Red Sox name Hazen general manager
Massachusetts native had been assistant GM for four seasons
BOSTON -- Dave Dombrowski picked from within in making his selection for the next general manager of the Red Sox, promoting Abington, Mass. native Mike Hazen.
After taking over as president of baseball operations for the Red Sox on Aug. 18, Dombrowski spent the last month getting to know every member of the baseball operations staff.
That included Hazen, who is in the midst of his 10th season with the club, the last four of which were as assistant GM.
"I've been very impressed with him, when you're talking about an individual who is intelligent, who knows baseball, whose got a great work ethic, that has experience in the game, is a loyal employee," Dombrowski said. "That can be very helpful in every respect of the operation, so I think it's very fortunate for me and the organization to walk in and be in a spot where you have someone like Mike here. So I'm thrilled to have him on board, looking forward to, over the next time period, to have the chance to work together."
The way the Red Sox' front office is set up, Dombrowski will execute the moves. But Hazen will be a key participant in the discussions.
"Obviously, the role of general manager will be a little bit different here with Dave, but power's not something that any of us talk about or look at. Dave is going to be making the decisions in the end," Hazen said. "I believe that the things that we've done here underneath the hood on the Major League team and player development, and amateur scouting and international scouting and all those other things, we'll continue to drive that forward and help put Dave in the best position possible to make the best decisions possible for the Red Sox."
Dombrowski said he made a long list of about 30 candidates, but ultimately decided to stay within the organization, bringing a sense of continuity to the club. Hazen and Quinton McCracken, the Astros director of player development, were the two finalists.
Becoming the GM of his hometown team was a dream come true for Hazen, much like it was for predecessors Dan Duquette, Theo Epstein and Ben Cherington. In fact, since Lou Gorman succeeded Haywood Sullivan in 1984, all six people who have held the title of Red Sox GM on a non-interim basis have been natives of New England.
"This organization is prestigious, successful, has history -- history that I'm proud of personally, one that I grew up in," said Hazen. "From the days when I used to wake up and argue with my dad over who was better between [Jim] Rice and [Dwight] Evans -- that debate still rages on today, probably, between Rice and Evans.
"Memories that I take with me here in this job because that's what leads me, leads us I think as a group every day, drives us to be successful, to want to make this organization one that we're proud of and that the fan base is proud of and that the players are proud of, as well."
The 39-year-old Hazen, who worked with the Indians before coming to Boston, went on to praise several of his mentors for landing in this position, including Mark Shapiro, Chris Antonetti, Neal Huntington, Epstein, Jed Hoyer and Cherington.
"Mike's experience at the Major League level was so important," Dombrowski said. "I've been pouring over that list and taking phone calls. From the day I was announced, people have been calling me and I've been working on those names."
Hazen began his tenure with the Red Sox as director of player development in February 2006, following five years with the Indians' organization.
Boston's farm system flourished under Hazen's watch, as players like Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury and Jon Lester completed their development and helped the club win a World Series in 2007.
Hazen took over as Cleveland's assistant director of player development in September 2003 after coordinating and overseeing the club's Major League advance scouting from 2001-02, and serving as the Indians' assistant director of professional scouting in 2003.
During his time with the club, Hazen has worked with Red Sox manager John Farrell and interim manager Torey Lovullo, something he believes will be a considerable asset.
"I think it helps again with the continuity for a relationship standpoint. I think it helps speed things up and hopefully puts me in a position to speed Dave up on things walking in that he may not know right away," Hazen said. "Our ability to communicate from the front office to the clubhouse is extremely important and hopefully those relationships will allow for that."