By Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — With Alex Cora deemed the mastermind of the 2017 Houston Astros cheating scandal, and with MLB currently investigating another cheating scandal of Cora’s with the 2018 Red Sox, the Sox and Cora agreed to part ways Tuesday night. So they need a new manager, just weeks before spring training starts.
At this point so late in the offseason, all the good managerial candidates already have jobs. The Red Sox are in quite the pickle when it comes to who will be manning their bench in 2020.
Here are a few potential replacements for Cora, some of which are real possibilities, and others that are not.
The most ideal scenario would be for the Red Sox to turn to Cora’s right-hand man, bench coach Ron Roenicke. The 63-year-old has been in baseball since 1977, when he was a first-round pick by the Dodgers, and is the only member of Cora’s staff with experience managing in the big leagues.
Roenicke was the manager of the Milwaukee Brewers from 2011-15, leading the team to 96 wins and a spot in the NLCS in his first season on the bench. Things didn’t go so well the next three-plus years and Roenicke was fired after a 7-18 start in 2015, finishing his only managerial gig with a 342-331 record.
While he seems like the most likely person to take over for Cora, there’s also the very good chance that Roenicke was in on the whole sign-stealing shenanigans and will have to face some music when MLB finishes their investigation.
Boston’s current hitting coach for the past two seasons, Hyers was also a scout from 2009-12. He was the Dodgers’ assistant hitting coach in 2016 and 2017 before coming back to Boston in 2018.
Febles has been Boston’s third base coach since 2017, but he’s been in the Boston organization since 2007. He’s also managed in Salem and Portland.
This is the one fans want the most. Varitek has no experience as a manager, but that is all the rage in baseball these days. If he is willing to rely heavily on analytics, then he could trade in his Assistant to the GM sweater (which likely has a “C” on it as well) for a Mr. Manager hat.
For no other reason than we all miss Pedro. Getting two Pedro press conferences every game day would be an absolute treat.
The Red Sox are paying Pedroia a boatload of money for 2020 anyways, so why not tab him as a player/manager (or more aptly, an occasional player/manager).
Jonny Gomes knows everything there is to know about baseball and he would never make a managerial mistake. This is the guy you want to go to WAR with, one who won’t be afraid to engage in some fisticuffs with other managers if the situations calls for it.
Replace one Cora with another. That would make it very easy for the Red Sox marketing team.
It worked out so well the first time, so why not? Plus Bobby V could build a fence around the video replay room to make sure there is no funny business going forward.
He has a World Series title to his name. But Hinch is about to start a year-long vacation, so Boston would just have to wait a year.
Any Former Catcher
Varitek and Hinch are both former catchers, as are Tampa’s Kevin Cash and Chicago’s David Ross, among many, many others. Former catchers seem to make solid managers, so let’s go a little deeper. How about Doug Mirabelli? Tony Pena? John Flaherty? Scott Hatteberg?
As long as they have experience behind the plate, they should be able to get the job done on the bench.
Why even bother with an actual human on the bench if analytics run the show? Just put Carmine in the dugout and watch the championships roll in.
Everything would be awesome on Jersey St. if Rochie was in charge!