After Lucchino was out, I can’t say I’m surprised by this, but the Red Sox have fired GM Ben Cherington and put in Dave Dombrowski as president.
John Henry, for all of his quirks, does understand that we don’t want occasional winners in Boston; we want perennial winners. I give him credit for realizing that only 2 years after the team won the World Series, when so many front office execs or owners would still feel they were in a grace period. He’s smart enough to realize that the team only has been a playoff team once in the last 6 seasons, and they got everything to break right for them in 2013 en route to a World Series. If David Ortiz never hits that amazing grand slam and then the Sox lose in 5 or 6 to the Tigers, wouldn’t we have been hearing Ben Cherington’s and Larry Lucchino’s name on a much hotter hot seat for the past few months? Regardless of what you think of this move, you have to respect John Henry for realizing that he can’t rest on the team’s successes, and doesn’t just say “3 World Series in 13 years” with Lucchino and keep him in place for that reason.
What I find really interesting is that Ben Cherington declined the offer from Dombrowski to stay as General Manager. Maybe I’m assuming too much (I’m not), but it suggests that Cherington isn’t on the same page with how Henry is running the team now.
I’m gonna go into Cherington and Dombrowski more in depth when I have had time to look back at their moves with more detail, but for now, my gut reaction is that i’m ok with the move. Dombrowski built the Tigers into a consistent winner, and I could never really follow Cherington’s moves since the magical 2013 season. The Sox were way more about culture during that season and it worked perfectly, and then he went away from it, especially this past offseason. I’m not enough of an idiot to believe that “clubhouse culture” makes a huge difference, but results do matter, and the results in any season other than 2013 have been subpar. Maybe Lucchino or Henry were really pulling the strings with these moves that Cherington made that seemed to confuse me, but either way, they’ve cleaned house and there’s a new guy who deserves our respect out of the gate.