Red Sox CEO/president Larry Lucchino, on his weekly WEEI appearance on Thursday, responded to a Boston Herald report that only four Red Sox players attended Johnny Pesky's funeral on Monday in Swampscott, despite the fact that the team hired buses to take players and staff members from Fenway Park to the church (David Ortiz, Clay Buchholz, Vicente Padilla and Jarrod Saltalamacchia were seen at the funeral).
The story noted that most of the players showed up for Josh Beckett's Beckett Bowl later that night.
“I think the people who knew Johnny best came to it. Our players had the chance on Tuesday night to participate in the ceremony on the field. They all willingly and enthusiastically participated on that day. And then there’s going to be another memorial service. So I think it’s unnecessary to focus on that issue.”
He noted that the players arrived home from their weekend series in New York “at about 4 in the morning the night before, [and] the buses left at 11 in the morning. They were designed primarily for the front office. The buses were pretty full.”
(To hear Ryen Russillo and Jonathan Coachman on ESPN Radio discuss the lack of a player turnout at the funeral, CLICK HERE.)
Lucchino also talked about his team's dismal season and emphasized that the Red Sox will spend the offseason looking “under every rock" in trying to determine what went wrong.
“I think we’ll examine all options, absolutely,” he said. “It’s not a question of fine-tuning, it’s a question of looking back to the fundamental things … the approach, and the on-base percentage, we’ll be concerned about that. The physical things, we will be concerned about. Do we have the right kind of system in place? When we won in 2004, our starting pitching pitched every opportunity they had. There was not a break. All five pitchers remained healthy and made their respective starts. …. So you need to build it all on pitching, and we’ll focus heavily on that. But we’ll look at everything.”
Lucchino said that no one person should be blamed for the “disappointing season, below our expectations to be sure,” and that the ownership group, front office, manager and players have had a part in the team’s 59-65 record.
Some other interesting comments:
On the firing of pitching coach Bob McClure: “This is a performance-driven business, and the instability of the starting pitching, the ineffectiveness of the starting pitching, has been our basic problem. Put that next to the epidemic of injuries and I think those are the two obvious points that one would turn to. … Now in retrospect should we have done it earlier, perhaps. But we did it when we came to the conclusion that the performance did not justify his remaining in that job.”
On whether the team is focused on 2013, instead of the 2012 season, at this point:
"Well, I think we're doing both. ... We want to play interesting, competitive baseball every time we take the field. So we are playing absolutely for this year and to finish strong, and to show some resilience and to see some performances improve. We're also keeping more of an eye on 2013."
On whether the Red Sox will be big sellers at the August trade deadline:
"It's much harder to do anything in August because all 29 other teams have an opportunity to interfere with the process, so I can't promise that anything will happen. I will tell you that we constantly look and are continuing to look."