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Notes, quotes and gloats (as one of my idols in the business, Bob Verdi, used to call them) as the Sox head into their last dozen games, assured of their first losing record since 1997:
* Part of the Red Sox “reset” this winter will involve finding a veteran baseball executive to join general manager Ben Cherington in a prominent role in the front office. The Sox already have one: Allard Baird, the former Royals GM who has been with the Red Sox in a variety of positions since joining the team as a special assignment scout in July 2006, but ownership has made it clear they’re looking for more.
Baird was promoted by Theo Epstein to assistant general manager in November of that year and in 2011 was named VP/player personnel/professional scouting, overseeing Boston’s pro scouting operations in addition to his player personnel duties. This year, Jared Porter was placed in charge of pro scouting, with Baird remaining VP/player personnel.
ESPN Boston: Sox look to add heavy hitter in front office
If it wasn't obvious before, it is now. Sox' ownership does not have full confidence in Ben Cherington and feel he needs guidance. The Sox have achieved their first losing season in 15 years which occurred in Ben's first season as GM. It is hard to place blame on Cherington, because he simply had little to no power this season. Now they want to help him along?
Could it be that Ben was not comfortable with the position and not ready for it? Did the Red Sox actually keep a secret all season long? Probably not. I hope Ben was on board with this decision, or else it could turn sour and be a big blow to his reputation. A GM in a big market that needed help from an experienced one. He can't make decisions on his own and is easily overruled. That could be a tough sell if that is the actual situation.
Ben is not new to the game. He has had a lot of experience in the front office and I believe he is capable to be the Sox' GM. I just hope it works out if it does happen, because I can't take another season of this.
On Page 2, Could John Lackey really be the answer?
Lackey is throwing again, and Sunday he’ll make his first appearance in game conditions when he participates in an intrasquad Instructional League game in Fort Myers.
“It’s been weird, for sure,” Lackey said yesterday. “This is the first year of my life I haven’t played baseball. . . . Getting back out there has been fun. You remember how much you like it and why you do it. It’s definitely been a year where you miss competing and miss doing what I do.”
We now know that Lackey has not thrown a single healthy pitch during his underwhelming Red Sox career. His elbow probably has needed surgery since the day he arrived, not that Lackey ever acknowledged it while gutting out 61 starts in two years.
“I knew for a while that I was probably going to end up on the shelf for a little while at some point,” Lackey acknowledged. “I had to take certain steps just to make my starts. There were definitely a lot of shots involved. I knew something was wrong. I knew it was just a matter of time before I was going to need something worked on, for sure.”
Here’s where things get interesting. Now that he has had his elbow ligament repaired, he finds himself in the unfamiliar position of pitching without pain. Add to that the recent track record of pitchers returning from Tommy John with better stuff than before, and a 2013 top three of Jon Lester [stats], Clay Buchholz and Lackey suddenly has real potential.
Herald: John Lackey could be the answer
Is Tomase being a bit too optimistic about Lackey. Of course he is.
Lackey is not going to come back to be the ace of the rotation. He's not going to be a second starter either. John Lackey will be back, maybe as a slightly better pitcher than 2011, but will still give us the same amount of anxiety as before.
There is a lot more in that article, including something from Joe Maddon. Maddon thinks LAckey will be in top form and be the best of his career. Well, if Joe Maddon said it, then it must be true.
Let's wait until spring training to feel good about Lackey. It is still too soon.
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