Oops! Bad choice of words for Red Sox CEO

Posted: Wednesday, November 06, 2002

BOSTON -- When they bought the Boston Red Sox, the team's new owners knew they were inheriting a legacy of futility and dumb deals -- and a fandom that's extremely sensitive about it.

Chief executive officer Larry Lucchino accidentally touched on some old wounds Tuesday when he described free agent Tom Glavine as being ''in the twilight of his youth.''

The phrase brought immediate chuckles from the assembled reporters, who remember former Red Sox general manager Dan Duquette declaring Roger Clemens ''in the twilight of his career'' when the three-time Cy Young Award winner left Boston as a free agent in 1996.

Clemens went on to win the next two AL Cy Young Awards for Toronto and a record sixth -- along with two World Series rings -- with the New York Yankees.

Asked about Glavine, the 36-year-old Atlanta Braves ace who's from nearby Billerica, Lucchino said, ''He's a strong veteran left-hander with local ties. You have to be interested in a guy like that, even though he's in the twilight of his youth.''

Given a reminder of the history of the word, Lucchino tried to retract his comment.

''Even though he's in his mid-30s, he's of interest to us,'' Lucchino corrected himself. ''But we are not interested in signing longterm deals of four or five years for pitchers. That's not a territory we're likely to get into.''

And what about bringing back Clemens, who also is eligible to become a free agent, so the most accomplished pitcher in Red Sox history could finish his career in a Boston uniform?

''I know it would be great sport for a lot of you all if Clemens came back, but that's not a high priority for us,'' Lucchino said. ''The guy's got more Cy Young Awards than fingers. If the guy can help the club, the history from before we got here is not all that pertinent to us.''

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