This from CSNChicago.com is pretty funny. Old boss, meet the new boss: Theo Epstein and former Cubs GM Jim Hendry were at the same event at the Palm Restaurant in Chicago last night. Actually had some small talk and everything.
I only met Jim Hendry once and it was for about ten minutes when he just plopped down next to me in the press box at Spring Training last March. There wasn’t much more than our own small talk, but to the extent you can judge a person in such settings, I got the sense that there aren’t many people more comfortable in their own skin than Jim Hendry. Just seemed like a totally grounded and well-adjusted dude. In contrast, other GMs don’t often just hang around and shoot the breeze with, well, anyone. At least at spring training.
So I guess if there was any awkwardness in all of that, it was probably on Epstein’s part, not Hendry’s. Hell, he probably bought Epstein a drink.
The Red Sox, who won the AL East last season with a 93-69 record, have under-performed so far this season, entering Wednesday’s action with just two more wins than losses at 23-21. The club hasn’t had a winning streak of more than two games since April 15-18. As a result, manager John Farrell may be on the hot seat, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported on Tuesday.
Beyond the mediocre record, Rosenthal cites two incidents that happened this season that caused Farrell’s stock to drop. The first was the brouhaha with the Orioles when Manny Machado slid into Dustin Pedroia at second base, causing Pedroia to suffer an injury. When reliever Matt Barnes intentionally threw a fastball at Machado, Pedroia was seen telling Machado, “It wasn’t me. It’s them.” The word “them,” of course, would ostensibly be referring to Barnes and Farrell.
The second incident happened last week when pitcher Drew Pomeranz challenged Farrell in the dugout after being removed with a pitch count of 97. Rosenthal suggests that some of Farrell’s players aren’t on the same page as the skipper.
Rosenthal also mentions that Farrell didn’t have the entire backing of the Red Sox clubhouse in 2013, when the club won the World Series. So the issues this year may not be unique; they may be part of a larger trend.
The biggest impediment in making a managerial change for the Red Sox is having a good candidate. After letting Torey Lovullo leave after last season to manage the Diamondbacks, the team’s two most likely interim candidates would be bench coach Gary DiSarcina and third base coach Brian Butterfield. DiSarcina has one year of managing experience above Single-A (Triple-A Pawtucket in 2013). Butterfield hasn’t managed in 15 years.