It remains unclear who will emerge as the public face of the PawSox after the death Sunday of the team’s president, Jim Skeffington. The PawSox’ proposed move to Providence is likely to be delayed, at least in the short term.
Skeffington’s death at age 73 from an apparent heart attack leaves a void for the PawSox. Holy Cross sports economist Victor Matheson said it’s hard to say which of the PawSox’ other owners will emerge to fill Skeffington’s role as a spokesman and cheerleader.
"The management group is full of other big names, very important business leaders," Matheson said, "The question is, whether any of them them wants to dedicate the amount of time and energy it would take to go through with a full stadium deal or even with a move to another community outside of Rhode Island."
PawSox spokeswoman Patti Doyle says the team is focused on honoring Jim Skeffington and grieving for him. She said there will be time to focus next week on keeping the PawSox in Rhode Island.
A wake for Skeffington will be held Friday, from 3-7 pm, at the Cathedral of SS Peter & Paul in Providence. The funeral Mass will be at the same location at 10 a.m. Saturday, Doyle said.
In related news, Joseph Azrack, the head of the I-195 Redevelopment Commission, was slated to meet in Boston Tuesday with Boston Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino.
A commission spokeswoman, Dyana Koelsch, called the meeting “informational” and said it’s not a negotiating session.
Lucchino is part of the ownership group that bought the PawSox in February.
With Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor, Azrack is the top point person for the state in talks with the PawSox about a possible move to Providence.