Re: Good to see that the newly minted GM has zero influence in the hiring of a new manager... great start to the Cherington e...
posted at 11/18/2011 10:32 AM EST
this may put light on the thought process.....
Examining the process by which the Red Sox are choosing a manager
Posted by Scott Lauber at 1:47 am
MILWAUKEE — All along, Ben Cherington said it would be this way.
From Oct. 31, when Phillies bench coach Pete Mackanin came to Fenway Park to begin the Red Sox’ interview process, through last weekend when Tigers third base coach Gene Lamont closed the first round, Cherington has described the selection of the next manager as “collaborative.” Indeed, he suggested that several levels of the organization — from baseball operations through ownership — would have input in the decision.
It began in early October when the baseball ops staff, headed by Cherington but at one point still including Theo Epstein, compiled a list of candidates, examined those candidates further by talking with sources throughout the industry, and brought them to Fenway for day-long interviews. Team president Larry Lucchino participated in various stages of those initial interviews, meeting each of the five first-round candidates (Mackanin, Brewers hitting coach Dale Sveum, Indians bench coach Sandy Alomar Jr., Blue Jays first base coach Torey Lovullo and Lamont).
At the conclusion of that process, Cherington said Sveum would be called back for a second interview, during which he would meet with ownership. That happened on Wednesday in Milwaukee, when Sveum had lunch with Cherington, Lucchino, principal owner John Henry and chairman Tom Werner. By all accounts, Sveum had the approval of Cherington and the baseball operations staff. But the Red Sox never offered him the job, and he subsequently agreed to a three-year contract to manage the Cubs, who are now being run by Epstein.
For the past week, even with Sveum looking like the favorite, Cherington has indicated the Red Sox would bring in at least one other candidate for a follow-up meeting, but he hasn’t identified who that would be. As colleague Michael Silverman reported yesterday, Bobby Valentine has been a candidate from nearly the start of the process and already has met with both Cherington and Lucchino, although unlike the others, that interview wasn’t made public. A few weeks ago, Valentine and Lucchino were together at a fundraising event, at which time they both downplayed, though never denied, the idea of Valentine becoming the Red Sox’ manager.
“I wouldn’t insult my employers (at ESPN) by saying I’m interested in another job,” Valentine said at the time, likely explaining why his candidacy wasn’t made public until now, when he has emerged as a legitimate possibility.
Moreover, according to a source, there is another yet-to-be-identified candidate who is being considered for the job. Cherington and soon-to-be-named assistant GM Mike Hazen are spending the weekend scouting in the Dominican Republic, and an industry source said yesterday that the managerial search likely won’t move forward until they return Monday. The timetable of hiring a candidate before Thanksgiving almost certainly will be extended, with Lucchino referring to Terry Francona’s date of hire (Dec. 3, 2003) as a more realistic date.
And so, the process by which the Red Sox have been searching for a manager has come into question over the past two days. At worst, there appears to be a disconnect between ownership and baseball operations. At best, the Red Sox have seemed disorganized. After all, the Cardinals (Mike Matheny) and Cubs (Sveum) swiftly hired their new managers and moved on to other offseason business, while the Red Sox are still searching almost two months after Francona’s Sept. 30 departure.
It’s easy to look at the Red Sox and see chaos.
But yesterday, Lucchino insisted Cherington isn’t being undermined by ownership — earlier this week, in fact, Henry discussed the process by saying, “Ben’s in charge” — and as recently as last Friday, Cherington expressed an awareness that his views on the right candidate may well differ from ownership’s.
“I feel my job in this to identify a very small, short list of people that I think could be a fit for us — and I may have a personal preference on who the next manager is — then give as much information as I can to ownership,” Cherington said last week, as the initial round of interviews was concluding. “They clearly have an important voice in this decision, and they need to be comfortable with the decision as much as I am. In the end, when we start to narrow the list down, I think it’ll be more collaborative at that point. To this point, it’s been more my effort on getting to know the candidates. As we get to the next level, (ownership) will get more involved.”
To Cherington, that’s all part of the process.