Ben Cherington is out of a job after stepping down as Red Sox general manager earlier this week, but he still has his sense of humor.
Cherington was on hand as a guest speaker today for the fifth annual Saberseminar in Boston, which benefits the Jimmy Fund. The event is centered around sabermetrics, scouting, and the science of baseball. His job status was obviously the big elephant in the room and he decided to go the self-deprecating route.
Cherington also held himself accountable for some of his decision-making, most notably with the decision to sign Hanley Ramirez and put him in left field. He said the front office “made a bet on the history of what players look like going from middle infield to outfield,” but admitted that it hasn’t gone well. According to Tim Britton of the Providence Journal, Cherington said that he believes some of his failings in the job came as a result of making decisions “in a rush.”
While he didn’t exactly go out on a high note in Boston, kudos to Cherington for being humorous and thoughtful in what has to be a pretty rough week for him. He likely won’t have to wait long for his next opportunity.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have hired Ben Cherington as the team’s new general manager. They do so after the general manager meetings ended, but better late than never.
Cherington served as GM of the Boston Red Sox for four years, winning the World Series in 2013, but resigned during the 2015 season after Dave Dombrowski was named Boston’s new president of baseball operations. Which was a defacto demotionn for Cherington who, until then, had the final say in baseball decisions. Dombrowski, of course, was fired late in the season this year. Cherington went on to work for the Toronto Blue Jays as a vice president, but was seen as biding his time for another GM position. Now he has one.
Cherington takes over in Pittsburgh for executive vice president and general manager Neal Huntington, who was fired after a 12 years at the helm. Also fired was team president Frank Coonelly. Travis Williams replaced Coonelly recently. While the Pirates experienced a few years of contention under Huntington and Coonelly, they have slid out of contention in recent years as the club has traded away promising players for little return, all while cutting payroll. There’s a very big rebuilding job ahead of Cherington.
The first move he’ll have to make: hire a manager, as the team still hasn’t replaced Clint Hurdle since he was dismissed in the final weekend of the regular season.