It does not sound as if he is going to take a long-term approach toward plowing it back into the on-field product. The team will have to turn to free agency to solve some of its problems. Poor free agent decisions helped lead to this stage of its plight.
Henry said one employee, Bill James, a senior adviser to the team, is going to start playing a more important role in the process.
In explaining why, he also gave a vote of confidence to Cherington.
“No, none of us are satisfied with the vetting process and it’s something we have been discussing this year consistently,” he wrote in part in an email that came as a reply to specific questions. “One of (the) biggest issues we’ve had is that Bill James was a great resource for us but fell out of favor over the last few years for reasons I really don’t understand. We’ve gotten him more involved recently in the central process and that will help greatly.
“He’s the father, so to speak, of baseball analysis and a brilliant iconoclast who looks at things differently from everyone else. But Ben is the right person to make the final decisions for the club.”
“Next year is going to be about one thing: winning the AL East in 2013 and setting the stage for the next few years,” he said. “We used to be satisfied with making the playoffs, but with the addition of a second wild card forcing a one-game playoff, we need to set a goal now annually to win the division.
“Given where we are right now, it’s a tall order to win the division next year. But we have to do everything we can to contend without repeating errors of the past — something we are determined to avoid. We strayed from our core philosophy over the past few years and have paid a terrible price for that.”
Asked about how patient he is and whether he buys into the concept of having to weather one or two of the “bridge years” ex-general manager Theo Epstein used to speak of, Henry answered this way.
“Personally I don’t believe in bridge years, because you cannot accurately predict the performance of minor league players that well,” he said. “That being said, you have to have a strong system. You need strong evaluators. We’ve let too many young prospects go and have also paid a price for that.
“I feel personally responsible for not protecting the farm system over the past few years. I knew better.”
This is basically the best Red Sox related story in 365 days.
Edited by SoxScout, 03 September 2012 - 04:36 AM.