Red Sox

Peter Gammons details how Red Sox' firing of Dave Dombrowski went down

Peter Gammons details how Red Sox' firing of Dave Dombrowski went down

If you looked at the big picture, it seemed inevitable that Dave Dombrowski wouldn't last much longer in Boston.

But why did the Red Sox fire their president of baseball operations so abruptly (and unceremoniously) late Sunday night?

The Athletic's Peter Gammons is one of the most plugged-in reporters in Boston, and he gave a pretty revealing account Monday on ESPN's "Baseball Tonight" podcast of how things went down between Dombrowski and the Red Sox.

According to Gammons, who was at Fenway Park for Sunday night's Red Sox-Yankees game, Dombrowski usually walks down from his office to the Red Sox clubhouse at around 2:30 p.m. and stops to chat with reporters along his way.

But on Sunday, Gammons told host Buster Olney, Dombrowski, "kind of went barging by."

"He had something on his mind," Gammons said. "I was trying to figure out what in the world [was happening]. Did somebody get hurt or something? And then Rob Bradford from WEEI said to me, 'Gee, [Red Sox chairman] Tom Werner kind of seems like he's in a confused mode today.' "

Gammons soon put the pieces together by relaying what he had heard from a team source.

"As someone who's very close to ownership said to me (Monday) morning, Dave was tired of hearing he's not coming back next year," Gammons said. "So, he pressed and said [to ownership], 'I want to know. I want clarity. I want an extension,' and was told no. And if he didn't like it, that was it. They were just going to part ways then."

The Athletic's Evan Drellich also reported Monday that Red Sox ownership turned down Dombrowski's extension requests. But Gammons suggested Dombrowski made a final push Sunday, and when ownership rebuffed him, he picked up and left in the middle of the game.

"I looked up at one point during the game in about the sixth inning to see what Dave's expression was, and the shock was, he wasn't in his box," Gammons said.

"So, he clearly had left before the end of the game. People say he was fired after the game. I think he knew before the game that that was going to be it, and he probably made up his mind that, 'I'm going to leave. Because I know I'm not coming back.'

That hasty exit may explain why Dombrowski didn't hold a press conference, instead making a brief statement to a small group of reporters.

Dombrowski built one of the best teams in Red Sox history that brought a World Series title to Boston in 2018. But things apparently went downhill in a hurry, to the point where the team's president of baseball operations left in a huff after getting the mid-season ax.

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Report: There is 'great skepticism' teams will pay up for Mookie Betts

Report: There is 'great skepticism' teams will pay up for Mookie Betts

The No. 1 Red Sox offseason storyline to keep tabs on this winter is their difficult situation with Mookie Betts.

Betts will become an unrestricted free agent after the 2020 season if he and the Red Sox fail to agree on a contract extension before then. With Boston looking to shed payroll and J.D. Martinez opting into his contract, there's plenty of speculation the superstar right fielder could be traded for a package of top prospects.

But according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, there's some doubt that teams interested in Betts will be willing to giving up the farm for one year of the 2018 American League MVP.

Needless to say, new Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom has his work cut out for him.

That work begins this week at the GM meetings in Arizona, where Bloom and the rest of the Red Sox brass aims to get some clarity on which direction the organization is heading for 2020 and beyond. That process, of course, begins with Betts.

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Dustin Pedroia retiring? Not so fast, say Red Sox

Dustin Pedroia retiring? Not so fast, say Red Sox

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- When last we heard from Dustin Pedroia, the former MVP sounded like someone who recognized his career was winding to an end.

Persistent knee issues had limited him to just nine total games in 2018 and 2019, and when he shut it down this past Memorial Day, it seemed unlikely we'd see him in a Red Sox uniform again for anything more than a sendoff.

"I haven't sat down and thought about retirement," Pedroia said. "I just know that right now I need a break from the everyday stresses and dealing with what I'm dealing with. . . . I think time will give me the right answer of if I can do this."

While it still seems unlikely that Pedroia returns, chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and general manager Brian O'Halloran refused to rule it out at Monday's GM meetings, even noting that Pedroia has been encouraged.

"Every indication I've gotten is that he's feeling good and intending on playing," Bloom said.

The Red Sox brass hopes to meet with Pedroia, an Arizona resident, this week. O'Halloran noted that the passage of time has altered Pedroia's perspective.

"I think perhaps how he feels about things has changed since it was pretty raw at that point (in May), the time you're talking about," O'Halloran said. "He's been working out and doing well by his own account and we're going to talk to him and learn more. I don't think that anything specifically changed. I think it's more that time has passed and he's been feeling better."

That said, can the Red Sox count on Pedroia to play a role in 2019? While it would be wise to progress on the assumption that he won't play -- former president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski left himself in a hole last year by proclaiming he believed Pedroia could appear in 125 games -- they're certainly not sweating that keeping him active means eating a roster spot.

"I would never think of it as a problem to have Dustin Pedroia on our 40-man roster and be concerned about planning around him, no," he said. "So it's good to have him on our roster and hopefully he continues to progress and is in the mix."

Pedroia still has two years and $25 million remaining on the eight-year, $110 million extension he signed in 2013.

TOMASE: Looking at Chaim Bloom's exhausting to-do list at GM meetings>>>

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