Much of the talk about the debacle that was the Boston Red Sox 2012 season focuses on former manager Bobby Valentine and those players who underperformed like Josh Beckett. It is certainly true that the Red Sox had their share of troubles in the dugout and on the field, but the source of just about all of the problems can be traced to the front office. Many point to GM Ben Cherington who managed to keep his job after the 2012 season came to its painful and merciful end. How’s Ben doing these days?
Latest Report Card
Cherington has been doing a pretty good job as of late. The immediate firing of Bobby Valentine was a good move and the fast but careful hiring of John Farrell to replace him was also nicely done. Adding Terry Luvullo as bench coach was a major positive as it gave Farrell something and someone he really wanted and will the new manager every chance to succeed.
Also, I think the trade with the Dodgers was a nice step towards the future and the Pedro Ciriaco move looks to have paid off nicely in the field. (Is there a position he can’t play?) Nice going Ben. You get a B for your recent work.
Grade for 2012 Season
We might call Cherington the most improved MLB GM in the shortest amount of time. (Then again was it Cherington or Lucchino who made the bonehead moves and decisions this past season?) There was a lot of bad last year. It started with hiring Bobby Valentine as manager and went through keeping him on to the end of the season. Teaming Valentine with bench coach Tim Bogar was also a major mistake.
Cherington’s inability to make a good deal prior to the trade deadline was a big mark against him. And the decision to simply let Valentine flap his jaws without in any way reprimanding the guy was ludicrous. His flip out on WEEI was a major embarrassment and the whole handling of Kevin Youkilis was a disaster. But there was not a peep from the GM.
Ben’s grade for the 2012 season was a dismal D+. Sorry, but that’s being kind and giving him some learning curve points
Making It Work
Okay, Cherington seems to be making it work these days. The Red Sox still need to make some deals, including getting major help in the pitching department. The new guys brought in with the big LA trade will help just so much. Also, I’m hoping to also see some moves when it comes to hitting. Boston needs at least one more solid, scary bat at the plate. Go for it, Ben!