I am currently sitting at JFK Airport waiting around for my next flight as part of my awesome 9 hour layover and I find myself trying to decide who the best candidate to replace Bobby V as the Red Sox manager for next season would be (This is of course assuming the front office realizes they need to replace him. I worry LL might be stubborn enough to insist on keeping him on for another year)
Some of the rumored candidates I have heard include:
John Farrell seems to be loved by the Red Sox front office but his run as the Blue Jays manager does not seem to have gone well. Maybe he has learned from some of the mistakes he has made in Toronto and will be better with a new team. He is said to have the tough edge that Francona lacked and that is one reason the Sox would seem attracted to him. But with his struggles the last two years in Toronto I would hope the team stays away from pursuing him. If he is fired from Toronto pursuing him to return to the team as the pitching coach could be a positive move for the Sox’ beleaguered starting rotation.
Tim Bogar was kept as a holdover on the staff because the team views him as having great potential as a future manager. With the team entering a transitional/rebuild phase this could be the best time to find out what they have in him because if they wait on him and hire a new manager he could very well be snapped up by another team before they get around to giving him a chance. He is said to have a good hold of the club house and after the mess Bobby V has been with clubhouse chemistry this year having someone who can bring the players together would be a good thing. But if he is seen as being to buddy buddy with the players this will probably be held against him as I see the team looking to bring in another authority figure if they replace Bobby V, just hopefully one that doesn’t alienate half the team.
Jason Varitek was very respected by the team and the front office as "the captain" and has been speculated as someone who could help reunite the team. The success of managers with no experience in Chicago and St. Louis has made this idea more viable. At the same time Varitek was among those cited as showing a lack of leadership in the clubhouse during Boston’s epic September collapse and could be viewed as being too close to the players so shortly after his playing career ended.
Ryne Sandberg was interviewed by the team for the managerial opening last year before the process was hi-jacked from Cherington. The Hall of Famer has steadily worked his way up the minor league ranks and has earned his shot at managing a major league team. Given his resume as a player he is the type of manager who should easily command the respect of his club house and seems likely to be able to strike a balance between Francona’s too player friendly ways and Bobby’s strict but alienating way.
Brad Mills was fired as part of the front office change over in Houston. He was at the helm of some terrible teams, but those can’t be blamed on him as Ed Wade effectively ran the team into the ground before it was blown up by the new regime. He handled the situation in Houston very well and in a way that leads some to believe he could handle things in Boston and help right the ship.
I would love to see Sandberg finally get a chance to run a major league ball club and believe he would make a great manager for the Red Sox. He would be my first choice for the new Sox manager with Bogar a close second with Varitek being a wild card candidate for me. I believe any of these options would be an improvement over Bobby V. He clearly isn’t respected by the leaders of the clubhouse (there have been multiple stories of issues with Pedroia and other players) and there is no point retaining a manager who has lost the majority of the team.
Who do you guys think would make a great manager for the 2013 Red Sox? I am sure I have missed some obvious candidates from other teams, so let me know your thoughts.