Red Sox president Sam Kennedy checked in with Ordway, Merloni & Fauria on Wednesday morning, following Tuesday’s press conference in which the team announced John Farrell will return as manager. To hear the interview, go to the OM&F audio on demand page.
Kennedy supported Tuesday’s decision on Farrell, saying, “I think he’s the right guy to continue to lead this franchise.”
However, Kennedy was unclear where the team stands on Farrell’s 2018 option. President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said Tuesday that it would be ownership’s call.
“Dave will make a recommendation to ownership, and I have a seat at that table. We’ll talk about that in the coming days, to be sure,” Kennedy explained. “He knew he was going to get that question [about Farrell’s future] yesterday, again, right after a tough loss, and just wanted to address what we all knew, which was John will be back next year. [Dombrowski] will sit down and talk with us, specifically John Henry and Tom Werner, about a lot of these operations issues that we’re facing now in the immediate aftermath of going out in the postseason, including John Farrell’s option. So that will be discussed. But there’s a lot of other decisions that have to be made as well. Some will be recommendations from Dave, and some will just be firm decisions that he’s empowered to make on his own.”
Looking at the team’s disappointing performance in the ALDS, Kennedy said he can’t pinpoint a clear reason for the sweep at the hands of the Indians.
“What makes this the best baseball market on the planet is that we’d all love to try and point to one or two specific things,” Kennedy said. “I know my dad, for example, has his theories. He didn’t like the night in New York, after clinching the division and losing that awful game against the Yankees. Others may be quick to point to celebrations for David Ortiz.
“Look, if I knew what caused such a struggle with the bat in the postseason and not pitch our best, I’d probably be doing something else for a living, because I can’t point to a specific incident other than we just fell short of expectations. It was incredibly frustrating to watch those three games, because we felt we were positioned for a deep postseason run. At the end of the day, we didn’t get it done. I tip my cap to Terry Francona and [team president] Chris Antonetti and everyone at the Cleveland Indians. They beat us, and we have to tip our cap to them, as painful as it is to do that.”
Regarding the Ortiz celebrations, Kennedy said he didn’t believe they had a big effect on the team.
“I think it’s hard to argue that the team was distracted or exhausted by anything that happened, other than the sort of normal grind of the 162-game season,” Kennedy said. “I think the reception for David was incredibly emotional, it was great to have his teammates from ’04 and ’07 and ’13 come back, and I think this franchise and this city really owed David Ortiz a proper sendoff and recognition. I think if anything it may have caused an inspiration to remember what’s like to get to the mountaintop, seeing those World Series trophies there on Sunday.
“But look, no excuses, we didn’t get it done, we fell short. But I absolutely maintain that David Ortiz deserved the sendoff that he got.”
Following are more highlights from the conversation. For more Red Sox news, visit the team page at weei.com/redsox.
On if David Price will have trouble being accepted by Red Sox fans following his postseason flop: “I think he’ll tell you that he was disappointed by his performance. One of the things that has been nice to see about David Price is his accountability and just how much he cares, how passionate he is about being around a group of guys that are coming together for a common purpose. And you’ve heard it before, and you know it’s true: You can’t judge a player signed to a long-term deal on his first year. Josh Beckett had a 5-plus ERA back in 2006; he won 20 games in 2007.
“So, look, none of us are satisfied with his season. David’s not satisfied with his season. And the only way you’re going to end that discussion is to get it done in the postseason. So we have that challenge in front of us. As frustrating and as discouraging as it is right now, we all recognize that. That’s the only way you’re going to end that discussion.”
On if there’s any possibility David Ortiz will return next season: “From all indications I think we’ve been very consistent that he’s maintained that he is done. And we’ve respected that. [Dombrowski] did say yesterday that he would imagine that he would be a part of the organization moving forward. That’s certainly our hope and our intention. There’ll be plenty of time to have those discussions. I think right now we’re all just sort of trying to regroup from what happened in this American League Division Series.
“David Ortiz, I’ve said it and some people have been on me about it, but I maintain that he is the most important player in the history of the Red Sox. I’ve never said he’s the most talented baseball player. Certainly there’s other Red Sox greats in our history. But what this guy has meant to us on the field, in terms of the three World Series championships, and what he’s done off the field, being a guy who’s helped heal this community when we’ve needed him the most, what he’s done for kids, what he represents, he’s so important. And we hope and expect that he’ll be a part of our franchise forever. And we look forward to that. But there’ll be plenty of time to have those discussions.”