BOSTON — Mike Hazen has some high hopes for the 2016 Boston Red Sox.
The new general manager, whose hiring was announced ahead of Thursday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays, wants next year’s team to be world champions. And Hazen, who grew up in Abington, Mass., thinks the team’s history can drive them there.
“This organization is prestigious, successful, has history — history that I’m proud of personally, one that I grew up in,” Hazen said. “From the days when I used to wake up and argue with my dad over who was better between (Jim) Rice and (Dwight) Evans. … Coming here to Fenway Park and watching Wade Boggs and Marty Barrett, Bruce Hurst. Going to Pawtucket, my first game, and seeing (Dennis) ‘Oil Can’ Boyd pitch.
“Memories that I take with me here in this job because that’s what leads me — leads us, I think, as a group every day, drives us to be successful.”
And while that might be a lot to ask of a team that’s currently sitting in the American League East’s basement, Hazen says that should be every team’s goal.
“The vision was the same as we started out with in 2015, which is to win the World Series in 2016,” Hazen said. “Now, that’s a daunting challenge given that there are 29 other talented clubs and a lot of talented players, but that goal remains the same for us year in and year out, otherwise we wouldn’t be here. That would be my goal and expectation. I’m sure that’s matched by many people in baseball operations.”
President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski also said the 2016 team should be better and that one can’t necessarily judge an organization by its play on the field alone.
“There’s a lot of good, young core players who are here and a lot of people that have been involved in finding those players, and I think you can make a mistake if you all of a sudden just go in and analyze the general outcome,” Dombrowski said. ” … When you walk in here and look at the talent and the farm system, I think that we can make some adjustments and make some decisions that are good this wintertime that we are in a position where we can be a very good club.”
Thumbnail photo via Mark L. Baer/USA TODAY Sports Images