Who woulda thunk it?
Alex Cora’s managing tenure with the Red Sox came to a screeching halt on Tuesday after he and the Red Sox decided to “mutually part ways” following the revelation of his role in the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal — and subsequent investigation surrounding the Red Sox for sign-stealing in 2018.
Whoever’s going to walk into the manager’s office is walking into a whirlwind. There are many, many questions surrounding the Red Sox opening: With spring training just under a month away, will Boston look for a quick, veteran manager fix? Are they looking for someone for the next year, or the next five? Are they willing to go outside the box or will they play it safe with a PR move?
This manager search is unlike anything we’ve seen, so here are five candidates who may (or may not) fit the mold in Boston:
Tek seems like he would be an obvious, popular choice among Red Sox fandom.
The backstop played the entirety of his 14-year career with the Red Sox and, following his retirement in 2011, slipped into a front office role as an advisor to then-GM Ben Cherington, staying through the Dave Dombrowski regime.
There’s the “issue” that Varitek hasn’t managed a game and has no coaching experience. But with the successes of inexperienced managers around baseball, that shouldn’t be a deterrent. He was the heart and soul of the Red Sox through three World Series championships and has that Beantown ‘tude fans love. If nothing else, hiring him would be a good PR move to keep the Boston media at bay for a season.
Quatraro, current Rays bench coach, was a hot commodity this past offseason. He interviewed for a few different jobs and was reportedly a finalist for at least the Giants and Pirates.
Certainly, the Rays are en vogue: Kevin Cash has emerged as one of the better managers in the American League, former Ray Rocco Baldelli just won manager of the year for Minnesota and Charlie Montoyo, former Rays bench coach, was entrusted the future of the organization in Toronto. So, needless to say, there’s the recency bias of wanting the latest and greatest thing in baseball on your bench.
He also has the added advantage of working with Chaim Bloom, the former Rays GM who is now heralding the operation in Boston.
A 15-year MLB veteran, DeRosa’s name has been popping up more and more for managerial openings over recent years. Currently working with MLB Network, DeRosa is heralded for his baseball IQ and ability to connect with players. He’s charismatic and knows his way around the media, which will certainly help in Boston.
DeRosa was a finalist for the Mets managing job in 2017 before the team hired Mickey Callaway and, well, we know how that worked out. DeRosa was also seemingly unhappy with the way the job seemed to be a “collaborative effort” more than manager-as-field general, which is the way things work now, anyway.
DeRosa would be an outside-the-box hire, and he could very well be an answer moving forward. But would the Red Sox be willing to take the risk of the unknown?
MORE: One big task remains in MLB sign-stealing scandal
Cora’s current bench coach, Roenicke has a fair amount of managing experience as the head man of the Brewers between 2011-15. He was also a longtime bench coach before and after that, coming on as Cora’s lieutenant in 2018.
Roenicke would be the quick fix here, but the question is whether Bloom would be willing to give the keys to Roenicke, who’s under investigation by MLB just the same for sign-stealing in 2018. A potential suspension is looming, which would immediately take him out of the fold.
Well, this would be fun, wouldn’t it?
The likelihood of Ortiz wanting to be a manager is slim, but he’s an iconic figure in Boston and would be an instant hit among fans. He’s well-respected by his peers and has been around long enough that he certainly learned something. After all, he played for Terry Francona for a long time and helped end the Red Sox’s World Series drought.
There’s been essentially zero talk of Ortiz of being a candidate for the Red Sox job in the future — of even wanting to manage — but it would be interesting to see how and if Big Papi would be able to stabilize Boston in 2020.
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