College Blog
WEEI.com Blog Network
Posts related to ‘Ben Cherington’
Top Boston Sports Stories of 2014, No. 2: Red Sox finish in last place after previous year’s World Series title 12.31.14 at 10:13 am ET
By   |  Comments Off on Top Boston Sports Stories of 2014, No. 2: Red Sox finish in last place after previous year’s World Series title

Over the final days of the year, WEEI.com will count down the top 14 stories of 2014 in Boston sports. This is No. 2: Red Sox finish in last place after previous year’s World Series title. To read other stories in this series, click here.

Xander Bogaerts' inability to make the leap to productive full-time player was a key to the Red Sox' struggles. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Xander Bogaerts’ inability to make the leap to productive full-time player was one of the keys to the Red Sox‘ struggles in 2014. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Expectations for the 2014 Red Sox were as high as ever going into spring training in Fort Myers, Florida. But the play on the field during the season never matched the performance from 2013.

A year after the Red Sox won the World Series, many thought Boston could contend for another title — or at least be competitive. Before the regular season started, team president Larry Lucchino spoke about his faith in the team.

“There were so many sources of satisfaction,” Lucchino said of 2013. “And of course the Boston Strong element that came into it. It was terrific. But there’s also down here right now — and maybe as a consequence of that, and because of the people we have in leadership positions here — there is a good vibe coming out of camp. There’s a good feeling down here.”

Catcher David Ross echoed the front office’s sentiment and said the Sox could pull off consecutive titles.

“Let’s get another championship under our belt, and then, hey, we’ve been rolling pretty good since ol’ No. 3 got here,” Ross said. “Maybe I’ll start that campaign.”

What started as an encouraging year quickly began to fall apart. The Sox dropped the opener to the eventual division champion Orioles, then were swept by the Brewers during their first series of the year at Fenway Park. The home opener, where the Sox players and coaches collected their World Series rings, was marred by a ninth-inning meltdown from newly acquired reliever Edward Mujica.

The Red Sox played fairly well through the first two months, but injuries and inconsistent play from younger position players like Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr. pushed the Red Sox lower into the American League East standings.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Ben Cherington, Jackie Bradley Jr., john farrell, Jon Lester
Top Boston Sports Stories of 2014, No. 7: Red Sox bolster offense with signings of Pablo Sandoval, Hanley Ramirez 12.27.14 at 4:21 pm ET
By   |  Comments Off on Top Boston Sports Stories of 2014, No. 7: Red Sox bolster offense with signings of Pablo Sandoval, Hanley Ramirez

Over the final days of the year, WEEI.com will count down the top 14 stories of 2014 in Boston sports. This is No. 8: Red Sox bolster offense with signings of Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez. To read other stories in this series, click here.

Pablo Sandoval comes to Boston after helping the Giants win their third World Series in five seasons. (Elsa/Getty Images)

Pablo Sandoval comes to Boston after helping the Giants win their third World Series in five seasons. (Elsa/Getty Images)

The Red Sox made some big splashes early this offseason when they acquired veterans Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez.

Boston looked for offensive help after the team finished the 2014 season with 634 runs, 18th fewest in baseball. Especially at third base, the Red Sox saw inconsistency and instability from former prospect Will Middlebrooks. After starting a promising career with 15 home runs in 75 games in 2013, Middlebrooks finished this past season with two home runs and a .191 batting average.

Even before the season ended, analysts saw a potential fit for Sandoval in the Boston lineup. ESPN’s Buster Olney said the Giants were worried a team would make a push for the third baseman, who averaged 20 home runs and 86 RBIs per season since his debut in 2008.

“I saw the Giants the last couple of nights, and there’s a lot of anticipation within that organization that someone’s going to make a run at Pablo Sandoval. That team could turn out to be the Red Sox,” Olney said on Sept. 24. “He would fit them in a lot of regards. When I talked to some people with the Giants about that, they were nodding their heads and said, ‘You know what? He’d be a really good fit.’ Because he could play third base, and he had a good year defensively.”

Sandoval went on to have one of the greatest offensive postseasons of all time, collecting 26 hits over 17 playoff games. In the World Series, Sandoval finished with 12 hits and four RBIs in the seven-game set. All eyes were upon him as he grabbed the last out of Game 7.

A few teams emerged as possible suitors for Sandoval as free agency commenced, with the Red Sox and Giants at the top of the list. Sandoval visited Boston for the first time in the middle of November. The Red Sox and the player reportedly discussed a multi-year contract in the $90 million range.

Soon after his initial visit, Sandoval made his final decision: He would be a a member of the Boston Red Sox. He signed a reported five-year, $95 million deal that included a team option for a sixth season. The third baseman said it was time for a different adventure after spending the first half of his career with the Giants. He also said he was eager to play with his new teammates.

“I want a new challenge,” Sandoval said. “I made that choice to be here in Boston because I need a new challenge. The legacy they have here. To show them the fan support they have here. That’s what I wanted to make sure I made the right decision. It took me a long time, but I’m happy to show the fans all the support they gave to this team. Now I want to show I came here to give them the support to go into the postseason again.

“It’s exciting for me to be with Hanley and David Ortiz. Like everyone says right now in media relations, it’s the ‘Three Amigos.’ It’s just exciting to be part of this lineup and this organization.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Ben Cherington, hanley ramirez, John Henry, Pablo Sandoval
Top Stories of 2012, No. 2: Bobby Valentine leads woeful Sox to 93 losses, gets fired 12.31.12 at 11:30 am ET
By   |  1 Comment

Over the final week of 2012, WEEI.com will count down the top 10 stories of the year in Boston sports. This entry in the countdown is No. 2: Bobby Valentine’s nightmare season as Red Sox manager.

Check out our previous entries:
No. 10: NHL lockout
No. 9: Wes Welker’s up-and-down year
No. 8: Bruins’ early playoff elimination
No. 7: Ray Allen’s departure from Celtics
No. 6: Tim Thomas’ political controversy and sabbatical
No. 5: Celtics’ Eastern Conference finals loss to Heat
No. 4: Red Sox’ megatrade with Dodgers
No. 3: Tom Brady’s MVP-caliber season

In a forgettable season, the 2012 Sox finished 69-93, their worst record since 1965, and in last place in the American League East for the first time since John Henry and Tom Werner bought the team.

According to multiple reports, Bobby Valentine was not the preferred choice of first-year general manager Ben Cherington, but team president and CEO Larry Lucchino made the hire to replace Terry Francona.

As Valentine was formally introduced to Boston, nobody could have foreseen the outcome of the season.

‘€œI am honored, I’€™m humbled and I’€™m pretty damn excited,’€ Valentine said at his introductory press conference. ‘€œThis day is a special day, and it’€™s more than a special day. It’€™s the beginning of a life that I think is going to extend beyond anything else that I thought of doing. The talent level and the players that we have in this organization, I think, is a gift to anyone. And I’€™m the receiver of that gift.’€

Valentine, 62, would become the first Red Sox manager since 1934 (Bucky Harris) to be fired after just one season with the team.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: 2012 Stories of the Year, Ben Cherington, bobby valentine, Curt Schilling
Top Stories of 2012, No. 4: Red Sox complete blockbuster trade with Dodgers 12.30.12 at 9:12 am ET
By   |  Comments Off on Top Stories of 2012, No. 4: Red Sox complete blockbuster trade with Dodgers

Over the final week of 2012, WEEI.com will count down the top 10 stories of the year in Boston sports. This entry in the countdown is No. 4: the Red Sox‘ megatrade with Dodgers

Check out our previous entries:
No. 10: NHL lockout
No. 9: Wes Welker’s up-and-down year
No. 8: Bruins’ early playoff elimination
No. 7: Ray Allen’s departure from Celtics
No. 6: Tim Thomas’ political controversy and sabbatical
No. 5: Celtics’ Eastern Conference finals loss to Heat

It is one of the biggest trades the Red Sox have ever made. The late-August blockbuster deal that sent Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto to the Dodgers will go down as a landmark moment for Sox ownership as it tries to rebuild a team that has won two World Series in the last decade.

In exchange, the Sox received first baseman James Loney and four prospects: pitchers Allen Webster and Rubby De La Rosa, infielder Ivan De Jesus Jr. and outfielder/first baseman Jerry Sands.

The moving of Beckett, Gonzalez, Crawford and Punto was a major shift for the Sox, who in the past years had been locking players into long-term contracts. Together, those four players represent 11 All-Star appearances, four Gold Gloves, three World Series rings, one World Series MVP, one LCS MVP and one All-Star MVP.

The Sox, with that trade, started the reconstruction of a team which had fallen short of expectations beginning with an epic collapse in September 2011.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: 2012 Stories of the Year, Adrian gonzalez, Allen Webster, Ben Cherington
Top Stories of 2011, No. 3: Red Sox’ manager/GM turnover 12.29.11 at 12:00 pm ET
By   |  1 Comment

For the final 10 days of 2011, WEEI.com will count down the top 10 stories of the year in Boston sports. Our next entry in the countdown is No. 3: The Red Sox‘ manager/GM turnover.

Check out our previous entries:
No. 10: NBA lockout
No. 9: NFL lockout
No. 8: Celtics’ playoff loss to Heat
No. 7: Patriots’ acquisitions of Albert Haynesworth, Chad Ochocinco
No. 6: Jacoby Ellsbury’s MVP-caliber season
No. 5: Patriots’ playoff loss to Jets
No. 4: Celtics’ trade of Kendrick Perkins

On Sept. 29, a visibly frustrated Terry Francona sat beside a similarly frustrated-looking Theo Epstein in the Fenway Park media room. Epstein wore a navy blue Red Sox zip-up. He sat hunched forward while Francona leaned back in his chair, his arms crossed across his chest and a glower on his face. The two men attempted to explain why the Red Sox — a team that had been in first place going into September and was the best team in baseball at times during the summer months — failed to make the playoffs due to a 7-20 September.

But neither man had a satisfying explanation for the club’€™s September swoon, and neither man was willing to address his status with the team going forward. Francona appeared to be in a more precarious position than Epstein. The manager had just completed the last year of a three-year, $12 million contract that had an option for the 2012 and 2013 seasons that ownership would have to decide to pick up.

Epstein had one year left on a four-year deal that would keep him in Boston until the end of the 2012 season.

It was Francona who addressed his contract status first, as he met with Red Sox brass behind closed doors the morning after his tense press conference with Epstein. There, Francona said he informed ownership that he felt it was time for a new managerial voice to help guide the team.

‘€œI passed along my frustrations at my inability to effectively reach the players,’€ Francona said in a statement after the club announced he would not be returning. ‘€œAfter many conversations and much consideration, I ultimately felt that, out of respect to this team, it was time for me to move on. I’€™ve always maintained that it is not only the right, but the obligation, of ownership to have the right person doing this job. I told them that out of my enormous respect for this organization and the people in it, they may need to find a different voice to lead the team.’€

After Francona’€™s departure, more details emerged about the troubled times over the course of the season that led to his desire to leave the organization. Francona said he felt like the team was not coming together over the course of the season the way teams typically do, and after leaving the Red Sox Francona said he did not always feel that ownership supported him.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Ben Cherington, bobby valentine, Terry Francona, Theo Epstein
Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: NBA legend Julius Erving to auction off rings, MVP trophies 10.26.11 at 7:54 am ET
By   |  Comments Off on Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: NBA legend Julius Erving to auction off rings, MVP trophies

Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

WHAT’S HAPPENING LOCALLY WEDNESDAY:
No games scheduled

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ NBA legend Julius Erving, who is being sued for failing to repay more than $200,000 to a Georgia bank, is auctioning off some of his personal memorabilia, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Items on the block Friday include his 1983 Sixers championship ring and his ABA rings from 1974 and ’76 with the New York Nets, along with MVP trophies from both leagues. The minimum bid on his NBA ring is $25,000.

‘™¦ Speaking of sports memorabilia, federal authorities on Tuesday charged six dealers with selling hundreds of fraudulent game-used jerseys to trading card companies and other buyers. The Chicago FBI and other federal agencies conducted a four-year investigation into sports memorabilia fraud and questioned executives from the leading companies.

‘™¦ According to the most recent NCAA figures, athletes’ graduation rates up are to an all-time high of 82 percent. This single-year graduation success rate (GSR) is for students who began college in 2004 and allows six years for them to get a degree. Boston College checks in at 97 percent, tied with Duke for highest in the ACC.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Oct. 26, 1973, the Red Sox traded Reggie Smith and Ken Tatum to the Cardinals for which two players who would play key roles on the 1975 American League championship team?

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Ben Cherington, Julius Erving, Terrell Owens, Tim Tebow