Friday, October 14, 2011

Epstein's Replacement: Who is Ben Cherington?

Even though the deal isn't finalized yet, Theo Epstein has agreed with the Cubs on a five year deal to run baseball operations in Wrigleyville.  According to Yahoo Sports, Red Sox Assistant General Manager Ben Cherington has already been told that he will replace Epstein as the GM in Boston.  So who is Ben Cherington?

A New Hampshire native (shout-out to the 603), Cherington graduated from Amherst College where he pitched on the baseball team before a labrum injury during his junior year.  He stayed with the team as an unofficial pitching coach and learned more about the game by studying from the dugout.  After Amherst, Cherington completed a master's in sports management at UMASS-Amherst.  Former Sox GM Dan Duquette hired Cherington in 1997 as an intern and he has served the organization in many roles since he was hired full-time in 1999.  In 2005, Cherington and Jed Hoyer were named co-general managers during Epstein's short 86-day hiatus from the front office.  For the last three years, Cherington has served as Epstein's Assistant GM.

Cherington will have a difficult task ahead of him when he formally takes over the GM job from Epstein.  He will have to replace manager Terry Francona, who left the team right after the season, and he will need to try to fix the lackadaisical clubhouse attitude that was detrimental  in September.  Sources believe Cherington is calmer and more reserved than Epstein, which may help an organization that has been filled with chaos ever since the worst regular season collapse in history.  The Red Sox are smart to hire someone with intimate knowledge of the organization, but is promoting someone from within a good way to solve all the Sox problems?  Once Theo officially leaves for Chicago, it will be interesting to see what steps Cherington takes in order to get the Red Sox back to the postseason in 2012.

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