Stopped by the Business of Baseball panel discussion today at The State Room. The event benefited The Foundation To Be Named Later.
Peter Gammons moderated a panel that included Theo Epstein, Sox COO Sam Kennedy, MLB Players Association executive director Michael Weiner, MLB Network president Tony Petitti and local business heavyweights Joe Preston of New Balance and Chris Wallrapp of Hill Holliday.
Red Sox reliever Daniel Bard also took part along with Susan Goodenow, the team’s senior vice president of public affairs and marketing.
Epstein answered a few questions about the state of the Sox:
On the 2-9 start: "Any time you’re not winning games, there’s some concern. We don’t think it’s a representative sample of how we’re going to play. At a certain point you don’t want to dig a hole you can’t climb out of.”
The team's issues: "We have all the talent in the world. We just need to put it together. Our starting pitching has been a little bit better lately. That’s the most important ingredient. Getting a good starting pitching performance is the foundation and you go from there
"In the games we’ve gotten the good starting performances, those are the games we haven’t hit. That’s just the way things go when you’re in a slump. For the most part the bullpen has been good. The higher-leverage situations, we’ve pitched pretty well. We need to get some consistent starting pitching performances and hit up and down the lineup.”
On the changing lineups: “When guys hit well, it’s not hard. I don’t think the lineup is an issue. No matter where guys hit, it’s the quality of out at-bats as a team that’s an issue. If we have the kind of quality at-bats we’re capable of, you can pick the lineup out of a hat. It’s a matter of getting our good grinding approach. It’s early in the season and it takes guys a while to settle in. We’re not hitting yet like we while.”
On Daisuke Matsuzaka: "We work with every player every day trying to get better. Guys who are going good, you work to maintain. Guys who are struggling you work to find something. He’s pitching Monday. He needs to get better.”