Special assistant to the general manager, what does it all mean? More importantly will it work? The line between the front office and the clubhouse has been blurred. For better or worse, this may be just what the Red Sox need to get them to be a stronger competitor in the AL East. It could also be our undoing if these assistants’ suggestions go unheard by Ben Cherrington. It is important to note that those chosen for this position are heavily involved with pitching and catching, two areas of weakness for the ball club right now. Will the knowledge from recent retirees, Pedro Martinez and Jason Varitek, impart upon the new pitchers and catchers make a difference? Varitek and Martinez have faced some of the current players. They know the modern day game of baseball. Guest appearances and friendly visits from Tim Wakefield, and others show that the front office realizes they need to do the best with what the team holds. Varitek can teach his way of doing business, taking notes in the dugout about each batter. Martinez can charm them with his charismatic ways, while he teaches the importance of technique, conditioning, appropriate use of the entire body to create a perfect pitch, and desire to learn more each and every day to get better. Wake can show them a great knuckle-ball.
Will the focus on pitching be enough? After a few games, we see little attention focused on hits and runs. It is spring training. It is early, yet. Hopefully, things will fall into place regarding the batting order as the season and long rested muscles warm up. Experimenting with this, tweaking that, Farrell, the chemist, tries to come up with the right formula for this team that lacked chemistry last season. If open to suggestions from his talented lab technicians, the assistants to the general manager, Farrell and Cherrington could develop the perfect brew for the upcoming season. Now is the time for trial and error as this will not be tolerated by fans in July, or heavens forbid, August.