SBD/February 21, 2011/Franchises

Red Sox Owners Reconfirm Committment To Spending In Order To Win

Lucchino says ownership willing to boost payroll during season if necessary
The Red Sox last year paid around $85.5M to MLB's "revenue-sharing fund last year and an additional $1.3 million in competitive balance tax," second only to the Yankees, according to Peter Abraham of the BOSTON GLOBE. The team also has "money set aside to fund any trades that become necessary during the season." Red Sox President & CEO Larry Lucchino: "We will certainly look to make improvements if the team is in the hunt and (has specific needs). I think that's part of the obligation of ownership." The Red Sox during the offseason bolstered their payroll by signing CF Carl Crawford and agreeing to the parameters of a contract extension with 1B Adrian Gonzalez after trading for him. Lucchino said he, Red Sox Owner John Henry and Chair Tom Werner "emphasize the commitment to winning to our players. We understand that's the central purpose of this game." Abraham reports Henry, Werner and Lucchino received "a standing ovation" as they entered the clubhouse at the Red Sox player development complex yesterday, the players' "way of acknowledging the lengths ownership went to improve" the team in the offseason (BOSTON GLOBE, 2/20).

FENWAY IN GOOD SHAPE: In Boston, Steve Buckley reports the Red Sox have spent around $285M "in renovations of Fenway Park over the past decade," and the team indicated that they expect the ballpark "to be serviceable well into the 21st century." Lucchino said, "We will have Fenway Park for another 40 or 50 years. It's there, but that doesn't mean you have to be playing there 40 or 50 years. But it means that it has the life expectancy of that long. I always take 10 years off that, so I look at it and say 30 years." Buckley noted the Red Sox' owners have "made many dramatic improvements to Fenway since taking control of the team in the spring of 2002, though adhering to what Lucchino has always referred to as a 'do no harm' mantra in terms of the look and ambience of the facility, which will turn 100 years old next year" (BOSTON HERALD, 2/20).

MAKING A FUTURE PITCH: In Boston, John Tomase noted the Red Sox "would like to host a soccer friendly" involving New England Sports Ventures-owned EPL club Liverpool, but the team does not "anticipate it will happen this summer." Lucchino said that there is "similarly little urgency to get the Red Sox back overseas to play a game in England or Italy" (BOSTON HERALD, 2/20).
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Boston Red Sox, Baseball, Franchises

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