It’s been a relatively busy week on the Red Sox managerial front after a few weeks of radio silence about the position. Alex Cora certainly still looms over everything, but he is not eligible to be re-hired or even interview until after the World Series when his one-year suspension from baseball concludes. There is still a chance that reunion happens (plenty still see him as the favorite), but the Red Sox also aren’t sitting on their laurels in the meantime. On Thursday, we learned they interviewed Will Venable and Don Kelly, and on Friday it was reported that Luis Urueta also got an interview.
We got even more news on this front on Friday, this time coming from Peter Abraham and Alex Speier of the Boston Globe. The latest report indicates they have interviewed Twins bench coach Mike Bell, Padres associate manager Skip Schumaker and Marlins bench coach James Rowson.
Bell’s playing career officially ended in 2005, and he started coaching soon after that. He has a bit of managerial experience at the minor-league level from time in the Diamondbacks organization and has experience working with younger players from his time as their Director of Player Development. He joined the Twins last winter and just finished his first season as their bench coach.
Schumaker had an 11-year career in the majors, with most of that time being spent in St. Louis. His career ended in San Diego, though, as he was invited to spring training there in 2016 but retired before the regular season began. He joined their coaching staff prior to the 2018 season as their first base coach and was promoted to the associate manager position prior to this past season.
Rowson, finally, never had a big-league career, though he did spend a few years in the minors. After retiring from the playing side, he’s bounced around a bit as a coach. He has focused on the offensive side of things, serving as the minor-league hitting coordinator for the Yankees and Cubs before becoming the major-league hitting coach for the Cubs in 2012. From there he went back to his old job with the Yankees before becoming the hitting coach for the Twins. He joined the Marlins for his current bench coach position for the 2020 season.
All three of these managers fit the same mold as the other three who had previously been reported to have interviewed for the job in that all six now are on the young side (Bell is the oldest at 45) and also have no major-league experience as a manager. When the Red Sox retained almost all of their coaching staff before deciding on a manager, that was seen as a sign Cora was coming back. I think that’s still a fair line of thought, but it’s worth mentioning it makes some sense theoretically to already have an infrastructure of coaching in place, particularly one that has had success, to help an inexperienced manager.
The biggest piece of news from yesterday, though, may be about who won’t be interviewing for the job. Heading into this search many, including myself, viewed Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro as one of the favorites for this job. Well, Sean McAdam is reporting that isn’t happening. According to the Boston Sports Journal reporter, as part of the deal when Chaim Bloom came to the Boston, he cannot hire anyone from the Rays organization until after the 2021 season. That would, of course, leave Quatraro off the list.