Next Manager Hire Could Be Defining Moment For Red Sox' Dombrowski After Farrell Ouster
The Red Sox are "officially" President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski's team after the club fired manager John Farrell yesterday, according to Sean McAdam of BOSTON SPORTS JOURNAL. It was Dombrowski's call to fire Farrell and it will be "his call to choose his replacement." Some input "will be contributed" by both Owner John Henry and President & CEO Sam Kennedy, but ultimately the next manager will be "selected by Dombrowski." A source said that while Henry had "long been a backer of Farrell's, that support began to waver this season as the team underperformed for stretches." The Red Sox were eliminated from the playoffs this week by the Astros in a four-game ALDS. Both Henry and Kennedy "came to decide that if Dombrowski wanted to make a change, his request had to be honored." Dombrowski's title allows him to "make decisions" like this, and to do otherwise "would be tantamount to undercutting" him (BOSTONSPORTSJOURNAL.com, 10/11). In Boston, Alex Speier reports the decision to fire Farrell was "reached by Dombrowski after consultations with his baseball operations department." Henry and Red Sox Chair Tom Werner were then "apprised of the recommendation and accepted it." Werner "suggested that the decision represented Dombrowski’s desire to see change rather than a reflection on the manager." He said, "Change is a part of baseball. Change is a part of life. This is obviously something Dave thought would benefit the organization" (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/12).
ALL EYES ON DOMBROWSKI: The Boston Globe's Dan Shaughnessy said ownership will "let Dombrowski hire his guy" as Farrell's replacement. This is Dombrowski's third year with the team and he is a "high profile, high paid GM boss -- they’re going to let him hire his manager." Shaughnessy: "They will make due diligence and they’re going to bring it minority candidates, which they should, and there are good ones out there” (“High Heat,” MLB Network, 10/11). NBC SPORTS BOSTON's Evan Drellich wrote what the next manager of the Red Sox will prove is "whether Dombrowski himself was really the right hire" and whether he "actually understands what it takes" to succeed in Boston (NBCSPORTS.com, 10/11).
BUSINESS DECISION? In Boston, Dan Shaughnessy in a front-page piece writes when the "big-payroll, top-talent Red Sox flopped badly in the playoffs for the second straight October, there was little question Farrell would be sacrificed by a front office ever-focused on optics" and TV ratings, which were down 15% this season. A ticket-price increase has "already been announced for next season." The Red Sox "needed to do something" after losing to the Astros, so they "gave fans a feel-good moment by firing the manager" (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/12). ESPN's Tim Kurkjian noted the "shelf life of manager of the Red Sox is a really short one compared to managers of other teams." Kurkjian: "When ownership looks around and says, ‘The fans here don't like the manager very much,’ that sometimes can be a reason to get rid of the manager. It’s a terrible reason, but that is the reality of Boston. The fans there are so sophisticated, they demand so much. When you are not following through with it, they are going to clamor, ‘We need somebody else,’ and they listen to the fans on this” (“Mike & Mike,” ESPN Radio, 10/12).