According to Ken Rosenthal at Fox Sports, former Red Sox coach and current Brewers's hitting coach Dale Sveum has earned a second interview with the Red Sox for their vacant manager position. Sveum was one of five candidates interviewed in the first round, part of a group that included Pete Mackanin, Sandy Alomar Jr., Gene Lamont, and Torey Luvullo. Rosenthal also reports that one other from that group will also receive a second interview; sorry, Nick Cafardo, but Bobby Valentine isn't in the group they've interviewed, and therefore isn't eligible for this second interview.*
*I thought the fake mustache and glasses were cool, too, but Cafardo has hit a level where I fear he is going to interview a Valentine doll dressed up in a Red Sox uniform after games instead of the real Red Sox manager. He's been mentioning him since before Terry Francona had left Boston, even. Then again, I'm sure Nick will be able to make the same joke about me later in the winter when I start to pine for Scott Hairston to mash lefties part-time in right field and don't quit even when it's clear it isn't happening.
Now, I don't know as much about these candidates as the Red Sox do, given they spent hours and hours with them, asking them very specific questions about game situations, statistics, and much more, but from what little we have been exposed to via the post-interview sessions with the media, Sveum and Mackanin are my personal preferences. Obviously, Ben Cherington likes Sveum, too (via Tim Britton):
"He's a passionate baseball guy, and we knew that when he was here," Cherington said after the Red Sox interviewed Sveum on Nov. 2. "Just a lot of substance to his baseball thought process and how he goes about teaching the game, making decisions during the game. He's familiar with the city, familiar with some people in the organization."
You might be thinking, "But third base coach! Sending runners! Rabble rabble!" but remember, these are two completely different jobs. If the players and Sveum can have a working relationship that helps keep another September 2011 from happening, who cares if he wasn't the greatest third base coach in the world? Plus, it's not like anyone likes their third base coach. Do you know how excited Tigers' fans are to have Gene Lamont possibly be Boston's next manager? Chances are good we would see the same reaction from nearly any team were their third base coach to be interviewing.
As for Mackanin? Pocket square and stat analysis.