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Cherington said a manager can’t be judged by wins and losses under these circumstances, but he did outline areas he can be evaluated on.
“I think the team is preparing well and the effort is there,” he said. “We’re just not playing well. A lot of that is simply because the roster is at a different point. It’s different than what it will be down the road. We’re trying to learn things about guys. Sometimes that doesn’t put us in position to be as competitive to win games. It’s a reflection on all of us, mostly me. It’s the painful part of the process. We made a big deal because we felt it would give us the best chance to build the next great Red Sox team, but we’re in a painful process where things aren’t going well right now.”
Henry, who said he does not regret the New York team meeting because it let him know how the players, coaches, and manager really felt about the state of the team, continues to try to find answers on why there may still be communication issues between Valentine and his staff.
The answer is probably simple — Valentine doesn’t trust some of his coaches.
But Henry is really focused mostly on next season. He doesn’t know who the manager will be, who the coaches will be, and who the players will be. Other than that, things are swell.
While Henry spoke about the financial flexibility created by the megadeal with the Dodgers, he said, “We’re not going to go out and spend for the sake of spending. We’re going to make sound baseball, and financial decisions and rebuild this the right way.”
Henry will ask Cherington to seek value free agents, make sound baseball trades. The owners will be more involved in the transactions, and Cherington will not have the carte blanche financially that Theo Epstein did.
One of the reasons for the visibility of the owners lately is because they felt they allowed last September to get out of hand, trusting Epstein to straighten out some of the issues the team faced before and during its great collapse.
It doesn’t appear Henry, Tom Werner, and Larry Lucchino are going to sit on the sideline in rebuilding the team this offseason.
One strong point Cherington made was when he was asked whether his decisions will be based on the noise from the talk-show callers.
“[They] shouldn’t,” he said. “We need to make decisions we feel are the right ones to make the team go forward. We’re aware that we need to deliver more for the fans. The talk around the team is a reflection of how much the fans care and what they think is certainly important, but we have to try to protect our decision-making process.”
Nick Cafardo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @nickcafardo.