Cherington: ‘I recommended' Ramirez, Sandoval deals


Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington reiterated his faith in big-ticket free agent signees Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval, and in his sputtering team in general, in an interview with WEEI on Thursday.

The morning after telling reporters in Houston, "I haven't seen anything that tells me they won't be part of a winning Red Sox team," Cherington said on the "Dennis & Callahan" show that he recommended Ramirez and Sandoval to ownership this past offseason, not the other way around.

“We clearly recommended those deals — I recommended those deals,” he said. “There were reasons for it and I still believe those guys will be a part of our team when we’re winning a lot more games. I think on the one hand when we haven’t delivered results over the last few years, which clearly we haven’t, we need to be accountable. I certainly feel responsible for that. We look at the total results, they’re not good enough...But we also know that in any particular deal it might look one way now and might look another way six months from now. It might look another way two years from now. What’s clear and what is irrefutable is we’re not winning enough games and we have to find a way to win more games and that’s what we’re focused on. The decisions, the acquisitions were recommended by me and I still believe in those guys.”

Cherington said despite Ramirez's defensive woes in moving to left field this season, he doesn't see him making another position switch to first base.

"We knew there was some risk we were taking in signing him and moving him to a new position is something he wanted to do, he wanted to be here, so we took that risk, we went into it with open eyes and we’€™ve seen, I think, some signs that he’€™s sort of getting over the transition," he said. "If you dice it up, home and road, he’€™s, in my eyes, looks fine on the road. He doesn’t have to be a gold glove left fielder to be a good player if he’€™s hitting the way he’€™s capable of hitting. At home there’€™s been some challenges, and we’€™re trying to still get him more comfortable at home but I think we need to give this some more time and I said yesterday, Hanley’€™s capable of playing, I’€™m sure if it would help the team, and if it was the right thing for the team, he’€™s capable of playing another position at some point, but right now he’€™s our left fielder and we’€™re focused on that.”

As for the buy-or-sell question at the July 31 trading deadline, Cherington wouldn't commit to "selling," despite a seven-game losing streak that has dropped the Red Sox out of contention.

“We’€™ve got to look at ways to get better quickly and obviously we haven’€™t played well in the last 10 days and so the math is not as good for us now as it was 10 days ago," he said. "That can influence our approach to specific types of deals but I think there’€™s less, in today’€™s game, there’€™s just less of the black and white, veteran rental for prospect deal that still happens, but there’€™s more and more deals that you’€™re talking about, whatever your record is, you’€™re talking about need for need or you’€™re talking about finding matches with teams that somehow you think will help you move forward and whether they involve veteran players, young players, whatever, it’€™s just the time of year where every team is talking, it sometimes allows you to find opportunities that you didn’t even know were there so."

Cherington said his job security hasn't been discussed with ownership and that he sees John Farrell as the Red Sox manager "for a long time."

“Every internal conversation has been 100 percent about trying to find solutions, trying to find ways to get better, trying to identify things that are going well, the things that aren’t going well," he said. "Specifically, you’re trying to fix the areas that need fixing and avoid throwing the baby out of the bath water. That’s all we’ve been talking about. I haven’t heard anything other than that in our conversations."

And on Farrell:

“I believe he has the qualities that will allow him to be a really good manager in Boston for a long time,” Cherington said. “And I think if you look at the record the last two years, and like I said before it’€™s not acceptable, I feel responsible for that, I take responsibility for that, but I think that, and despite that there are still things going on in our major league clubhouse, around our team, that are productive. There’€™s still work happening that’€™s pushing guys forward, there’€™s still a work ethic and an effort being put forth that is important and so I think that that is a credit to John and his staff that there are still those things going on. Look, we all need to be better, everybody in uniform, everybody in the front office, everybody involved needs to be better, it’€™s not one person’€™s job to make it better, it’€™s all of our jobs to make it better.”

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