Over the weekend, word got out that Larry Lucchino would be stepping down as President & CEO of the Boston Red Sox at the conclusion of the 2015 season.
Lucchino, who turns 70 next month, had been in that role since the team was bought by John Henry and Tom Werner in 2002. Lucchino had previously served under Werner when he owned the San Diego Padres and also had a similar role with the Baltimore Orioles. Lucchino’s most enduring legacy is his overseeing the renovation of Fenway Park. He was as instrumental in that as he had been in pushing the philosophy behind design of Camden Yards in Baltimore.
During his tenure, the Red Sox won three World Series. However, they are on their way to their third last place finish in the AL East in four years. Their 47-59 mark is tied with the Oakland A’s for the worst record in the American League. Red Sox COO Sam Kennedy is expected to succeed Lucchino although Michael Gordon, President of the Fenway Sports Group might have something to say about all that.
Lucchino’s departure isn’t a surprise considering his purchase of the Pawtucket Red Sox earlier this year. You could say Lucchino was demoted to the minors. There are plans to move the Sox’ long time Triple-A affiliate to Providence. But a new stadium would need to be built first.
My guess is that this is the first step of a huge overhaul. I don’t think anyone is off-limits. It would not surprise me if they fired GM Ben Cherington and manager John Farrell. It would also not surprise me if they unload big contracts like Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval and even Dustin Pedroia or decline to exercise the option on David Ortiz’s contract. In which case, things are going to get a lot worse at Fenway before they get better.