The search continues for the next manager of the Boston Red Sox, one of the most coveted, high profile, and stressful positions in baseball. The Sox would be wise to take their time and do their due diligence before making an emotional hire a la the disaster that was Bobby Valentine. They need a guy who can communicate effectively with players whether they’re rookies, verterans, white guys or hispanic. This team needs a guy players can talk to, someone who is respected in the game, a solid in-game tactician, and is a name that will resonate with fans. With all that being said, lets get to the top candidates we’ve heard about thus far.
Alex Cora – The current bench coach for the Houston Astros is a former Red Sox player and seems to be the early favorite as he was the first guy the Sox interviewed. He’s got former teammates coming out of the woodwork to give glowing reviews, can communicate well with players, and a Puerto Rico outlet is reporting that Cora has a “99.9% chance” of landing the job. Apparently there’s heavy competition for Cora as the Mets want him too, but who the fuck would want to manage the Mets right now?
Brad Ausmus -The recently canned Tigers manager, this was a popular name because Dave Dombrowski gave Ausmus his first job when he hired him back in Detroit. Ausmus is currently unemployed and we all know how much Dave loves his own guys. But, maybe he doesn’t want to double down on a guy who didn’t make it very far for his former employer. The Mets were also rumored to be in on Ausmus, but as I mentioned who would want that job? Not Ausmus, who reportedly removed his name from consideration.
Ron Gardenhire – Yawn. I’m not dying to see the guy who managed the Twins to middling records for years take the reigns of one of the most pressure packed job in sports. Okay, middling records is probably not totally fair. He did win 6 division titles with Minnesota, but they never went very deep and the last division title came in 2010 when Gardenhire was named AL Manager of the Year. But, he hasn’t managed since 2014 and seems like more of the same so I don’t think its a great fit. Gardenhire is also, ironically, the bench coach for Torey Lovullo, the John Farrell successor in waiting the Red Sox had on their staff last year, then let walk in favor of Farrell, who they ended up firing anyways a year later. Solid planning over on Yawkey Way.
Other names that have been mentioned in the media:
Gabe Kapler – Sign me UP for Gabe the Babe. One of my favorite former players because he played his balls off every day. He’s currently the Director of Player Development for the Los Angeles Dodgers and has previously managed in the minor leagues for the Red Sox actually. I don’t think Tanyon Sturtze would appreciate Gabe becoming the next Red Sox manager though. Ya know, because he kicked his ass.
After all the bullshit we were fed about John Farrell being this tough guy John Wayne type, we could use an actual badass managing this team.
He was also in the running for the Dodgers manager position before Dave Roberts became a candidate and Kapler stepped down. So he’s clearly got a lot of behind the scenes experience and is a well rounded baseball guy with experience in both the dugout and the front office. Hell, he’s even got a health and fitness blog that I would highly recommend. WEEI’s John Tomase is all in as well and has some great insights on Kapler’s success in his current role with the Dodgers building up their farm system.
Jim Leyland – The longtime baseball manager who also has big Dombrowski ties, having worked as his manager in Florida as well as with the Tigers. But, Tony Massaroti mentioned on 98.5 the other day that he texted the 72 year old Leyland, who straight up told Mazz that he’s done managing. So we can cross this one off the list.
I think Cora is a solid option, a breath of fresh air that the Red Sox could use. He’s a guy that speaks both Spanish and English fluently, he’s young, and he’s been climbing the ranks working his way up to this opportunity. I think with an older baseball guy as his bench coach Cora is probably the best option. But I certainly would not be disappointed with my dude Gabe managing the Sox. Time for Dave Dombrowski to hitch his wagon to the next manager; we’re in this together now boys.