Red Sox

Red Sox make series of front-office appointments


Red Sox make series of front-office appointments

Red Sox press release:

BOSTON The Boston Red Sox today announced a series of personnel moves in the organizations baseball operations department. Executive Vice PresidentGeneral Manager Ben Cherington made the announcements.

Jared Banner has been promoted to Assistant Director, Player Personnel after serving as Coordinator, Amateur Scouting from 2011-12. Banner joined the organization as Red Sox Fellow in baseball operations in 2007 and served as Assistant, Player Development in 2008-09 and Assistant, Amateur Scouting in 2010.

Mike Murov has been promoted to Coordinator, Baseball Operations. Murov previously served as Assistant, Baseball Operations from 2011-12 after joining the Red Sox as an intern in the baseball operations department in 2010. He was also a baseball operations intern with the Reds (2009) and Marlins (2008).

Duncan Webb has been promoted to Assistant Director, Player Development. Webb had held the role of Player Development Programs Coordinator from 2010-2012. He joined the Red Sox organization as an intern at the Red Sox Academy in the Dominican Republic in 2006 and also served as Latin Education Coordinator from 2007-09.

Laz Gutierrez has been promoted to Coordinator, Player Development Programs. Gutierrez was an amateur scout for Southern and Northeast Florida beginning in 2006 and also served as Short-A Lowells pitching coach in 2007 and 2010. A former left-handed pitcher, he spent three seasons in the Detroit and San Diego minor league systems from 1998-2001.

Tim Hyers has been promoted to Minor League Hitting Coordinator after previously serving as the club's area scout for Georgia over the last four years (2009-12). He was hitting coach at Single-A West Michigan in the Tigers minor league system in 2002, and played parts of four seasons in the Major Leagues with the Padres (1994-95), Tigers (1996), and Marlins (1999).

George Lombard has been promoted to Minor League Outfield and Baserunning Coordinator. Lombard had served as manager for the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League Red Sox from 2011-12. He joined the Red Sox organization as a hitting coach for Short-A Lowell in 2010. A former outfielder, he played parts of six Major League seasons with the Braves (1998-2000), Tigers (2002), Devil Rays (2003), and Nationals (2006). He also spent two seasons in the Red Sox farm system, appearing at Double-A Portland (2004) and Triple-A Pawtucket (2004-05).

Mike Rikard has been named National Scouting Coordinator. Rikard served as national crosschecker with the Red Sox from 2010-12 and was a regional crosschecker from 2005-2009. He previously served as a scout in the Padres organization.

John Booher has been named National Crosschecker after spending the last three seasons with the Texas Rangers as a southeast crosschecker (2012) and professional scout (2010-11). Booher returns to the Red Sox having previously served as a scout for the club from 2003-09. He also spent 12 years scouting for the Florida Marlins.

Quincy Boyd has been promoted to Regional Crosschecker after serving as an area scout for North Carolina and South Carolina from 2007-12. He was a scout for the club in the Midwest region in 2006.

Jim Robinson has been promoted to Regional Crosschecker. Robinson joined the club in 1999 and served as an area scout for North Texas and North Louisiana.

Tom Kotchman has been tabbed as an Area Scout in Northern Florida. Kotchman was also recently named as a coach for the Red Sox Rookie-level Gulf Coast League club. He is a veteran of 34 years as a minor league manager and scout, including the last 29 seasons in the Angels system.

Brian Moehler has been hired as an Area Scout in Georgia after a professional career as a right-handed pitcher. He spent parts of 14 seasons in the Major Leagues with the Tigers (1996-2002), Blue Jays (2002), Reds (2002) Astros (2003, 2007-10), and Marlins (2005-06).

John Pyle has joined the organization as an Area Scout in the Ohio Valley. Pyle played parts of two seasons as a catcher in the Texas Rangers minor league system from 1993-94.

Willie Romay has been hired as an Area Scout in Southern Florida. Romay spent 14 years as a scout for the Major League Baseball Scouting Bureau following five minor league seasons as an outfielder in the Mariners (1989-91), Dodgers (1992), and Marlins (1994) systems.

Steve Peck has been promoted to Special Assignment Scout. Peck joined the Red Sox organization as a professional scout in 2009 after 13 years as a member of the Seattle Mariners coaching and scouting staff, including serving as an advance scout from 2004-2008. He also worked with the Mariners as a minor league pitching coach (1996-2001) and as an amateur scout (2002-03). A former left-handed pitcher, Peck spent seven seasons in the Athletics (1988-90), Angels (1991-93) and Brewers (1994) systems.

Dave Klipstein has been promoted to Major League Scout after serving as a professional scout from 2007-12. Klipstein joined the Red Sox from the Texas Rangers, where he served as a national and central crosschecker in the amateur scouting department from 1997-2006. He also served as an area scout with Pittsburgh from 1993-96 after seven years as a minor league outfielder with the Brewers (1982-87) and Reds (1988) organizations.

Anthony Turco has been named a Professional Scout after serving as an amateur scout for the Red Sox in Northwest and West Florida from 2007-12.

Victor Rodriguez Jr. has been promoted to Area Supervisor and Dominican Republic Crosschecker after serving as a scout in the Dominican Republic from 2011-12. Selected by Boston in the 2003 June draft, he interned with the Red Sox Florida Operations in 2008 and served as an associate scout for the club in Florida from 2009-10. He is the son of Red Sox Assistant Hitting Coach Victor Rodriguez, Sr.

Wilder Lobo, Ramon Mora and Alex Requena have been hired as a Scouts in Venezuela.

Carlos Lugo has been hired as a Scout in the Dominican Republic.

Dennis Neuman has been hired as a Scout in Curacao and Aruba after a professional career as a right-handed pitcher in the Red Sox minor league system from 2007-11. Named a mid-season South Atlantic League All-Star in 2010, Neuman had a 3.40 ERA through five seasons and 145 minor-league games.

David Tapia has been hired as a Scout in Mexico.

As Red Sox manager, Cora must keep conviction, honesty that got him job

As Red Sox manager, Cora must keep conviction, honesty that got him job

BOSTON -- Just as a batter can subconsciously play to avoid losing, rather than to win, a manager can operate with a fear of failure. Such an unwitting approach may have contributed John Farrell’s downfall, and is an area where Alex Cora can set himself apart.

A lot has been written about the value of authenticity in leadership. It’s one thing to have the charisma and conviction needed to land a position of power. It’s another to take over a pressure-cooker job, like manager of the Red Sox, and carry the fortitude to stay true to yourself, continue to let those qualities shine.

Cora did not appear to pull any punches in his days with ESPN. The 42-year-old engaged in Twitter debates with media members and fans. And throughout his baseball life, he showed his colors.

Via Newsday’s Dave Lennon, here’s a scene from 2010 when Cora was with the Mets: 

Last year, Cora spoke out against the league office's rule requiring minorities always be interviewed.

Perhaps most interesting of all, when Chris Sale cut up White Sox jerseys, Cora was Dennis Eckersley-like in his assessment:

“What he did is not acceptable,” Cora said of Sale. “If I’m a veteran guy, I’m going to take exception. if I’m a young guy, I’m going to take exception. Because as a young guy on a team that is actually struggling right now, somebody has to show me the ropes of how to act as a big leaguer. And this is not the way you act as a big leaguer. Forget the trades, forget who you are.

“What you do in that clubhouse, you got to act like a professional. And that’s one thing my agent, Scott Boras, used to tell me when I got to the big leagues: act like a professional. Chris Sale didn’t do it. He’s not showing the veterans that you respect the game. He’s not showing the rookies how to be a big leaguer, and that’s what I take exception to.”

Take out Chris Sale’s name from the above quotation and insert David Price’s. Describes Price's incident with Eckersley perfectly, doesn't it? 

Now, no manager can say what they’re really thinking all the time. Cora’s not in the media anymore. His new job description is different. 

But when you consider the great success of Terry Francona -- and why he succeeded in this market beyond simply winning -- what stands out is how comfortable Francona appears in his own skin. How genuine he seems. 

There is a way to acknowledge, as a manager, when something is off. A way to do so gently but genuinely. A way to say what you feel -- and a way to say what you feel must be said -- while operating without fear of the players you manage. 

Ultimately, most every comment Francona makes is intended to shield his players. But Francona shows his personality as he goes (or if you want to be a bit cynical, he sells his personality marvelously). Those little self-deprecating jokes -- he charms the hell out of everyone. The media, the fans. The Cult of Tito has a real following, because he feels real. Because he is real. 

Farrell was not fake. But he did have a hard time letting his personality come across consistently, to his detriment. He was reserved, in part because that just appeared to be his nature. But the job must have, with time, forced him to withdraw even further. As everything Farrell said (and did) was picked apart in the market, it likely became easiest just to play it safe in every facet -- speaking to the media, speaking to players.

The Sox’ biggest undertaking in 2017 seemed to be a nothing-to-see-here campaign. It was all fine. No David Ortiz, no home runs, no problem. Manny Machado was loved. The media was the problem, not any attitude or attitudes inside the clubhouse. Base running was a net positive -- you name it, none of it was ever tabbed as a problem publicly by the manager, or anyone else.

A perpetually defensive stance was the public image. Issues were never addressed or poorly defused, so questions always lingered.

Maybe Cora cannot admonish Sale as he did a year ago now that he’s managing Sale. Not publicly, anyway. But even as a quote-unquote player's manager, the job still requires authority, which should be doled out just as it was earned: through authentic comments and actions.

"My job as the manager is to set the culture, the expectations, the standards, the baseball," Cora’s present boss, Astros manager A.J. Hinch, said the night the Astros clinched the pennant. "It's the players' job to develop the chemistry.

“And obviously good teams always say that, we want chemistry, and what comes first, the chemistry or the winning. But when you have it, you want to hold on to it as much as possible . . . We've got a good thing going because we have one common goal, we have one common standard, and that's to be your best every day."

Cora has to remain true to his best, too -- not what he thinks, and hears, and reads, people want his best to be.


EX-PATS PODCAST: Why does it seem Patriots secondary is playing better without Gilmore?


EX-PATS PODCAST: Why does it seem Patriots secondary is playing better without Gilmore?

On this episode of The Ex-Pats Podcast...

0:10 - Mike Giardi and Dan Koppen give their takeaways from the Patriots win over the Falcons including the defense coming up strong against Atlanta but New England still taking too many penalties.

2:00 - Why it felt like this game meant more to the Patriots, their sense of excitement after the win, and building chemistry off a good victory.

6:20 - Falcons losing their identity without Kyle Shanahan as offensive coordinator and their bad play calling and decisions on 4th downs.

10:00 -  A discussion about Matt Ryan not making the throws he needed against the Patriots and if he has falling off the MVP caliber-type player he was last season.

14:00 - How and why the Patriots secondary seems to be playing better without Stephon Gilmore and why Malcolm Butler has been able to turn up his play as of late.