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'Wally' roughs up shocked Lucchino

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Wally' roughs up shocked Lucchino

By Gordon Edes, Globe Staff | August 4, 2007

SEATTLE -- For a few minutes, onlookers must have wondered if Wally the Green Monster was attempting career suicide.

Name another Red Sox employee with the gall to treat CEO Larry Lucchino the way the team mascot did Thursday on one of the hottest days of the year at Fenway Park.

We'll let Wally pick up the story.

"So I wanted to play a practical joke on Larry," he revealed in an exclusive e-mail yesterday. "John Henry was in on it with me. I told John to get Larry down to the field at 12:30. I put on the Wally suit (it was about 200 degrees in the suit), I walked out on the field and, after shaking a bunch of kids' hands -- isn't that what I'm supposed to do? -- I walked up to John and shook his hand.

"Then I walked up to Larry and tousled his hair. He had that look on him which said, 'What the hell are you doing?'"I then took three rubber baseballs that I had in my hand and fired them at his head. Now he was getting extremely irritated."I then went up to him, started to push him, and tousled his hair again. He said, 'What is going on with you?'

"I put up my mitts and pretended to fight him. Now he was really getting angry."

Lucchino is legendary for his temper. He's gone toe to toe with George Steinbrenner but never with a furry green mascot.

There's a first time for everything, though, and it was at that point Wally decided he'd better let Lucchino in on a secret before something happened that would cause parents to cover their crying kids' eyes.

This Wally, you see, was an impostor.

"I said to him, 'Larry, it's me! Tom!' "That would be Tom, as in Tom Werner, the Sox chairman who has made a career out of producing laughs in Hollywood and was now enjoying a big one at his partner's expense.

"I don't think Larry was as amused about the practical joke as John or me," Werner acknowledged yesterday. "I am still chuckling. I wanted to take off the Wally head, but I thought that would be breaking the Wally code.

"Boy, he was about to say to Wally, 'You are so [expletive] fired.' "

From the organization that already has given us its general manager in a gorilla suit and now an owner in a mascot's costume, a sequel would appear to be a foregone conclusion.

"All I will say," Lucchino wrote in an e-mail last night, "is that the final chapter of this dastardly deception has yet to be written." dingbat_story_end_icon.gif

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