Thursday, December 5, 2013
BOSTON - The lovefest was still in progress at Fenway Park on Tuesday as new Red Sox manager John Farrell posed for picture after picture.
Standing off to the side, the assistant general manager, Mike Hazen, said it was indeed good that Farrell was named manager. Farrell is a strong communicator with ties to the Boston front office.
"That's not going to translate into wins," Hazen said. "But it's definitely going to start the process of evaluation of where we're at today, which is not the place we want to be."
Today the Red Sox are a losing organization. Tomorrow?
"It's extremely important for us to turn the page on 2012," Hazen said, "and for John to be able to have those challenging conversations, I think it's only going to help us."
"The tough conversation to fix what's happened here over the last 14 months," Hazen said.
"Questioning everything. Roster decisions. The current state of the roster. Player performance. The coaching staff.
"To the contributions of the farm system, or lack thereof, that went into last season."
Hazen has worked with Farrell since both were with the Indians in 2001. General Manager Ben Cherington has known Farrell almost as long, and forged a strong relationship when Farrell was the Red Sox pitching coach from 2007-10.
"The conversations take a different tone when you already have that prior relationship," Hazen said. "There is not a lot of wondering what the other person's thinking."
Still, Hazen knows the bottom line for fans is not how well everyone in the front office gets along, but what are the results.
"Trust isn't going to lead to wins," Hazen said. "Good decisions are going to lead to wins."
Some of those decisions will be based on what took place in Portland last year. The Sea Dogs had a lot of impact prospects play at Hadlock Field.
Shortstop Xander Bogaerts, center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. and right fielder Bryce Brentz lead the group. Outfielder Juan Carlos Linares, and left-handers Chris Hernandez and Drake Britton were also impressive.
They could be helping out Boston soon.
The Red Sox seem to be committed to going back to the days of developing players (Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jonathan Papelbon, Clay Buchholz, etc.) instead of trading them (Anthony Rizzo, Casey Kelly, etc.) for a big splash.
Having Farrell, a former director of player personnel with the Indians, will help.
"He'll get to know (Boston's prospects) more and more as we get into the offseason," Hazen said. "We'll certainly have those conversations about the guys who could be on the cusp of getting to the major league level.
"The good thing is I think we have some talented players that are going to be ready in the next 12 to 24 months to impact this roster. And we need that in order to have a sustainable run with that next great Red Sox team."
That last great Red Sox run, from 2003-09, produced six playoff appearances (four in the ALCS) and two world championships.
Those glory days were not that long ago. They just seem so, after a 69-93 record.
The talking has begun.
"Many conversations over the last three days with Ben," Farrell said Tuesday. "We do have a number of things we have to take care of. There are a lot of things here that make (my hiring) a natural fit. That is by no means a given to have success. We have a lot of work to do."
Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or at: