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Examining the Red Sox Managerial Candidates

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John Farrell is out as the Red Sox manager

John Farrell is out as the Red Sox manager

John Farrell is out as the Red Sox manager

Joe Clark, Sports Editor

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With the Red Sox deciding to not bring back John Farrell on Tuesday, Dave Dombrowski will have a chance to pick his own manager to lead the Red Sox forward. Dombrowski inherited Farrell when he was hired as the President of Baseball Operations, and the two reportedly had a contentious relationship, which culminated with Farrell’s dismissal. The Red had success under Farrell, who was coming off back to back AL East titles and won a World Series with Boston back in 2013. Since then though, the Red Sox have been an inconsistent and flawed team, failing to advance past the ALDS. The question now is who will take over next season. Dombrowski has no shortage of candidates to choose from, and we’ll take a look at some of them below.

 

In-House Candidates

Gary DiSarcina, Red Sox Bench Coach

DiSarcina recently wrapped up his first season as Farrell’s bench coach after spending three years with the Angels, working as a 1st base coach and 3rd base coach. Prior to that, he was the manager of the Pawtucket Red Sox, the Red Sox AAA affiliate. He replaced Torey Lovullo, who left to become the manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks (And did a great job there, leading some to question why Farrell wasn’t let go a year earlier). DiSarcina wouldn’t be a bad choice, but questions remain if it would just be more of the same if the Red Sox hired someone who worked so closely to Farrell last season. In addition, Dave Dombrowski said that the Red Sox aren’t likely to hire someone within the organization, and the new manager would have the ability to pick his staff. This means that DiSarcina is pretty unlikely to become the new manager. Still, he’ll get an interview out of courtesy, and if he does well there’s still an outside shot he could be the manager of the 2018 Red Sox.

 

Chili Davis, Red Sox Hitting Coach

Davis has done a pretty good job with the Red Sox since coming over from Oakland, and his work has been a big reason why the Red Sox young core (Mookie Betts especially) have become the hitters they are. Still, the power numbers weren’t there for the Red Sox last season, and while that’s more the fault of the front office to not acquire a true slugger, it’s still a knock against Davis. I really like Davis, but I’m just not sure he’s the right fit to lead the team. Still, he’ll also likely be given an interview, and again, he does have an outside shot at landing the role.

 

Jason Varitek, Red Sox Special Assistant to the GM

Varitek, the longtime Red Sox captain, has no experience working as a coach in any form, however, he got an interview with the Mariners two offseasons ago when their manager position was open, and he’s worked closely with the Red Sox staff in his role as a special assistant to the GM. A lot of managers are former catchers, and Varitek would fit that bill and as longtime captain, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone to question his leadership. His lack of managerial experience is a concern, but guys like Brad Ausmus (more on him later), Walt Weiss, Robin Ventura, and Mike Matheny all were hired with no prior managerial experience. As a huge Varitek fan, I’d be happy with the hire, but his lack of experience is a concern, and I think will ultimately be the reason why he doesn’t get the job.

 

Outside Candidates

Brad Ausmus, Unemployed

I’m going to preface this by saying I would not at all be happy if Dombrowski hired Ausmus. He’s Dombrowski’s guy, as Ausmus was hired by him back in 2013 with the Tigers, but he didn’t have much success in Detroit and was let go after this year. If the Red Sox fired Farrell, who despite his flaws had success, just to hire Ausmus, who’s best season with the Tigers was 90-72 and a loss in the ALDS, I really wouldn’t be happy. Still, because of his ties to Dombrowski, Ausmus could get the job, which makes me very worried.

 

Alex Cora, Astros Bench Coach

A former Red Sox infielder, Cora is considered a rising star as a coach. Already mentioned as a candidate for openings with the Phillies and the Mets, Cora knows the area and knows the game and you have to think the two would have mutual interest. Cora was the GM of the Puerto Rico team at the recent World Baseball Classic, and is definitely an intriguing candidate due to his connections to Boston and his coaching experience. I think Cora will ultimately get the job, but time will tell.

 

DeMarlo Hale, Blue Jays Bench Coach

Hale used to be the Red Sox third base coach, and he got an interview when the job opened up back in 2013. He’s gotten some interviews elsewhere, and he has the experience to be a manager. He’s definitely an interesting candidate, and he’s someone who I think would be a good hire given his experience and familiarity with the team.

 

Doug Mientkiewicz, Unemployed

Mientkiewicz is very much an outside candidate for the job, but the former manager of the Ft. Myers Miracle, the A-ball affiliate of the Minnesota Twins, got an interview for the Twins vacancy a few years ago and had gotten rave reviews before getting unexpectedly fired this offseason. I don’t think he’ll even get an interview, but he has experience playing in Boston and his managerial experience and history definitely make him interesting.

 

Gabe Kapler, Dodgers Director of Player Development

A former Red Sox outfielder, Kapler was a leader in the clubhouse throughout his MLB career, and is the Director of Player Development for the Dodgers, and was a name thrown around for the Dodgers opening before Dave Roberts got hired. He’s definitely a guy who could handle the job, and once again, his experience in Boston makes him an intriguing candidate. Hiring a manager who knows that the media and fans are like is important, and Kapler and most of these other guys know that, which is important. I’d be happy if Kapler got the job.

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