NEW YORK -- Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington, surveying the wreckage of a 2012 season that has his team finishing in last place in the American League with a 69-92 record entering the final game of the year, said that he is "confident" his team will be better in 2013. However, he said that he could not say with certainty when the team will return to contention.
"I'm confident we're going to be better. I'm confident we can do better. I think people are tired of hearing about how good we're going to be before the season starts," said Cherington. "We've talked a lot about that the past several offseasons and it hasn't worked out that way. I'm confident we're going to be better. I'm confident that, in time, we're going to be very good. I don't know yet whether that's going to be April 2013 or beyond or when, but I know we'll be back. This team will be back. There are too many good people here, too much strength and support at the ownership level. I'm confident this team will be back. How long it takes, I don't know, but we'll be better next year than we were this year."
Cherington said that he and the Red Sox owners have spent a considerable amount of time in recent weeks looking back on the decisions last offseason that did not work and figuring out ways to improve. The GM said that his moves in building the roster played a considerable role in his team's struggles last year.
"Starting last offseason, I made some decisions that at the year end didn’t work out. There’s no other way to put it than that," said Cherington. "I still believe in a lot of the players here, the players we acquired, but at the year end didn’t work out, and that’s on me. I didn’t do enough to help stabilize the rotation last offseason. You can parse out why or how and what we could have done and done differently, but the bottom line is that the performance of the rotation wasn’t good enough to be the team we want to be, so I didn’t do enough to help that. You can start there with the offseason. During the season, the focus shifts, obviously, and it’s a little bit more about managing the roster and trying to figure out how to make the pieces work. There’s more of a collaboration. I haven’t spent as much time on that. I’ve spent a lot more time on the personnel decisions we made and the ones that worked and the ones that didn’t work, the ones that didn’t work, why they didn’t work."
Cherington said that the team has started talking to David Ortiz and Cody Ross -- both potential free agents this winter -- about the possibility of coming back.
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We check in with Patriots special teams captain Matthew Slater on a Patriots Monday as the Patriots prepare for their fourth pre-season game, and are 10 days away from opening the 2015 season.
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