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Highlights from Ben Cherington’s conference call discussing Bob McClure, Carl Crawford

08.20.12 at 7:54 pm ET

On a conference call to discuss the firing of pitching coach Bob McClure and the Carl Crawford‘s upcoming Tommy John surgery, Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said the dismissal of McClure was “performance-based,” but that the Sox also have to look inward at their pitching struggles.

‘€œHe’€™s a quality guy, a good coach,” Cherington said of McClure. “It just didn’€™t work out the way we’€™d hoped. Whenever it doesn’€™t work out, we have to look at ourselves first and ask what, if anything, we could have done differently to make it work better, so we’€™ll do that, but it just wasn’€™t working out. We felt like we needed to make a change. We felt like the right thing to do was to give everyone a fresh start and Bob will get a fresh start, and I fully expect him to get a good opportunity somewhere else.’€

Red Sox starters rank 25th in a majors with 57 quality starts, while Boston’s 4.30 team ERA ranks 23rd. Randy Niemann will take over as the team’s pitching coach.

Cherington noted that he does not foresee any more changes for now.

Here are other highlights from Cherington’s conference call:

On why they let McClure go:

‘€œThis was a performance-based decision. As I said yesterday and as I think bobby has said, I think there’€™s been a real good effort on the part of the staff to work together and iron out any communication issues that may have existed previously. We simply felt like we needed to make a change to put our pitchers in the best position to do what they needed to do the next six weeks. We feel like the next six weeks are important, no matter what our record ends up and there are things we need to accomplish the next six weeks to create a foundation going into the offseason. We felt like this change was needed to give ourselves the best chance to do that.’€

On Niemann as the new pitching coach:

“Randy’€™s got a lot of experience, too. He knows our guys well. He’€™s been involved with the pitching staff pretty intimately since the beginning of spring training. There won’€™t be any learning curve, that’€™s for sure. He’€™s done most jobs in the game. He was obviously a major-league pitcher himself and has had a long coaching career and has a lot of experience, and we felt like he can be part of the solution to making sure that we get a lot of good work done with our pitchers the rest of the season.’€

On coming to the decision for Crawford to get surgery:

‘€œThe medical staff, Pete Asnis, Rick Jameyson, our team physician and head trainer, ultimately make the recommendation, but there’€™s other people involved. We did consult Dr. Andrews again recently just to fill him in on the way it’€™s been and what Carl has gone through more recently and, ultimately, the medical staff, factoring in all the information including the recent increase in symptoms, made a recommendation that it’€™s probably something that needs to get done, and it’€™s just a question of when it gets done. We felt like the time was now.’€

On Crawford getting the surgery:

‘€œI think it became clear over the last few days that surgery was going to happen, it was just a question of when. We felt like after talking about it more this weekend and with Carl, the right thing to do was to get it taken care of now. Give Carl credit. He played through the injury and played pretty well. but the symptoms, it wasn’€™t getting better. the symptoms were getting worse. We just decided to ask him to keep going out there. we decided to take care of it now and he agreed with that.’€

Read More: ben cherington, bob mcclure, carl crawford, Randy Niemann
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