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Dave Dombrowski: ‘I’m not here to blow up the operation'; Plans on meeting with John Farrell

08.19.15 at 3:10 pm ET
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Dave Dombrowski was introduced as Red Sox president of baseball operations Wednesday. (WEEI.com photo)

Dave Dombrowski was introduced as Red Sox president of baseball operations Wednesday. (WEEI.com photo)

With new president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski coming in and being formally introduced at a press conference on Wednesday, many have wondered what this means for current members of the baseball ops team.

Ben Cherington has already said he will no longer work with the team following the season, as he will help with the transition.

Dombrowski had many people working in Detroit under him that he had worked with for a long time. He said Wednesday he doesn’t want to “blow up the operation.”

“I think it’s important to know and I’ve talked to some people in the front office very quickly in the baseball end of it and I’m not here to blow up the operation,” Dombrowski said. “There’s a lot of good people here. They have good reputations. When I originally went to Detroit we kept everybody there and evaluated them over a time period. I think it’s a situation where I look to hopefully enhance what we have and work together closely and we if we can add people to the organization from wherever it may be, we’re open-minded to that. I hope that most of the people here will be in a position to stay and be able to help.”

Manager John Farrell worked closely with Cherington and while Farrell is currently being treated for Stage 1 lymphoma, Dombrowski was able to connect with him Tuesday night.

Dombrowski said him getting healthy is the number one priority.

“I think first and foremost and I don’t know John real well, we’ve crossed paths — we know each other a little bit. I wouldn’t say we know each other real well,” he said. “I told him first and foremost you need to take care of your health and that’s the most important thing. He’s a very respected individual in the game and I don’t even think at this point — as I told him, ‘You take care of yourself. When you have an opportunity to visit in person, you call me and let me know and we’ll work out on getting together.’

“He thought he would be able to visit by the end of this homestand so we’ll sit down and visit just really to get to know each other even better and get his feeling on the ball club.”

Read More: Dave Dombrowski, John Farrell,

Sam Kennedy on M&F: ‘We certainly hoped that [Ben Cherington] would have stayed,’ but understand he wanted ‘clean break’

08.19.15 at 1:46 pm ET
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Sam Kennedy

Sam Kennedy

Red Sox vice president/COO Sam Kennedy joined Merloni and Fauria on Wednesday as part of the Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon to talk about the Red Sox‘ partnership with the Jimmy Fund and Dana Farber as well as the coming changes to the organization. To hear the interview, go to the Merloni and Fauria audio on demand page.

Kennedy described the opportunity to bring Dave Dombrowski into the organization as a “rare and unique” one, emphasizing how the new president of baseball operations is a “proven winner.” He, along with John Henry and Tom Werner, didn’t want interim manager Torey Lovullo to find out from the media, so the group went down and told him. Later, he, Lovullo and assistant general manager Mike Hazen addressed the team and told players about both Dombrowski joining the organization and Ben Cherington stepping down as general manager. Kennedy said he had hoped Cherington would stay on but understood his decision.

“John and Tom and I met with Ben,” he said. “We had a great conversation that was completely open and honest. And I think there was disappointment but an understanding that he didn’t want to remain in the in the general manager position. We certainly hoped that he would have stayed, but we also understand that he felt it was best to make a clean break. So we’ve got to move on, got to focus on what’s in front of us not what’s behind us, and I’m really excited for what’s ahead of us given the caliber of the executive that we’ve just added to our team.”

Kennedy said that Dombrowski’s introduction on Wednesday afternoon again signifies that he, Henry, Werner and the entire Fenway Sports Group are committed to winning.

“We are here with that central mission of playing meaningful baseball games in October, and we need to do everything in our power to strengthen that baseball operation,” he said. “We’ve got great people here in the organization, bringing in a man of Dave’s caliber with his experience. I think he came into baseball in 1978, been in the game 37 years. He is a baseball man through and through. I’m excited to work with him, I’m excited to see his style of leadership, and we’re going to begin that process [Wednesday].”

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Larry Lucchino on D&C: ‘There will be some significant changes I believe in the baseball operations department’

08.19.15 at 11:54 am ET
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Outgoing Red Sox president/CEO Larry Lucchino joined the Dennis & Callahan show on Wednesday as part of the Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon to talk about the Sox bringing in Dave Dombrowski and Lucchino’s prior experiences with cancer. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Lucchino was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma shortly before his 40th birthday. Now about a week away from his 70th, he expressed how involved Dana Farber and the Jimmy Fund were in his recovery and how much they mean to him and the Red Sox organization now.

Though he will be stepping back in terms of his responsibilities with the team going forward, Lucchino still is in the offices until the end of the season. He said that the news of Dombrowski becoming the new president of baseball operations was released Tuesday night because “things were moving quickly and you want to get ahead of a story rather than have to deal with it as a leak and be on your heels.”

“It was a big story, major changes and when that happens, it has a life of its own and you’ve got to address it and deal with it as it did,” he added.

Dombrowski won’t handle the team in the same way that Ben Cherington did, according to Lucchino, which will lead to a different kind of front office.

“Ben has done a marvelous job, in my opinion,” Lucchino said. “He is a terrific guy, and I think he’s built an organization that will serve Dave Dombrowski quite well in the months and years ahead, and so things will change. Dave has his own approach, Ben had his own approach. Dave has his own network of people he’s worked with for years and years, and Ben has his, so there will be some significant changes I believe in the baseball operations department.”

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Curt Schilling on D&C: If Dave Dombrowski ‘not allowed to steer the boat,’ he won’t last very long

08.19.15 at 10:54 am ET
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ESPN analyst and former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show on Wednesday morning as part of the Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon to talk about his experience with cancer and give his take on the Red Sox‘ recent moves. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Schilling detailed the dangers of chewing tobacco and smoking, emphasizing that a large part of the problem is seeing guys in the majors doing it and thinking it’s cool. Schilling said he first dipped on a dare when he was 16 and wouldn’t have considered it unless he had seen it before.

He went through painful treatments to cure himself of the addiction and suffered from withdrawal in the process.

“There is not one positive, physical upside,” Schilling said.

At this point, he said there’s not much more he can do than inform people of what’s going to happen to them if they choose to dip or smoke.

“I’m not going to tell people not to do it because it’s a personal choice and it’s still legal,” he said, “but I will tell you what’s going to happen when you do, and it’s nothing you could ever, ever experience or imagine.”

On the baseball side of things, with Dave Dombrowski scheduled to be introduced Wednesday afternoon as the Sox’ new president of baseball operations and Ben Cherington stepping down as general manager, Schilling said things probably are going to be changing in the front office. Dombrowski, who was released by the Tigers on Aug. 4, is a different type of guy in the sense that he operates more independently.

“I don’t think this will last very long if he’s not allowed to steer the boat,” Schilling said, adding: “I would imagine that Dave made it somewhat clear that, ‘Hey, sure I’ll take the job, but this is how this is going to play out.’ ”

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Wednesday Red Sox Farm Report: Tim Roberson HR lifts Portland; Yoan Moncada homers, collects 3 hits in Greenville loss

08.19.15 at 10:09 am ET
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A look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Tuesday:

Shawn Haviland

Shawn Haviland

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (48-77): L, 6-2, vs. Syracuse (Nationals)

— Starting right-hander Shawn Haviland suffered the loss, allowing four earned runs on six hits and two walks in a six-inning effort. He also recorded six strikeouts. Haviland fell to 4-8 on the season and now has a 4.42 ERA.

— Right-hander Dayan Diaz relieved Haviland and pitched the seventh and eighth innings, allowing two runs on three hits and a walk with one strikeout. Diaz is 2-1 with two saves and a 2.04 ERA in 24 relief appearances for Pawtucket this season.

— Righty Noe Ramirez tossed a scoreless ninth inning, giving up just one walk. Ramirez is 4-1 with one save and a 2.61 ERA after appearing in 26 games.

— Third baseman Carlos Rivero drove in both Pawtucket runs — one in the first inning and one in the third — and finished the day 1-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to seven games. Rivero has played in nine games for Pawtucket since he came over from Triple-A Tacoma and is hitting .300 with one double, one home run and six RBIs.

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Wednesday’s Red Sox-Indians matchups: Joe Kelly vs. Corey Kluber

08.19.15 at 8:18 am ET
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Joe Kelly

Joe Kelly

In the rubber match of two last-place AL teams, the Red Sox will send Joe Kelly to the mound against 2014 Cy Young Award recipient Corey Kluber.

Surprisingly enough for Red Sox fans, Joe Kelly has proven quite capable of late. The oft-bemoaned right-hander has won his last three starts, posting a 4.41 ERA primarily because of a five-run outing vs. the Rays on Aug. 1. In his two latest outings combined, he has allowed just three earned runs.

Facing the Tigers on Aug. 7, Kelly was absolutely dominant, recording his first six outs via the punchout. He finished the game with a line of: 5 1/3 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 7 K. Most encouragingly, perhaps, were Kelly’s 17 swinging strikes generated, five more than his previous season high. After the game, Kelly was pleased with his offspeed stuff.

“I had a good mix of pitches going on early,” Kelly said. “The changeup’s always felt good, but the slider definitely felt better today. Curveball, when I threw it, it felt pretty good.”

Kelly shone last Friday against the Mariners, going six innings while giving up just four hits and a run and striking out six. He lasted 106 pitches and generated 13 fly balls. Though he was outpaced by his offense, which put up 15 runs, Kelly is starting to display some of the improvements he made in Triple-A throughout the month of July.

For the season, Kelly is 5-6 and still owns a 5.69 ERA. But his FIP sits at 4.29, better than the marks of teammates Eduardo Rodriguez (4.30) and Steven Wright (4.98), indicating he’s due for some luck on batted balls.

Kelly and the Red Sox draw the unfortunate task of matching up with Kluber, one of the most underrated pitchers in the game this season.

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Torey Lovullo sums up Red Sox’ recent events: ‘It’s been an awkward week to say the least’

08.19.15 at 12:20 am ET
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Torey Lovullo

Torey Lovullo

Red Sox interim manager Torey Lovullo put it best when speaking following Tuesday’s game after it was announced the team has hired Dave Dombrowski as president of baseball operations and general manager Ben Cherington will not stick around.

“It’s been an awkward week to say the least starting with John [Farrell‘s] news — we just got through that, we’re moving forward from that and then today’s news,” Lovullo said.

Farrell announced he has stage 1 lymphoma Friday and that Lovullo would take over as interim manager, as he began chemotherapy Tuesday. After the team had a few days to digest that news, it learned their general manager wouldn’t be returning and a new president of baseball operations and subsequent new general manager would be brought in.

New club president Sam Kennedy spoke to the team and coaching staff following the game to deliver the news. Right after, Lovullo walked up the stairs for his usual postgame press conference, although this one much different than his other three as interim manager.

“You know, this all all such fresh news to me,” he started when first asked of the announced moves. “I basically just found out exactly what happened a short time ago. At this point I really don’t know any of the details. I don’t know what happened. I don’t know what’s going on, what the process is.

“I will say that my personal relationship with Ben Cherington was very special. He was a great leader, a great man and we’re sorry to see him moving in a different direction.”

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Read More: ben cherington, Dave Dombrowski, torey lovullo,

David Ortiz: Ben Cherington did ‘remarkable job,’ but understands why shakeup was needed

08.18.15 at 11:47 pm ET
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Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz has been around the game a long time — 19 years between three organizations — so he knows how the business side of baseball works.

With the Red Sox headed towards their second last place finish in the AL East in as many years and third in the last four, it’s not surprising a shakeup took place with the team hiring long-time executive Dave Dombrowski as president of baseball operations Tuesday night.

Current general manager Ben Cherington will not return after the transition process.

“Like I said, you see this happening in baseball over and over and over,” Ortiz said following Tuesday’s game. “When organizations struggle or whatever they just shake it up. I’m not saying that this is the best way to go and do things because like I said even in a couple of years, the way we had been, Ben won a World Series as a GM. So you don’t forget about that that quick.”

Playing for an organization like the Red Sox, winning is what is most important, so although the move was surprising, it isn’t all that surprising at the same time.

“Like I said, it’s always moves in an organization like this one,” Ortiz said. “We weren’t expecting it to happen, but it happened. Now we have to move on and continue trying to be an organization, team that can compete next year and I guess that’s what they’re looking for.”

A few of the players who spoke in the clubhouse following the game said it wasn’t Cherington’s fault for the poor performances in recent years and ultimately it came down to them as players on the field.

Ortiz was posed the same question and after a bit of hesitation said the same thing.

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Dustin Pedroia sad to see Ben Cherington leave Red Sox as Dave Dombrowski comes aboard

08.18.15 at 11:46 pm ET
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Ben Cherington’€™s time with the Red Sox long predates the arrivals of recent championships (2004, 2007 and 2013) and the team’€™s veteran leaders.

His four-year stint as Boston’s general manager will be remembered for the World Series championship he delivered in 2013 and the treacherous teams the Sox fielded in the other three, yet his time with the Sox goes all the way back to 1999.

Dustin Pedroia, the second-longest tenured Red Sox player behind David Ortiz, was a second-round pick of the Sox in 2004, when Cherington was working in player development. With the news that Cherington will step down as Dave Dombrowski takes over as president of baseball operations, current players will experience a Cherington-less Boston organization for the first time.

“I’€™ve known Ben my whole time with the Red Sox,” Pedroia said after Tuesday’€™s game. “He’€™s been a big part of a lot of things in my career. We’€™ve had a lot of memories. Obviously, this is new. We’€™re going to miss him. I’€™m going to miss him. He has a lot of special relationships with guys. It’€™s tough.”

The Red Sox sit in last place in the AL East after finishing last both last season and in 2012, Cherington’€™s first season as GM. Pedroia, who is on the disabled list with a right hamstring strain, said that he as a player feels responsibility for the shakeup that led to Cherington’€™s impending exit.

“It’€™s on us. They don’€™t play,” Pedroia said of executives. “That’€™s frustrating, but we win as a team and we lose as a team. That’€™s the tough part; it doesn’€™t usually go down like that in the end. That’€™s how we all feel. We’€™re out there playing.”

As for Dombrowski, Pedroia, clearly still a bit stunned to lose Cherington, expressed measured enthusiasm for the addition of the former Marlins and Tigers boss. He also noted that Mike Lowell, whom Dombrowski traded for with the Marlins in 1999, has long sung the praises of the 59-year-old.

“I know that wherever he’€™s been, he’€™s won,” Pedroia said of Dombrowski. “Obviously that speaks for itself. I remember Mike Lowell used to talk about him and couldn’€™t say enough great things. Obviously I don’€™t think they would put somebody in that position that they don’€™t believe in. He’€™s pretty special at what he does. He’€™s done a great job for a long time.”

Pedroia, 32, is in the second season of an eight-year, $110 million contract.

Read More: ben cherington, Dave Dombrowski, Dustin Pedroia,

Clay Buchholz supports Ben Cherington: ‘Obviously you’d have to be stupid not to understand that it wasn’t his fault’

08.18.15 at 11:19 pm ET
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As one of the longest tenured members of the Red Sox, Clay Buchholz was one of the players that has known former general manager Ben Cherington the longest.

After all, it was the last year of Cherington being the team’s director of player development when Buchholz was drafted in the first-round of the 2005 draft.

The starter said it wasn’t Cherington’s fault for the struggles of the team the past few seasons, as the team announced Thursday former Tigers executive Dave Dombrowski will immediately join the team as president of baseball operations and Cherington did not accept Dombrowski’s invitation to stick around as general manager.

“I’ve known Ben my whole career since I got drafted he was the minor league coordinator at the time,” Buchholz said after the game. “I guess it’s along the lines of a player if you’re in this organization if you don’t fulfill your role for an extended period of time, they find somebody else that will. I don’t think Ben, honestly never had a hand in on the way we played or the level that we played at or if we didn’t do good enough. Obviously you’d have to be stupid not to understand that it wasn’t his fault. It’s the players in here.

“Little bit of a shock I guess that it happened tonight. As long as I’ve been here, the Red Sox, we have a meeting in spring training every year and the ownership comes in and says that they built teams to win baseball games and win championships, and obviously when it’s going like it is or has gone this year they felt like there’s needed to be a change and that’s what they went with.”

Buchholz said he found out the news in the eighth inning — about the time the news was announced — from Dustin Pedroia, another long-tenured member of the team.

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