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Lucky Strikes to Stop the Clark

Real rough cut from Thursday's 'Executive Report' on WEEI's Dennis and Callahan Show with. John Dennis (JD) and Gerry Callahan (GC):

JD: You're comments duly noted that performance is unacceptable to owners and management...

LL: We wanted to communicate that we've done our job, time for players and coaches to step up. 39 games left, let's not sit on our duffs here...

GC: You must feel like, you've got all the pieces...

LL: Wouldn't say we've got all the pieces, and I wouldn't overlook Bobby Howry, great last night..

GC: Still shoring things up?

LL: We met yesterday about Sept. call-ups, relief pitching, waiver wire guys

JD: What does it say about team with record in one run games, no late comebacks.

LL: There's a randomness to this game you have to recognize... the ball is small, the field is big, a lot of randomness

Stay close for seven innings and I'll think of something, hopefully that's more than a sense of bravado... I get disappointed as much as anyone, I think the game is about two out hitting, if it's not about pitching, it's about two out hitting.

JD: But when you spend $110 Million, Best players, etc. doesn't it take some of the randomness out of it?

Nothing makes mgr. look smarter is good bullpen, nothing makes mgr look dumber than bad bullpens. Very few late inning comebacks, last night's game was a good start.

GC: When your team keeps it close, has Grady done enough?

LL: That's tough, I can't fault Grady's strategic decisions at all, when Grady puts in Embree... when a guy throws one pitch? LL: Must admit that did bother me, but it's a rest issue... what's their workload...

GC: That wasn't rest, just manager inclination to go with closer in that situation.

LL: Little of both. He had pitched a couple of days, he didn't want to stretch it out.... have a little faith in the players and the coaches...

LL: I'm way into this game and the LL series, I want to make clear that we are going to celebrate the Worcester team when they come back...

JD: Value of leadership and passion, nomar last night, why 120 games into season.

LL: Quite high in every endeavor. It is mitigated to some degree with length of season in baseball, constancy... you've got to do it 6-7 games a week, nonetheless, leadership by example... I attributed a fair bit of it to Lou Merloni last night, clutch hits, playing with some intensity... "this is a big game, I'm going to play with some intensity and passion"... you need some guys wearing the uniform that get on their teammates, get on them to play a certain style... based on the different personalities we have, we need that.

LL: You're not going to get me to criticize NG, he has a certain role on this team. Least of our problems. Manny. Cal Ripken was a leader on O's for many years w/o being loud vociferous type. Nomar does his job and he does from time to time project the kind of leadership issues, he has called meetings, spoken out on team issues, it's just more private than you'll see.

LL: Ken Caminiti is not someone I have fond feelings for as far as someone who conducted his life and ended his career, but in '96 someone who led that team someone people looked up to.

GC: Love their concessions: steroids and WW draft...Americans already in the game.

LL: Glad you put it that way, there is a sense that they have given concessions... I think it's possible that a strike will be averted. The issues are not philosophical. Talking about two issues. Luxury tax 34, 34, 35%, Rev share w/ certain structure. Didn't do enough, Need to improve, enhance, fine-tune change. BRP recommended trying other avenues, compromisable. Old theory you have to destroy village in order to save it.

JD: Owners of Sox appear to be siding with players union and Yankees... argued that higher

LL: That article mischaracterizes state of affairs. We work with baseball to consider point of view of Boston Red Sox. Gross overstatement, headlines quite misleading... solid citizens of baseball world...

Callahan missed boat on Bud Selig, not a West Wing style leader, if John Wayne you're missing something. There's an effective way to lead. Selig may not suit up that way, but the work he's done to lead this industry is masterful behind the scenes.

GC: If it becomes personalities in the forefront, Fehr Orza vs. Selig, you're going lose... right.... both sides should change their guy out front, let Selig do his work behind the scenes.

LL: You do have a point there on PR.... demonization of BS is easy, cheap, and misses the point. Not the contribution he's made.

GC: How bout you? Put LL out front. LL at mike every day vs. Bud Selig. LL: A leader can be effective even if his hair is messy and his posture isn't good. Public is aware of need of reform, grown weary of ideological intensity of players leadership, escalation of salaries... public and media recognize that, let's hope player's do.

LL: In the minority, there are a few willing to burn down the village. When you fail to be competitive year to year, owners all over America writing checks every quarter. We've got a system that works for one of the 30 teams. One that can make money. Sport should be competitive and profit making. I can see how people can feel a sense of desperation. You make a significant step forward.

JD: In quiet moments, do you wonder how Player's Assn. now have a say in how you run your business?

LL: People in other sports shake their heads in puzzlement as how this player's union is so involved in everything. Back then the pendulum swung way too far b/c they've had better labor lawyers and litigators. Not best way to organize an industry, who has better labor lawyers.

LL: I don't think it has penetrated top of association like it has the rank and file. These guys are not tone deaf, they can hear the political tune, opportunity for change, sr. leadership of PA, another matter. If there is a strike, baseball is not going to just bounce back,

GC: Has Tony Clark's role with Player's Association contributed to the lack of success he's had with the Red Sox this year?

LL: Here's something I never use, "no comment"...GC: but it's not in your contract to say that... LL:  Alright then, "no commento"...

GC: Should Frankie Flynn drill one of these Harlem kids in the ass if they start moonwalking?

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