It has been over a month since the Red Sox nuclear implosion and the streets of Boston have begun to recover (although the Patriots certainly aren’t helping as of late). The mess that the Sox became at the end of last season is slowly being cleaned up and the team is being slowly rebuilt as if a natural disaster of sports hit the city. The manager (Tito) is gone, Theo made his way to Chicago to end another drought and best of all Sox fans won’t have to see John Lackey pitched all next season. (The Sox still have to pay the chicken eatin, beer swilling joke of a pitcher his ludicrous salary but let’s focus on the positive). Regardless of whether or not this cleansing has been more of a hunt for a scapegoat or an actual change for the better is up for debate but regardless the entire structure of the Sox is changing before our eyes. Unless you averted your eyes from the Sox for the past month, which a lot of fans probably have.
Well the Sox have a new GM in Ben Cherington. Seem’s like a lateral move just promoting Theo’s number two but Theo’s philosophy generally led to success, except those awesome contracts to Lackey, Mike Cameron and Carl Crawford. Bitter? No I don’t think Sox fans are bitter about that. (Hope the sarcasm is palpable here). Cherington’s highest priority is a rather important one; finding the manager to replace the most successful manager for the Sox since the Titanic was still called unsinkable.
Unfortunately Texas Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux took himself out of the running for the job and won’t even interview for the job now. This is rather disappointing to Sox fans. Maddux has a clear track record of success and is part of the Ranger transformation into an annual World Series contender. For years the Rangers could hit but didn’t win because they’re team ERA was pushing six every year it seemed. Maddux was able to mold a young staff and finally make the Rangers a team that could pitch as well as hit. Obviously having talent helps, but it isn’t everything. Just look at the Sox. Jon Lester and Josh Beckett as your top two and you still can’t make the playoffs. The Sox offense was not the problem last season but rather the breakdown of pitchers like Lester, Beckett and Daniel Bard. The Sox really need a manager who is focused on pitching. Maddux would have been perfect. The key word here is would.
So who else are the Sox considering?
Pete Mackanin– Currently Phillies bench coach
Mackanin interviewed with the Sox last week. Mackanin has served as a interim manager for the Pirates and Reds in his career and obviously is part of a very successful staff n Philadelphia. Mackanin is a former player who retired in 1981 and then went on to coach and manage in the minors for over twenty years before becoming bench coach for the Pirates in 2003. Mackanin obviously has a wealth of experience at the major league level, although not in a managerial position but the Sox struck gold last time they hired former Phillies bench coach.
Dave Sveum– Currently Brewers hiting coach
Sox fan’s remember Dave Sveum for his unpronounceable name and his time as third base coach for the Sox from 2004-2005. Sveum has since held the same post with the Milwaukee Brewers, and served as interim manager before Ken Mocha was hired and Sveum became the hitting coach. Sveum’s managerial experience is very limited with only 12 regular season games but he did go 7-5 in that span for what that’s worth. Sveum doesn’t exactly thrill me as a Sox fan. As mentioned before a pitching minded manager would be preferable and Sveum is certainly not that.
Sandy Alomar– Currently Indians bench coach
Alomar will probably always live in the shadow of his Hall of Fame brother Roberto but he could possible manage games for the Sox. Catcher’s are given a lot of credit for calling games and being the quarterback of the infield and Alomar was a solid if not exceptional defensive catcher so he could help an ailing staff. Alomar has experience when it comes to interviewing for a managerial position, as he was on the short list for the Blue Jays vacancy before last year. (Oh John Farrell if only you stayed one more year). Alomar was promoted to bench coach of the Indians at the end of September but now doesn’t seem like the time to just give a guy his firt shot at managing.
Bobby Valentine– Currently blowing smoke up every person in baseball’s ass in hopes of ingratiating himself so he can manage again, I mean commentating for ESPN.
DeMarlo Hale– Currently Red Sox bench coach
The Sox already went in house to get their GM and if they go with Hale then it sends mixed signals. They had to get rid of Francona and Theo to restructure the team and there way to restructure them is just promoting one of their underlings? Nothing against Hale but his hiring makes Francona’s departure seem pointless. If Francona did in fact lose the clubhouse that means his staff did as well. I don’t see Hale just stepping in and changing the whole dynamic of the team, which is what’s needed right now.
There have been a few other names thrown out there but with little water beneath them. Still none of the candidates real or imagined don’t really seem to be what the Sox need. To go along with a pitching minded coach, the Sox need a no-nonsense coach who won’t give in to personal relationships with players as it often seemed Francona did in making managerial decisions (Oh Beckett can barely get the ball over the plate? Well I’ll keep him in for the eighth inning because he’s my guy) as well as a manager that would never lose the clubhouse and allow the shenanigans that occurred under Francona’s watch. Could the Sox reanimate Dick Williams? Is that too much to ask?
Who should the Sox be going after? Mackanin? Alomar? Hale? Zombie Dick Williams? Let us know in the comments or via Twitter (@seeuinoctober).