Red Sox names pop up on list of Padres managerial candidates

Former Boston Red Sox managers John Farrell and Ron Roenick are rumored to be candidates to manage the San Diego Padres

The San Diego Padres are one of a few teams looking for a new field manager this offseason, and a pair of Boston Red Sox names are making the rounds as rumored candidates.

MLB Insider Bob Nightengale reports that John Farrell, who managed the team from 2013-2017, and Ron Roenicke, who served as interim manager for the 2020 season, are on the list of viable options to lead the Padres in 2022.

Farrell, who began his managerial career with the Toronto Blue Jays from 2011-12 and then led the Red Sox, has a lifetime 586-548 record as a skipper, though he had a losing record with the Jays. He was one of three Red Sox managers in the last two decades to win a championship in their first year at the helm, in between Terry Francona (2004) and Alex Cora (2018).

However, Farrell struggled to connect with his Red Sox players, and there were reports in his final season that players felt he did not have their backs when it came to media scrutiny, a more serious issue in Boston than most markets. Farrell’s in-game decisions were often questionable – especially his management of pitching – and his temper resulted in him getting ejected more than a few times, most notably in what ended up being the final game of his Red Sox career, Game 4 of the 2017 ALDS.

The general consensus is that the success of the Red Sox under Farrell – a championship and back-to-back division titles – was due more to the talent of the team than the man in charge, as evidenced by their up-and-down record during his five years with the team. He’s certainly not the reason they won the 2013 World Series; credit for that feat largely belongs to David Ortiz, who had one of the greatest postseasons in baseball history. In 2017, the team’s first season without Ortiz in 13 years, the majority of the players regressed.

Roenicke was Cora’s bench coach and was thrust back into managing after Cora and the Sox parted ways during the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing investigation. He had previously managed the Milwaukee Brewers from 2011-2015 and coached for the Dodgers and Angels on and off for two decades. Currently working as a special assistant to the GM of the Dodgers, Roenicke seemed content to be coaching, not managing.

Brad Ausmus, who was a candidate for the job that ultimately went to Cora, is also listed as a prospective Padre skipper. The former Gold Glove catcher managed the Tigers from 2014-2017 and the Angels in 2019.

Neither Farrell nor Roenicke feel like an appropriate fit for a young team like the Padres, or really any MLB team. Tingler wasn’t a particularly good manager, but he also wasn’t a fossil. If Farrell wasn’t able to connect with young stars like Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers half a decade ago, it’s unlikely he’ll be better at it now that he’s even older and the players are younger.

Really, the majority of the list Nightengale tweeted feels ill-fitting for this young Padres squad. Of the all-white list of candidates, Bruce Bochy is the only standout. He speaks Spanish, Japanese, Dutch, and Papiamento, which would help him connect on a more personal level with many players. And he has playoff experience from leading the San Francisco Giants to three World Series titles in five years between 2010-2014.

Other than Bochy, who retired at the end of the 2019 season, the Padres should probably keep looking.