Red Sox ownership has totally mishandled organizational shakeup

BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 27: John Henry, Tom Werner and Larry Lucchino share a laugh as Lucchino was being honored for his last home game as Red Sox CEO/President before a game against the Baltimore Orioles Fenway Park on September 27, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Rich Gagnon/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 27: John Henry, Tom Werner and Larry Lucchino share a laugh as Lucchino was being honored for his last home game as Red Sox CEO/President before a game against the Baltimore Orioles Fenway Park on September 27, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Rich Gagnon/Getty Images) /

The Boston Red Sox ownership decided to fire Dave Dombrowski this week but the way they went about it was nothing short of a disaster.

I think it’s safe to say there is a serious level of uncertainty within not only the Red Sox right now but also within all of the Fenway Faithful. Just ten months after delivering Boston their fourth World Series crown in 15 years, Dave Dombrowski was relieved of his duties with two weeks left in the season.

It’s not uncommon for shakeups within organizations during down periods but with such a short amount of time left in the season, it felt odd. The news broke just moments after the Yankees handed the Red Sox yet another loss this season, something that has become commonplace in 2019. What came next, however, is where the train seemingly came off the tracks.

Right after the news came out Alex Cora was already having to answer questions in his post-game media scrum, still shell-shocked from the news. Right from the get-go, Cora was made out to be the frontman to take all the shots while the Fenway Sports Group was nowhere to be seen.

Not once in the hours since Dombrowski’s firing have we heard from John Henry, Larry Lucchino, or Tom Werner, and yet they were all in attendance. Hell, there was even a shot of Henry in his owner’s box during last night’s game without a single sign of stress on his face as he sat there with his water and a bowl of candy. Like, you just fired a guy who did exactly what you asked of him and yet can’t come out and address the public? Cool.

As if the silence from the owners wasn’t enough, they paraded Cora out in front of the media, all by himself once again, yesterday afternoon to handle any and all questions. If you watched the press conference Cora’s body language felt uneasy and though he was being a good soldier, it’s hard to believe he wanted to be the one to carry this weight.

To me, that’s just beyond unacceptable from FSG, if you want to make an executive decision then you need to own it and be out in front of it. Even if they wanted to use the crutches of the high payroll, lack of trade activity and awful record this year, they would have at least offered some sort of argument for firing Dombrowski.

Instead, they make Cora sit there and do the best he absolutely could to answer questions about a decision he had zero say in. AC has come out more than once to show his admiration and respect for Dombrowski, as it was Dave that gave Alex his first opportunity to be a manager in the Majors.

For the owners to then make Cora be the one to speak solo to the media about the firing just seems disrespectful. Handle your business, simple as that. They did, however, offer a pretty weak press release to try and tie their decision up with a pretty bow.

Listen, I fully understand why Dombrowski was let go, don’t get me wrong. Do I agree with it or how it was done? No, but I understand the decision. Once again though, that falls back on the owners.

If you don’t like how he’s doing something, then raise your voice and say something to him. Don’t think Nathan Eovaldi should’ve gotten that big of a payday? Say something. Don’t think Steve Pearce should’ve gotten re-signed? Say something.

If FSG did try and reel in Dombrowski’s spending and he went about it anyway, then he should’ve been removed far sooner than he was. I doubt they would let him spend their money without their permission. From the outside looking in it feels like they didn’t mind the spending as long as the Red Sox were winning. Once the winning stopped and things weren’t looking up then the tensions may have risen.

The Red Sox are in a level of turmoil right now as there doesn’t seem to be a clear direction for them to head in. J.D. Martinez can leave this winter if he chooses to do so. Mookie Betts is a free agent after next season and has already expressed his desire to test free agency. Then add into that the litany of other free agents over those two seasons and it’s a curious case for the Red Sox in the near future.

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With the way the owners dismissed Dombrowski, would you want to work for the Red Sox? I know that seems like a dramatic and possibly odd question, but it’s a question that I’m sure is being asked. For the better part of the last two decades, there have been six different people in the GM role for Boston.

It’s very odd that such a successful team cycles through General Managers in such a hurried manner. It’s damn near impossible for an organization to create and maintain an identity if they’re playing musical chairs.

Dave Dombrowski is just the latest case of someone who achieved what was asked of him just to be removed. On a positive note though, it came out today that the owners did speak to the team and have backed Cora to remain as the manager going forward.

Sam Kennedy, the President & CEO of the Red Sox, just appeared on OMF on WEEI Radio and spoke on the removal of Dombrowski. Unfortunately, he didn’t really go into too much of the matter and played his answers safe. He shined a light on the successes of Dombrowski while not really touching any sort of reason why he was removed. Kennedy did confirm that Alex Cora would return as manager of the Red Sox for next season.

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How things went down this week could only be described as a major fumble on the behalf of the Red Sox. If they wanted to get rid of Dombrowski, that’s fine. The way in which the ownership group handled the matter though was just awful. Dave Dombrowski came in and did exactly what you asked him to do. He brought in stars, he won you a World Series championship, and this is how you reward him? There’s no way the Red Sox ownership comes out of this looking anything but bad.