The Boston Red Sox are treading water, waiting for their preferred managerial candidate. But at least general manager Ben Cherington isn't just doing a dead man's float; he is making some waves by interviewing other prospects while he waits for the man he really wants, Toronto Blue Jays manager John Farrell.
Red Sox fans like me were already aware that Los Angeles Dodgers third base coach Tim Wallach had interviewed for the job. San Diego Padres special assistant Brad Ausmus is due for a visit to Boston as well. Now, the Red Sox have announced two more names for their slate of candidates to replace the fired Bobby Valentine. Both of them have previous ties to the Red Sox organization.
Cherington met with New York Yankees bench coach Tony Pena on October 15, an off day for the Yankees during the American League Championship Series. Pena was a long-time major league catcher who played for the Red Sox from 1990-93. He has previous managerial experience, having led the Kansas City Royals from 2002 to early in the 2005 season, when he resigned after the club started the season 8-25. Along the way, though, he was named American League Manager of the Year in 2003, when his team got off to a 16-3 start en route to 83 wins. It was the Royals' last winning season.
Pena's stint as a manger, however, doesn't seem to reflect the needs of the current Red Sox squad. He was not particularly enamored with heavy reliance on statistical information, which is the philosophy of the Red Sox. His best team, in 2003, was not a particularly young club, as the 2013 and 2014 Red Sox apparently will be.
The Baltimore Orioles third base coach, DeMarlo Hale, will reportedly also interview for the job. Hale has a long history in the Red Sox organization, where he managed at several minor league levels. He was also a coach on manager Terry Francona's squad, as the third base coach for the 2007 World Series champs and later as the bench coach.Francona recently mentioned Hale, along with other coaches he had on his staff in Boston, as good choices for the club going forward.
"This is the direction I would want to go," he said. "John Farrell, DeMarlo Hale, Brad Mills, Tim Bogar. All guys that have been working there in the past, in the good times. They would immediately have the players' respect."
With Mills likely to rejoin Francona in Cleveland, and Bogar too closely tied to Valentine's disastrous season, that leaves Hale and Farrell - believed to be the Red Sox first choice. As far as fans like me know, there have been no talks between the Red Sox and the Blue Jays about the year remaining on Farrell's contract, the possibility of Toronto releasing him, or the compensation the Jays would require in return.
So, Cherington splashes around but doesn't seem to really be going anywhere.
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Rick Blaine, an award-winning broadcaster and columnist, is a lifelong Red Sox fan. Follow him on Twitter @RickBlaineCT.