The Red Sox management made one message clear Thursday: The team is not for sale.
Red Sox principal owner John Henry and president and CEO Larry Lucchino both refuted a report that said the current ownership group was considering a sale of the team and had quietly discussed such a thing with potential buyers.
"A sale of any kind is so far from our thinking it hasn't even come up, apart from technical planning issues involving death or disability," Henry said. "This report is completely without foundation."
The report was published earlier Thursday by Fox Business Network, which cited multiple sources.
"Regarding unnamed sources [in the report]-- any sale discussions that may have taken place were missing three key people -- Larry [Lucchino], Tom [Werner] and me. The Sox and any of the other components of [Fenway Sports Group] are not for sale and will not be for the foreseeable future."
Lucchino spoke during an interview on WEEI Radio in Boston.
"Nonsense," Lucchino said. "[The owners] feel the same kind of competitive juices that the fans feel, that I feel. There's an opportunity here to put the team back on the track it was on for a decade. ... There has not been one word, one word of discussion regarding [a sale]. We are committed, better or worse, we are the guys to kick around."
In addition, Lucchino's wait-and-see stance regarding the future of manager Bobby Valentine remained unchanged. Lucchino reiterated that any managerial decisions will be made after the conclusion of the season.
"Hey, guys, I understand the obligatory nature of your inquiry about the manager issue, but it's getting ... it's a little tedious for you to keep asking about it, because we tend to say the same thing," Lucchino said. "All we're going to say about this issue is we'll deal with it at the end of the season, when we sit down and review the season and determine where we go from there."
Henry also discussed Valentine during a radio appearance.
"I think that when we look at what has happened this year ... I don't blame Bobby Valentine for this," Henry said. "I think that we have a lot of culpability ourselves at the highest level of the Red Sox. One of the things that we should've been looking at is how much injuries are playing a part, if not in baseball, at least in Boston ... since 2006.
"We've always been chain-of-command guys. You have the right people in place, then give them the resources to be successful. ... I think some of the criticism that we've been too hands-off at our level, obviously we're not going to make baseball decisions, but i think there's validity to some of that criticism."
While Valentine's future with the club remains to be seen, Lucchino did have a definitive answer about his own role with the team going forward. Lucchino insisted he has no intention of leaving his current job.
Instead, Lucchino said he will embrace the opportunity to help the Red Sox return to contention. After years of success on the field, bouncing back from a season in which the Red Sox never contended presents a new challenge.
"This is the place I call home," Lucchino said. "I hope to be here for the foreseeable future. I've got no plans to go anywhere else."