Feb. 21, 2012
BOSTON — The 2012 Red Sox season officially got under way Monday as pitchers and catchers completed their first workout at the team's new spring training facility in Fort Myers, Florida. Sox president/CEO Larry Lucchino talked to WGBH News about the team's prospects, players and new management.
One player noticeably absent from camp is longtime team captain Jason Varitek. Varitek's last two seasons were cut short by injuries: He played in just 39 games in 2010 and 68 last year. The soon-to-be 40-year-old free agent has been offered a minor league contract and a chance to make this year's team. However, sources close to the catcher say he's leaning toward retirement instead.
Red Sox president and CEO Larry Lucchino said that either way, he sees Varitek in the Red Sox' future.
"He's been a tremendous leader on this team, a guy who bleeds Red Sox red," he said. "His loyalty to the organization is second to none and whatever he does, we're going to try to keep him a part of the Red Sox organization going forward."
While some have lowered their expectations for the home team in the wake of the turbulent off-season, Lucchino is not one of them, saying today that his expectations for this year's club couldn't be higher.
"Last year we were everybody's heavy favorite but this year we are a bit of an underdog and I think our players have something to prove. I think our whole organization has something to prove," he said. While some would be cowed, Lucchino was quite the opposite: "I anticipate this season more than any I can remember."
The Red Sox open the regular season in Detroit on Thursday, Apr. 5, in an afternoon game against the Tigers.
Hear further thoughts from Lucchino on "The Emily Rooney Show."