Yahoo – The last two men in charge of baseball operations – Ben Cherington and Dombrowski – were shown the door quickly after winning championships, and those moves are painting the Red Sox in a very bad light, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney.
“These decisions loosely frame the industry perception of the Red Sox as a chaotic company, a miserable place to work. Boston owner John Henry needs to understand this, because it is why some of the people he’d probably love to consider as possible replacements for Dombrowski privately dismiss the idea out of hand.”
Olney writes that some potential candidates have no interest in working for Henry, because they “doubt he’d have the patience to back his next general manager through the difficult crossroads ahead.”… A wide-held view in other front offices is that the highly respected and well-liked Red Sox president Sam Kennedy stands as a thin buffer between the team devolving to the level of the Mets, the team generally regarded by rival executives as baseball’s model for dysfunction. “If Sam ever walked away,” said one official, “the whole thing would be a complete mess.”
Well thats sobering to read for a team with 4 titles in the last 15 years. Are the Red Sox a complete mess of a franchise that wins in spite of its values, philosophy, and culture, not because of it? 100% Thats what happens when you have finishes of 1st, 1st, 1st, last, last, 1st, last over the previous seven years. So that is two World Series titles and three last place finishes across two GMs and three managers in seven years. Not exactly a model of consistency. In fact, the Sox have finished 15 or more games out of first place four times since 2012 (including 2019), which is the first time they had achieved that level of mediocrity since 1998.
But even with all that said for Buster Olney, one of the most well respected baseball writers in the country, to report that Fenway has become “a miserable place to work” is still startling.
I feel like I’m living in Groundhogs Day. Didn’t this same exact thing already happen a few years back? Am I the only one that read Feeding the Monster? Or the Francona book?
Those two books could not depict the highs and the lows of this organization any better than they already did.
Now for as much as we dump on the Mets for being an absolute circus:
It would seem the perception of the Red Sox, despite all their success, is not far off. That is ENRAGING as a fan of this team because it has been and should be one of the top 2 or 3 jobs in all of baseball. You have more money than almost any team to spend, a fan base that shows up and pays through the nose to support the team, and a roster built around home grown talent. Yet somehow we’ve arrived at a point where nobody of note even wants the job.
That all leads us to the most pressing question of all; who the hell is going to take the reigns for the Red Sox moving forward? I think we’re all in agreement that Theo Epstein returning would be a wet dream for everyone in town….but that ain’t happening. Olney makes it sound like nobody wants the job because John Henry has created an absolute shitshow of dysfunction at all levels, which is ironic because it all started when Henry chose a nearly 70 year old Larry Lucchino over Epstein all those years ago. During the Epstein era the Red Sox were a team of efficiency and consistency. The team boasted one of the best farm systems in baseball for years and supplemented homegrown guys like Jon Lester, Jonathan Papelbon, Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, Clay Buccholz with high priced free agents. There was always a balance and the team rarely pushed all of its chips into the middle of the table to sacrifice the future for the present. Sure, what Dave Dombrowski did was exactly what John Henry brought him here to do. I don’t fault Dombrowski because we knew who he was when he got here. The Sox won a title, but absolutely ravaged the farm system to do it. Boston now has the worst farm system in Major League Baseball. He’s basically the baseball equivalent of Thanos.
Now Peter Abraham is making it sound like the Red Sox are very aware of this negative perception around the league and are resigned to promoting from within. According to Abraham it looks like the Sox are positioning the pieces that would point to an internal candidate being the next GM.
Maybe thats a good thing who knows. Maybe having a guy thats been with the organization for years and already understands the internal workings on Yawkey Way will benefit the team in the long run. Instead of slapping a band aid on things with a big name. However, the Sox better have a plan in place. Don’t just promote someone from within just because you couldn’t do any better. Pick a guy, develop a philosophy, and stick to it. Most importantly, give the guy the power to make the tough moves. The last thing this team needs is another puppet that just does the bidding of his bosses.
Just don’t tell me you’re letting a homegrown ace walk because you don’t sign pitchers over 30 and then sign a pitcher over 30 to the biggest contract ever given to a pitcher a year later. Your move, John Henry.