Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington joined Dennis & Callahan on Thursday morning and discussed his team’s clubhouse atmosphere, Mike Carp‘s role on the team, and how the team’s medical staff handled Clay Buchholz‘s injury.
The Red Sox, who hold a 9½-game lead over the Rays in the AL East, have had been boosted all season by a strong clubhouse atmosphere, which Cherington said is due to all of the Boston players focusing on one goal: a chance at a World Series title.
“I think it has a little something to do with the guys, certainly, something to do with doing well, and obviously a lot of the moves that John [Farrell] has made have worked, that helps. And then something to do with the time of year we’re in,” Cherington said. “I think it’s just, right now, everyone in that clubhouse understands that this is about something bigger than themselves. It’s about team. There are other times where it would be appropriate to sort of think more about personal goals and priorities, but right now, that’s just not the time. And everyone knows that.”
One player who has fit into this team-first mentality has been Carp, who has hit .314 with nine home runs and 37 RBIs despite being limited to a backup role, playing in only 74 games.
“I think anybody that is a good hitter and a good player in the big leagues wants to play. These are competitive guys and they want to be in there. But I think on this team, Mike walked into this team in spring training … and I think he recognized the role that he was going to be in on this particular team and he’s accepted it and to his credit, has done really, really well,” Cherington said. “It doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to play more. I’m sure, down the road, that’s something that he wants to do. But right now he’s just been ideal in that role.”
Cherington also talked about closer Koji Uehara and how important he’s been to the team this season, especially with injuries to relievers such as Andrew Bailey and Joel Hanrahan.
“Thankfully, we were able to sign Koji,” Cherington said. “There were some people in the organization that were really really pushing to sign Koji, even though at the time it didn’t seem like maybe it was the biggest need on the team. We just felt like he was such a good fit and had such a sort of unique skill that it made sense.”
With Buchholz’s impressive return to the starting rotation. Cherginton was asked whether the pitcher and the Boston medical staff deserve an apology from those who criticized his long stint on the disabled list.
“I don’t know about apologize. To be honest, I didn’t pay much attention to the criticism,” Cherington said. “I think internally, we knew that this was being handled the right way. Clay was making steady progress, but in his case, there was an injury, the good news was that it wasn’t a serious issue that would affect him long term, but there was an injury and it was a type of injury that if not handled properly, could turn into something bigger.
“This is a guy we have under contract for a long time. He’s obviously a really talented guy, we need him to be good for a long time. So we were trying to handle it in the best way, short and long term.”
On if Koji Uehara has secured the role as closer for next season: “Based on what he’s doing now — and we have him under contract for next year — based on what he’s doing now, I think it would be easy to expect that. But we’re not thinking at all about next year. There’s obviously things that we’ll get to this offseason and issues to address. … We’re just focused on right now.”
On if contract negotiations have started with Jon Lester: “No, right now, obviously I think there’s a time for that. That falls into the category of more of a personal thing for a player. I think right now it’s just so much about what the team’s doing and what the group’s doing together. We just feel like those issues are better left for after we’re done playing, which hopefully is several weeks from now. There will be time to have those conversations in the offseason. But Lester has been terrific. He’s pitching like he has for most of his career, like one of the better left-handed starters in the game.”
On if any more Pawtucket players will be called up next week when the Triple-A postseason ends: “I would say it’s likely there would be a small handful of additions. Obviously since we haven’t had those conversations with players yet, I’m not going to say who, but I would say it’s probably a small handful. You get to this point of the year — and we’ve already done this with the additions that we’ve made — but you really want to make sure that — obviously we’ve got a good thing going in the clubhouse right now and a good mix, and we want to make sure that if we’re going to continue to add to that mix that there’s a reason for it, whether it’s a specific role or a value in having a guy around as far as their development or whatever. You don’t want to add just to add. So, there will be good players who are not added for the rest of September, but it doesn’t mean they won’t be good big leaguers for a long time. Wes just got to be careful about protecting what’s going in there right now.”
On manager John Farrell’s decision on Wednesday to put Carp in to pinch hit in the 10th inning for Jonny Gomes: “It does take guts, but I also think that it was the right decision. Jonny Gomes is more than capable at having a good at-bat because … he’s a huge part of the team and he’s won games for us. But as a manager, you have to make decisions that you feel put the team in the absolute best position to have success. … I think Jonny Gomes knows that he’s going to be called upon at a very similar situation at some point and it will be him in there as per John’s decision and we’ll be counting on him.”
Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick joins Dale and Steve DeOssie to talk about cutting the roster down to 53 players. Jimmy Garoppolo is set to start and play most, if not all of the preseason contest against the Giants. Bill also expressed his thoughts about the kicking game and how some of the new rules have affected the importance of it.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price discuss the news that Jimmy Garoppolo will get the start Thursday and play most of the game. They talk about what it might mean for Ryan Mallett.
Julian Edelman joins Christian and Danny Picard to talk about his approach going into the season, his performance this preseason, as well as the VMAs, and preventing cramps using mustard.
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.
Red Sox Manager John Farrell talks about Bogaerts' concussion and the youth movement.
As he does every Wednesday, Buster Olney, ESPN, joins the boys of MFB to talk baseball. This week Buster shed some light on what to expect from Rusney Castillo, and how Cuban players are being viewed. He suggests that the acquisition of Castillo helps Boston's chances to get Giancarlo Stanton. Also, the Sox should shut down Koji if they want to re-sign him.
Kevin Millar checks in to talk about the Castillo signing, Giancarlo Stanton, and the MLB's pace of play.
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
Cole joins Dennis and Callahan to explain Tom Brady's reaction to the Logan Mankins trade.
All the stories of the day brought to you by Jerry Thornton including the fate of Tony Soprano and an accident on Cops.
Dennis and Callahan are off until Tuesday so it's a free form Thursday.
More reaction from the Logan Mankins-Tim Wright trade.
The guys dicuss Johnny Football, Terrible Summer Movies, and John Rocker being on Survivor
An incredible play by Andrelton Simmons inspired today's 4@4: MLB Web Gems
Red Sox Manager talks about Xander's concussion and the youth movement on the Red Sox.
Josh Gordons suspension was upheld. Why is there such a stigma about weed in sports?
Co-founder and chairman of the Boston Beer Company, Jim Koch, talks about his Sam Adams beer and the history of his brewery.
Danny picard is filling in for Mikey and talks with CSNNE's Mike Giardi about Clay Buchholz heading up the Red Sox pitching rotation, and how the Patriots have looked through training camp so far.
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.
How can teams acquire players who are entering their primes without having to live through the potentially massive transition of prospects coming from the minors to the big leagues? The Red Sox have two such case studies. The signing of Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo represents one effort to acquire a player for his prime years for whom the transition to big league-caliber competition might not be turbulent. Red Sox assistant director of player personnel discusses the scouting process involved with landing Castillo. The episode also features Brock Holt, the one rookie who played at a consistently high level for the Red Sox this year. Holt explores some of the distinctions that might help to explain why he did not experience some of the struggles that characterized the seasons of Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr.
Rob Bradford is joined by Turtleboy of TurtleboySports.com to discuss which current major leaguers might be in line to become Hall of Famers. The duo dive into the difficulties facing the current crop of big leaguers when trying to reach Hall of Fame status.
Fantasy Football Drafts are now happening every day, so Pete Davidson and Jim Hackett have you covered. This Podcast focuses on the High Value Targets you can get in your drafts if you draft smartly. These players can slip to you and make a great impact on your roster as the season moves on. The draft is won in the middle to late rounds when the best upside players are taken. Jim and Pete give you in depth analysis on the High Value Targets to seek along with the Rookies that can make an impact this year. Jim and Pete will be back this Sunday morning too, on-air at WEEI FM 93.7 with even more. Prepare and enjoy!
After Will Middlebrooks struck out against a position player, Steve Tolleson, last night against Toronto, he seemed to be laughing as he left the batter's box. Lou critiqued Middlebrooks on Twitter, which caused Will's fiance Jenny Dell to tweet (indirectly) in defense of her man.More from this show
Tom Curran on Welker's latest concussion.More from this show