The first day of spring training always is one of the most hopeful days on the baseball calendar. No matter where a finished the previous year, it has a chance to start fresh and go from worst to first, just like the Boston Red Sox did en route to winning the 2013 World Series.
Unfortunately for the Red Sox, they returned to the American League East cellar the following two seasons. And 2015, just like 2012 and 2014, was troublesome for the organization.
“I was shocked,” Red Sox owner John Henry told reporters Wednesday during a press conference in Fort Myers, Fla. “I was shocked at how bad we were last year. To me, it was shocking. Maybe it wasn’t to people on the outside. But you can’t have the type of talent we had on the field or at least attempt to put the kind of talent we thought we had on the field and get those kind of results and not be looking for answers.”
Henry says he looked “under the hood” at the organization for two months to find the changes the Red Sox needed to make to become contenders once again. Part of his answer was reassessing how the team used numbers, and the rest was having the players return to a high level of performance on the field and turning baseball operations over to Dave Dombrowski.
“There were a lot of issues,” Henry said. “… One of the things that we’ve done is, and I’m fully accountable for this, we have perhaps overly relied on numbers. There were a whole host of things. We have a very hands-on president of baseball operations (Dombrowski), a general manager (Mike Hazen) who work very well together, and we have made significant changes. The biggest thing that has to happen is the players on the field have to perform and we didn’t get as much of that last year as we needed.”
It’s far too early to tell whether or not those changes will provide immediate results, but the Red Sox are hopeful. And that’s exactly what the start of spring training is all about.
Thumbnail photo via Jonathan Dyer/USA TODAY Sports Images
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