SBD/October 31, 2013/Franchises

GM Ben Cherington Lauded For Rebuilding Red Sox Into World Series Champions

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Cherington (l) hired Farrell (r) last October for his strong, calm hand
Red Sox GM Ben Cherington this season "hit .400, won the Triple Crown for general managers, and then won the World Series," according to Nick Cafardo of the BOSTON GLOBE. Cherington "picked the right manager, the right players, and still had an eye for the future." He deserved the "bucket of champagne, let alone the bottle, as the architect of the 2013 World Series champions." Other GMs "inherit some and add some, but Cherington had his hands all over this season." Cherington should "get the majority of the credit pie." The trade sending P Josh Beckett, LF Carl Crawford and 1B Adrian Gonzalez to the Dodgers "was done in large part from the ownership level, but Cherington worked out the compensation." The "rest of the credit pie should go to the manager, John Farrell." Cafardo: "Divide it any way you want, but Cherington should get the majority." It was "textbook chemistry and Cherington was the professor" (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/31). In Boston, Scott Lauber writes the Red Sox "couldn’t have been any lower" when Cherington began to "build the team that would go on this journey." If '04 was about "reversing the Curse, and 2007 was about validating that first title, then this was about redemption, about restoring the good name of a franchise sullied by a hellish 13 months of ne’er-do-well pitchers who guzzled beer and munched on fried chicken during a September collapse for the ages and the 93-loss nightmare of a season that followed." Red Sox Owner John Henry said, "At some point, you begin to think there’s something special happening here. You had more and more of a feeling that this was a special team. But I don’t remember thinking it was going to end this way" (BOSTON HERALD, 10/31).

ALL THE RIGHT MOVES: In Hartford, Jeff Jacobs writes, "Dumping all that bad salary and bad karma isn't the same as filling a void that would lift a proud franchise back into World Series contention." It would "take a keen baseball mind, and it figured it would take a ton of patience from some of the game's most impatient fans." Jacobs: "You had to figure that the rebuilding would take at least two or three years." Cherington "isn't a rock star like his buddy and predecessor" Theo Epstein. Red Sox President & CEO Larry Lucchino "forced Bobby Valentine on Cherington" for the '12 managerial job. It was "a colossal mistake." Given his chance, Cherington, knowing that a "strong, calm hand was the way to go, made his best move first by hiring Farrell as manager last October." When it came to "reshaping the club, filling in a full third of a new roster, Cherington was interested in character, yes, but more than that he wanted to know if they wanted to play in Boston's demanding environment" (HARTFORD COURANT, 10/31). MLB Network’s Darryl Hamilton said of Cherington, “I thought the GM did an outstanding job and he was able to be the GM again. … When ownership decides who the manager is going to be ... it changes the whole outlook of the ball club, because they were trying to go from one direction to another and change the whole culture. I think it hurt them." Hamilton: "It was smart to bring John Farrell in and do his thing” (“MLB Tonight,” MLB Network, 10/30).
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