Next Red Sox Manager One of These Five
The list for the next Red Sox manager appears to have its final five. As of Wednesday this week, Cherington stated that he doesn’t plan to add anymore names to the list of candidates and should wrap up the first round of interviews by the end of the week.
The final five candidates include recently interviewed Sandy Alomar Jr., Phillies bench coach Pete Mackanin and Brewers hitting coach Dale Sveum. The Blue Jays first-base coach Toery Lovullo and the Tiger’s third-base coach Gene Lamont are set to interview on Friday and Saturday respectively.
So it appears that the next Red Sox manager will be one of the above five and here is what we know about each:
Both Mackanin and Sveum are both reported to have been approached by the Chicago Cubs for their vacant manager position as well, making it an interesting situation with the Red Sox former GM, Theo Epstein.
Mackanin was the first candidate to sit and answer questions for the Red Sox, a meeting that happened nearly a week ago. The Phillies bench boss is highly regarded as top managerial material, despite having never managed full-time at the major league level. With numerous managing gigs in the minors and other sub-pro leagues, Mackanin does have experience running a ballclub from the dugout. He will land a fulltime managerial job, it’s just a matter of where it is.
Sveum’s name is being used a lot as an early favorite, although many aren’t admitting it. He too is a potential target for the Cubs job having recently interviewed in the windy city.
This is the same Sveum who served as the Red Sox third-base coach in 2004 and 2005. Often criticized for his aggressive style at third base that resulted in runners being gunned down at home, Sveum was never one to back down from the media. He describes himself as an agressive person and not a passive one. A great character to have if you’re going to manage in Boston. Sveum brings a wealth of knowledge, having served as various coaches ranging from third-base, first-base to hitting coach and bench coach. Like Mackanin, Sveum has never managed on a full-time basis. He took over on an interim basis in 2008 for the Milwaukee Brewers and skipped the team for the final 12 games of the season and playoffs.
The latest to go through the ringer of Boston media was Sandy Alomar Jr. To me he is the favorite of the five candidates. He has ties to Cherington from his playing days in Cleveland where Cherington was an advance scout for the Indians. Cherington jokes that Alomar didn’t know he was, but saw his leadership in the clubhouse which led to Alomar’s name being added to the shortlist.
Alomar stated in his interview that the leadership the skipper brings is a must to show his players that he deserves their respect. He was also quick to reiterate that he likes the “family atmosphere” saying it’s how player’s bond to create a unified clubhouse.
Toery Luvello who spent last year as the first-base coach of the Toronto Blue Jays has some history with the Red Sox as well. It was Luvello who managed the Sox AAA team in Pawtucket in 2010 before flying north to join John Farrell in Toronto. He comes with high praise from Farrell despite his lack of big league manager experience.
Finally, we have Gene Lamont from the Detroit Tigers organization. Many consider Lamont to be a surprise candidate for the job in Boston based on the fact that he’s been out of a manager’s role since 2000 when he was the manager for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Lamont, 64, is the only candidate that has experience in the skipper role.
He managed the Chicago White Sox from 1992-95, where he collected the AL Manager of the Year award in ’94. That year he guided the White Sox to a 94-68 record. He then took his skills to Pittsburgh where he led the Pirates from 1997-2000. It was there that he assembled a winning percentage of .456, which isn’t bad considering how poor the Pirates have been.
Lamont also has ties to the Red Sox organization, having served as the third-base coach in 2001. Given that Cherington said he may take someone with little or no manager experience, Lamont is a bit of a surprise.
None the less, it appears we can start to narrow it down from someone of these five candidates. There are no big names like Bobby Valentine, Charlie Manuel or Joe Torre. At least not yet. Should Cherington not find his guy in the aforementioned list of five, then perhaps he’ll have to expand the search to those who have been around the game for what seems like eternity.
If I had to guess, I’d say it’s going to be Alomar who gets the nod. He has the respect from everyone involved in baseball and his knowledge of the game comes from so many year’s of playing. It just seems like a natural progression for him to lead a club and this could be his chance.
The GM meetings take place next week in Milwaukee and Cherington hopes to have a short list of two or three guys by then. If things go as planned we could be meeting the new Red Sox manager by Thanksgiving. Wouldn’t that be nice as it’s been a long waiting period already.
Let’s hear from you. Take part in the poll and pretend you were Ben Cherington. The choice is yours……
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