A lesson learned from when the Chicago White Sox recently hired ex-player Robin Ventura as their new manager.
When it comes to a team's search for a new manager, sometimes, you just never know.
Ventura never was reported as even a potential candidate. Meanwhile, several reports had Tampa Bay Rays bench coach Dave Martinez as the favorite for the White Sox job.
Come to find out, Martinez didn't even get an interview.
So, let's keep this in mind when discussing the open Red Sox managerial position, especially with the GM situation still unresolved.
There are several names floating around as Red Sox managerial candidates, such as Martinez, Sandy Alomar Jr. and Tim Wallach.
Several reports have the Red Sox likely going after someone with no big league managerial experience. And with Red Sox president and CEO Larry Lucchino likely garnering more power and influence after Theo Epstein's departure, it remains highly unlikely that an extremely experienced, veteran manager such as a Tony La Russa
But who knows, really. No interviews even will be conducted until Boston has its new general manager in place.
Still, it is fun to explore some of the known managerial candidates. So let's do it:
1. Pete Mackanin: He has been the Phillies bench coach and manager Charlie Manuel's right-hand man since November 2008. He acted as the Pirates interim manager for 26 games in 2005, going 12-14, and as the Reds interim manager for 80 games in 2007, going 41-39. He also has worked as a professional scout and managed in the minor leagues for 13 seasons, posting 917 wins and earning The Sporting News 1995 Minor League Manager of the Year.
At 60 years old, having been a professional coach/manager for more than 20 years, he has been around baseball for a while.
Still, he only has managed 106 major league games and because of the Sox clubhouse misbehavior, Boston might be better off with someone with more managerial experience who is known for being a disciplinarian and an intimidating figure.
2. Dave Martinez: He has been the bench coach of the Tampa Bay Rays since October 2007. He has learned from one of baseball's best managers, Joe Maddon, who surely has prepared him well in areas, such as coaching the pitching staff and managing a bullpen.
Martinez's expertise is in coaching base running, bunting and defense, and was known as a slick fielder during his playing days.
As with Mackanin, however, there is a concern Sox players might walk all over a rookie manager. That said, he is well prepared.
"The job that he does, he really takes a lot off of my plate on a daily basis," Joe Maddon told the St. Petersburg Times. "He's grown into that position extremely well. He understands it, he gets it."
3. Sandy Alomar Jr.: He's the bench coach for the Indians and a retired six-time All-Star catcher who played in 1,377 major league games. At 6-foot-5 and 200 pounds (during his playing days) he has the stature to be an intimidating presence, but he's rather soft-spoken and some have questioned whether he is tough enough to manage, according to the Chicago Tribune.
"I can be (tough) at the right time," he recently told that newspaper. "I can be many different people." Alomar added, "the ultimate goal of a manager is to create an environment in which a player can manage himself on the field."
He is from a family rich in baseball tradition. His dad Sandy Alomar played in the majors for 15 years and his brother Roberto Alomar is a Hall of Fame second baseman. His respected status in the game might help him gain and maintain the respect and attention of players despite his lack of experience. He never before has managed.
4. Tony Pena: He is the bench coach for the New York Yankees and a former MLB catcher who played for 18 years, including four seasons (1990-1993) with the Red Sox.
Why wouldn't he be a candidate? He has experience, having managed the Kansas City Royals from 2002-05, winning 2003 AL Manager of the Year, leading the Royals to an 83-79 record. He went 198-285 in 483 games as Kansas City's manager.
"He's an intense guy, a smart guy," Yankees center fielder Curtis Granderson said during the regular season. "It's amazing to watch him and just have him around."
5. Dale Sveum: He is the Brewers hitting coach. He was the Red Sox third base coach in 2004-05, probably best known to fans for his aggressive style of waving home runners, resulting in several outs at the plate. One thing is for sure though: Sveum has a personality that fits Boston because he brushes off criticism easily, as he proved in his time with the Sox.
When he left Boston, Red Sox front office members raved about his leadership and his ability to command respect. Sveum, whose cousin is former big league first baseman John Olerud, played 12 seasons in the majors and hit .236. He was interim manager of the Brewers for 12 games in September 2008 and went 7-5 to guide Milwaukee into the playoffs. He managed at Double-A Altoona in the Pirates organization from 2001-03 and was named 2003 Top Managerial Prospect in the Eastern League by Baseball America.
6. Tim Wallach: He is the third base coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers and also has managed in the minor leagues, as well as serving as the Dodgers hitting coach in 2004-05. He was named 2009 Pacific Coast League Manager of the Year and also as Baseball America's Best Manager Prospect.
He played 17 seasons in MLB, won three NL Gold Gloves at third base (1985, 1988, 1990), earned two NL third base Silver Slugger awards (1985, 1987), led the NL in doubles twice and bashed 260 career homers.
He is described in a 2010 Los Angeles Times article by some in the Dodgers organization as a blue-collar type, a scrapper, very patient, a great communicator and a manager who "does not appear to have a problem bridging the generation gap to his mostly 20-something players. If he has an obvious strength as a manager, this would be it."
The article, written when Wallach was a Triple-A manager, also stated that Wallach handles pitchers and the press well. Wallach is a hard worker who loves coaching. He is very passionate. But he also is described in the Los Angeles Times articles by one player as "never being rough on someone" and "having a quiet, commanding presence."
Odds and Ends
Former Arizona Diamondbacks manager A.J. Hinch is not being considered for the Red Sox managerial position, according to WEEI.com.
Joe Torre and Bobby Valentine are not potential managers either, Jon Heyman of SI.com reported.
The Red Sox might ask permission from Toronto to speak with manager John Farrell, from San Francisco to speak with manager Bruce Bochy and from Seattle to talk with manager Eric Wedge.
Red Sox bench coach DeMarlo Hale is unlikely to be named Red Sox manager because he is connected with the Red Sox' September collapse.
Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com recently endorsed Hale, writing that "to dismiss Hale ... as a candidate (because of the September collapse) would be terribly shortsighted."
Edes goes on to write: "He was not the man in charge. He should be given the chance to show what he will do if he is, especially since he should know as much as anyone why that clubhouse imploded."
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