15, 2013 at 07:01 PM (#4370464)
middle manager


In what bizarro world is a President/CEO a middle manager?
   33. ptodd Posted: February 15, 2013 at 07:32 PM (#4370474)
Actually, Larry is playing to the hard core fan base. The hard core fans as opposed to the pink hats have long been far more comfortable as underdawgs, his million dollar marketing report may have spelled that out for him. I remember Papelbon spoiling the 2007 World Series by referring to the Red Sox as upperdawgs at some point during the playoffs. Didn't even watch the end of game 4 of the World Series, so disgusted I was that my team was an upperdawg, just like the Yankees and the Evil Umpire. I fell asleep, a fitful one at that.

Now that we are officially underdawgs I will run out and buy many tickets to keep the sell out streak alive.
   34. Tripon Posted: February 16, 2013 at 12:23 AM (#4370569)
I am beginning to believe that ptodd is a sock puppet for a regular user to tweak Red Sox fans.
   35. DFA Posted: February 16, 2013 at 03:33 AM (#4370600)
2014 is gonna be awesome when the Yankees cast aside all their tattered rags to rise from the earth like the Jesus. I can't say for sure, but I think Jesus would support the little guy, like Brett Gardner!

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