Red Sox president and CEO Larry Lucchino joined Dennis & Callahan Thursday morning to discuss Jeff Passan's report on Yahoo! Sports that Red Sox ownership held a meeting for players to vent about manager Bobby Valentine in late July.
The discussion began with Lucchino saying that Valentine would be the manager for the rest of the season, and when asked if that would unequivocally be the case, he responded, "Yes."
On the subject of Passan's story, Lucchino called the report "exaggerated and inaccurate," but didn't deny the meeting taking place. He added that such meetings -- which he called a "player roundtable" -- have been going on since the current ownership group has been in town.
"We've been doing these meeting sessions with our players since 2002," he said. "… This has been going on here in Boston for 10 and a half years, and one thing that has been consistent is we haven't talked about the content or the participants or any of the things that have been done."
Lucchino later added the following: "Whatever report came out about it is the first of its kind over 10 and a half years. More than that, the report's exaggerated and inaccurate. Beyond that, I would be violating our code or our principals if I talked about the content of it and what was said and what was not said by whom."
Lucchino did admit that the manager is usually present for such meetings, but that Valentine not being there for last month's meeting shouldn't raise eyebrows.
"Yeah we do [have the manager there] usually, but we've had meetings where the manager hasn't been present. We've had meetings where the general manager hasn't been present. We've had meetings when all of the owners haven't been present. It's mixed up, but you're right, it's normal practice to have as many of us there as possible."
Lucchino also denied an ESPN report that 17 players were at the meeting, saying, "It's never a mandatory meeting, and by the way, that number's wrong." He added that the players and ownership are still optimistic that the Sox can "absolutely" make the playoffs.
On the subject of late Red Sox legend Johnny Pesky, Lucchino thanked Red Sox fans and baseball fans throughout the country for the outpouring of support that has followed the death of the former infielder, commentator and manager.
He noted that the commissioner was "very supportive of the idea" that the Red Sox all wear No. 6 for a game. If that plan comes to fruition, Pesky's family wants the jerseys to be auctioned off for next week's Jimmy Fund radio telethon.
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