Are Red Sox shifting away from Larry Lucchino?
Picked-up pieces while waiting for the water surge into our homes when the ice dams melt . . .
■ Is Larry Lucchino losing a power struggle at Fenway? In September of 2011, John Henry famously told 98.5 The SportsHub, “Larry Lucchino runs the Red Sox.’’ This is how it’s been since Henry’s group bought the team in 2001, but rumblings at Fenway and throughout baseball indicate that the chain of command at Yawkey Way may be changing. Lucchino turns 70 in September and there appears to be a subtle shift in the governance of the Red Sox. Ever-marginalized club chairman Tom Werner is always looking for more power, but the greater threat to Lucchino at this hour may be coming from Sox limited partner Michael Gordon. The most silent of silent partners, Gordon was delivered to the Red Sox by commissioner Bud Selig in 2001. Since the New York Times sold its shares in the Sox, Gordon has become the second-largest shareholder in the team. He is Henry’s point person in Liverpool, and also has been assuming more power with the Fenway Sports Group, and the Red Sox. Lucchino broke his collarbone and a few ribs in a motorcycle spill in California last week. Contacted over the weekend, the Sox CEO declined to respond to questions when asked about a potential departure or change in his longstanding role with the Sox. Henry, who also owns the Globe, did not respond to an e-mail from this correspondent. Stay tuned.
■ Four possibilities when the Wells Report is released: 1. The NFL has nothing and rightfully apologizes to the Patriots. 2. The NFL determines that the Colts doctored the footballs and punishes Indy. 3. The NFL determines that the Patriots doctored the footballs. New England is sanctioned and disgraced. 4. The league says footballs were below PSI requirements but can’t establish how this happened. Deflategate becomes an unfortunate footnote. Doors 1, 2, and 3 would be wildly controversial, but I’m betting Roger Goodell winds up standing behind door No. 4.
■ The MBTA’s recent performance sure makes one believe we’re ready to handle the 2024 Summer Olympics.
■ Skull-imploding, let’s-take-all-the-joy-out-of-sport analytic folks are trying to tell us that — when you really look at it — Pete Carroll made a pretty nifty decision with that slant pass into traffic from the 1-yard line in Super Bowl XLIX. No! It was, and probably always will be, the dumbest call in the history of sports. That distinction takes nothing away from Malcolm Butler or the Patriots’ brilliant preparation. Yankees fans in 2003 did not cry foul when Hideki Matsui, Jorge Posada, and Co. were barely credited with heroic hits off Pedro Martinez in the eighth inning of Game 7 of the ALCS. No. The story was that Pedro should have been lifted by Grady Little. Just as the story here is that the Patriots should have been defending a run by Marshawn Lynch.
■ Aren’t the Bruins due for another verbal spanking from Charlie Jacobs? It worked last time.
■ In Vegas and everywhere else, the 2015 Red Sox continue to be the greatest last-place juggernaut in hardball history. It’s amazing. The team finished dead last in 2014, but there are no roster spots open and most of the experts favor the Sox to win the AL East.
■ Best trivia question ever: Name four institutions of higher learning that can claim a Super Bowl-winning quarterback and a US President (answer below).
■ Sorry, I don’t see how baseball can legislate against defensive shifts.
■ After two decades of feuding with the late Tom Menino, the Krafts are taking a page out of the Red Sox playbook and sucking up to the new mayor.
■ Hmmm. Nine Duck Boat parades in this century. Anybody remember 1986, when we were so pathetic we actually had a parade to honor the team that lost the World Series in the most ghoulish fashion imaginable?
■ Julian Edelman in Sunday’s New York Times, when asked if he was concussed in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl after being hit by Seattle safety Kam Chancellor, answered, “Due to our team policy, I can’t discuss that.’’ Nice. Good message for the youth of America.
■ I don’t know about you, but when I’m driving north on the Expressway, toward the O’Neill Tunnel, and look to my right and see those tow lots near Widett Circle, I’m always thinking, “There’s midtown.’’
■ Former Celtic champion Leon Powe and Marshawn Lynch were basketball teammates at Oakland Technical High School in California.
■ Listen to Pete Carroll in the NFL Films’ Super Bowl presentation and the last words you hear from Pete are . . . “Oh no!!!’’
■ For those who were there, it’s impossible to watch an NBA All-Star Game national anthem without thinking of Marvin Gaye’s classic rendition delivered at the 1983 game at the Fabulous Forum in Los Angeles. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar compared it to the Jimi Hendrix anthem at Woodstock.
■ Marty Walsh’s “joinder agreement” with the USOC — prohibiting him from disclosing Olympic information with any third party — is one more red flag reminding us why Olympics are best suited for autocratic societies.
■ Let’s be clear about one thing regarding Pedro Martinez as we prepare for his Cooperstown coronation in July: Like all of us, Pedro had a few bad moments, but he did nothing wrong when he was charged by Don Zimmer during the 2003 ALCS. That one was on Zim, all the way. It looked bad when Zim tumbled to the ground, but Pedro had no choice but to shuck the charging Zimmer to the turf.
■ Knowing he needs season-ending knee surgery, overrated ballhog Carmelo Anthony planned to play in the NBA All-Star Game Sunday night. Kinda reminds you of Larry Bird, no?
■ Daydreaming in my office at 135 Morrissey Boulevard, I sometimes close my eyes and imagine I am sitting at the finish line of the 100-meter final in the 2024 Boston Olympics. I mean, it doesn’t have the charm of that tow lot in “Midtown,’’ but the Globe might make a swell site for that 80,000 seat “temporary” stadium.
■ Did they need the Jaws of Life to pry that Lombardi trophy from Jonathan Kraft’s hands at the end of the parade?
■ Kudos to Tommy Heinsohn for making the Basketball Hall of Fame for a second time, this time as a coach. Too many younger fans think of him only as Fred Flintstone berating NBA officials on Comcast SportsNet. Tommy was a great NBA player and coach.
■ Trivia answer: Michigan — Tom Brady and Gerald Ford; Navy — Roger Staubach and Jimmy Carter; Stanford — Jim Plunkett, John Elway, and Herbert Hoover; Miami of Ohio — Ben Roethlisberger and Benjamin Harrison. If Chris Christie ever wins the Oval Office, he’ll make Delaware (Joe Flacco) the fifth school.