Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington was a guest of the Dennis & Callahan show on Thursday. Cherington was asked for his thoughts on former Sox manager Terry Francona’s book, which is at times critical of Sox ownership, particularly over the final season of Francona’s tenure.
“It seems to me the best history is written with some distance in the rear-view mirror,” Cherington said. “At some point people will look back at the period between 2004 and 2011 and it will go down as the greatest period in Red Sox history. And except for the players — the [Jason] Variteks, [Dustin] Pedroias, [David] Ortizes and [Curt] Schillings of the world — the five people who had more to do with that than anyone else was John [Henry], Tom [Werner], Larry [Lucchino], Theo [Epstein] and Tito. It seems to me, at some point, those five people will be seen in the appropriate light.”
The book details a meeting in 2010 that included Henry, Werner, Lucchino and Francona. In that meeting, Werner complained about declining TV ratings and said the team needed to win in “more exciting fashion.” Cherington, who said he has not read the book, was quick to defend the ownership group.
“The first priority, the absolute first priority, definitely including John, Tom and Larry, is to win. That’s what drives us,” Cherington said. “The first priority will always be to win and be aggressive toward winning, and that’s up to us in baseball operations to sort of manage that in a way to make good decisions, and we’ve made our fair share of mistakes and we learned from some of those mistakes. That said, any business is trying to be as good as it possibly can be and in every conceivable area. And part of that for the Red Sox is to understand our fans and what they are looking for, and there’s things we are looking for to give them what they want.”
In November of 2010, members of the Sox front office and ownership met at Fenway to look at results of a $100,000 marketing research project the team had commissioned the previous July. In the Francona book, Epstein was critical of the results, which suggested the Sox needed to add “reality-TV aspects of the game and good-looking stars,” and said the signing of Carl Crawford and trade for Adrian Gonzalez were in direct response to the study. Cherington, part of the front office at the time, was asked if this was an accurate portrayal.
“I’ll agree to disagree with Theo on this one,” Cherington said. “But if any way it contributed to poor baseball decisions it’s on us in baseball ops and it’s also on ownership for because we work together to manage the demands in Boston and manage the pressure to win and do it in a way that allows us to have success in Boston year after year.”
As for the 2013 Red Sox, Cherington concedes that perhaps the team hasn’t made any huge splashes in the free agent market, but the general manager said this team can contend in the AL East.“Maybe we didn’t make the one headline move or haven’t to this point, I think a lot of our heavy lifting is done, but I do think we’ve added strength to a lot of different areas to the roster, a lot of areas we had holes in, I think in aggregate we feel pretty good that we’re a strong, deep team with a chance to be deep in a lot of areas to match up with anyone,” Cherington said. “We think this is a team that will be very competitive, going to contend and match up with any team in the AL East. “
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price discuss the latest development at Patriots training camp. Chris says Darrelle Revis has looked great, and that his impact on the defense is actually being underplayed nationally.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price discuss Rob Gronkowski's meeting with the media on Friday. Gronk said he doesn't anticipate changing the way he plays, noting that he wants to "keep smashing and dashing."
Julian Edelman joins Merloni, Fauria, and Benz after Patriots training camp.
Jackie Mac joins the guys to discuss her thoughts on a possible mid-season tournament in the NBA, LeBron's return to Cleveland, trade rumors with the Celtics and Red Sox, and Darrelle Revis' contract situation.
Jackie MacMullan of ESPN Boston to talk about the Lebron James Saga, the possibility of Rajon Rondo being traded, and the future of Marcus Smart.
Former coach of Celtics 1st-round pick Marcus Smart, Travis Ford joins MFB to talk about what Celtics fans should expect from the strong point guard. Among other things, Coach Ford says Smart will be a hard worker, and will improve his shooting ability.
Tim Kurkjian joins the program to discuss the Red Sox options at the trade deadline.
Kevin Millar joins Merloni, Fauria, and Benz to discuss David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia's struggles, and Jon Lester's contract.
Rob Bradford is joined by WEEI.com Bruins beat writer DJ Bean, as well as Boston sports fan/blogger Turtleboy to talk all things Bruins free agency. With the B's recent moves, the conversation turns to where the Bruins might next turn and what kind of dent losing Jarome Iginla and Shawn Thornton might make.
DJ discusses Shawn Thornton's new deal, and the on going negotiations with Jerome Iginla
DJ Bean joins the program to dismiss the recent rumors that the Bruins are in discussions to trade Brad Marchand to the Sharks for Patrick Marleau
John, Gerry, and Steve DeOssie discuss Tom Brady's impact on the rest of the Patriots, plus Steve tells tales from his old days as a NFL linebacker
A whale watch boat is stranded overnight in Boston Harbor
Clay Buchholz and Felix Doubront certainly put on quite the pitching performance, as the Red Sox were trounced by the Jays. Does this change the team's approach to the trade deadline?
Christian tells a story about taking his girlfriend to see "Jersey Boys" in NYC, but he leaves out some crucial details. Luckily, she was listening and called the show to clarify exactly what kind of shenanigans he was trying to pull.
MFB discuss a Peter King article that suggests many NFL coaches and assistant coaches have felt increasing pressure over big-money fantasy football players. Christian also weighs in specifically on how his knowledge of game-plans resulted directly in him winning his first season as a fantasy football player.
The Sox lost 14-1 as Clay Buchholz and Felix Doubront both had awful performances. On the heels of the loss, rumors began to fly regarding Jon Lester and John Lackey possibly being traded.
We talk about the latest news surrounding Jon Lester and the Red Sox. Could he be dealt to the Dodgers?
We talk about four of the biggest mistakes the Red Sox have made over the past 30+ years.
We discuss the return of Rob Gronkowski, his comments to the media today, and what a healthy (or unhealthy) Gronk will mean for the 2014 Patriots.
Mut and Villani are talking about whether the Red Sox will give Jon Lester the type of contract he is looking for, or whether they might be shopping him with rumors of the Red Sox scouting Cole Hamels.
Mut and Villani are talking about the MLB All Star Game, Adam Wainwright and Derek Jeter, and what are some of the worst ideas in sports.
Sam and Zach discuss changing the format of the Podcast, the Chris Archer-David Ortiz debacle, and LeBron James being a super genius
Particularly in a year where the Red Sox have struggled while trying to integrate numerous young players into regular big league roles, accusations that Red Sox prospects are overrated -- whether by the team or writers -- have been widespread. Jim Callis of MLB.com joins the show to take stock of the matter, and to discuss the team-building impact of overrating and underrating prospects.
With the trade deadline looming, the next few days will be defined by how teams value prospects -- and their potential long-term contributions -- against big leaguers with established track records who can address immediate needs. Are prospects being valued accurately? Red Sox left-hander Andrew Miller -- once one of the two key chips that sent Miguel Cabrera from the Marlins to the Tigers -- assesses the matter.
Rob gave the latest on Jon Lester trade talks and the flap between Ortiz and the Rays.More from this show
Particularly in a year where the Red Sox have struggled while trying to integrate numerous young players into regular big league roles, accusations that Red Sox prospects are overrated -- whether by the team or writers -- have been widespread. Jim Callis of MLB.com joins the show to take stock of the matter, and to discuss the team-building impact of overrating and underrating prospects.More from this show
We talk about the latest news surrounding Jon Lester and the Red Sox. Could he be dealt to the Dodgers?More from this show