2. Who’s steering this ship?
Back when Theo Epstein was building a championship-caliber club — in serious contention for a number of seasons — Larry Lucchino didn’t seem to be steering the young executive. Theo had a clear and innovative plan and he was allowed to execute it without too much interference from ownership. Fast forward to today. Dave Dombrowski is the President of Baseball Operations and Mike Hazen is the fresh-faced GM, whose professional lineage links him to ‘In Theo We Trust.’ So far this offseason, when watching the Winter Meetings for example, the narrative seems to center around decisions being made by Dombrowski. Now, I don’t have a problem with Dombrowski, but I am aware of his old-school approach (read: not so sabermetrically inclined). Hazen, who is also the team’s VP, has years of experience in the organization’s player development system. Yet, he has clearly stated that Dombrowski has executive authority on all baseball decisions. My concern is if a more scouting-and-eye-test dependent guy and a guy more steeped in analytics can work in concert. Their ability to come to a consensus will do much to further the team’s direction.
Don’t forget, Hazen was de facto GM after Cherington’s departure in August, when the team started to turn it around, albeit too late to salvage the season. Did Hazen have anything to do with that directly? I like to think so.