Red Sox GM Ben Cherington, in an appearance on “MLB Network Radio channel on SiriusXM” with Jim Bowden and Casey Stern, said that his team would not reconsider its decision to commit to Daniel Bard in the rotation. While he did leave open the possibility of reconsidering the pitcher's role down the road, Cherington said that the team's 0-3 start, which included two games in which the combination of Alfredo Aceves and Mark Melancon contributed directly to the losses, would not prompt the Sox to reconsider the best usage of Bard before he makes his first start.
"Right now, he’s starting [Tuesday] for us. We made a decision this winter collectively to give him a chance to get stretched out in spring training and show us what he can do. We feel like he showed enough in spring training, enough development, to carry that into the season," said Cherington. "If he can do that and do it well, and we believe he can, then there’s a great long-term benefit to the organization. ... It’s way too early in the season to talk about changing roles or reacting off a three-game series. Ultimately, of course if things are not working deeper as we get deeper into the season, we’ll consider changes, whether that involves a pitcher inside the organization, outside the organization, different roles, etc., but for right now, Daniel’s going to start tomorrow. We’ll see how this goes, and again, we feel like there's enough talent down there to get the job done."
Asked if Bard was the best closer on the roster, regardless of his current role, Cherington suggested that it was impossible to make a definitive claim on that subject.
"Your guess is as good as mine. He's done it less at the major league level than [Alfred] Aceves and [Mark] Melancon, so I don't know the answer to that," said Cherington. "I do know that right now, he's starting tomorrow and we're committed to that and he's committed to that. ... If decisions need to be made on changing roles, moving guys in or out [of the bullpen], bringing news guys in, that needs to come a little bit later."
As for the bullpen, which has allowed 10 earned runs in 11 1/3 innings (7.94 ERA), tied for second-to-last in the majors, Cherington suggested that he remains comfortable with the personnel whom the Sox have for now.
"I think we have plenty of talented options in the bullpen that [manager Bobby Valentine] can use. I thought Bobby did a really good job, giving us a chance to win this weekend and making a lot of good decisions in-game, both on the offensive side of the ball and on the pitching front," said Cherington. "Ultimately, the guys just need to execute a little bit better. Bobby and I talked every day, including this morning, about it. There’s plenty of talent down there. We just need to execute a little bit better, maybe get a little dose of luck and those things can combine and snowball into a run of success.
"I think it’s way too early to start talking about changes and whether we have the right guys or not. There’s that old adage that you take the first couple months of the season to figure out what you are, then the next two months to fix it and the last two months watching. That’s probably too simple, especially in a place like Boston, but I think we’ve got to give these guys a little bit more time."
Cherington also cited the possibility of reinforcements from the disabled list in the form of Andrew Miller and Rich Hill in suggesting the team's comfort with its bullpen.
Other topics that Cherington addressed during the interview included:
On the 0-3 start: "We knew there would be attention on the team, attention on how we start. It's three games. i don't really even feel like we've started yet. We've played three games. It was good to see how much we fought yesterday. Guys grinded at-bats, played hard."
On the team's interest in free-agent Roy Oswalt: Cherington said that the Sox will remain in touch with the right-hander, but that he's not an immediate-term consideration. "I know he's talked to several teams. I think Roy felt like now is not the time for him to start pitching," said Cherington. "We'll keep in touch with him, but it's not something that's on the front-burner. We certainly respect the fact that he has earned the right, through what he's done in his career, to be selective in not just who he pitches for but when he pitches. He's exercising that right. We respect that. We'll keep in touch, but right now, we're really focused on the guys we have."
On his relationship with Bobby Valentine: Cherington said that he was impressed with the in-game decision-making of his manager during the first series of the season. More broadly, Cherington said that he's enjoying the give-and-take of the relationship. "Our personalities are different. I think we went into this hoping we would complement each other well. I think we are," said Cherington. "I've learned a lot from him. Hopefully he's learned some things from me. When it comes to decisions, whether it's roster decisions or whatever, and we'll have plenty of them as we go through the season, that complement will result in a good outcome.
"I want him to push me. I want him to challenge my assumptions. He's been very, very open-minded about ideas I might have, whatever they may be. If we can push back on each other and be respectful in doing it, and whatever the decision is, leave the office, leave the door behind, go out and do our jobs, that's the kind of productive relationship that I want, and I think that's the relationship Bobby wants. I don't want someone who is going to agree with me all the time. I don't think that's what he wants, either. It's been really good so far. I've really enjoyed it."
On Carl Crawford: Cherington said that Crawford is "doing well" and nearing game activity in extended spring training in Fort Myers. The GM said that Crawford has had no further setbacks since his "little minor hiccup" with his wrist in the early stages of spring training. Cherington feels that the left-fielder, who is entering the second year of his seven-year, $142 million deal, is using his injured time to positive effect.
"Though he's not having at-bats yet, lot of work in the cage, video, etc., to get that feeling back in the batter's box that he's had when he's been at his best in Tampa and in previous seasons," said Cherington. "I don't have any reason to think he's not going to be a really good player in time, once he's back and fully comfortable, gets his legs underneath him. We certainly expect that we're going to have a very, very productive left-fielder and a guy who's closer to the Tampa Bay version than the one we saw last year."
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Pete talks with The Senator, Phil Perry about the Patriots trading for Dwayne Allen, ruling out a return to New England for Martellus Bennett. They also talk about the potential future of Patriots backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo and some of the big names in NFL free agency
Pete, Thornton and Price give their final thoughts and predictions for the Super Bowl.
Gabe calls the boys to handicap one of the biggest gambling days of the year - Super Bowl 51! Gabe has all the point spread info down and gets to all of the major prop bets that interest him.
Kirk, Gerry, and Alex Reimer discuss whether or not Isaiah Thomas will win a title in Boston.
Gerry, Kirk, and Trenni react to the Celtics loss against the Suns.
The NBA trade rumor mill is beginning to swirl as the deadline approaches and Picard is ready to go! He talks about the possibility of Jimmy Butler coming to Boston, why Isaiah Thomas is not getting enough respect and the future of the Celtics.
Rob Bradford is joined by Drew Pomeranz, the Red Sox pitcher who so many are wondering if he will be able to live up the value placed on him by the Red Sox when trading away top pitching prospect Anderson Espinoza last July. Pomeranz goes into detail regarding his injury last season, the stem cell treatment he underwent in the offseason, and how he thinks things stand heading into the 2017 campaign.
Rob Bradford is joined by Tom Caron, the man responsible for guiding the ship when it comes to Red Sox pregame and postgame shows, along with various other important duties with the New England Sports Network, including offering the play-by-play for both TV and radio throughout spring training. Tom and Rob discuss a variety of topics, such as nickname conundrums, radio vs. television, criticizing the team, behind-the-scenes for the broadcasts and where the industry is going.
Rob Bradford is joined by two-time All-Star outfielder Carlos Quentin, who is attempting a comeback with the Red Sox this spring. Quentin's path back to baseball involves almost quitting the game less than a year ago, losing 40 pounds and trying to sell himself to general managers all over Major League Baseball. Quentin explains his journey, which has led him to the back fields at JetBlue Park.
Kirk shared his feelings about the afternoon show.
Curtis finally shared his feelings on Dino.
Hour 4. The promos for Tanguay’s show are definitely more interesting than the promos for Holley’s show. Michelle DuBois tipped off illegal immigrants.
HOUR 4 - The guys talked about Tuukka's rebound game last night against the Predators, Glenn had a squirrel moment when ESPN started talking about Joe Mixon, Tom Brady was compared to Kobe Bryant, and Holley says the Celtics can win the title.
HOUR 3 - Did Butler's camp screw up Butler's situation? Glenn exposes one of Fauria's verbal crutches. The guys try to come up with some new podcast names and ideas.
HOUR 2 - Fauria struggles to read the "Trending Now." Dave Dombrowski is getting defensive about the fact that all his free agent pitching acquisitions are getting injured. Hanley forgets which shoulder he hurt 2 years ago. Lou loses it when John Farrell makes up some new baseball lingo.
The NFL commissioner is claiming that he will attend the opener at Gilette Stadium next fall... does this put Deflategate to bed finally? Or will Roger find a way to duck out of his verbal commitment?
Dale, Michael and Rich Keefe discuss the Patriots off-season and it becomes a conversation about longevity for Brady and Belichick, and which will be around longer for this team.
Dale, Michael and Rich discuss our guest Michael Irvin being implicated in a sexual assault case - important to note that details are scarce at this time and no charges have been filed to this point.
Kirk Minihane, future radio hall of famer, sits down with current radio hall of famer Howie Carr. Kirk and Howie talk about Howie's latest book Kennedy Babylon. If you like famous people engaging in sex scandals, hard drug taking, and murder this is the podcast for you. Its a fascinating look at Boston's most famous family and the problems that took the family down.
Kirk Minihane, host and overlord of the morning show, brings Gerry Callahan and producers Chris and Ken into the studio to hear his show proposal. Kirk is thinking about making some changes to the morning show and wants to hear his crew's opinion.
SI's Richard Deitsch returns to the podcast to talk with Kirk about the K&C casting couch, how ESPN wimps out when they are called out for slander, what's going on with Bill Simmons, and the rise of podcasting.
Ken Laird and Chris Curtis have the Tuesday & Wednesday recap from the K&C show, including Kirk's epic rant at Dale & Holley with Keefe.
Rich Keefe is joined by Dale Arnold and Ben Kichen to preview WrestleMania 33. Is it a good card? What will be the best match? Plus Ryan Davey is in for "This Week in #DORK" with a look a couple new trailers and the always great "Black Panther Reads #DORK iTunes Reviews."
Christian Fauria and Dr Gill go over the difficulties of staying healthy through the long grind of the playoffs in the NBA and in the NHL.
Hour 2. Kirk responds to Keefe’s shot at him. Alex says America is to blame for 9/11 in Headlines. Alex says the U.S. should let as many people in as possible.More from this show
Hour 4. Trenni, Kirk, and Gerry discuss the upcoming Red Sox season. Michael Irvin is being investigated for sexual assault, again. Renee Graham, from the Globe, thinks Michael Che is right about Boston being racist.More from this show
Hour 2. Trenni, Gerry, and Kirk discuss Joe Mixon’s draft chances. A horrible hazing story from Texas is the topic in headlines. Keefe responded to Kirk (kind of).More from this show
Hour 3. Trenni battles Gerry on immigration. Joe Mixon’s future is discussed. Curtis will get a second chance at music trivia on Friday.More from this show
Hour 1. Roger Goodell is going to New England, Belichick wore the same clothes, and O’Reilly commented on Maxine Waters’ hair. Renee Graham, from the Boston Globe, thinks Boston is racist.More from this show