Red Sox: Most talk still focused on 2012 issues

Adrian Gonzalez says that he had issues with Red Sox management during his time with the franchise.
Adrian Gonzalez says that he had issues with Red Sox management during his time with the franchise.

Although the 2012 Red Sox season has been over for five months, it still is a major topic of discussion as the team prepares for 2013.

Former Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, who was part of the blockbuster trade with the Dodgers last August, gave his thoughts on his time with Boston Thursday.

“Chemistry is something you need to have among the players but also with the owners, the coaches and the front office. It needs to be complete,” Gonzalez told USA Today. “In Boston we had great chemistry among the players — we loved each other, we were together — but that was only among the players. It wasn’t there with the rest. That’s why the team didn’t win. It needs to be an organization-wide thing.”

Gonzalez’s comments seemed to take a shot at the Red Sox front office. CEO Larry Lucchino was already scheduled to speak with the media, so naturally he was asked to respond to the accusations. He didn’t have much to say.

“It’s hard for me to interpret what he was saying. I haven’t seen it before. It sounded pretty general,” Lucchino said to reporters in Fort Myers. “He could have been referring to coaches, managers, front office people. I’m not going to comment on the possibilities. I really don’t know. I have great fond feelings for him and I wish him great good luck where he is. I really don’t see it as an overall acquisition against the franchise.”

Lucchino also touched on another major storyline involving the 2012 team, but not something which took place on the field.
The Red Sox finished the season with their 793rd straight sell out, dating back to May 15, 2003. The streak’s validity has been heavily scrutinized, especially during the end of last season. The Sox CEO acknowledged the streak will likely come to an end this season, most likely in April.

“It’s going to rest in peace, I think, sometime in April I suspect. That’s not such a terrible thing,” said Lucchino. “It’s an extraordinary accomplishment.”

He added: “There are some media outlets that have taken a different definition and suggested some kind of chicanery on our part, that we somehow cooked the books. That implication is unfair and wrong. We’re still going to fill this ballpark with lots of people a lot of times. Having set the record will always be a source of pride for our franchise and for the fans.”
Despite being predicted to finish last in the AL East by many, Lucchino isn’t concerned.

“I actually like being the underdog,” Lucchino said. “The fact that the media and the sports pundits pick us in the lower reaches of the American League East is in some ways challenging and comforting to me. It wasn’t that long ago [Spring Training of 2011] when some people in this room talked about the greatest team of all time, a 100-victory season and all of that. They were wrong then and many of them are wrong now.”

One issue in 2012 was the lack of members of the team and organization acknowledging something was wrong. Lucchino’s tone and message Thursday was much different, which hopefully in turn translates to different results on the field in 2013.

Follow Metro Boston Red Sox beat writer Ryan Hannable on Twitter: @hannable84.


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