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GM takes blame for Red Sox's slow start

ATLANTA -- Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington doesn't think it's fair to single out individual players for the team's disappointing performance. Cherington said he is most responsible for the 28-38 record the Red Sox took the field with on Wednesday.

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"From my perspective, looking at the bigger picture and why we are where we are, when you are where we are, there's a lot of reasons for it," said Cherington. "There's no single player that's responsible for that. No single player can be responsible for a lot of reasons. The only person who perhaps is responsible, for a longer list of reasons, is me.

In particular, Cherington was asked about Hanley Ramirez, who has been inconsistent at a new position (left field) and has also made some mental mistakes during games. Ramirez signed a four-year, $88 million contract with Boston in November.

"Look, we've had plenty of examples of guys who five or 10 percent of the way through their contracts, there was an adjustment period and they didn't take off quite yet and then in time he does," Cherington said. "I'm not going to make any judgments on any specific decision or player based on that short amount of time, but I will certainly make judgments on myself for the overall performance and the team's performance. That's on me.

"I guess I'm trying to answer your question by saying, if there's any single person I'm focused on, it's more my own decisions in total. If you want to talk about the total performance of the team, it's got to be about me more than any individual out there."

Last August, the Red Sox signed Rusney Castillo to a seven-year, $72.5 million deal. Thus far, it hasn't worked out, as Castillo is hitting .232 in 69 at-bats this season and has dealt with nagging injuries since joining the club.

Of late, Brock Holt has been starting in right field against righties and Castillo hasn't played as much.

"Well, we think he's a good player. The performance at the big league level so far this year obviously doesn't reflect what we think he is," Cherington said. "If you look at all of the attributes, he's got athleticism, he's got the tools, he's strong, he cares, he's accountable, he works hard. I think he's smart. That all adds up to being a good player.

"It hasn't shown up yet on the field in 2015 on the big league level, so he's got to keep working through it. There's plenty of time for him to do that. On the other hand, John [Farrell, manager] has got to put the guys in the lineup who are swinging the bat the best."

With the Trade Deadline six weeks away, Cherington will pay close tabs on who is available.

"I know what we're focused on is getting better. However we can do that, if we get deeper into the season and there are trades that will make us better, we'll consider those trades," said Cherington. "We're not considering anything else right now other than trying to get better.

"Again, making trades to improve the team is something we'll consider if the opportunities are there. It's unlikely to be a solution just by itself. It's going to have to be a lot of other things, too, and a lot of stuff just playing better with the group we have here. If there are ways to make the team better through trades, that's something we'll consider in time."

Ian Browne is a reporter for
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