Larry Lucchino has firm hold of the reins

Larry Lucchino never left in the first place.

So if you’d like to run up the flag pole the idea that he is “back” in charge of the Red Sox [team stats]’ operation, he’s going to take out a pair of garden shears and cut the rope.

Truth is, Lucchino, principal owner John Henry and chairman Tom Werner have been in charge of running the show for the Red Sox since they arrived almost a decade ago.

They hired their second general manager less than a month ago, and now they’re taking as much time as they want before hiring their third manager.

Yes, the revelation that Bobby Valentine is a strong candidate bears the fingerprints of the big Three, especially those of Valentine’s friend, Lucchino. And yes, the timing of that revelation appears to have put new GM Ben Cherington in an awkward spot with regard to questions about secrecy and autonomy.

So it should come as no surprise that Lucchino, who has helped hire and fire managers since 1985, is taking the lead role.

“yes, John, Tom and I are active, as we are generally active this time of year with offseason activities,” Lucchino said in Milwaukee last week. “Maybe there’s a little bit more going on because we have two major personnel issues to deal with, plus related personnel matters.”

Think about it: the Red Sox’ epic collapse in September, followed by first the beer, then the fried chicken revelations, plus the departure of Terry Francona and Theo Epstein, have placed the team smack in the middle of their worst crisis since the big Three took over from the Yawkey Trust early in 2002.

The big Three are distressed at the debacle, but they look at their 10-year track record of two world championships, a sizable increase in revenues, the Fenway Park [map] upgrades and their initial hiring of Epstein and Francona as proof of their prowess at making the big decisions.

The big Three, led by Lucchino, got the Red Sox to where they are. And the big Three, led by Lucchino, will shepherd the search-and-rescue mission required for them to get out of this mess.

“the team suffered a historic collapse — it had, and has, implications — but there’s nothing that’s wrong with the Red Sox that can’t be cured by what’s right with the Red Sox,” Lucchino said.

“No question we’ve had a decade-long period of relative success, and we have an internal system of governance that’s been time-tested. We’ll find solutions to the problems that face us, I’m confident about that.

“if you’re looking at what is the governance of the club, it’s not invested in any single person. In John, Tom and me, we have people now with 40, 45 years history of running baseball teams. No one of us individually is as smart as us collectively, and we involve the GM and the senior staff in the organization. We’re optimistic about our ability to solve the problem.”

Henry’s first choice

It’s Lucchino whom Henry and Werner trust the most as a problem-solver.

Larry Lucchino has firm hold of the reins

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