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DAN SHAUGHNESSY

Sox brass will wait, then decide

NEW YORK -- A reflective Larry Lucchino said yesterday that the Red Sox will have no word about the future of manager Grady Little until after the World Series is over.

"We don't have any decision to announce," said the Sox CEO from his home in Boston. "We're going to take some time this week to review the season. Tom [Werner], John [Henry], Theo [Epstein], and I will talk. That's all that's appropriate to say now.

Part of the reason for the delay is the request of commissioner Bud Selig that teams refrain from making major announcements during the World Series. "Having just had issues with Major League Baseball last week [the Sunday night `Three Amigos' press conference at Fenway], we want to be mindful of baseball regulations," said Lucchino.

Lucchino was sitting in a box seat adjacent to the Sox bench when Boston's three-run lead imploded in the eighth. Was the CEO tempted to tell his manager to take Pedro Martinez out of the game?

"I didn't find myself yelling advice of any type," said Lucchino. "I was just sitting there holding my breath."

Did the idea of yanking Pedro cross his mind?

"No comment. I'm not going to answer that."

Does he think his manager is too damaged to return?

"In the eyes of certain people, he may be, but we don't make front office decisions based on a referendum of the fans. I don't feel comfortable talking about fan reaction. There's always a severe emotional reaction."

Lucchino was among those who reacted emotionally.

"After that loss I vowed not to watch the World Series or eat solid food until the World Series was over," he said. "I have broken both vows. But I can report that every restaurant in Boston was jammed Saturday night. Everyone in town went out. I've started to take food orally again. I'm on the road to recovery.

"Before Game 7, I braced myself for triumph or disaster. But it's become a little more painful as I get a better sense of how unbelievably close we came. I've lived with other disappointments in my life and I'll live with this, too. With a little heartache. The weather outside now feels like the depths of fall, a metaphor for the baseball season -- cold and over for us."

In the long, dark days since the loss, he has heard the voices of an angry Nation.

"Everyone is at their computer e-mailing me and John. It's inspiring that people feel so strongly about Red Sox issues, and yes, many have offered their opinion on managerial matters and I know the talk shows are having a field day."

Talk shows are a sore spot for Little, and it started long before last weekend. When Little was taking heat in September, he became agitated when Lucchino said, "Today wouldn't be a good day for you to listen to the talk shows."

"I told Larry that I don't listen to those shows and I don't like people who do listen to them," Little said while sitting in his office back in mid-September.

Little was back home in North Carolina yesterday. Lucchino will be in his Fenway Park office today.

"I admire those who have a little more perspective on the year we had," said Lucchino. "But if one more person in my family tries to console me, I'm going to strangle them."

Lucchino's wife, Stacey, carried a good-luck charm throughout the playoffs -- a miniature pool ball, No. 11. Larry and Stacey consider 11 their lucky number. Before each ALCS game, Stacey had someone deliver the marble-sized ball to Little, who would handle it for good luck.

"I'm going to hold onto it," Stacey said yesterday. "What else would I do? Do you want me to drive over it? I don't know. Maybe it"s cursed.

"No, wait," she said. "Larry says we don't believe in curses." . . .

I have never met Spike Lee. Doesn't matter. Like everyone else at the World Series, he feels free to walk up to me and make a comment about the Red Sox.

"They committing suicide up there in Boston still?," said the smiling director in a corridor of Yankee Stadium before last night's game.

It's typical. Everyone has a remark. It usually starts with "What was Grady thinking?"

Game stories in yesterday's New York papers contended that the Yankees were flat in Game 1 because they were sapped of all fire in the Boston series. The Yankee Stadium crowd was certainly not in the first game. The most noise was generated when they showed a replay of Aaron Boone's homer against the Red Sox.

When it was learned that Little said he'd received phone calls from four big league managers, all telling him they'd have made the same non-move, there was speculation about who might have backed Little.

I'm betting on Darrell Johnson, John McNamara, Jimy Williams, and Don Zimmer.

Dan Shaughnessy is a Globe columnist. His e-mail address is dshaughnessy@globe.com.

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