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Ben Cherington on D&C: David Ortiz ‘an emotional guy, and you can’t ask him to be emotional in all the best ways’

06.19.14 at 11:06 am ET
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Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington joined Dennis & Callahan on Thursday to discuss David Ortiz‘s outburst against the Fenway Park scorekeeper, John Lackey‘s contract and the current state of the team. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Ben Cherington

Ben Cherington

The Red Sox are in fourth place in the AL East with a 34-38 record, sitting 6 1/2 games behind first-place Toronto. Cherington acknowledged that the team’s focus in determining whether or not to become a buyer or seller going forward revolves around observing the team’s potential.

“I think it’s really a combination,” Cherington said. “Each day, we look at where we are and what we think we can be with the players we have and what chance we have to be in it and make a run. You plan your course accordingly. I think, based on that exercise, and we repeat that exercise over and over as the season goes on, we determine the course, and right now that’s led us to the focus of staying in this thing. We believe in the group we have, we believe that we’re capable of winning games, and staying in it and ultimately making a run, so that’s our focus.”

While Wednesday marked a thrilling 2-1 walkoff victory for Boston, it was also mired in controversy, as Ortiz lashed out at Fenway Park scorekeeper Bob Ellis after Ellis ruled a play an error instead of giving Ortiz a hit.

“€œDavid’s done a heck of a lot of good things for the Red Sox over the years and he’s an emotional guy, and you can’€™t ask him to be emotional in all the best ways,” Cherington said, adding: “€œUltimately, he’s up there in the 10th inning with the game on the line and delivers as he has so many times and we win the game, so it makes it a little bit more OK to talk about a scoring call.”

Lackey, who has been Boston’€™s most consistent pitcher this season (8-4, 2.96 ERA), is under contract for next year for a league-minimum $500,000 because he missed a season due to injury. There has been speculation that Lackey will threaten retirement or leave for an international league if his contract is not modified for next season –“ a scenario that Cherington did not seem to be too worried about.

“€œMy feeling about John is that he’s an outstanding competitor, outstanding teammate,” Cherington said. “He’s been an excellent pitcher and a huge part of our success last year and he’s been outstanding this year. … I would expect he’s going to want to continue [playing for Boston]. The contract is the contract. We agreed to a contract back in 2010, whenever it was, and when you agree to a contract, both sides venture into it.

“€œThere’s really not much more to say about it. We’re glad he’€™s with us and we expect him to continue pitching next year.”

Following are more highlights from the interview. For more Red Sox news, go to the team page at weei.com/redsox.

On the performance of Brock Holt this season: “He’s been a great story. … Everyone goes through good stretches and bad stretches and he’s not going to be red hot forever, and he’s going to, as every player will, go through a stretch where he’s not as hot, but we see a good player who can be certainly a part of a good team and he’s helped us a ton.”

On whether the Red Sox will call up either Mookie Betts or Christian Vasquez this season: “€œI think anybody in Triple-A who’s performing and doing things there to help a Triple-A team win has to be counted on in some way, if there’€™s a need. … That said, there’s no plan to do so right now. … We think both of those guys are doing really well and they’re developing in the way they need to.”

Read More: ben cherington, David Ortiz, john lackey, Red Sox
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