Varitek speaks, defends teammates


Varitek speaks, defends teammates

Add Jason Varitek to the list of players starting to trickle out and defend themselves -- as well as teammates -- in the aftermath of the Red Sox collapse.

Varitek spoke with the Boston Globe's Peter Abraham, and touched upon the recent reports surrounding the Red Sox organization.

According to Varitek, the collapse was nothing more than a team not being able to put it all together. It wasn't drinking in the clubhouse. And it wasn't a lack of team unity, which manager Terry Francona alluded to just after the Sox were eliminated.

I didnt agree with that," Varitek told the Globe. "I believed that this team, regardless, pulled for each other and those things have been so grossly distorted. Its just baffling that you can feel that way."

Instead, Varitek points to a number of other reasons that the Sox collapsed.

"We lost because we played poorly and we had some health issues and we probably taxed the bullpen too much," Varitek said. "We didn't lose because of some issue in the clubhouse. That's a lot of crap."

And when it comes to starting pitching hanging out in the clubhouse, Varitek defended that too.

"Guys are in the clubhouse all the time. I'm in there watching pitches because I can't see what I need to see from the bench. To me, that is not an issue at all."

But CSNNE's Lou Merloni thinks otherwise. While the drinking may not have had a direct effect on losing that day, in the grand scheme of things it hurts the team morale.

"Those guys drinking in the dugout is not losing games," Merloni said. "They aren't performing out on the field. But it's the message. It's the disrespect they're showing, to me, their manager -- a guy that treats them like men -- and even their teammates."

The Boston Herald's Steve Buckley took it one step further, wondering if the "respect" factor will come into play if things continue to get out of hand.

"I hope that we don't reach a point where 'respect' for the game becomes a cliche," Buckley said. "Because respect for the game should be paramount to anybody who plays the game: Management, coaches, even the writers. There should be a certain respect for the game and if you're sitting in the dugout drinking beers during the game, you cannot make a case for respecting the game, I'm sorry."

WORLD SERIES: Kluber, Perez, Indians beat Cubs 6-0 in Game 1


WORLD SERIES: Kluber, Perez, Indians beat Cubs 6-0 in Game 1

CLEVELAND - Corey Kluber got the Cleveland Indians off to a striking start and Roberto Perez put away Chicago in the Cubs' first World Series game since 1945.

Kluber dominated into the seventh inning, Perez homered twice and the Indians beat the Cubs 6-0 in the opener Tuesday night. AL Championship Series MVP Andrew Miller escaped a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the seventh and got out of trouble in the eighth, preserving a three-run lead.

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Dombrowski, Red Sox making adjustments in wake of recent departures


Dombrowski, Red Sox making adjustments in wake of recent departures

In recent days and weeks, the Red Sox have lost their general manager, their vice president of amateur and international scouting, an assistant director of amateur scouting, a member of their analytics department and their mental skills coach.

But Dave Dombrowski, the team's president of baseball operations, insists that the team is not in danger of "brain drain.''

"No, not at all,'' said president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski in a conference call with reporters. "We've lost some good people, but it's also a situation where we have a lot of good people and I think when you have a good organization, if you're winning and you expose people to situations, (a certain amount of exodus) happens. I think the other part of it is that we're more than capable of filling some of those roles from an internal perspective. We've got some quality people and I think the thing that's great about it is, it allows people to grow.''

Dombrowski announced that, in the wake of the departure of Amiel Sawdaye, the former VP of amateur and international scouting who left Monday to become assistant GM of the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Sox were promoting Eddie Romero, formerly the vice president of international scouting, to the position of senior vice president/ assistant GM.

Romero, the son of former Red Sox utility infielder Eddie Romero Sr. will help Dombrowski in personnel matters and player development, while Brian O'Halloran, who has the same title as Romero, will continue to handle administrative matters including salary arbitration and contactual negotiations.

After the departure of Mike Hazen, who left to become GM of the Diamondbacks last week, Dombrowski interviewed Sawdaye and Romero as Hazen's potential replacements before determining that neither had the necessary experience yet to become a major league GM.

Dombrowski said there would be additional internal promotions and adjustments to announce in the coming weeks. He added that senior advisors Frank Wren and Allard Baird, each former general managers, would see their responsibilities increase when it comes to conducting trade talks with other organizations.

Sawdaye's departure is one of several this off-season for the front office. Earlier this month, Steve Sanders, who had been the team's assistant director of amateur scouting, left to become director of amateur scouting for the Toronto Blue Jays.

Also, Tom Tippett, a longtime member of the team's statistical analysis staff, will leave soon too pursue other opportunities. The team recently informed mental skills coach Bob Tewksbury that his contact would not be renewed, according to the Boston Globe.

Dombrowski indicated that Laz Gutierrez would be promoted to take the place of Tewksbury.

In other news, Dombrowski revealed that the entire coaching staff -- hitting coach Chili Davis; assistant hitting coach Victor Rodriguez; first base coach Ruben Amaro Jr.; third base coach Brian Butterfield; bullpen coach Dana LeVangie; pitching coach Carl Willis; and bench coach Torey Lovullo -- had all agreed to return for 2017.

That, of course, is subject to change since Lovullo is believed to be a target of Hazen for Arizona's managerial vacancy.

Dombrowski said the Diamondbacks had yet to request permission to speak with Lovullo, though that may happen soon now that Hazen has hired Sawdaye to fill out his front office.

When Hazen was hired by the Diamondbacks, he was limited to hiring just one member of the Red Sox' Baseball Operations staff. But, Dombrowski added, that limit didn't apply to uniformed staff members such as Lovullo, who would be leaving for a promotion.