BOSTON (CBS) – Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington made it clear Thursday that Bobby Valentine was his choice to become the team’s next manager, and was not forced into the move by anyone in ownership to make the call.
“It’s just not true,” Cherington said of anyone making the decision other than him. “We went through a very thorough process. We talked to a lot of candidates, we did a lot of research on a lot of candidates. At the end of the process, I made a recommendation to ownership, I believe it was sometime on Monday, that we offer the position to Bobby, and we did sometime Monday or Tuesday morning, then he accepted it. That’s the truth.”
While it was Cherington that made the call, he said it was a collaborative process and everyone, from the front office to upper management, met will all the candidates.
“There was a lot of discussion amongst those people about all the candidates,” said Cherington. “Ultimately I made the recommendation on Monday to offer the job to Bobby.”
Cherington first met with Valentine back in early November, before he had a formal interview that included the ownership. In that first meeting, Cherington walked away liking what he heard from his future manager.
“We talked about the job, about baseball, about managing, about our players. It was an opportunity to get to know each other a little bit. I was impressed,” said Cherington.
As for why it took nearly two month to come to a decision, the first-year general manager just wanted to make sure he had covered all the bases.
“It’s my style to take a lot of time and be throughout… that probably extended the process out a little bit,” he said. “I was impressed when I met him early. We were impressed later.”
One of Cherington’s bosses agrees with the long process.
“I think it was a methodical process. It’s a big decision,” principal owner John Henry told WBZ-TV’s Steve Burton on Thursday. “It’s one of the biggest decisions you can make for the franchise, so it’s very important to get it right.”
“We didn’t have a deadline or a timeline. We just wanted to make sure we had the right man, and we feel we have the right man at the right time, and we’re very excited about it,” said Henry.