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Ben Cherington’s Baptismal Scene: A Fantasy

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Written and Directed by Francis Ford Coppola and starring Al Pacino as Ben Cherington, this fantasy of how this off-season begins is pure Oscar bait. I'd like to thank the Academy...

Jim Rogash - Getty Images

Ben Cherington’s Baptism Scene: A Fantasy

Cue Bach’s Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor-

It’s October 4th, four o’clock PM. The 2012 Red Sox season is finally over. Ben Cherington steps up to the microphone in front of Boston’s sports media.

"Today, I settled all Red Sox business," he begins.

At that moment, as he exits the elevator of his fancy hotel, Pitching Coach Jeff Nieman finds Special Assistant Jason Varitek waiting for him brandishing a shotgun. "Hey, Jeff-oh sorry about the shotgun, I’m on my way to a hunting trip- Ben wanted me to tell you, we are not going to need you next year. Is this elevator going down?"

Meanwhile, manager Bobby Valentine is getting a massage when Special-Assistant-for-a-day Donald Trump barges into the room- "You’re Fired!" he exclaims, accidently hitting Valentine in the eye with his trademark hand gesture and shattering the ex-manager’s new Joe Madden-style glasses.

Elsewhere in Boston, Tim Bogar is coming down the stairs when he sees Assistant GM Mike Hazen write a ticket for his car. "What’s going here, Mike?" he calls outs. In a flash Hazen pulls out his hand and shakes the bench coache's hand vigorously. "Congratulations, you’re the new Boston Red Sox manager! Hazen exclaims. Bogar takes this in for a moment. "Great, so why are you dressed as a cop? Is this ticket real?" At which point Hazen runs off.

At the same time, Assistant GM’s Brian O'Halloran and Allard Baird kick in the door of a seedy hotel to find Rich Sauveur in bed. "What the hell are you two doing?" He screams. The two execs fire away in unison, "Ben told us to tell you, you are the new major league pitching coach."

"Ok," the startled man replies "it couldn’t wait?"

Back at his press conference, a reporter asks, "Do you reject Satan and all of his works?"

"It’s a bit off-topic, but yes, I do, sure," Cherington replies.

With that he heads back to the locker room where the players are packing up for the off-season. He walks up Alfredo Aceves. "You’re heading out West, traded-" he tells the pitcher.

"Couldn’t you let me skate by, for old times’ sake?"

"I can’t do it," the GM tells him as two large men escort him away.

"I still need to get my stuff," Ace calls as he is dragged away. His cries fall on deaf ears.

As Dustin Pedoria looks on, Cherington slowly closes the door.


The final scenes that make up the end of the original Godfather are fantastic in their sense of completion. Michael Corleone settles all family business with swift remorseless action, ending any questions that might remain concerning the totality for his control. This is my wish for Ben Cherington and the 2012 Red Sox- minus all the bloodshed and religious symbolism, of course. Last season, circumstances and Cherington’s diligence conspired to make the hunt for a new manager a long and exhausting process. This season swift decisive action is what the franchise needs. There are many qualified managerial candidates but Tim Bogar and AAA manager Arnie Beyeler should be at the top of a short list that gets reviewed quickly. With all of the upheaval at the pitching coach position, the team should just promote Rich Sauveur, who has worked with both Buchholz and Doubront before and restore some semblance of continuity to the process of developing young arms. With his recent experience in Pawtucket, he would be the perfect person to help the young and upcoming arms adapt to the major leagues. The temperamental Aceves needs to go after his childish behavior and declining performance this season.

These are simple things that should be done quickly. Obviously they do not need to happen this afternoon, but they need to happen soon. There will be more do, of course. The team needs rotation help. They have no first baseman and they need at least one more outfielder. David Ortiz and Cody Ross should be resigned. There is a lot that needs to happen before March, but these are the items that need to be taken care of to put this season and the flawed processes that brought it about to bed. Ben Cherington is the head of this family now. That was made clear the moment he traded $250M in payroll to the Dodgers from that Italian restaurant stall in the Bronx (the phone was behind the water tank!) Now, let’s see him tie up all the loose ends and put this season in a dark hole in the ground in the ground where it belongs. Sorry, I get carried away.