Three hours after the Chicago Cubs officially announced Theo Epstein as their president of baseball operations, the Boston Red Sox announced his replacement and successor, Ben Cherington.
Cherington was named executive vice president and general manager. He’s spent 13 of his 14 Major League seasons with the Red Sox, most recently as the team’s senior vice president and assistant general manager to Epstein.
At just 37 years of age, Cherington is considered a young veteran by owner Larry Lucchino and he has high praise for the new GM.
“He has already worked his way through every aspect of baseball operations, and over the years has gained a well-rounded set of experiences that will help him guide this franchise to its next world championship.”
So the announcement has been made and everything is official. Just how long does the honeymoon last for Cherington?
Over the year’s, Cherington helped to produce young talent such as Daniel Bard, Jacoby Ellsbury, Clay Buchholz and Jed Lowrie. But now his list of priorities is rather large and ranges from finding a new manager to re-signing some key players.
Cherington stated in his press conference today that they will act swiftly but diligently when searching for a new manager, someone to lead this team to on field glory. While the Toronto Blue Jays appeared to have put any hope to the Red Sox going after former pitching coach and current Jays manager, John Farrell, Cherington stated that he will not be afraid to ask other clubs for permission to speak with their current staff.
Is that not sweet music to any Red Sox fans ears? He appears to be aggressive and won’t necessarily back down to ensure another club’s success. He’s worried about one team and one team only; the Boston Red Sox.
Another sign of aggressiveness is how he stated that the team has already begun negotiations with both David Ortiz and Jonathan Papelbon. Both players are key to the Red Sox success going forward and while they’ll both demand lucrative contracts, they appeared to have earned them.
Cherington did admit that some of the latest free agent signings were not good enough and that you live and die by the free agent signings as a GM. One interesting comment that he made was how he plans to explore some of the middle to lower tiered talent available on the market, using Alfredo Aceves as a perefect example. Sabremetrics have proved to work in the past, but as long as Cherington doesn’t lose sight of some of the big fish that are available and have a proven track record, all will be calm in Boston.
There is no question that Cherington is the right guy to take over the reins from Epstein. He knows the organization and he has spent time in all areas of the game, including the scouting department. He thinks like Theo just enough to assure confidence when he speaks but yet brings his own, differentiating train of thought. Oh, and he admitted he doesn’t play guitar and doesn’t own a gorilla suit. So he’s got a sense of humor. Something he’s going to need it in order to survive working with Larry Lucchino.
Welcome aboard Ben, now get to work and fix this mess that you inherited. Good luck and don’t be nervous; you know you have a Nation watching every move.