1. Almost any manager (except Francona or Bobby V) will do. Good managers lose and not so good managers win when the players have bad years or good years. Francona was a loser in Philly, a winner here. Torre ditto before and after getting to NYC.
2. Sox need one good arm for the rotation and one good bat for the lineup.
3. An idea from Peter Abraham--the Sox need to invest in the best scouts and coaches to select players and then develop them. Given the income generated by good teams and the absolute requirement for talented players, this investment makes sense.
4. Hire a pitching czar who controls who pitches, how they prepare, how they correct mistakes, everything. Given the Sox starters horrible ERA in the first inning, for example, it is obvious they do not know how to prepare for a game. I think a case can also be made they don't throw the best kinds of pitches, especially in combination. I am fairly sure most or all Sox starters try to get thru the first inning throwing only fastballs or cutters, but no curves or sliders or changeups. Why? Opposing pitchers--my observation without supporting data--seem to take advantage of well thrown changeups. Sox pitchers generally like to avoid changeups. When a Sox lefty starter is throwing at Fenway, the changeup, always provided it is well thrown and in the right spot, should be his favorite pitch.
5. If item 4 above is in any way valid, it could explain why the FO appears to be going after Farrell to be the next manager. The broken pitching cannot, repeat cannot, be fixed by simply adding one good arm. Buchholz and Lester were both healthy and both had rotten seasons this year. So did a bunch of other pitchers because the Sox had the twelth highest ERA in the AL this year. I am no Farrell fan, but do agree something fundamental has to change about the Sox pitching.