September 24, 2019

"An Industry Perception Of The Red Sox As A Chaotic, Miserable Place To Work"

Buster Olney (ESPN) reports that there an "industry perception of the Red Sox as a chaotic company, a miserable place to work".
Boston owner John Henry needs to understand this, because it is why some of the people he'd probably love to consider as possible replacements for [Dave] Dombrowski privately dismiss the idea out of hand.

A wide-held view in other front offices is that the highly respected and well-liked Red Sox president Sam Kennedy stands as a thin buffer between the team devolving to the level of the Mets, the team generally regarded by rival executives as baseball's model for dysfunction. "If Sam ever walked away," said one official, "the whole thing would be a complete mess."
Olney claims that some potential candidates have serious doubts whether principal owner John Henry possesses the necessary patience to support the next GM "through the difficult crossroads ahead".

The Mets? This so-called "widely-held view" seems a tad over-blown. There have been several instances of far more chaotic front offices (if the Red Sox can even be termed "chaotic") and those teams never had trouble filling top management spots. These high-profile jobs are few and the available talent pool has exploded in the last decade or two. No disrespect to Sam Kennedy, but is he really the only thing ("a thin buffer") keeping the Red Sox from going 50-112 in 2020 or 2021?

Sean McAdam (Boston Sports Journal) reports that the Red Sox have announced some changes and promotions to their Baseball Operations staff.
Mike Rikard, who has been the team's amateur scouting director, will now serve as vice president of scouting and be responsible for the entire scouting department. Additionally, Paul Toboni was elevated to director of amateur scouting, essentially filling Rikard's former position.

Meanwhile, two others – Devin Pearson was named to assistant director, amateur scouting and Stephen Hargett was promoted to amateur crosschecker.
McAdam finds the timing of these moves odd and says they raise other questions:
By elevating a number of people to oversee an important area like scouting, the Red Sox are already filling out some key spots in the Baseball Operations department before choosing someone to oversee the entire department. ... Ordinarily, an incoming executive would be given the opportunity to put his choices in those roles. The next GM/President of Baseball Operations will not have that luxury.

That suggests one of two scenarios:

1. The Red Sox plan to promote someone from the Gang of Four currently running Baseball Ops on an interim basis – Eddie Romero, Brian O'Halloran, Zack Scott and Raquel Ferreira. That would ensure a smooth transition for the new GM – likely Romero – since there is already a familiarity and comfort level with those promoted Monday.

2. Ownership and upper management is so impressed with the work of the current scouring department that they will insist on the current group being retained by anyone coming in from the outside.
Chad Jennings (The Athletic) reads the tea leaves in these decisions and believes an internal candidate would make sense:
The promotions came after team president Sam Kennedy announced two weeks ago that manager Alex Cora's job is safe, and after last week's news that Tony La Russa ... will also remain with the team in some sort of advisory role. ... [This] suggests the Red Sox are not looking for a wholesale shakeup, but rather a specific change targeted primarily at the very top of the hierarchy. ...

It is notable that many of the Red Sox existing baseball operations executives – including the foursome currently running the show on an interim basis – have been with the organization more than a decade. ... Monday's announcement means that reality will not completely change, no matter who is eventually hired to steer the ship.
John Tomase (NBC Sports) named four players who he believes will not be wearing a Red Sox uniform next season: Rick Porcello, Mitch Moreland, Brock Holt, and Jackie Bradley.

Tomase notes that Porcello loves pitching in Boston, but "of the 58 pitchers to make at least 75 starts over the last three years, only three posted worse ERAs than Porcello (4.80)"; Holt has "likely been made expendable by the younger and cheaper Marco Hernandez"; and Bradley's offense remains "frustratingly intermittent" and "the team can sacrifice a little defense in center to gain a better bat".

1 comment:

FenFan said...

I definitely see Porcello leaving town after this season; there has been zero consistency in his abilities. He either pitches lights out or stinks up the joint. I agree with Moreland and Holt both leaving via free agency; both are well-liked but command too much to keep on the payroll.

I seriously doubt JBJ will be elsewhere because he isn't eligible for free agency until 2021. He made $8.55M this season, and he might get a bump closer to $10M. Despite his offensive woes, the fact is that his OBP (.319) is nearly 100 points higher than his BA, so he does get on base. Maybe the Sox would be willing to let him go and give Rusney Castillo another shot at becoming a big league star?