The Boston Red Sox should be interviewing candidates for their open manager job this offseason. There is no way the team can bring back Bobby Valentine, who has been a disaster. Yes, he was the hand-picked choice of team president Larry Lucchino, over the objections of general manager Ben Cherington. Yes, he has another year to go on his contract. But there is no way the Red Sox, and fans like me, can suffer through another season with Bobby V.
So, who should the Red Sox consider? A players' manager like Terry Francona, who led Boston to two World Series titles? Or another disciplinarian like Valentine, who has caused a near revolt among players? Here are some of the contenders.
The bench coach of the Tampa Bay Rays is young and respected, and has been learning next to Joe Maddon, one of the most successful managers in baseball. By all accounts, Martinez understands and utilizes the statistical-based approach favored by the Red Sox, but also commands the respect of a former player. Martinez is under contract to the Rays for another year, but might be allowed to take a managerial opportunity. The Red Sox expressed interest in Martinez last year as a replacement for Francona.
The highly-successful pitching coach of the Texas Rangers might be just the man to turn around the struggling Red Sox staff. Maddux is a former Red Sox pitcher himself, so he understands the media atmosphere in Boston. He was one of the candidates Cherington planned to interview last fall before Lucchino stepped in and chose Valentine, so there is mutual interest.
Once believed to be the manager-in-waiting for the Red Sox, Farrell instead took the same job with the Toronto Blue Jays. Boston inquired about Farrell last fall, prompting the Jays to alter a club policy that allowed managers and coaches under contract to move to other clubs. With a year to go on his contract, Farrell might only be pried away from Toronto by providing a player as compensation. But his success guiding the Red Sox pitching staff, and he reputation as a no-nonsense tough guy, might be too tempting for the Red Sox to resist.
As manager of the Red Sox top farm team, in AAA at Pawtucket, RI, and before that as manager of the AA club in Portland, ME, Beyeler has guided many of the young Red Sox players to the big leagues. If the team is really planning on a youth movement in the next couple of years, perhaps they turn to someone who knows their organizational philosophy and has a track record with the team's young talent.
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Rick Blaine, an award-winning broadcaster and columnist, is a lifelong Red Sox fan. Follow him on Twitter @RickBlaineCT.
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