Vacant Manager Position Waiting for La Russa?
While all of Red Sox Nation waits patiently to see if GM Theo Epstein will remain in Boston to clean up this chaotic mess he helped create, or if he’ll flee for the windy city of Chicago to try and play hero for the Cubs, the search for the Red Sox next manager continues.
There have been rampant rumors swirling over who’s name is out as a candidate or who might be on the short list. It seems that the Epstein drama is backlogging the search for the manager.
Many names have been floating around as possibilities, some big league names and some with less experience. But could it be that the Red Sox brass are waiting for Tony La Russa to wrap up his season so he can come to Boston?
Thus far, we know that Joe Torre, Bobby Valentine and Joe Maddon are out as potential candidates. Torre is in a comfortable position beside Bud Selig as the VP of baseball operations and with his age not getting any younger, it would appear that Torre isn’t looking to get back into the dugout anytime soon. Throw in the fact of all the year’s he spent in New York and it would be like Don Cherry getting back into coaching and taking a job with the Montreal Canadiens.
Bobby V appeared to be the front runner right after Terry Francona left. This was according to Valentine himself. The eccentric manager made comments that made everyone wonder if he perhaps had a say in Francona not coming back to Boston. Let’s be honest, the Red Sox don’t need Bobby V’s shananigans around this club. The clubhouse has enough issues and doesn’t need Bobby V adding to the drama.
Maddon, despite uncertainty of the Tampa Bay Rays franchise has stated he doesn’t want to be anywhere else but the sunshine state. So for argument sake, we’ll scratch his name off the list as well.
Other big names include Bruce Bochy of the Giants and Eric Wedge of the Mariners. Both of these names are long shots at best as Bochy has a great thing going in San Fransisco and Wedge doesn’t appear to be what the Red Sox need.
Some additional names that have been circulated by our friends over at Fenway West include Phillies bench coach, Pete Mackanin, the Rays bench coach, Dave Martinez, and a pair of third base coaches, Sandy Alomar Jr. of the Indians and Tim Wallach of the Dodgers.
The only internal name that has been discussed is DeMarlo Hale, the current bench coach of the Red Sox. But given the lack of leadership and the undesirable atmosphere in the Sox clubhouse this past year, it’s evident that Hale is not the skipper to right this ship.
What about Tony La Russa? His name has been mentioned by a few of the Red Sox media members and although it’s nothing more than speculation, La Russa may be the perfect fit in Boston. Yes, he has a steep price tag for a manager, in the range of $2.8 million a season currently with the Cardinals, but the fact is that Tony wins. It’s all he’s done for his entire managerial career.
He’s managed just three teams spanning over three decades, so it’s clear that wherever he goes he is there for the long haul. He’s won two world series titles, 1989 with the Oakland A’s and most recently in 2006 with the Cards. He’s lead his teams to unprecedented 12 League Championship Series, the most recent one this season that sees his Cardinals taking on the Milwaukee Brewers. His all time record is 2,728 wins and 2,365 losses, for a winning percentage of 0.536. La Russa is currently third on the all time wins list and is only one of four managers to be named manager of the year in both the National and American Leagues. His resume wreaks of accomplishments.
Throw that in with the fact that he’s a no nonsense, no BS kind of manager that has the respect and loyalty of his players and he could be the one to come into a ravaged clubhouse and rebuild the character and heart of this Red Sox team.
What he’s done with the Cardinals this season is nothing short of remarkable. First the Cardinals lost their ace, Adam Wainwright in Spring Training to Tommy John Surgery. Second the slow start of Albert Pujols, saddled by his contract distractions had the Cardinals 10.5 games out of the Wild Card as September loomed. As the Atlanta Braves stumbled, La Russa’s Cardinals sprinted, going 23-9 in the final 30+ games to overtake the Wild Card on the final day of the season and once again give St. Louis postseason baseball.
So as the specualtion swirls and the rumors over who will be the next Red Sox manager continue to grow wilder everyday, La Russa continues to lead his club to victories proving just how good he is.
To me the choice is clear, bring in Tony La Russa. Love him or hate him, the guy wins and that’s the bottom line in Boston.
For all the latest news and analysis from BoSox Injection, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, or with our RSS feed.