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SBD/October 26, 2011/Franchises
Red Sox Officially Announce Ben Cherington As New GM, Replacing Theo Epstein
Published October 26, 2011
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FIRST ORDER OF BUSINESS: On Long Island, Anthony Rieber writes Epstein left Cherington “with a PR mess but a world of talent and an organization that before September had been lauded as one of the best in baseball” (NEWSDAY, 10/26). Cherington said that “the parties agreed ‘significant compensation’ was due the Red Sox for Epstein, and they’ve made some progress.” Cherington: “Theo and I will now try to work that out in the coming days, and if we can’t, then we’ll turn it over to the commissioner and let him decide” (USA TODAY, 10/26).
TWO THUMBS UP FOR THE NEW GUY: In Boston, Chad Finn writes the “new guy sure sounds an awful lot like the old guy.” Cherington “owned his press conference, presenting himself as prepared, focused, confident and informed, but with appealing asides of self-effacing humor.” The press conference was “impressive,” and the Red Sox “get a seamless transition to a well-rounded, dedicated executive” (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/26). Also in Boston, Peter Abraham notes Cherington was “honest in his assessment of various problems and didn’t duck for cover on any questions.” Abraham: “Fans will appreciate that style” (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/26). The BOSTON GLOBE’s Bob Ryan writes, “The truth is he’s not Epstein, and, for him, that will be a good thing.” Epstein was the “rock-star GM of an iconic franchise,” but Cherington is “a quiet, low-key guy known to this point only by insiders and by a pop culture subset of fans who know that his ex-wife” is ESPN’s Wendi Nix. Lucchino said, “I have seen the effect Ben has on the people he works with. He definitely has the respect and admiration of his co-workers” (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/26).
WHERE WERE HENRY & WERNER? Lucchino, the only member of the Red Sox ownership group to attend yesterday's press conference, said that Henry and Werner were “out of town.” He “cautioned reporters not to read anything into the absences” (N.Y. TIMES, 10/26). ESPN BOSTON’s Gordon Edes wrote, “Finally, some good news on Yawkey Way: One of their own was being promoted to general manager.” But Henry and Werner yesterday “were nowhere to be found,” and that “wasn't the case in 2002 at Theo's coming-out party.” Lucchino said, "I believe they're here in spirit. I suspect they're watching every golden minute of this press conference. One's in California; one's in Florida.” Edes noted Henry and Werner “had four days to clear their schedules for this event,” and it “would have been advisable to show up instead of leaving Cherington and Lucchino to pick up all the pieces.” Cherington acknowledged that as a new GM he “will be relying on collaboration with others, which probably means Lucchino's voice regains some of the prominence it lost when Epstein bolted six years ago and Henry had to lure him back with promises of greater autonomy” (ESPNBOSTON.com, 10/25). The BOSTON GLOBE’s Abraham writes it “seems odd” that Henry and Werner were not in attendance. Given the “public perception of the team these days, Henry should have been there” (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/26).