I’ve said it all along. The Boston Red Sox have a talent issue. And that falls on the general manager.
So when news broke — during the eighth inning of Tuesday night’s 9-1 win over the Cleveland Indians — that the Sox hired Dave Dombrowski as President of Baseball Operations, it wasn’t a major surprise. It made even more sense when the team’s announcement included that Ben Cherington was stepping down as Red Sox GM.
The Sox didn’t seem like a perfect fit for Dombrowski after he was fired by the Detroit Tigers two weeks ago, unless of course, Cherington was on his way out. And even though Dombrowski said that he was “hoping Ben would stay,” there’s no way anyone involved thought that would happen if Dombrowski was hired.
First, put yourself in Cherington’s shoes. Dombrowski joins Jerry Dipoto as the second former GM to join the Red Sox in the last month. Both were general managers of Major League teams this season for crying out loud. If I was Cherington, that wouldn’t make me feel too comfortable.
The addition of Dombrowski — and his new "President of Baseball Operations" title — would be enough for me to pack my bags. And apparently, the same goes for Cherington. Because he’s now leaving. Or shall I say, he's being forced out.
Again, the Red Sox must have known that Dombrowski and Cherington would never coexist. Cherington won a World Series two years ago. His 2013 Red Sox eliminated Dombrowski’s Tigers in the ALCS. And now Dombrowski will be overlooking Cherington’s duties?
The powers-that-be on Yawkey Way knew that Cherington — even though his teams have been a disaster the last two seasons — had more pride than that. So did Dombrowski.
But don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying I dislike the move. I just think the Red Sox wanted Cherington gone. Cherington probably feels that way at least. And he’s probably right.
But you’ve heard it all before. It’s a results-based business. And the last two seasons, Cherington’s Red Sox have been as bad as we’ve ever seen in Boston. They have a talent issue. And again, that falls on the general manager.
If you want someone new calling the shots this winter, then Dombrowski is the right man for the job. If nothing else, Dombrowski seems to be willing to make the big trade. Something I’m not too sure Cherington wanted to do.
The Red Sox need an ace. Dombrowski said as much during his introductory press conference on Wednesday. The question is, how do you get him? You can either bank on the kids like Eduardo Rodriguez, Henry Owens and Brian Johnson. Or you can go out and make a blockbuster trade and hope that you don’t hold onto “potential” for too long. Dombrowski seems more likely to make that big trade. And that’s why I’m signing off on this Red Sox front-office shake-up.
Cherington should be applauded for his 2013 championship creation. But when you follow up a World-Series hangover with a rotation that consists of a group of guys having to wear T-shirts in order to convince the entire city that there is an ace somewhere in the bunch, your job can’t be too secure. Not in this town, anyways.
And as we enter this coming offseason, the Red Sox need to make a few big moves to fix their talent issue.
I’m happy to say, that duty will now ultimately fall on Dombrowski.
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