Are we sure that being the Red Sox general manager is a desirable job?
The Boston Red Sox have been searching for a new general manager for weeks now with seemingly no leads. Are we sure that it’s still a desirable job?
On the outside looking in you’d think there would be a line wrapped around Fenway Park of candidates to become the new Red Sox general manager. However, as we’re a month removed from the firing of Dave Dombrowski, it doesn’t feel like there is a long prospect list.
During this period of success for the Red Sox, there have been five people entrusted with building a team that could lead Boston to a championship. Theo Epstein gets the most notoriety as he’s no been dubbed the “Curse Breaker,” thanks to what he has done with the Red Sox and Cubs.
We’ve also seen the ups and downs of the Ben Cherington era. He’ll mostly be remembered for the Pablo Sandoval contract but he also did a great deal of work in stockpiling the farm system. Jed Hoyer and Mike Hazen also had cups of coffee in the big chair before finding success with other organizations.
That brings us back to Dombrowski. A man that is known for trading away the farm system and spending boatloads of cash in order to achieve the team’s goals. That’s exactly why FSG brought him to Boston and he did just what he was known for. Offering up multiple prospects in trade deals while writing big-time checks. There’s a method to his madness and we have a World Series banner at Fenway Park to prove it.
When this method began to go against the beliefs of the ownership group he was unceremoniously removed from his position in the middle of the night. The news would break after midnight as Red Sox were licking their wounds from another Yankee loss. Dombrowski was out and that was about all we ever heard on the matter.
No press conference, no honest reasoning, just that the two had parted ways. Weeks later it would come out that FSG felt they needed to separate from Dombrowski back in the winter but let him continue on through almost the entirety of the season. When it was clear that Boston wouldn’t be playing in October, Dealin’ Dave was quickly made a scapegoat due to his style as GM.
His firing was just the latest chapter in what feels like a neverending story of the Red Sox owners mishandling regime changes. Terry Francona and John Farrell were both ostracized on their way out after delivering World Series crowns. Francona who is felt by some to be the greatest manager in Boston history not only ended the 86 year drought in 2004 but also won the Commissioner’s Trophy in 2007.
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Going back to the hot seat in the big office and there is the on-again/off-again relationship between Epstein and the owners. At the time the wunderkind was the youngest GM in the league and his Billy Beane-Esque affinity for getting the right players at the right price was the key to the World Champion 2004 Red Sox roster. Epstein would depart the team in the fall of 2005 just to return in the winter of 2006.
It was a weird time as Theo would come back and gain new titles with the organization. With a franchise that has been so successful in recent times, it’s odd that there is so much turnover in the front office and in the clubhouse. Much like Dombrowski, Alex Cora is the fifth man to hold his position in this same time span. If 2020 goes as well as 2019, I can’t see his job being safe for much longer.
The Red Sox are a premier level organization and a vacancy like this should have people running to interview for it. So why aren’t they? As far as we know there might be conversations daily with prospective GMs, but to not hear as much as a peep is just weird. Hazen has pledged his loyalty to the Diamondbacks and Dodger’s GM Andrew Friedman just signed a new deal with the club. So why are things so quiet?
Honestly, I’m not surprised that there isn’t a whirlwind of candidates beating down Gate D to meet with FSG. As I quickly pointed out above and has been spoken about by those that cover the team, it may not be the most enjoyable place to work.
If I heard that someone’s boss wanted to fire them in November but waited until the following September, I don’t know if I would want that job. If you’re going to fire someone, just do it. Don’t continue to give them more rope for the noose.
With the way that other front office execs and managers have been tossed out like yesterday’s leftovers during the last 15 years, Boston may not be a top destination for many. If feels like one day the owners want soup, so you bring them some soup, but when you set the bowl down they say they wanted steak. I just don’t get the vibe that there’s much cohesion with the different levels of the organization.
Even though the team has had great success on the field and has the money to buy whoever they want, that can only get someone so far. If there isn’t a level of support and trust from your superiors then that can create unnecessary unrest. Until there is some semblance of unity with the Red Sox, I don’t see Fenway Park as a highly desired place for executives to want to work.