BOSTON (CBS) — There’s a giant “Help Wanted” sign at Fenway Park (figuratively speaking), as the Boston Red Sox begin their search for their next manager.
Dave Dombrowski gave John Farrell the boot on Wednesday, dismissing the manager after five seasons on the job. Though his managerial decisions were always questioned, Farrell led the team to a World Series title and three AL East crowns, so whoever comes in is going to be met with some lofty expectations. Not only will they be expected to come in and win right away, but they also will be tasked with changing the culture in a Boston clubhouse that seemed a bit fractured and in desperate need of a true leader during the 2017 season.
Baseball lifers Jim Leyland and Tony La Russa have been mentioned as possible candidates and both would bring their no-nonsense approach to the clubhouse, but neither seem very interested in managing again. Leyland told 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Tony Massarotti that he’s done managing on Wednesday, and La Russa is currently serving as an analyst and advisor for the Diamondbacks.
Dombrowski will have no shortage of candidates this winter, and the search was already underway Wednesday morning when Boston’s president of baseball ops. took the podium at Fenway Park to discuss/not discuss Farrell’s dismissal. Here are some names you’ll hear over the next months as Boston searches for its 47th manager:
There’s an obvious connection here as Dombrowski was the man who hired Ausmus in Detroit. The former catcher accumulated a 314-332 record in four years on the Tigers bench, but was fired after they lost 98 games this past season. Detroit won 90 games and won the AL Central in Ausmus’ first year on the bench in 2014, but were swept by the Baltimore Orioles in the ALDS despite Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander and David Price starting those three games. It was Ausmus’ only postseason appearance of his managerial career.
A Cheshire, Connecticut native, Ausmus had an 18-year playing career, spending 10 years with the Houston Astros.
The Astros bench coach and former utility infielder is one of the hottest names on the market. It’s expected that Cora will get a shot at managing, and he could be the man for Boston.
Cora spent four seasons with the Red Sox and won a World Series with the team in 2007, so he’s plenty familiar with the Boston baseball scene. A great communicator and smart baseball mind, Cora could be the man to win back the Boston clubhouse. But a team like Boston in win-now mode presents a lot of pressure for a rookie manager.
“Millsy” was a bench coach for the Red Sox under Terry Francona from 2004-09 and managed the Houston Astros for two-and-a-half seasons, going 171-274 before being fired midway through the 2012 season. He’s been serving as Francona’s bench coach in Cleveland since 2014.
Gardenhire spent 13 seasons as manager of the Minnesota Twins, winning six AL Central titles. He led the team to the ALCS his first year on the bench but won just two more postseason games after that, going 6-21 overall in the playoffs. He was let go after the 2014 season after a fourth-straight losing season. Overall, Gardenhire went 1068-1039 during his lengthy tenure the Twins.
The 59-year-old is currently a bench coach with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Hale took over for Mills as Francona’s bench coach in Boston in 2010 and has been a Toronto bench coach since 2013. His name always pops up for open managerial positions and he’s often a finalist, but he’s yet to land a top gig.
Sandy Alomar Jr.
After a 20-year playing career as a backstop, Alomar has been coaching since 2008 and is currently serving as Cleveland’s first base coach. He’s been in the mix for managerial gigs over the year, but has yet to get his shot.
Dombrowski said he didn’t think the Red Sox would find their next manager from within the organization and wants someone with experience on an MLB staff, but if he changes his mind Varitek could be an intriguing option. The former Red Sox captain is currently an advisor in Boston and is frequently around the team.
Currently working in the Dodgers front office, Kapler is another former Red Sox player whose name could surface during Dombrowski’s search. He doesn’t have any managerial experience at the Major League level, but the former fan favorite managed Boston’s Single-A affiliate for one season in 2007, going 58-81, before making a comeback as a player.