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. “
On Patriots Friday we check in with the hall of famer, the great 88, the playmaker Michael Irvin to preview Pats @ Dallas and look around the NFL.
Head Coach Bill Belichick with Dale and Holley
Dale, Michael and Jerry sit down with DE Chandler Jones on a Patriots Monday for a candid interview about this season, his new teammates, and the Dallas game this weekend.
Sam Packard is joined by his brother Nick, as he breaks down his favorite moments from Celtics Media Day. Sam then tries to compare each member of the Celtics roster to a character on The Wire, with varied results.
Sam Packard is joined by Jared Weiss of CLNSRadio.Com to talk about trading Bradley and the upcoming Celtics Media Day.
Jay King of Masslive.com joins the show to break down the performance of the Celtics during the NBA Summer League. Then Ben and Sam discuss the exciting possibility of a Space Jam sequel.
Dave O'Brien has called Red Sox baseball games with Joe Castiglione since 2007. Dave is going to the NESN booth next season to take over for Don Orsillo as the Red Sox TV play-by-play man. Dave talks about his time with Joe and the Red Sox Radio broadcast and closes out a very meaningful chapter of a tremendous career. Joe Castiglione offers his thoughts and well-wishes to Dave and closes out, as is tradition, with the Bart Giamatti poem.
We check in for a final time this season with Red Sox interim manager Torey Luvollo as look ahead to 2016 with him.
Joe and Rob Bradford talk with Red Sox catcher Blake Swihart who had his first career multi home run game as the Red Sox beat the Yankees 10-4 and extend their winning streak to a season high 5 games.
DJ Bean checks in live from TD Garden after the Bruins 6-2 loss to the Winnipeg Jets in the season opener. Ken Laird anchors from the WEEI.com Podcentre
WEEI Bruins reporter DJ Bean joins Ken Laird in the WEEI Podcentre to answer six pressing questions about the B's in advance of Thursday's season opener at the Garden
DJ Bean joins Butch Stearns and Rob Bradford in studio with the pre-season ending to discuss the upcoming season's line combinations and the changes made in the offseason.
Florio on the NFL.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.
What would you ask Roger Goodell?
After joking around with Graig Murphy, who challenges Christian to a stand-up comedy showdown, Glenn and Christian face Lou about the rumors in the Boston Globe that Lou should be the new play-by-play broadcaster for the Red Sox radio broadcast.
Jeb Bush had an interview recently where he was asked if he ever smoked weed with Bill Belichick and Ernie Adams, who were all classmates in high school. Also, Christian tries to prank call Dallas restaurants and fails miserably.
The Colts and Texans had another pathetic game on Thursday Night Football where Ryan Mallet took himself out of the game and Matt Hasselbeck filled in for an injured Andrew Luck. The guys give their reaction and can't believe anyone could pull themselves out of a game the way Mallet did.
Dale, Michael and Jerry discuss the Bruins opening night loss, and whether this will continue or we'll see the team improve when the defense gets healthy.
We close out the week with some of the best in soundbites that you may have missed out on... plus the return of LaRoy on the microphone...
Mikey is back for another season of Patriots-related parody songs, this time he's calling out the Cowboys.
The final hour of the show is nothing if not entertaining
Mikey takes all kinds of phone calls from Patriot fans with the utmost confidence.
Full disclosure we recorded this episode just before the official announcement. Ben and Russ talk the coaching situation in Liverpool, Revs playoffs chances, and Sepp is suspended.
WEEI’s Scott McLaughlin and Mike McMahon of College Hockey News and TheMackReport.com preview all things Hockey East and take a look at Harvard as well. Nate Leaman, head coach of the defending national champion Providence College Friars, joins the show as well.
Dino, Gerry and Kirk talk with Curt about the MLB playoffs, his future with ESPN and the reaction to Jessica Mendoza as his replacement.More from this show