When I heard that the Red Sox — upon coming in second in the Dale Sveum sweepstakes — had narrowed their choices to manage the team in 2012 to Bobby Valentine and Gene Lamont, I thought, ‘Are Art Howe and Jim Fregosi not available?’
The last time Lamont won a division title was in 1993, when he managed the Chicago White Sox. At the time, Fregosi was leading the Philadelphia Phillies to the World Series.
Valentine last managed a winner in 2000, leading the Mets to the NL wild card and eventually reaching the World Series before losing to the crosstown Yankees. That was the same year Art Howe won the first of two division titles in Oakland before moving to New York to succeed Valentine as manager of the Mets.
The Red Sox seemed to be on the right path with interjecting a fresh managerial spirit into the clubhouse with Sveum.
But, you know, I get it. If all the stories of drinking, munching on fried chicken and video gaming it up in the clubhouse during games are at all accurate, then the Red Sox need a veteran, respected presence moreso than a fresh outlook.
Boston could use a dose of getting whipped into shape for a year or two before a younger, more energetic manager can take them to new heights.
Follow Charlie Miller on Twitter @AthlonCharlie.