**There are holes on the roster; can you discuss the positions where you want to improve?
Rick said (and I was struck by this comment) “third base is a priority because there isn’t a clear answer on the roster right now.” He also said obviously that depending on what happens with A.J. catching is an issue, he also mentioned (and again I was struck by this because I hadn’t seen this anywhere else) the bullpen, that he wanted to explore some “opportunities” involving some of those players and he specifically mentioned a “backup infielder and a backup outfielder .”(i.e. improve the bench if you will…) He also mentioned that depending on who might be re-signed they have to be careful that the lineup doesn’t become to right handed.
**The “second half blues” syndrome has impacted this team for a decade and cost them playoffs spots in 2003, 2006, 2010 and 2012. Eight times in the past 10 seasons the Sox had a worse win percentage after the All Star break than before it. Six times in the past 10 years they’ve had a worse win percentage in the second half of the season than the first, if you break the season into equal parts. Do you have any reasons for why this keep happening and how do you stop it?
Rick said that if there was an obvious solution it would have already been fixed. He also said this tendency is on the agenda this upcoming week in the organization meetings going over every aspect of the team. It will be discussed by everyone. Specifically for this past year he thinks the fact that some pitchers were extended to a physical point where they hadn’t been before had an impact. He also said that perhaps the slump which happened after September 15th might have been exaggerated somewhat because of the timing of it; the inference that, if say, it had happened for two weeks in May it might not have received as much scrutiny. He did say that the Sox have seen this before and that it merits discussion and will be discussed in an effort to find a reason. They will look at game preparation, off season training, whatever they can but that fixing this is “easier said than done.”
**The past few years the emphasis seemed to be on pitching at the expense of hitting, will that continue?
Rick disagreed saying that the re-signing of Konerko and getting Adam Dunn on board shows that to not be, completely accurate. However he did say that the building of the team will always involve pitching and defense as the keys to winning. He is cognizant though of not wanting to “overdue it.” He also acknowledged that the Sox are going to have to make offensive adjustments.
**When dealing with potential free agents like A.J., Myers and Youkilis what are going to be the most important factors?
Rick said that from the Sox standpoint it’s going to be the money asked for and the years of the contract. He also said that from the player’s standpoint he expected it to be, years of a deal, money as well as the role of the player on the team. He mentioned that with Myers, he’s been a starter, a closer and a middle man and those roles impact the amount of money offered. Rick also said that he and the organization have to be careful that in making one move for this year it precludes them from making future moves not only this season but in the future.
**Kenny is still going to offer advice, how will you handle that?
Rick said it’s a great benefit to him to have someone involved like Kenny with all the success that he’s had. Kenny is still going to be involved in the process but Rick said that he’s going to do what he thinks is best for the organization and will make his feeling known.
Part 3 coming up
Last edited by Lip Man 1; 11-01-2012 at 03:05 PM.