BOSTON — The media release announcing the firing of Bobby Valentine yesterday stated that the search for a new manager would begin immediately and GM Ben Cherington would be leading it.
That’s pretty much what the Red Sox said last year before president/CEO Larry Lucchino intervened.
The result: The search lingered until Dec. 1, Boston hired the biggest name instead of the best manager and the team had a massively unproductive offseason following its worst season in decades.
Attention Larry: Stay away from your GM this offseason. Let Cherington work with his baseball staff to do the job he was hired to do when he was promoted last offseason.
Cherington deserves only about 10 percent of the blame for this absolutely laughable and chaotic 2012 debacle in which Boston finished below 70 wins for the first time since 1965 (not including strike-shortened seasons).
Cherington had his hands tied last offseason from the managerial search to free agent signings.
But with Valentine gone and approximately $257 million of payroll freed up in the mega-trade that Boston made with the Los Angeles Dodgers in August, it is time for Cherington to show us what he can really do — if Lucchino lets him.
If Lucchino doesn’t, Cherington should resign his post immediately.
It appears Cherington will be given his chance to select his own manager and build his own team, but appearances sometimes can be deceptive.
“I think I’ve always said I feel like I have the appropriate amount of autonomy, which is to say not full autonomy and no GM does,” Cherington said.
“But there ought to be a strong involvement from ownership on a major decision like this because we want whoever our next manager is to succeed (and) he needs to have the support of all of us.”
The managerial decision shouldn’t last beyond Nov. 1.