Red Sox News Conference Live Blog: Theo Epstein: ‘We Need to Be More Accountable’


Red Sox News Conference Live Blog: Theo Epstein: 'We Need to Be More Accountable' 4:36 p.m.: To wrap things up, Epstein was asked about his future with the club. Like Francona, though, Epstein decided not to comment on that so close to the end of the season. 

He did say, however, that he still thinks there are plenty of people in the organization that can make the Red Sox successful, people he still fully trusts. He put both Francona and himself in that group.

"When we're at our best, this is the best organization in baseball," he said.

Of course, as Epstein added, that was not the case this season.

4:33 p.m.: Francona talked about not being able to get the team do what he wanted on the field.

"I respect that team down there a lot, but to be the very best, you gotta be, there's gotta be some extraordinary things happening. At times we didn't put our best forward.

"I wanted us to handle things on the field a little better than we did. I wanted us to get there, but at times, it was very difficult."

4:28 p.m.: Was the September collapse predictable? Well, maybe.

"Even when we were winning, there were things that weren't quite right," Epstein says.

"Does the roster need a complete overhaul? I don't think so. Do we need to make changes? Yeah, absolutely we do."

Francona still isn't ready to talk about his future in Boston or lack thereof. When asked about whether or not he'll be back next season, he said it's something he'd rather not talk about right now.

4:23 p.m.: Epstein talked about the perceived lack of physical fitness within the organization. He admitted that is a problem in some aspects.

"I can't sit here and say those standards have been met across the board."

He then got into talking about the players in the clubhouse taking more responsibility.

"We need to be more accountable."

He also did have an interesting sentence within there as well. On the players in the clubhouse: "I have a ton of respect for almost of them."

Take that as you will.

4:20 p.m.: Epstein called getting Carl Crawford back on track is a "significant priority," and the Sox "aren't going to abandon him."

He also spoke about how important it was that Crawford has taken accountability for his poor play this season.

Francona dismissed any talks of moving up and down the lineup for Crawford having much to do with his struggles.

4:17 p.m.: Francona: "I regret the way [September] turned out, but I don't regret how we went about doing it."

Epstein on free agency of David Ortiz and Jonathan Papelbon: "We'd love to have both guys back."

Epstein also talked about how proud he was of the leader that Papelbon has become off the field.

4:16 p.m.: Also, as we try to keep up with everything is said, Francona spoke to something of a lack of chemistry in the clubhouse. He did stress that while everyone isn't always going to like everyone, there still needs to be a bond on the field.4:14 p.m.: Francona on John Lackey: "I think we certainly wish it had gone better on the mound."

Epstein called rehabilitating lackey is a "big priority."

Epstein also addressed Lackey's "demonstrative" on-mound demeanor, but also said stressed that behind the scenes, Lackey is a well-respected member of the clubhouse. Furthermore, the GM said that Lackey is one who will apologize to teammates when he does show them up. It's something they're working on either way, Epstein said.

4:11 p.m.: Interesting quote from Epstein in regards to the urgency the Sox were clearly feeling down the stretch:

"The response to urgency, when you handle it well is increased focusness, intensity, raising your level of play at the right time. If urgency was felt, we didn't respond in the right way — the Red Sox way. … That's something we have to live with."

4:06 p.m.: Epstein says the entire Red Sox braintrust will meet in the coming days to discuss the future. Much has been made about the future of both him and Francona moving forward.

Epstein did say, "No one would blame this on Tito. … Collectively this a failure. I'm the general manager, so I take most of the blame.

"We're not going to be pointing the fingers at any one person in particular."

4:03 p.m.: Theo Epstein starts things off talking about how the season was bookended by two wretched stretches of baseball. The GM said they'll assess everything, but will spend more time on reflecting on the poor stretches.

Epstein also said that this is not a time for excuses — including injuries.

3:55 p.m.: The Red Sox will hold their standard, end-of-the-year news conference on Thursday at 4 p.m. and NESN will be there every step of the way.

General manager Theo Epstein and manager Terry Francona will both speak.

NESN will carry the news conference live at 4 p.m. with Randy Scott hosting from NESN's Watertown studios while Red Sox reporters Heidi Watney and Tony Lee will be covering the conference on site.

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