Peter Abraham has a detailed look at potential Red Sox manager Pete Mackanin, giving us the lowdown on where he's been, what he's done, and where he hopes to be. There are a few quotes that caught my attention more than the others:
The Sox gave Mackanin plenty to talk about. He arrived at 9 a.m. and was in meetings for nearly nine hours with general manager Ben Cherington and his staff before being ushered up to the press box to meet with reporters.
Nine hours! It's possible they were going over every bit of information covering Mackanin's 43-year career in baseball, but it seems that what they were mostly doing was making him dance. Metaphorically, I mean:
"It's like I was laboratory-tested by the Boston Red Sox,'' he [Mackanin] said. "It's kind of an interesting little scenario they put you through, going over strategy in games. A lot of good questions, a lot of different questions, a lot of outside-the-box questions, a lot of inside-the-box questions.''
Then, of course, there was the quote that made me swoon for Mackanin:
"I love statistical analysis,'' Mackanin said, noting he used it extensively when scouting for the Yankees in 2008. "It's very important. Numbers mean something.''
Next up for manager interviews is former Red Sox coach Dale Sveum, who will have to top that choice quote to win the manager's job in my heart.
Abraham also reported that the deadline is today for the compensation talks between the Red Sox and Cubs for Theo Epstein, meaning that it's time for Bud Selig to jump in and wrap this up. According to Abraham, that's actually what both Ben Cherington and Epstein were hoping for, anyway:
"It's a difficult deal to work out because it's too hard to quantify the value of Theo Epstein,'' Cherington said. "I have an idea of it and Theo doesn't think he's worth as much as I do. We haven't been able to bridge that gap yet."
What an awkward situation. Cherington telling Theo how special he is, and Theo brushing him off with a stonewalled face of modesty in order to keep better prospects in Chicago. Selig joining in to mediate the compensation would at least end this weeks-long discussion, and allow us to see, in player and/or dollar form, just how much Future Theo is worth.
Lastly in our assorted jumble of Sox news for the day comes word that Ryan Lavarnway had to leave winter ball in Venezuela due to coming down with an illness. [Insert joke about how maybe he shouldn't have loved the dirty water.]
There don't seem to be any reports of this ilness being anything serious, but it does hamper his ability to spend the winter working on his defense, at least in game situations.