SEATTLE — Boston Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington admits his current team “is hard to watch.”
Cherington offered the assessment before Boston fell to Seattle 4-1 Monday. The Red Sox have lost a season-worst seven in a row — all on the road — while being outscored 58-16.
Boston has lost eight of 10 since sending stars Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford to the Los Angeles Dodgers in a nine-player trade. The Red Sox are 62-74, a year after being one of baseball’s best clubs.
Cherington called the team’s sad state is “a reflection on all of us.”
“When we made the trade we knew we were not helping our team the rest of this year,” he said. “That said, it’s still hard to watch. There are things we need to accomplish the rest of the year.”
“It’s harder to do that when you’re staring at a loss at the end of the day. It’s hard for everyone to get the work done that needs to be done,” he said.
The fact that the GM and principal owner John W. Henry both made the trip to Seattle should not be seen as “death watch,” according to Cherington. He said this trip was planned a month ago and that Henry was on the West Coast already and decided to join the team.
Cherington said the recent slump by the team “is a reflection of mostly me.” He was asked several times if manager Bobby Valentine’s job is in jeopardy as a result of the collective nosedive.
“Bobby and I talked post-July 31 when things were not going as well as we’re used to,” Cherington said. “We talked about controlling things we can control and I told him we’re both being evaluated on work we do every day.”
“After the trade we had another conversation to that same effect, but it was even more obvious at that point,” he said.
Cherington said a win-loss record is not a great way to evaluate a manager.
“It’s always reflective to the talent on the roster. It’s the work that gets done. We need the right work done every day,” he said.
Cherington said there were other factors beyond the record.
“How well team is prepared, the evaluation of players on the roster, how well he’s utilizing players on roster,” Cherington said. “Those are things that Bobby does well.”
“Then certain things are more subtle. Things happen during the course of the day, the course of the season, with players both on the field and off the field that are part of creating that team dynamic that you want,” he said.
Cherington said he’s aware that Red Sox rooters aren’t satisfied.
“We are aware that we need to deliver more for the fans,” Cherington said. “If talk around team is a reflection how much the fans care, that’s certainly important, but we have to try to protect the decision-making process and do things for the right reasons and not react to the loudest of public sentiment.”
Cherington said the big trade with the Dodgers was not a message to the remaining players that it’s time to give up.
“There are reasons for players on an individual level to do the best they can. I don’t expect that we’re not going to have the effort,” he said. “I don’t think there’s any conscious lack of effort.”