Red Sox should consider David Ortiz as their next manager
By Rick McNair
Let the Boston Red Sox managerial search begin and end with David Ortiz. Here’s why the retired slugger would be a great fit in the dugout.
The Boston Red Sox accomplished another quick exit from the playoffs and management followed by a quick exit for manager John Farrell. This is no surprise as a virtual cottage industry has existed on the demise of Farrell. I have wavered on this over the last few
This is no surprise as a virtual cottage industry has existed on the demise of Farrell. I have wavered on this over the last few seasons but considered his work this season as more than enough to be retained. However, I am not on Dave Dombrowski’s speed dial.
Enough internet ink will be wasted on the failures of Farrell that eventually led to his dismissal. Personally, I would have included Dombrowski, but his day of reckoning will come if the Red Sox fall short again. The big issue is a replacement. Dombrowski has mentioned that the search will probably be external, but how about internal?
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When Red Auerbach stepped down as coach of the Boston Celtics a new coach was necessary. Red was the ultimate astute coach/general manager and sought out someone who knew the NBA, the Celtic players, the Celtic organization, had the respect of everyone and would call his own shots. Only one person fulfilled that need and Bill Russell became a player/coach.
Just who knows the Red Sox players, the league, has a mountain of respect, knows the organization, knows how to win and is fully capable of being independent? That simply means that David Ortiz is back as manager.
Ortiz – unlike Russell – also knows what it is like to be cast aside as Ortiz had already been traded and released. Ortiz’ star did not really shine until he was picked up by Boston as a 27-year-old on the cusp of being gone. The rest is a story one would have trouble believing if we did not see it.
Forget the idea of no managerial experience as Ortiz has seen different managers in action, so he knows managerial style, game decisions, certainly pitching since he has beaten the crap out of enough of them, and Ortiz knows success and failure on the field.
One of the crucial elements in managing in Boston is the raptor-like media. Does anyone think Ortiz will have an issue? Papi is certainly quite capable of going into full Bill Belichick mode when necessary. And Ortiz will have the support of a fan base that idolizes him, so, unless he is suddenly morphed into Bobby Valentine, Ortiz will have the crowd.
Ortiz knew from last season that the Red Sox would need to replace his bat – even to the extent of attempting to recruit Edwin Encarnacion. I have no doubt about Ortiz’s baseball intelligence that is matched by his non-baseball intelligence. Ortiz knows the game and knows pressure as well as anyone who has played for the Red Sox.
The game today is Hispanic centric and Ortiz has respect among all players and especially Latino players that cannot be minimized. This is an asset that the Red Sox must use – either as a manager or in a capacity that goes beyond being a figurehead.
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This is a fantastic opportunity for the Red Sox and if they let it pass someone else will eventually step in. So, if DD wishes to go on a nationwide search then start and end with Ortiz.