Red Sox chairman Tom Werner, who does not "run the Red Sox" but still manages to work his way into all the trophy photos, spoke with the Boston Globe's Peter Abraham in a wide-ranging interview posted Sunday night.
Check it out here if you're able to scale the Globe's paywall. Good stuff from Peter, as always.
Tom had lots to say. And as a public service, we ran some of his most noteworthy quotes through the "OBF Translator" to add even more clarity to his words. We've used the "OBF Translator" to help cull through the chaff during the past two spring trainings and at Patriots camp.
With last-place Red Sox nine games below .500 at the All-Star break, it's time to clarify a few things on Yawkey Way.
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What Werner said: “We were first in baseball last season and now we’re obviously lacking.”
OBF Translator: "Guess it wasn't beards and chemistry after all."
What Werner said: "Should we have gone after Nelson Cruz? I guess so."
OBF Translator: "Cruz is going to be a free agent after this season so John Lackey had better keep his mouth shut."
What Werner said: "I don’t think John [Henry] and Larry [Lucchino] and Ben Cherington feel we aren’t going to be competitive in the second half of the season."
OBF Translator: "Don't look at me to wave the white flag. That's way above my pay grade. Wally Wave, anyone?"
What Werner said: "Between [Xander] Bogaerts and [Brock] Holt and [Mookie] Betts and Bradley and [Christian] Vazquez we really have the basis of a core group that’s going to get stronger and be extremely competitive the next few years."
OBF Translator: "The Pawtucket Red Sox at Boston Red Sox prices."
What Werner said: "We’re by no means giving up on 2014. We could be in a position to hopefully add some talent."
OBF Translator: "As long we can clone Brock Holt six times."
What Werner said: (When asked about being buyers or sellers at the trade deadline?) "To be absolutely honest, we’re evaluating both options. I think it’s possible for us to climb back into this."
OBF Translator: "To be absolutely honest (as opposed to being subtly dishonest?) we may be nine games out of first, but we're only one percentage point out of fourth. But keep watching. You never know when Jerry Remy will lose another tooth."
What Werner said: "We’ve never really had the offense we needed to be more competitive. Our pitching has held up but the number of runs we’ve scored is way down.”
OBF Translator: "Losing Jacoby Ellsbury has nothing to do with the fact we rank 15th in the A.L. when it comes to run production."
What Werner said: “Any sober baseball executive is aware of the increasing injury time that pitchers are spending on the DL. The Yankees have, what, four-fifths of their rotation on the DL? You have to take selective risks. Jon Lester has been consistently strong in his career and durable. But with any player over 30, you have to be cognizant of the risks.”
OBF Translator: "Henry Owens will be the starter on Opening Day 2015."
What Werner said: "To be scientific about it, there is a disadvantage playing deep into the season like we did last year. You get one less month of rest. Combine that with some World Series hangover and here we are."
OBF Translator: "You expected us to over .500 two years in a row? Keep this up and we'll pull your BBWAA card. Speaking of "hangovers," the once "Drunk Napoli" hasn't hit a home run since June 28 and he's making $16 million this season."
What Werner said: "We have a lot of flexibility going forward in 2015 with our payroll. I think that people should be optimistic in assuming that we’re going to spend wisely but also be aggressive."
OBF Translator: "Once Lester signs with the Yankees, we'll have about $12 million a year to spend on two or three mediocre replacements."
What Werner said: "Where we sit here at the break, some of it is obviously understandable, but some of it is perplexing. When we went into the season, our expectations were very high and lots of people thought we could be very strong."
OBF Translator: "If you picked us to finish last, you're right on target."
What Werner said:"It’s my hope we can find some power bats. Maybe we have to trade somebody to get some power bats but it’s pretty clear we’re missing that."
OBF Translator: "Somebody, I meant anybody. Really. Take whomever you want."
What Werner said: (When asked about A.J. Pierzynski) "I don’t want to get too specific about any one player or a mistake."
OBF Translator: "Stephen Drew. Grady Sizemore. Pierzynski. It's really hard to pick just one."
Part II of the 2014 Red Sox season starts on Friday. The good news? Only 10 more days until the start of Patriots' training camp.
The OBF column is written by award-winning journalist and Bay State native Bill Speros. Hit him up on his Obnoxious Boston Fan Facebook page, on Twitter @realOBF or at his
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