The Red Sox named Ron Roenicke their interim manager almost two weeks ago, but at the introductory press conference they indicated they’d wait a bit until they hired a bench coach. There was no indication which way they were going to go, but I figured they’d stay internal with someone like Carlos Febles, Jason Varitek or Billy McMillon. Well, and you’ll want to sit down for this one, I was wrong. Instead, they brought in a new face (sort of), hiring Jerry Narron as their bench coach.
I’m not going to sit here and pretend I can tell you how Narron is going to affect the 2020 Red Sox. I can’t do that with a manager, so I sure as hell can’t do it with a bench coach. However, I can give you some background!
The first point to make is that he does indeed have some history with the Red Sox. Narron was with the team way back in 2003, back before they had won a World Series since 1918, as the bench coach under Grady Little. I am curious how long it will take for someone to ask him about leaving Pedro in. I’m not still bitter. No way.
Probably more important to this decision is his history with Roenicke, as Narron served as the bench coach for the Brewers from 2011 through 2015 while Roenicke was their manager. Most recently, he served as the bench coach for the Diamondbacks for the last few seasons.
Beyond that, Narron does have a bit of managerial experience. He was the manager for the Rangers back in 2001 and 2002 with a combined winning percentage of .453. After that, he took over as the Reds manager in the middle of 2005 and was let go in the middle of 2007. In between he managed to a .467 winning percentage. He’s never had a season with a winning record, but Cincinnati did have a .500 record in 2005 after he took over.
As a player, Narron played across eight seasons as a player, mostly in the ‘80s, with the bulk of that time with the California Angels. Overall he finished his career with a 63 OPS+.
We’ll end this with a fact about Narron that has nothing to do with his ability as a coach but is interesting nonetheless, courtesy of Jon Couture.