Ben Cherington: Red Sox Can Win AL East; ‘I Still See A Good Team Here’

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June 5, 2015

BOSTON — The Red Sox entered Friday with the worst record in the worst division in Major League Baseball.

More than 100 games remain in the regular season, however, and general manager Ben Cherington remains optimistic.

“Look, in particular a couple days in the last weekm we haven’t played good baseball,” Cherington said before Friday night’s matchup with the Oakland Athletics at Fenway Park. “We realize where we are, what our record is, and as a group, we need to play better baseball. In my estimation, there’s always a list of reasons for what’s going on. I just don’t believe in silver-bullet solutions in baseball. There’s usually more than one thing going on, and we have to continue to attack all of those things.

“The challenge is identifying those things to figure out the right way to do it all of them. I would say it’s rarely one thing. It’s usually a number of things. Despite some of the games the last week or so that we didn’t play well, I still feel like in a lot of ways we’re closer to being the team we can be and a good team than we were a couple weeks ago.”

Noting improvement from Boston’s pitching staff, Dustin Pedroia’s consistent production atop the order and David Ortiz’s promising of string at-bats last week, Cherington said he believes the Red Sox can be a playoff team as currently constructed.

“Like I said, I feel like we’re closer to being a good team than we were a couple weeks ago,” he said. “And I felt like we could be a good team a couple weeks ago. This isn’t the answer you’re looking for necessarily, but you have to just compartmentalize what’s going on: look at defense, look at offense, look at pitching, look at how it’s all coming together. I can see solutions internally without making major changes or anything. I can see solutions for most of those things right here in the organization. I still see a good team here in 2015, one that can win the division.”

A 2014-esque roster demolition won’t be coming any time soon for these Red Sox, but Cherington admitted the team he has assembled has not lived up to its potential. And the responsibility for that, the GM said, ultimately falls on him.

“I don’t think it’s John Farrell’s fault,” said Cherington, who stressed the need for “urgency” from his players. “Ultimately, it’s my responsibility. I’m the GM. I’m at the top of the baseball operations department, at least. Performance of the major league team ultimately is on me, and if it’s not performing, it’s my responsibility to try to find a way to make it better. That’s what we’re trying to do.”

Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images

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