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Henry “Never Had To Make A Choice” Between Bringing Back Lucchino Or Epstein

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Larry Lucchino and John Henry talk with the media during Spring Training February 19, 2011 in Fort Myers, Florida. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)

Larry Lucchino and John Henry talk with the media during Spring Training February 19, 2011 in Fort Myers, Florida. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)

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Boston Red Sox

BOSTON (CBS) – Larry Lucchino has worked side-by-side with Red Sox ownership since they purchased the team in 2002, and John Henry said he plans on keeping it that way.

In a surprise appearance on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Felger & Mazz on Friday, Henry acknowledged that the contract for Lucchino, the team’s president and CEO, runs up at the end of the year.

Henry said he expects Lucchino to remain with the franchise for years to come, despite the fact Lucchino and ownership have not negotiated a contract extension yet.

“Tom (Werner) and I… have never run the Red Sox. We wouldn’t need Larry, and Larry wouldn’t be here if we ran the Red Sox. We have one of the best CEO’s in sports,” Henry said.

Henry added that they have spoken with Lucchino about a new contract in the past.

“A year ago, we talked about how much longer Larry wants to continue,” said Henry. “I think we were in baseball meetings, Tom and Larry and I met about it, and we effectively agreed on going x amount of years out.”

Henry said that while Lucchino “hasn’t set a time or a date” to end his tenure with the team, GM Theo Epstein did. Epstein, who has agreed in principle to become the Chicago Cubs’ new general manager, has been the Sox GM since 2002.

Henry On Lucchino Contract

“(Epstein) never saw the general manager’s role as longer than 10 years for himself. I mean, maybe he did early on, but certainly after a few years, he knew that the stress of this job was too much,” said Henry. “In Larry’s case, I think he thrives on it.”

Henry dispelled the notion that Lucchino and Epstein did not get along, and said the team “never had to make a choice between” keeping one or the other.

“Tom and my role is to have the best management possible. When you talk about, ‘Have you lost interest?,’ that hasn’t happened. We’ve had great management. Tito and Theo brought… 2 World Series here. Arguably the best general manager in my mind, and the best manager, and it’s just really a sad day to see them both leaving,” said Henry.

The Red Sox have won two World Series championships (in 2004 and 2007) in 10 years with Lucchino at the helm.

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