The Red Sox are "making an effort to woo back season ticket-holders" after admitting last month sales are down 10% from the '12 season, according to Amalie Benjamin of the BOSTON GLOBE. There have been "phone banks, with interns and ticketing staffers and even" Red Sox President & CEO Larry Lucchino and 3B Will Middlebrooks "placing calls." Both VP & COO Sam Kennedy and Senior VP/Ticketing Ron Bumgarner said that the team has "made every effort to speak with season ticket-holders who have not renewed, though they acknowledged that people who told them early and definitively may not have gotten calls." Bumgarner said that the Red Sox are "in phase one of their season-ticket process." Benjamin reports they are "wrapping up contacting the current ticket-holders and will move on to offering upgrades in the next week or so." Only after they have "attempted to upgrade people will they then turn to the waiting list." The Red Sox are "hoping to get back to their season-ticket cap of 22,000 by the time the season starts." If that "doesn’t happen, prorated season-ticket packages will be sold after Opening Day, something the team has started doing only in the last couple of years." Bumgarner said that the team’s "internal polling shows 40 percent of those who declined to renew cited the economy, 30 percent said seat location, 15 percent said the team, and the final 15 percent said the value" (BOSTON GLOBE, 2/27).
NO LOSS FOR WORDS: Former Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine yesterday was introduced as the new AD at Sacred Heart Univ., and he defended his time with the team last season. He said, "I thought I did a hell of a job in Boston. I thought what had to be done there was done, except for winning a pennant -- but Connie Mack wasn't going to win with that team." Valentine is "confident his time at Fenway hasn't tarnished his legacy," despite the "losses and the messy ending." He said, "It's six months of a 62-year life. It's six months of a 42-year career in baseball. It's a blip, a little spot on the radar, as far as I'm concerned" (N.Y. POST, 2/27).