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“I understand that some of you will see me as just another Ivy League nerd with a baseball front office job,” he said Thursday. “It’s true. I am. But I’ve also been playing in the big league for thirteen years and was the 2013 Boston Red Sox World Series champion. I know what it takes to win here, and I’m willing to make the tough decisions necessary to achieve results.’
The 43-year-old Breslow was introduced on Thursday as Chief Baseball Officer of the Red Sox, succeeding Chaim Bloom. Here’s what he and team president Sam Kennedy had to say.
Main conclusions from Breslow’s introduction
Sam Kennedy on why Breslow emerged as the top candidate: “Throughout the process, Craig clearly emerged as the ideal choice to lead the baseball operations of the Boston Red Sox for three important reasons. Number 1 was his unparalleled clarity of vision for the department, and especially the plans he laid out for player acquisition, player development and ultimately player performance at every level. Second was his baseball intelligence. You may have noticed, and it has been widely reported, Craig is a problem solver of the highest order. He literally turned himself into a top player and turned himself into a front office manager using innovative and non-traditional methods.
“Finally, what stood out to us was his incredible experience as a Major League baseball player. He played for seven Major League teams over a 13-year period, and most importantly for us, he played here in Boston at Fenway Park. Craig knows firsthand what it takes and what it means to win here.
Breslow’s opening statement: “I’ve seen a lot of baseball games at Fenway Park. Some from the stands, some from the bleachers, but most from the bullpen. I know what it’s like to put on a Red Sox jersey, to jog through the bullpen gate over freshly cut grass. I know what it’s like to stand on the mound in front of tens of thousands of the most passionate fans in the game. …I know what it’s like to hoist a World Series trophy above your head, the culmination of a group of people coming together to accomplish something they couldn’t have accomplished alone.
“Red Sox fans deserve a standard of quality and consistency. Quality means a team that can win the AL East and compete for a World Series title, and consistency means we can do that year after year.
Breslow on his reputation: “I understand that some of you will see me as just another Ivy League nerd with a baseball front office job. It’s true. I am that. But I have also been playing in the big league for thirteen years and was the Boston Red Sox World Series champion in 2013. I know what it takes to win here, and I’m willing to make the tough decisions necessary to get results.”
Breslow on what he’s looking forward to: “One thing I’m really excited to point to is the emergence of this really exciting young core, some of whom are now contributing at the major league level, some of whom are reaching the higher levels of the minor leagues. and some that honestly aren’t there yet.
Breslow on the Red Sox’ biggest needs: “Pitching certainly stands out as an area of need. Defense, and I think certain players coming back from injury and being able to strengthen the defense in the middle infield will contribute to that. I think if you look at the overall construction of the roster, there’s a possibility that we could maybe add a right-handed bat to balance things out.
Breslow on financial limitations: “I don’t see financial resources as a limiting factor.”
Breslow on the possible appointment of a general manager: “I think evaluating the landscape is the most sensible path at this point. Over time the right profile, the right thought partner will reveal itself, but right now I’m in no hurry to do that. I think some decisions are more urgent.”
Breslow about Alex Cora: “It is undeniable that he will be the manager in the 2024 season and he is someone I have great admiration and appreciation for and have a long-standing relationship with. We were teammates going back longer than I’d like to remember, but I’m excited to build that relationship.
Breslow on team ownership: “One thing that became clear during this process was the relentless commitment to winning ownership. I think the responsible and sensible path of a front office operation is to look in every direction for those opportunities, turning over every stone and unearthing every option. There are multiple paths to creating sustainable winners, and we must be prepared to undermine them all.”
Breslow on what he learned with the Red Sox in 2013: “I would like to point out the pillars of healthy organizational building, namely acquisition, development and optimization, and the complex interactions between these three things. More than anything, what 2013 has told us is that there is a lot of hard work and incredible work to be done in the front office when it comes to putting players together and organizing a baseball operation. And then there is the opportunity to get more out of the group of players that are present in the clubhouse every day.
“What I learned from 2013 is that you cannot look at these things in isolation, but you have to appreciate the complex interactions of all three.”
Breslow on his relationship with Theo Epstein: “I spoke to Theo. He is someone I would call a trusted confidant, a mentor, and someone I would seek advice from, and I am extremely grateful not only for all the advice he has given me throughout this process, but also for his role in bringing me to the Cubs and bringing me into the front office for the first time.
Breslow on building a consistent team: “Part of building a consistent winner at the Major League level is making really bold, tough decisions. Some of that includes trading favorite players, and some of that includes leveraging prospect capital to improve your Major League team.”
Breslow on low-season spending: “I know we have some needs to fill out our Major League rosters. I think there are multiple ways to get there, and our job is to look as comprehensively as possible at all possible paths to get there.”
Breslow on developing players: “Generally speaking, we tend to talk about the acquisition side. I think it’s important not to lose sight of the opportunity to develop our players and to continue to drive that forward and identify really clear goals and build very detailed and comprehensive plans around them and make sure we deliver on them .
Breslow on how he prepared for this job: “I am ready to take on this challenge. The way I approach problem solving is transferable and scalable. I can also point out two things that will help me in this regard. First, the number of talented and experienced people in this front office, and second, the opportunities I have been given to learn from some of the most successful executives and people I would call mentors in this game.”
Breslow on what he accomplished with the Cubs: “The blueprint there was to identify the current state and see how we have fared against organizations that have a reputation for being strong development organizations, identify where those gaps were, and figure out what we wanted to be the ideal future state would be, and then figure out the road map to get us there.
“Eventually, the realization came that the Cubs had an organization that was perhaps lacking the pure stuff, the pure quality of pitchers that could contribute to major league success. So we’ve worked backwards, from an understanding of what a major league pitching contributor looks like at each of the corresponding minor league levels, knowing that the goal anywhere isn’t to build the most competitive minor league team , but about building Major League value and key players. -competition contributors.
“Given the size of today’s offices and the information available, it’s very easy to get caught up in looking for the latest, brightest and most up-to-date information, when it turns out that leaving an organization behind somewhere is much more powerful to stand. .”
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