- Jim Bowden, ESPN Insider
The search for a new manager has not gone as smoothly as the Boston Red Sox would have liked.
They’ve seen a whole host of candidates come through Yawkey Way, including Gene Lamont, Pete Mackanin, Sandy Alomar Jr. and Torey Lovullo. New Boston general manager Ben Cherington fought over Dale Sveum with former colleagues Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer -- who now work for the Chicago Cubs -- even having Sveum in for a second interview. But Sveum chose to set up shop at Wrigley Field instead of Fenway Park.
With the Red Sox's front office seemingly indifferent to the candidates it has already talked to, it has now turned its attention to Bobby Valentine, who is in Boston Monday for an interview.
By letting Epstein and Terry Francona go in October, the Red Sox put themselves in a precarious situation. Most assumed the respected Red Sox leadership of John Henry, Tom Werner and Larry Lucchino had options already established, otherwise why let go your GM and manager? They did not and now find themselves scrambling. By hiring Valentine, they can also hire someone who they can groom underneath Valentine as his bench coach and avoid putting themselves in this position again the next time they make a change.
Valentine, 61, is clearly the most qualified among all remaining manager candidates with experience. He guided the New York Mets to the World Series in 2000 and helped the Chiba Lotte Marines to a Japan Series championship in 2005. He’s a proven winner with big-market experience. His leadership, motivational and organizational skills are exceptional. He owns a high baseball IQ and the type sense of humor and media savvy it takes to succeed in a pressurized market like Boston.