Recap of Ben Cherington Press Conference

I got a chance to check out the Ben Cherington press conference late last night.  Not a bad first impression.  Here are my thoughts:

  • Ben Cherington is one cool, calm and collected guy.  At the same time the guy talks and sounds exactly like Theo Epstein.  I guess that is what happens when you work every day with a guy for 10 years.
  • I found in interesting that Cherington was a pitcher in college.  Not sure why, but it just interests me.  I don’t even know if that has any positive or negative affect whatsoever.  Just find it interesting.
  • It sounds like they are re-dedicating themselves to putting more resources into scouting and the international markets.  That is all well in good, in fact it seems much needed, particularly in the international markets, but why do they have to re-dedicate themselves?  Did they get away from it?  If so, why?
  • In listening to Cherington I really feel like he is ready to step up and tackle this role.  He’s been waiting for 5 years since he became co-GM and since then two of his co-workers have become GMs.  He seems hungry and I think that will do him well.
  • Some might say that Cherington was sucking up to the current ownership by continually calling them the “greatest ownership group in baseball” but remember that this guy was hired during the Haywood Sullivan regime which is a nice reminder of how much better this ownership actually is than previous regimes.  I think about that every time someone rips the current ownership…”Would you like the Haywood Sullivan ownership group back?”
  • It seems with all of the comments that the front office kind of went into cruise control these past few years.  You can’t help but think that Theo has had this exit in mind for more than just the past few months.  Things just seemed to have become lethargic behind the scenes.
  • He talked about getting the best medical staff, which I kind of took to mean that the current one is not good enough.
  • With what he talked about in regards to the manager, I felt he was very specific because he knows exactly what he was looking for.  I’ve said before that although Tito and Theo were close I don’t think Tito was ever really viewed as “Theo’s guy”.  I think Cherington is looking for someone who can be “Ben’s guy”
  • That being said, I don’t think that we are looking at a Bobby Valentine, Larry Bowa, or any other big name.  I think he wants someone tough and passionate but not someone who is going to butt heads with him or ownership.  That kinda rules those kinds of guys out.
  • I liked the accountability that he showed in regards to making better decisions and not running away from some of the mistakes and not throwing Theo under the bus since he was the ultimate decision maker.  That being said, he mentioned Crawford and maybe it was kind of a balancing act to go with Henry’s comments but maybe he really does believe that Crawford can bounce back.  There is no doubt that Cherington identifies Crawford as an important part of the team on and off the field.
  • I got a laugh at Lucchino making a mention that Theo borrowed the gorilla suit.
  • Did anyone else play a press conference drinking game and drink every time a reporter mentioned drinking in the clubhouse?
  • Lucchino dropped an interesting Beltre mention.  Shot at Theo?  Maybe, maybe not but the comment was no doubt timely.
  • Most of the free agency talk is by the books and you could have copied right from any of Theo’s early off-season press conferences in the past 10 years.  Maybe they spend maybe they don’t but they never telegraph their moves and they won’t give anything up in regards to their own negotations.
  • Loved the setup to the Lackey announcement.  He got the wheels spinning in the heads when he mentioned the three guys in the rotation, omitting Lackey.  One thing I was wondering when he talked about personnel was when he said that there were “a couple” internal candidates to replace Papelbon if he left.  I know Bard would be considered one but who is the other(s)?  Couldn’t be Jenks who is coming off of serios injury, could it?  Aceves?  Weiland?  Not sure I see another candidate and even Bard is iffy.
  • From how Ben Cherington talked about Marco Scutaro, I feel that the option pick-up is inevitable.  I know Rollins, Reyes, and Furcal are available I don’t quite see the Sox going there.  If that is the case I think the Scutaro option should be inevitable.
  • I bet the reporters were rolling their eyes when he launched into his pre-amble about Lackey.  Then BOOM!  Right in the you know what.  Hey, it’s one thing off his list of things to do this season – find a taker for Lackey.

Well, there you have it.  I came away impressed.  I think Cherington is really going to do well.  His “Cool Hand Luke” style will do himself well here.  You could even make the argument that we may be getting a more motivated version of Theo Epstein since they share an almost identical philosophy.  He’s got a lot on his plate but one of his first decisions will be the most important, that’s finding a manager.  Like I said – if it’s his guy and his guy works out then he will be fine.  And of course the Lackey bombshell didn’t hurt but now he’s already got a problem on the list for next off-season.  Either way, I can’t wait to see what’s next. Good luck Ben.

Twitter @ErikVenskus

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About evonsports
30 year old sports enthusiast and aspiring writer from Boston.

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