Ben Cherington on D&C: ‘We know this is not where we want to be’
|07.03.14 at 10:44 am ET|
Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington joined Dennis & Callahan on Thursday morning to discuss the state of the team, Xander Bogaerts‘ severe slump and Jon Lester‘s future. To listen to the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
All momentum that Boston generated from a series win against the Yankees in the Bronx was halted following a three-game sweep at the hands of the Cubs at Fenway Park, including a 16-9 drubbing Wednesday. Boston sits 8 1/2 games behind first-place Toronto in the division and is just one game ahead of last-place Tampa Bay.
Despite Boston’s dire outlook at this point, Cherington expressed hope that his team can turn it around over the final 77 games of the season.
“It’s sort of a combination of frustrated, disappointed and yet still very optimistic about where we’re going. … I think this series against the Cubs was a little bit of a microcosm of our season,” Cherington said. “Some of what’s happening, we can point to and explain and say, ‘OK, this part of the team needs to improve and this part’s not working,’ … Some of it’s just hard to explain.”
Added Cherington: “We know this is not where we want to be. It’s going to get better. … So we’re just focused on that and everyone’s on board trying to do the same thing.”
In what has been a recurring theme this season, the Red Sox have struggled getting the timely hits that the 2013 squad thrived on all of last year. While the Sox broke out for nine runs Wednesday, they left 14 men on base. Cherington acknowledged that the Sox have not looked like themselves at the plate this season.
“It’s going to ebb and flow a little bit, our performances with runners in scoring position, every team does that year in and year out, even within a season,” Cherington said. “There’s certainly times when our at-bats, they just don’t look like Red Sox at-bats.”
One of the most discussed storylines this season has been Red Sox ace Jon Lester‘s looming free agency. While reports have stated that the Sox are still trying to get a deal done with the southpaw, Cherington said that both Lester and the organization are just focusing on the season.
“I think Jon knows what our interest is,” Cherington said. “I think we all feel, including Jon, that given where we are right now as a team and what the stakes for all of us over the next two or three weeks, that we ought to focus on the season, and he knows in the big picture what we want, and that’s to have him here. We’re certainly not going to talk about it publicly right now, and I think right now we’re just focused on the season.”
Bogaerts continues his shocking slump, as the 21-year-old is 0 for his last 23 and 13-for-104 (.125) since June 1.
While Cherington said that he didn’t have a definite answer for Bogaerts’ struggles, he expressed confidence in his third baseman.
“When he came up [last year] obviously doing well in the minor leagues feeling confident and I think he almost played unconscious,” Cherington said. “A guy like that, you’re not even thinking about what you’re doing out there and then you face maybe a little adversity at the big league level for the first time and then you start to examine things. … He’s just too talented for this to continue. For the time being, we’ve just got to stick with him and stay behind him. This guy’s going to be a really good player for us for a long time.”
For more Red Sox news, go the team page at weei.com/redsox.
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