Published: Thursday, October 4, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 4, 2012 18:10
The Bobby Valentine Era (or Error) is finally over. The Red Sox fired Valentine on Thursday afternoon, following the team’s worst season (69-93) since 1965.
The disaster that was 2012 is not solely because of Valentine, but he surely did not help. From the get go, Valentine wasted no time in making his presence felt. Ask Kevin Youkilis.
He said he was undermined by his coaches. He called the team “the weakest roster we’ve ever had in September in the history of baseball.” After arriving late to a game in Seattle in August, he threatened to punch WEEI host Glenn Ordway in the face, when he was asked about it. Plus, he had players go behind his back to ownership in August to try and get him fired.
Well, now he is gone and general manager Ben Cherington is tasked with finding someone who will lead the Red Sox back to relevancy.
THE LONG SHOTS:
Gene Lamont, third base coach, Detroit Tigers
Lamont was a finalist to replace Terry Francona. It’s doubtful he will be interested in an interview after being passed over last winter, but the Sox may try and bring him in again.
DeMarlo Hale, third base coach, Baltimore Orioles
Hale was the third base coach and later the bench coach under Francona in Boston and has been considered for numerous managerial positions over the past few years.
Torey Lovullo, first base coach, Toronto Blue Jays
Lovullo was also a finalist for this position last winter. He will be back in the mix this time, too.
Mike Lowell, analyst, MLB Network
Lowell is truly a long-shot. He is a huge fan favorite in Boston and was the 2007 World Series MVP. He is considered to have a future in coaching and could get a call for an interview.
Bill Mueller, special assistant to the GM, Los Angeles Dodgers
Like Lowell, Mueller is a fan favorite in Boston for his contributions to the 2004 World Series championship team. Mueller has worked in the Dodgers front office since his retirement in 2006 and is also considered a future manager.
Brad Mills, former Houston Astros Manager/Red Sox Bench Coach
Mills was recently fired as the manager of the Astros. He is Francona’s best friend and was his bench coach during his time in Boston. With a major league roster, something he did not have in Houston, he could be a very good manager. The question is whether or not Sox ownership will be comfortable with Francona’s buddy at the helm.
Tim Bogar, Bench Coach, Boston Red Sox
Bogar interviewed for Mills’ old job in Houston and didn’t get it. He and Valentine did not get along, but from all accounts, he is a very good “baseball guy” and could slide right into the position.
Brad Ausmus, Special Assistant to Baseball Operations, San Diego Padres
Ausmus, a former catcher, has long been considered a future manager. He will garner serious consideration for the job.
Dave Martinez, Bench Coach, Tampa Bay Rays
Martinez is a rising star among coaches in Major League Baseball. As Joe Maddon’s right-hand man, Martinez has been mentioned as a possibility for almost every managerial opening over the past couple of years, but has yet to land a gig. Not sure why, but he could be a finalist along with Farrell and Varitek.
Jason Varitek, Special Assistant to the GM, Boston Red Sox
Everyone knows about Varitek’s past with the Red Sox. It’s no secret. Varitek retired after the 2011 season and was recently hired as a special assistant to Cherington. Because of his brilliant handling of the pitching staff throughout his career, Varitek, like Ausmus, has always been thought of as a manager in waiting.
He has said he is not ready for such a position, but Mike Matheny (St. Louis) and Robin Ventura (Chicago White Sox) have shown that prior experience is not necessarily a requirement. And, according to the Boston Globe, the Sox have not ruled him out.