"I don't need to tell you how long the season is," Lucchino said. "We still have 98 percent of it left, so enough said there. Be patient."
"We're always patient," quipped Menino, "but we're passionate, too."
Celebrating its 100th anniversary this year -- which will take place on April 20, with plenty of surprises for those in attendance, Lucchino said -- Fenway Park was looking as new as it is old on Monday, when Harvard's baseball team held practice there to commemorate the first exhibition game between the Crimson and the Sox.
The field's grass was as green as ever, and the bleachers clean, with seats folded up, begging to be sat in. There aren't a ton of new amenities this year, after unveiling three new scoreboards before the 2011 season, but Lucchino assured the mayor that while the changes are less dramatic, they're still significant.
Aside from a museum's worth of Red Sox history sitting in the Royal Rooters' Club, old memorabilia is also placed throughout the ballpark. A display near Gate B includes advertisements from the 1940s and a uniform worn by an usher (the patches on the shirt boast 75-cent Fenway Franks and 55-cent ice cream -- a trust testament to its age).
Down the concourse toward the outfield, the walls are painted with quotes from former Boston mayor John "Honey" Fitz and former president Franklin D. Roosevelt, who made his final campaign speech of his political career at Fenway Park in 1944.
And while the park continues to have new additions, it seems to reek of baseball history more and more each year.
"Since the ownership has taken over, they've spent $275 million on the ballpark -- all their own money," Menino said. "I'm just proud of what this old ballpark looks like today."
Menino said he's been doing a study on the impact of Fenway Park on the Boston economy, a project he hopes to have completed by Friday. And while he once had his doubts about how long Fenway's old structure would be able to last, he said he thinks the park could stay viable for another 100 years.
But at least for right now, it's hard to imagine Boston fans will be thinking that far ahead. Their team is 0-3, with a schedule that doesn't get any easier (after the Blue Jays, the Sox have series against the Rays, Rangers and Yankees), and a home opener scheduled for Friday.
If Boston's mayor isn't worried, though, perhaps the fans could breathe a little bit easier.
"We're off to a slow start, but we're following the footsteps of [last year's] team, also who was expected to do well," Menino said. "I think it's the first three games -- you can't judge the season -- we have a lot of games after this point."