At The Ballyard ... with Steve Weissman

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Twin Sons of Different Mothers: BoSox Name Two to GM Job

The Boston Red Sox yesterday introduced Ben Cherington and Jed Hoyer as co-GMs, and while even the Sox admitted that the two-headed organizational structure is somewhat unconventional, it actually could work quite well. The key to this success is the two men’s ability to work as closely together going forward as they have in the past, and there is nothing in their track record to suggest this won’t happen.

Just look at the moves the Sox were able to make since Thanksgiving, when there were at least four sets of fingers in the pie and the team still came away with a front-line starter, a starting second baseman, a credible replacement at third, and several live bullpen arms. This wouldn’t have happened if all the parties involved were on different organizational pages, and streamlining the decision tree should only make the whole process more effective.

Sox president Larry Lucchino was exactly right when he pointed out how different this scenario is from the dual-GM situation that was just blown up in Baltimore. “[Beattie and Flanagan] had never worked together before,” he said. “They didn't really know each other.” Cherington and Hoyer have worked closely together for the past several years, and it appears that each will continue to focus on his prior sphere of influence (minor league activities for Cherington, major league issues for Hoyer). This combination of factors should result in the relatively clear lines of jurisdiction that exist when sole GMs are in place and provide a foundation for comfortable collaboration when their tasks inevitably overlap (e.g., when proposed trades involve both major and minor leaguers).

So don’t sweat it, Sox fans – your team appears to be in good hands and is structured in a way that both insiders and outsiders can understand. Let the Ramirez/Wells/Damon sweepstakes begin!

Quick aside: Minnesota outfielder Jacque Jones today declined the Twin’s offer of arbitration, making it highly likely that he will not play in the Twin Cities in 2006 (at least not until after May 1, anyway). I’ve got a nickel that says the Sox make a play for him as insurance against losing either or both of Ramirez or Damon, or standing in for Nixon if/when he gets hurt again. Remember, you heard it here first!


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