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.” Most Red Sox fans understand the Sox are trying to field a representative team this season while holding onto and nurturing a promising collection of minor leaguers they hope will emerge as big stars. The Sox could have completely tanked this season and told fans to wait until 2014; instead, they went out and spent some money for actual big league players. And you know what? If the Sox get off to a good start, and if such newcomers as Shane Victorino, Jonny Gomes and Stephen Drew contribute great catches, clutch hits and hustle on the basepaths, fans may actually look at these guys as “scrappy.” They certainly won’t see them as the dogs of last summer.
Larry Lucchino’s underdog comment doesn’t fly
Boston Herald | Feb 15