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Thu, 09/27/2012 - 8:02am  

Cherington: Manager search could change

Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington was a guest of the Dennis & Callahan show on Thursday morning. Understading Cherington wouldn't specifically address if manger Bobby Valentine would return in 2013, Gerry Callahan asked if Cherington would move quickly should the decison be made to fire Valentine.

"I'd always rather get the decision right rather than rush it," Cherington said. "But I think that what we know we need to do is hit the ground running in this offseason. One of the things, as I look back at last offseason, that didn't go perfectly was simply the amount of time that we spent on the manager search and what that did to the rest of the offseason. I would like to spend less time on it this offseason, that's for sure."

Jon Lester allowed three runs in six innings in Wednesday's defeat to the Rays, dropping his record to 9-14 on the season. With a career-worst 4.94 ERA to go with the 9-14 record, Cherington was asked what went wrong with Lester in 2012.

"Part of it is, when you're as good as he was for as long has he's been, four years in a row over 200 innings, one of the best pitchers in the league in a tough division, he's worked really hard," Cherington said. "There can be a cumulative effect to that and then you mix in a little bad luck and then Jon would admit himself that he got into some bad habits with his delivery that he has worked to address and it just hasn't come together for him completely he way he wanted, although I think he's looked better the last couple of months overall. The good news is that he's healthy, he's driven and wants nothing else more than to prove next year that he's one of the elite guys in the American League and I wouldn't bet against him."

WEEI.com reported Wednesady that Jason Varitek was "close" to agreement on a role within the Sox organization. Cherington was asked what that role might be for the former Sox captain.

"There's no one more respected in our clubhouse, really still, than 'Tek. ... My hope is that he can be a set of eyes and ears for me and we can expose him to a lot of different things, let him see what he enjoys the most, what he doesn't and we will go from there," Cherington said, who noted that the job would be an off-the-field one. "We're going to allow him to kind of get his feet wet in different areas and get to know different areas of the organization and just be someone I can call and bounce some stuff off of."

On Wednesday, David Ortiz said that he continues to hope to conclude his career with the Red Sox. Asked if he thought that would happen, Cherington sounded an optimistic tone. 

"Yeah, I do. I'm certainly hopeful of that. We're going to sit down with David and his representatives, maybe even before the season is over but certainly right after, and start talking about how to do that," said Cherington. "We went through it last year. All I know is it won't be quite the same as it was last year, because the rules have changed. But we're very hopeful he'll be back. He's a huge part of the team on and off the field."

To hear the interview click on the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page. For more Red Sox news visit weei.com/redsox.




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