Ben Cherington was hired as the general manager in Pittsburgh during the offseason. He was in the Red Sox organization from 1999-2015, including serving as the GM from 2011-2015. Keith Srakovic/Associated Press

Former Red Sox GM Ben Cherington received plenty of scrutiny when the 2014 and ’15 teams he constructed lost 175 games combined and finished last in the AL East standings both years.

Still, he won one World Series (2013) and most of the 2018 World Series champion Red Sox’s young core was drafted and developed during Cherington’s tenure both as assistant GM and general manager. Reflecting back, he did a much better job as GM than it appeared when ownership replaced him with Dave Dombrowski in August 2015.

He thinks the scrutiny he received from the Boston media was fair.

“We lost too many games. And in a place like that, if you lose too many games two years in a row, there’s going to be scrutiny and there’s going to be changes,” Cherington said back at spring training media day. “I don’t look back on it as an unfair experience.”

The Pirates hired Cherington as their new GM in November. Some Boston media members mentioned Cherington as a potential nice fit to return to Boston before principal owner John Henry selected Chaim Bloom as chief baseball officer.

“I never really thought about that,” Cherington said. “But I don’t feel like my experience there was unfair. I think I learned a lot from it. I hope I learned a lot from it. Hopefully, I continue to learn all the time.”

MassLive.com asked Cherington for advice he’d give Bloom as the 37-year-old enters his first regular season in Boston.

“To remind himself and ask others to remind him and each other every day just about who they are, how they really want to do the job and what that looks like every day,” Cherington said. “And to help each other manage the inevitable scrutiny that comes with that job anywhere but certainly in a place like that. The scrutiny is a good thing because it drives the interest and holds the team to the highest level of accountability.

Chaim Bloom was named the Red Sox chief baseball officer in October. Former Red Sox GM Ben Cherington suggest Bloom embrace the scrutiny that comes with the job. Elise Amendola/Associated Press

“So I’m saying that in the positive sense,” Cherington added. “But operating within it, you’ve got to be able to manage that. It’s your name. You’ve got to be able to work with a group of people just to be the best version of yourself every day. So that’s what I would tell him.”

Cherington delivered a World Series in 2013, then experienced a difficult rebuild in 2014-15 that eventually led the Red Sox to three straight AL East titles after his departure.

He acquired Brock Holt, Rick Porcello Eduardo Rodriguez, Heath Hembree, Joe Kelly, Sandy Leon and Steven Wright. Rafael Devers, Andrew Benintendi, Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Xander Bogaerts, Blake Swihart, Matt Barnes, Christian Vazquez, Brian Johnson and Bobby Poyner were among the players drafted/signed and developed during Cherington’s tenure as Red Sox assistant GM and general manager.

Cherington learned from mistakes as Red Sox GM and hopes to improve in those areas in Pittsburgh.

“It’s really to try to control my interactions with people,” Cherington said. “The amount I’m listening. The amount of information we’re taking in and absorbing and try to control the pace at which we make decisions. I think there were probably … times early on in Boston where I didn’t control that pace well enough. We made decisions too quickly or maybe didn’t get as many inputs as needed.”

Dombrowski received criticism for trading too many prospects. Cherington received criticism for holding onto too many prospects.

He could have sold high on Henry Owens and Blake Swihart when Baseball America ranked Owens a top 100 prospect from 2013-15 and Swihart a top 100 prospect in 2012, 2014-15. Owens, who Boston eventually designated for assignment in December 2017, pitched in the independent American Association during 2019.

Bloom must strike the right balance as he looks to maintain a strong farm system and sustain success at the major league level longterm. Evaluating your own organizational talent arguably is the most important part of professional scouting.

“Every team in theory should be most precise or closest to precise on its own players because you have access to more information,” Cherington said. “There’s some information that every team has access to. But we have more information on our own players, Pirates minor league players, than any other team. We do. We should. So that ought to give us a chance to be more accurate. And so it is really important. Even when that happens, players are human beings and human beings change. Some human beings just improve a lot more than others. So it’s still hard. You’re going to make mistakes.

“The rate at which we’re right on our own players should always be higher in theory than other teams. I don’t know if that’s specific to the tech or data. I think that’s probably always been the case. And some of the tech and data that’s available helps us with other teams, too.”

Cherington spent from (1999-2015) in Boston, arriving here before Epstein and the Henry ownership group.

“It’s a unique place to go to work every day,” Cherington said. “That part (about leaving) was strange. Everyone experiences change in life, right? Everyone’s got things in life that happen that are either unexpected or you just don’t want to have happen. Adversity happens and you’ve got to move on or learn and get to the next thing.”

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