Thursday, January 02, 2014

BBS Awards: Red Auerbach Award for Best Coach/Executive

This award goes to the person off the field whose decisions and influence resulted in the most success on the field.

There were lots of great coaches and GMs in Boston this year. Obviously with a World Series winning team you have to consider Ben Cherington and John Farrell. With the Bruins going deep in the playoffs you must give Claude Julien and Peter Chiarelli some thought. With the Patriots doing well despite injuries, Bill Belichick deserves consideration. And Brad Stevens has gotten 110% from the Celtics.

But I think only one person had the most work to do, yet still reached the maximum level of success. He had to rebuild a broken team.

The winner of the Red Auerbach award for 2013 is Ben Cherington, GM of the Boston Red Sox.

The other guys I mentioned have all done great jobs. However none of their jobs were as difficult as Cherington's. Cherington had a blank team. There were no stud free agents available to bring in. As Cherington put together his team of decent, experienced players, I remember talking to my brother about how the Red Sox were "buying second place." I thought the Sox were trying to build an 85 win team, compete for a Wild Card spot, and keep the fans' hunger satisfied with snacks instead of a full course meal.

How wrong I was.

Ben Cherington took a last place team and gave it a chance. He added the right mix of veterans, leaders, followers, and solid ballplayers. And the team won.

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