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Ben Cherington’s Task List: Hire a Manager, Replace Papelbon & Drew

Ben Cherington (Darren McCollester of Getty Images)

With the end of the Theo Epstein era in Boston comes the beginning of Ben Cherington’s reign as general manager. Born in New Hampshire, Cherington was raised as a Red Sox fan throughout his childhood, often imitating the batting stances of favorite players like Jim Rice. His mind was always his most impressive feature, memorizing the statistics of baseball players all his life. Cherington received his Masters in Sports Management from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. While his gentle appearance and soft background as a baseball fan are representations of Cherington as a man, his time as general manager of the Red Sox will likely highlight his ability to make tough decisions with players to produce the best possible team every year.

Cherington is known for having a great appreciation for players who play the game the right way, and who enjoy getting to the ballpark on an everyday basis. It should be interesting to see how he approaches this offseason for the Red Sox, especially after the news of Jonathan Papelbon signing on with the Phillies.

Tasks for Cherington this offseason include the handling of David Ortiz as a free agent, and pursuing players of interest on the market. He should be targeting a right fielder to replace J.D. Drew, such as Michael Cuddyer who could come as a bargain. Cherington will also need to look into finding a starting pitcher to replace the injured John Lackey in the rotation as well. Most importantly perhaps will be figuring out where the bullpen of the team stands after the departure of Papelbon. It is unclear as to how Daniel Bard would perform in the closer role, meaning it may important for Cherington to go after an established closer such as Ryan Madson.

However before worrying about the players on the field, a more pressing matter may be finding the man who will manage them. With Terry Francona out the door in Boston, Ben Cherington needs to find a new manager of the Red Sox. With candidates being interviewed and analyzed as we speak, ownership along with Cherington are likely to land their man before Thanksgiving. Whoever takes the helm (likely Pete Mackanin, Dale Svuem, Sandy Alomar Jr., Torey Luvullo or Gene Lamont) will create a new dynamic looking for similar success to that of Francona and Epstein.

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