Newspaper article International New York Times

Red Sox Shake Things Up with Team in Last Place ; Top Executive Is Replaced after Boston Struggles for 3rd Time in 4 Seasons

Newspaper article International New York Times

Red Sox Shake Things Up with Team in Last Place ; Top Executive Is Replaced after Boston Struggles for 3rd Time in 4 Seasons

Article excerpt

Boston, headed for another last-place finish, hired Dombrowski as president of baseball operations.

Say this for the Boston Red Sox: When a season turns sour, they do not stand still. As they lurch to the finish of a third wretched season in the last four years, the Red Sox have hired Dave Dombrowski as president of baseball operations. It was only the latest seismic shake-up for the franchise.

Dombrowski, who was fired as the Detroit Tigers' president and general manager this month, replaces Ben Cherington, who declined the chance to stay on as general manager, as the team's baseball decision maker. The title would have been hollow, anyway -- Dombrowski, who has built three World Series teams in a long executive career, is in charge.

Cherington's 2013 Red Sox beat Dombrowki's Tigers in the American League Championship Series, then went on to win the World Series. But Boston's 2012 and 2014 teams finished last in the A.L. East, and this year's team is buried there, too.

The Red Sox have reacted swiftly to each letdown. In 2012, they unloaded more than $260 million in salary commitments by trading Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett to the Los Angeles Dodgers. They fired their manager, Bobby Valentine, at season's end.

Last summer they dismantled the rotation of the 2013 champions, trading Jon Lester, John Lackey and Jake Peavy in July. Lester, a homegrown stalwart who wanted to stay in Boston, brought Yoenis Cespedes, who was quickly peddled to the Tigers for Rick Porcello, who has been a high-priced disaster in a flop of a starting rotation.

Now comes Tuesday's hiring of Dombrowski, who could not quite deliver a championship to Detroit but lifted the team from laughingstock to powerhouse with a knack for astute deals. Dombrowski traded for Miguel Cabrera and Max Scherzer, just as they were hitting their primes, among many shrewd moves.

Before working for the Tigers, Dombrowski built the Marlins into champions in 1997. Then -- in a teardown ordered by the owner Wayne Huizenga -- he engineered a rebuilding effort that led to another title in 2003, after his departure. The Marlins' owner, as Dombrowski reconstructed that roster, was John Henry. …

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