3. I’m ever-so-grateful that the Ben Cherington Era is over.
I’m not here to bag on Cherington; he did a fine job in his time. He had his fingerprints all over the 2013 championship team. Cherington — my lord, that forehead! — signed Mike Napoli and, luckily, got great production from the then 31-year-old catcher-turned-first baseman. Bold Ben also inked Shane Victorino to a three-year deal, which promptly surrendered all its value in one lump sum. The Flyin’ Hawaiian had a career-best 6.1 WAR that year and was instrumental in that championship run. I mean, he did hit that grand slam in Game 6 of the ALCS to send the Sox to the World Series. How J.D. Drew of him to have one giant grand salami in an otherwise tepid series from the plate.
So, yes, we can see from just a couple of examples that Cherington wasn’t a bad GM. He even had something to do with drafting my new favorite, Mookie Betts. Yet, I think that he may have been part of a larger systemic problem and therefore a need for change.
I’m not sure if Dave Dombrowski and Mike Hazen are as dreamy as Theo Epstein — will there ever be another so charismatic? — but they represent a change in direction. When you’ve been the scrapings at the bottom of the barrel three out of the last four years, a change in direction is a welcome sight.