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Epstein on the Red Sox: 'You donít want to dig a hole you canít climb out of'

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  April 14, 2011 05:34 PM

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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 teamís 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 youíre not winning games, thereís some concern. We donít think itís a representative sample of how weíre going to play. At a certain point you donít want to dig a hole you canít climb out of.Ē

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. Thatís the most important ingredient. Getting a good starting pitching performance is the foundation and you go from there

"In the games weíve gotten the good starting performances, those are the games we havenít hit. Thatís just the way things go when youíre in a slump. For the most part the bullpen has been good. The higher-leverage situations, weíve pitched pretty well. We need to get some consistent starting pitching performances and hit up and down the lineup.Ē

On the changing lineups: ďWhen guys hit well, itís not hard. I donít think the lineup is an issue. No matter where guys hit, itís the quality of out at-bats as a team thatís an issue. If we have the kind of quality at-bats weíre capable of, you can pick the lineup out of a hat. Itís a matter of getting our good grinding approach. Itís early in the season and it takes guys a while to settle in. Weíre not hitting yet like we will.Ē

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. Heís pitching Monday. He needs to get better.Ē

Check out the Globe tomorrow for more from this event.

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