There’s less than a month remaining in the regular season, which means that the Red Sox and Yankees are likely more concerned about stringing together wins than they are about last month’s fireworks at Fenway Park. If not, Red Sox president and CEO Larry Lucchino is ready to engage.
“If it starts up, I’m going to look for [Yankees president] Randy Levine,” Lucchino joked on WEEI’s Dennis and Callahan on Thursday.
While Lucchino was able to look back and joke about the Aug. 18 incident in which Ryan Dempster drilled Alex Rodriguez, resulting in a five-game suspension for the Red Sox pitcher, he also noted that feuds can sometimes carry over. Lucchino hopes that isn’t the case in this instance, though.
“They’ve had some comments about the incident,” Luchhino said. “Baseball sort of has a way of allowing these things to perpetuate themselves. I hope [another incident] doesn’t happen. It’s a little different now, because each of these games matters so much. I don’t think anybody wants to ignite the other team.
“So, I don’t know what will happen. I know that what happened here was not something that was mandated or ordered or whatever. And I hope the Yankees behave the same way.”
The Red Sox have gone 11-4 since dropping their Aug. 18 game against the Yankees, while New York has since gone 11-5. The Yankees sit eight games behind the Red Sox in the AL East, but they’re only 2 1/2 games back in the AL wild card race. Neither team can afford to let extracurricular activities cloud its vision of the task at hand, even if there was a lengthy fallout following last month’s incident that included David Ortiz expressing his opinion on the matter.
“I’m rarely in the clubhouse during a game, but I happened to be in there right after that, and I did see that David was disappointed and had no problem expressing that,” Lucchino said. “But he and Dempster are very good friends. Everyone loves and respects Ryan Dempster. And I think that I’d just look to put that in our rearview mirror and focus.
“We’re in a pennant race. This is September. This is a textbook definition pennant race, where you do scoreboard-watching in the second inning and you stay up late waiting for the results of the games. We should just enjoy a September. We haven’t had this kind of pennant race with this many teams involved. If you can’t get excited by this pennant race, maybe you’re not as much of a baseball fan as you think. You shouldn’t let yourself be distracted by some of these peripheral issues.”
One thing that should help everyone move past the A-Rod incident a little more easily is that Dempster isn’t scheduled to pitch during the four-game series in New York. He earned the victory in the Red Sox’ 20-4 rout of the Tigers on Wednesday.