The biggest problem for the Red Sox in the first half? Easy. Lack of offense.
Who's to blame? General manager Ben Cherington was quick to answer that Thursday in an WEEI interview: The GM.
“That has hamstrung our ability to win games...In the aggregate, I didn’t do a good enough job building a deep enough offense, at least to start the season," Cherington said on the Dennis & Callahan show. We’re trying to remedy that, in ways that make sense. It takes time. That’s been the flaw of the team more than anything else, so I take responsibility for that.”
The Red Sox (43-52) begin the second half in last place in the AL East and last in the AL with 367 runs scored.
The struggles of offseason acquisitions A.J. Pierzynski and Grady Sizemore - both since released - and lack of consistent production from rookies Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr., among others, contributed to the team's problems at the plate. Cherington said that's on him.
"As I look at that, I guess what I would say is that I didn’t do a good enough job building a complete offense," he said. "It certainly wasn’t our intent. We thought we would have that, we thought we had reason to believe that we could have that going into the year, but the reality is that we have not through a big chunk of the first part of the season."
Despite their place in the standings - 9 1/2 games back in the division, 8 back in the wild card - Cherington said the Sox aren't conceding 2014.
“We are going to do whatever we feel gives the Red Sox the best chance to be as good as possible and as quickly as possible and we are not conceding 2014 with that statement,” Cherington said. “We feel like the team that we have now is capable of being better than a lot of teams ahead of us in the standings...We don’t see why we can’t win more games than most of the teams ahead of us. Now, we've put ourselves in that position so the math is working against us, but stranger things have happened."