If you found it unpleasant to watch the 2012 Red Sox, you should’ve seen the view from Ben Cherington’s chair. The 38-year-old New Hampshire native had worked his way up from an area scout to the general manager’s office, but after 13 years in the organization, his first season in charge of baseball operations turned into a 93-loss nightmare.
Cherington wasn’t immune to criticism, but he often seemed like a bystander while manager Bobby Valentine self-immolated and an underachieving, injury-filled roster weighted down for most of the season by bloated long-term contracts caused the Red Sox’ runaway train to crash and burn.
That won’t be the case this year.
Valentine is gone after only one season, replaced by John Farrell, the manager Cherington wanted all along. And after pulling off last August’s payroll-purging mega-trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Cherington overhauled the roster this winter, signing seven free agents and trading for closer Joel Hanrahan. The Sox addressed short-term needs at first base, in the outfield and in the starting rotation and added depth at catcher, shortstop and in the bullpen, all while retaining their greatest assets in a replenished farm system.