Boston suffered through a 69-93 season in 2012.
The tumultuous one-year tenure of Bobby Valentine in Boston is over. The Red Sox were awful under the polarizing manager, and the 2012 season was the first time the franchise had lost 90 or more games since 1966. There was constant turmoil between players and Valentine in the Boston clubhouse, as well as bickering between both parties in the media. The 69-93 campaign saw general manager Ben Cherington change the club’s philosophical direction by trading away veterans Kevin Youkilis, Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford. So now the focus turns to a new skipper, one who can clean up the current mess and get the Red Sox back to prosperity.
1. John Farrell, Toronto Blue Jays manager
His name has been hot in Boston for a while now, even though Farrell had led Toronto to a 154-170 record and two fourth-place finishes. The Red Sox former pitching coach from 2007-10 is obviously very familiar with the Red Sox staff and is very respected by team management. The big issue here is that Farrell has one year left on his deal with the Blue Jays, and they would have no desire to let him walk to an AL East rival without major compensation.
2. Mike Maddux, Texas Rangers pitching coach
He was not interested in interviewing for Boston job last year, but the dynamic in Texas may be changing after a late-season swoon. Many clubs hesitate to look at pitching coaches for the manager position, but Maddux is considered one of the best in the game. The Rangers have gone to two straight World Series after Maddux built up a quality staff, and he could do the same thing with a Boston group that finished 12th in the American League with a 4.70 ERA
3. Jason Varitek, Boston Red Sox special adviser
He played 15 years with the organization from 1997-2011, and the former catcher was an exemplary leader on both of Boston’s World Series winners in 2004 and 2007. Varitek was given the prestigious honor of being named Captain after the 2004 season, and his presence in the clubhouse would help end some of the internal issues that have plagued the Sox. While Tek has an obvious lack of managerial experience, front offices are finding success with hires like Mike Matheny and Robin Ventura.
4. Brad Ausmus, San Diego Padres special assistant
He would be another candidate much like Varitek, a well-respected former catcher who is looked at as a classic leader among his peers. Ausmus played in five postseasons with the Astros and was a clubhouse favorite during his 18 years in the big leagues. He grew up in Connecticut and went to college in New Hampshire (Dartmouth), so he knows the New England market and its rabid fans.
5. Dave Martinez, Tampa Bay Rays bench coach
He will get a managerial opportunity in the near future, and Boston could hire a quality leader while also hurting a division rival. Martinez was highly respected during his 16 MLB seasons, and working with one of the game’s top managers in Joe Maddon has to help his candidacy as well. His Rays experience could relate well to Boston’s new younger approach to the roster.