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John Farrell: Ben Cherington doing ‘everything he can’ to make moves impacting Red Sox in ‘positive way going forward’ 07.27.15 at 5:16 pm ET
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It’s no secret the Red Sox will be active during the next four days leading up to Friday’s non-waiver trade deadline.

The Red Sox enter play Monday 11 games below .500 and 12 games out of first place in the AL East. While manager John Farrell isn’t involved as much as members of the front office are in trade talks, it does get to a point where he’s keyed in on what’s taking place.

“It gets to a certain point where conversations are going on and if there’s choices to be made — there’s some interaction there,” Farrell said. “I know that Ben [Cherington] is doing everything he can to make change that is going to affect us in a positive way going forward. That may vary depending on the situation, the involvement.”

With the team likely no longer in playoff contention, they could be in a position to trade away some of their veteran players with expiring contracts such as Mike Napoli and Shane Victorino, while also having an eye towards 2016 and starting to build next year’s team.

“I know that there’s daily conversation going on,” Farrell said. “It’s that time of year where there’s a lot of trade talk that’s going on. Only when it gets to a certain point does Ben [Cherington] kind of give me a heads up. So, right now, we’re who we are.”

Not only was Farrell a former player, he was in Indians’ front office serving as director of player development from 2001-06 before joining the Red Sox as pitching coach in 2007. It’s with this past experience he knows just how much goes into getting a deal done.

“You know that a lot goes into it,” Farrell said. “Ideas are generated in 30 different offices around the game. The reality of those coming to life? There’s a lot of steps that need to be achieved to get to that point. From field level if you have a thought, there’s a long way to go before that thought may turn into reality. I just know there’s a lot of challenges in finding a trade partner and then what makes most sense for both sides.”

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Curt Schilling on D&C: Red Sox ‘not getting fixed this year’ 07.24.15 at 10:47 am ET
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ESPN baseball analyst and former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling made his weekly appearance on Dennis & Callahan on Friday to talk about the Red Sox‘ post-All-Star-break struggles. To listen to the interview, go to the D&C audio on demand page.

The Red Sox have lost eight straight, including the first seven contests since returning from the All-Star break. With the Sox now 12 games out of first place in the division, Schilling said that the team will not be able to remedy itself this season.

“I think the first answer is that it’s not getting fixed this year. It’s not. I don’t blame [general manager Ben Cherington] in some ways, but you have to in others. It seems like every single move he’s made since the final day of the season last year has been bad,” Schilling said.

According to Schilling, there needs to be accountability for the team’s disappointing results, but that doesn’t necessarily mean firing anyone in management.

“Somebody’s got to pay. That’s the thing. I think that, if I’m running the team, I don’t know that I fire anybody, but I think there’s some readjustments that need to be made,” Schilling said. “There’s not a Band-Aid to put on this, there’s multiple gaping wounds that need to be healed.”

Schilling was definitive when asked if the Red Sox should fire manager John Farrell: “No.”

“I certainly think he needs to get better as a game-manager,” Schilling added. “I’ve seen situations where I go, ‘In my mind he got outmanaged or he was outplayed.’ But this, to me, is on the players. One hundred percent on the players. You can’t make Joe Kelly suddenly start missing bats, you can’t make guys take extra outfield work off the wall.”

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Ben Cherington on D&C: Red Sox need to improve pitching, defense; ‘Let our position player group continue to grow’ 07.23.15 at 10:28 am ET
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Ben Cherington

Ben Cherington

Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington checked in with Dennis & Callahan Thursday morning to discuss the state of the Red Sox as the July 31 trade deadline nears and to look back at some of the offseason decisions that were made. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

With the trade deadline just over a week away and the Red Sox currently sitting 11 games below .500 and 11 games out in the AL East, it’s clear the team will be looking for ways to get better for 2016 and it will begin with the trade deadline.

“I think we need to continue to find ways to improve our pitching and defense. Let our position player group continue to grow,” Cherington said. “I see that happening. It certainly hasn’t happened as quickly as we thought or hoped it would this year. The results haven’t been nearly good enough. We’re responsible for that and we have to get better quickly.”

The general manager was asked if there have been any internal discussions of firing manager John Farrell. Cherington firmly denied that has taken place and said he and the organization believe he’s the right man to lead the team moving forward.

“I believe he has the qualities that will allow him to be a really good manager in Boston for a long time,” Cherington said. “And I think if you look at the record the last two years, and like I said before it’€™s not acceptable, I feel responsible for that, I take responsibility for that, but I think that, and despite that there are still things going on in our major league clubhouse, around our team, that are productive. There’€™s still work happening that’€™s pushing guys forward, there’€™s still a work ethic and an effort being put forth that is important and so I think that that is a credit to John and his staff that there are still those things going on. Look, we all need to be better, everybody in uniform, everybody in the front office, everybody involved needs to be better, it’€™s not one person’€™s job to make it better, it’€™s all of our jobs to make it better.”

One of the biggest acquisitions of the offseason was pitcher Rick Porcello, who the team got in the Yoenis Cespedes trade with the Tigers. The 26-year-old had one year left on his current contract, but prior to his first start in a Red Sox uniform the team extended him to a four-year, $82.5 million deal.

The results haven’t been there so far, as he’s 5-10 with a 5.79 ERA. Cherington explained what went into the extension.

“We made the trade and at the time we made the trade we thought the arrow might continue to go up because of his age and his skills and his health and all that,” he said. “We thought his last two years in Detroit were plenty good enough. … We felt like he was one of the top 25-30 starters in the American League the previous two years and we were getting a guy in his prime. Once we got him, we got to know him over the winter, spring training — got to know what he was about personally, his health, his makeup, his work ethic, his sense of accountability — we felt like this was a guy we wanted to keep. Knowing how free agency works with pitching and his unique position he’d be in as a really young starting pitcher on the market, we felt our best shot to keep him was to do an extension prior to the season and then it was a unique deal because of his age and it ended up being what it was and was focused on the shorter-term and total amount of money that made it work.

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Ben Cherington talks trade deadline, Red Sox failures, philosophies 07.22.15 at 7:54 pm ET
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Ben Cherington

Ben Cherington

HOUSTON — With his team 10 games below .500, 10 games out of first place in the American League East and riding a six-game losing streak with nine days remaining until the non-waiver trade deadline, Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington met with the media prior to the Sox’ game against the Astros at Minute Maid Park Wednesday.

Here’s what Cherington had to say:

On the current slide: “We’re not where we want to be. The last 10 days or so haven’t gone well and not the way we wanted them to go. I don’t think it changes anything in the big picture. We’ve still got to pursue things that are going to make us better and continue to try to build a good team as quickly as we can. The last 10 days haven’t gone the way we wanted it to.”

On Clay Buchholz‘s diagnosis: “Well, I think it’s just going to be a few weeks. As John said earlier, the diagnosis hasn’t changed. The injection was discussed by our own guys at the time of the initial injury. It was an option that’s been on the table, and after consultation today and discussion with [Dr. James] Andrews. Clay decided he wanted to go ahead with it. The diagnosis hasn’t changed. The treatment’s changed a little bit.”

On Buchholz’s timetable after his PRP injection: “It will be a little bit longer.”

On the team’s approach toward the non-waiver trade deadline: “We’re going to work hard and try to find opportunities to make us better. What transpires, you can’t predict yet.”

On what type of deals to anticipate: “We’ve just got to see. I don’t think anything about the last 10 days changes the general direction that we want to go. We want to continue to find ways to improve in areas we need to improve and get to a good team as quickly as we can. When you don’t play well leading up to the deadline, the math starts to not look as good. There may be specific types of deals that would make more or less sense. We’ll see what comes of that. In the big picture, we’ll continue to work, as we have been working on, on trying to find ways to get better and get to a good team as quick as we can.”

On other teams’ interested in veteran Sox players: “There’s been interest, yeah.”

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Ben Cherington on D&C: Red Sox could be interested in acquiring major league players at trade deadline 06.25.15 at 10:25 am ET
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Ben Cherington

Ben Cherington

Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington joined the Dennis & Callahan show on Thursday morning to discuss the Red Sox and where they currently are in the season. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Despite the Red Sox‘ record, Cherington said that he and the team are looking to get as much out of this squad as possible. So as the July 31 trade deadline gets closer every day, Cherington said, “on that kind of thing, you wait as long as you can” before deciding to give up on the season on focus on the coming years.

“I think the more general statement is that we’re going to work to get to a good team, get to the team that we believe we are actually closer to than many believe as quickly as we can,” Cherington said. “So I foresee a scenario where we would even be interested in acquiring major league players, adding to the major league team. Depending on what our record is, it may be that those types of talks would be more geared towards players that we control, not just this year, but beyond this year, but I think that’ll continue to be where our focus is.”

A name that has come up in terms of possibilities of moving at the deadline is Clay Buchholz due to his improved pitching and favorable contract.

“I really think our focus is going to be to continue to improve the team, build the team that we want as quickly as we can,” Cherington said. “With respect to the record, of course that’s going to have to guide us a little bit on certain types of transactions, but the big picture, the bigger considerations we’re going to be focused on trying to improve the team and be good as we can as quickly as we can, and so Clay obviously can be a big part of that.”

In his most recent column, Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan wrote that Hanley Ramirez‘s attitude “has irked some respected members of the Red Sox’ clubhouse.” Cherington said he’s seen the piece, but that Ramirez’s “irksome” attitude is not something he’s heard about.

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Ben Cherington takes blame for Red Sox troubles 06.18.15 at 12:12 am ET
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Ben Cherington

Ben Cherington

Speaking to the media prior to his team’s 5-2 loss to the Braves Wednesday, Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington insisted blame for the last-place team’s woes should fall on his shoulders.

“From my perspective, looking at the bigger picture and why we are where we are, when you are where we are, there’s a lot of reasons for it,” Cherington told reporters. “There’s no single player that’s responsible for that. No single player can be responsible for a lot of reasons. The only person who perhaps is responsible, for a longer list of reasons, is me.”

With the team residing 11 games under .500 and nine games back in the American League East, Cherington said he understands there has been plenty of blame cast all across the organization.

“Well, the record is the record. The record is clearly not good enough for where we play and the amount that’€™s invested in the team,” he said. “We all know that. My job is to try to dig in to every reason for that, to look back at every decision we’ve made and try to learn something from that and then try to make it better, starting today and tomorrow and the next day. I think that whatever good things are going on in the organization, which I think there are a lot of good things going on in the organization, the record of the major-league team is the biggest thing. In Boston, that’€™s the biggest thing. When that’€™s not good enough, I’m more responsible than anyone else for that, so I have to find a way to make it better.”

The general manager was also asked about the expectations of specific players:

Rusney Castillo: “Well we think he’€™s a good player. The performance at the big league level so far this year obviously doesn’€™t reflect what we think he is. If you look at all of the attributes, he’€™s got athleticism, he’€™s got the tools, he’€™s strong, he cares, he’€™s accountable, he works hard. I think he’€™s smart. That all adds up to being a good player. It hasn’€™t shown up yet on the field in 2015 on the big league level so he’€™s got to keep working through it. There’€™s plenty of time for him to do that. On the other hand John has got to put the guys in the lineup who are swinging the bat the best.”

Jackie Bradley Jr.: “We talked about this a couple weeks ago. Very encouraged. He’s made an adjustment offensively and been one of the better hitters in the International League all year. Obviously the defense has always been there. He’s played hard at the top of that lineup every day. He looks like a good major-league player, the way we always thought that he could be. That’€™s where he is right now.”

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Curt Schilling on D&C regarding Wade Miley-John Farrell confrontation: ‘With guys that are dumb-asses, sometimes it happens in front of the camera’ 06.12.15 at 9:48 am ET
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ESPN analyst Curt Schilling checked in with Dennis & Callahan on Friday morning to offer his views on the John Farrell-Wade Miley confrontation from Thursday night. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

During Thursday’s 6-5 loss to the Orioles, Miley — who allowed five runs in four innings — expressed his frustration to the manager in the Red Sox dugout after being told he would not return for the fifth inning. Farrell followed Miley down the tunnel to the locker room and later downplayed the confrontation rather than publicly admonishing the left-hander.

Schilling, who pitched for the Red Sox when Farrell was the team’s pitching coach, said Farrell might have been careful with his words to the media, but he’s sure the 6-foot-4 field general flexed his muscles in private.

“I promise you there was a conversation in which John said, ‘If this ever happens again I’ll break you in half,’ to some degree,” Schilling said. “John Farrell isn’t just a big dude and he doesn’t just have an intimidating presence. He’ll throw down.

“This happens all the time,” Schilling added. “It generally happens a lot of time behind the scenes. With guys that are dumb-asses, sometimes it happens in front of the camera.”

Asked if the postgame conversation would have happened in front of the team, Schilling said that’s not necessary.

“There’s no sound-proof door on the manager’s office, which is about 11 inches away from the clubhouse,” Schilling said. “You don’t need to do it in front of the team to make sure the team knows.”

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Ben Cherington: ‘It was obvious’ for Red Sox to take Arkansas OF Andrew Benintendi No. 7 overall 06.08.15 at 11:46 pm ET
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Ben Cherington

Ben Cherington

With the No. 7 overall pick in the MLB draft, it was a big deal for the Red Sox organization, as it’s not very often they will have such a high pick — it was the third time in 48 years they had a top 10 pick.

Even with how important of a selection it was, the Red Sox had no doubts when they selected Arkansas outfielder and left-handed hitting Andrew Benintendi Monday night in the first-round of the 2015 MLB draft.

“Despite only two years of college baseball, there’€™s quite a bit of history that we have with him going back to high school and he’€™s someone who’€™s always played at the highest level of competition that’€™s been available to him, whether it’€™s been in high school or college and put that together with his performance, his physical skills and getting to know him as a person as we were able to do this spring, just throw it all together and when it got time to our pick at 7, he was the top player on the board, it was obvious who we were taking,” general manager Ben Cherington said on a conference call. “We’€™re really excited to take him.”

Benintendi broke out as a college sophomore, hitting .380 with 19 homers and 23 stolen bases while leading the Razorbacks to the College World Series this week. Prior to this season, he wasn’t on many team’s draft boards.

The 20-year-old was excited to be selected by the Red Sox.

“€œObviously it’€™s a great organization and they’€™ve got great history,” he said. “Growing up I was a big red sox fan and I looked up to Dustin Pedroia, obviously not the biggest guy but the way he competes and the way he works, it’€™s motivating for me. Being picked, it was extremely exciting. my family was here, my mom, and dad and two sisters. I put in a lot of hard work to get to this point. It’€™s starting to pay off and definitely have a lot more work to do, but I’€™m extremely excited and it’€™s going to be exciting to start.”€

The center fielder was drafted two years ago by the Reds, but didn’t sign. The Red Sox had contact with him then too, so they have known him for awhile and kept tabs on him ever since he didn’t sign. He really got their attention again this year, as he was named the SEC’s Player of the Year.

As for what they hope to get out of him, director of amateur scouting Mike Rikard seeings him having a top of the order type bat.

“As far as the player and his toolset, we think Andrew is a very well rounded player,” Rikard said. “There are so many things we like about him, he’€™s very athletic, he can run, he can play center field, we see him eventually as a top of the order type of bat.”

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Red Sox looking to ‘take advantage’ of having No. 7 overall pick in MLB Draft 06.05.15 at 3:35 pm ET
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The Red Sox selected LHP Trey Ball the last time they had the No. 7 overall pick in 2013. (Darrell Snow/Greenville Drive)

The Red Sox selected LHP Trey Ball the last time they had the No. 7 overall pick in 2013. (Darrell Snow/Greenville Drive)

After the Red Sox make a selection with the seventh-overall pick in the 2015 MLB First-Year Player Draft Monday night, the organization will not select again until the third round. But, Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington and first-year Director of Amateur Scouting Mike Rikard are staying levelheaded when considering options for their top selection.

“€œThis is one selection. Yes, we want to take advantage of it, but we have to sort of just keep in mind it is one selection, it is one decision amongst a lot of decisions on players that happens over the course of the year,” Cherington said on a conference call Friday. “I feel confident about our ability to get talent out of the draft, likewise out of the international markets, and the No. 7 pick in 2015 is another opportunity to do that but we don’€™t need to put more weight on it than we need to.”

The Red Sox own the seventh-overall pick for the second time in the last three years. In 2013, the Sox selected left-handed pitcher Trey Ball out of New Castle High School at No. 7 from a highly-touted draft class that included the likes of current Cubs rookie Kris Bryant.

Rikard said the talent in this year’€™s class is “pretty good,” but noted the Red Sox‘€™ selection could be impacted by how the first six picks play out.

“€œI think this draft class may be a little non-typical, just because there still is some uncertainty in front of us,” Rikard said on the conference call. “€œThere maybe hasn’€™t been those guys at the top of the draft that have kind of solidified themselves. So there is some gray area as far as what maybe the teams may do in front of us but we’€™re trying to just continue to weigh out all the options and we’€™ll continue to do so for the next few days.”

Rikard added: “We’€™re still very open-minded at the top of the draft. Obviously we’€™re well along in the process but we’€™re still considering a lot of options.”

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Red Sox Director of Amateur Scouting Mike Rikard feeling ‘anxious,’ but ‘excited’ for first MLB draft at 1:59 pm ET
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The Red Sox selected Michael Chavis in the first-round in the 2014 draft. The 2015 draft will be Mike Rikard's first draft leading the way. (Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

The Red Sox selected Michael Chavis in the first-round in the 2014 draft. The 2015 draft will be Red Sox Director of Amateur Scouting Mike Rikard’s first draft leading the way. (Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Monday night will be a big night for Red Sox Director of Amateur Scouting Mike Rikard.

Rikard was promoted to the position this past offseason and Monday is his first big test with the 2015 MLB Draft. The Red Sox will have the No. 7 overall pick, which only adds to the excitement, but he also noted there is some anxiety with it being his first draft leading the way.

“I’m very excited,” Rikard said on a conference call Friday afternoon. “I think that number one, everything that we do in amateur scouting starts with the amateur scouts. I mean, they are truly the lifeblood of what we do and they have done an incredible job of putting us into a really comfortable position to consider what all the options may be.

“Obviously, going through anything of this magnitude for the first time there’s going to be some level of anxiety and you just try and keep that positive and it’s certainly an exciting time. To be quite honest, anytime you think about just how important this is it doesn’t take too long to realize the people that we have here in place and our staff and how good we feel that we are. It gives you a lot of comfort with with where we’re at.”

Rikard is taking over for Amiel Sawdaye, who led the draft for five seasons and was promoted this past offseason to Vice President of Amateur and International Scouting. Rikard worked right along side Sawdaye for the five drafts as a national cross-checker.

Led by Sawdaye the Red Sox have had successful drafts of late, highlighted in 2011 when the organization selected Blake Swihart and Henry Owens, along with Matt Barnes, Jackie Bradley, Jr. and Mookie Betts. Also taken under Sawdaye have been Brandon Workman (2010), Deven Marrero (2012), Brian Johnson (2012), Trey Ball (2013) and Michael Chavis (2014).

Rickard says his transition has been an easy one because he worked so closely with Sawdaye and is familiar with the rest of the staff.

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