BOSTON -- Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino was at the bottom of the escalator, about to head into the 74th annual Boston Baseball Writers Award dinner, when he was asked his thoughts on the new book written by former Sox manager Terry Francona and Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy, in which they cast Lucchino in an unflattering light in numerous passages.
"I don't have any comment to make," Lucchino said. "I don't, I don't. There's your comment. I haven't read the book. I'll get around to it someday."
Dr. Charles Steinberg, who was with Lucchino, chimed in.
"He's got to read 'War and Peace' and 'Dr. Seuss' and the Kennedy book," Steinberg said. "The Harry Potter series, was that a trilogy."
"Before I read Shaughnessy," Lucchino concluded.
Francona was in the house Thursday to receive an award at the dinner for "long and meritorious service to baseball." That left Lucchino in the potentially awkward position of joining in the standing ovation for Francona.
Francona said he and Shaughnessy reached out to all three Sox owners -- principal owner John W. Henry, chairman Tom Werner, and Lucchino -- while working on the book. Lucchino and Werner agreed to be interviewed; Henry, Francona said, never responded to multiple e-mails sent by the man who managed his team to two World Series titles in eight seasons.
"I wanted it to be fair," Francona said. "I wanted it to be honest, at least through my lens.
"I don't know what happened [with Henry]. He called me in spring training last year. That was the last time I talked to him. He was full of promises, but I never heard from him again."
Francona said he received a text message from Lucchino congratulating him when he was hired to manage by the Cleveland Indians. He said he also sent a text to Lucchino when the Red Sox hired John Farrell to manage.
Asked what it would take to be reconciled with the Red Sox, Francona said:
"I don't know there needs to be like a public [reconciliation]. For whatever, Larry, I think he enjoys a good fight. I think he respects that. I don't think he holds grudges. I don't know if that's the right way to put it, but I actually talked to Larry a few times.
"Some of them were loud. Some of them were good. I respect the guy. He'll let you pick up the phone and yell at him. But I haven't talked to Tom since the day I left, and his version of the meeting [that preceded Francona's departure from the Sox] didn't jibe with mine. I never said I lost control of the team. I would never say that. I felt I lost my ability to reach some people.
"John, like I said, I tried to call and he finally called me back and then it was done. I don't think stuff like that aggravates Larry. I might be wrong, but I think he'll laugh and chuckle."
Francona, judging by Lucchino's reaction, might have been wrong. "He's right about the first part," Lucchino said, referring to enjoying a good fight. "But not [the other]. You've got to be fair."