Somewhere, Ben Cherington’s old boss is smiling.

Not Theo Epstein, although you can’t deny the about-to-be former Red Sox GM a grin now that he’s safely fled Yawkey Way — this time for good.

No, that old boss would be Dan Duquette, who gave Cherington his start in the Red Sox organization back in 1997.

And if Cherington thought the final days of the Duquette Regime were bad, look at the mess he’s being handed now.

 

According to a report on Yahoo Sports on Thursday, Cherington has already been tabbed as Epstein’s replacement atop the Red Sox. This time, the succession is permanent.

Back in 2005, after Epstein escaped the clutches of Larry Lucchino and resigned from the Sox before famously disguising himself in a gorilla suit on Halloween, it was Cherington and Jed Hoyer who assumed GM duties. And they made the most of their 86 days in charge, landing Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell from Florida in exchange for Hanley Ramirez — a deal that became the cornerstone of the 2007 championship.

Cherington, 37, has plenty more decisions to come — largely on what to do with worthless starter John Lackey (and his huge contract), as well as free agents like David Ortiz.

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