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Lasorda set to pitch

He'll back two to management

Tommy Lasorda said if he were a few years younger he'd be throwing his hat in the ring for the job of Red Sox manager, but the legendary ex-Dodgers skipper is going to make two phone calls soon -- one to principal Sox owner John W. Henry, one to Sox CEO and president Larry Lucchino. In those calls, he'll recommend two candidates for the job -- Glenn Hoffman and Bobby Valentine.

"John Henry is a dear friend of mine," Lasorda, 76, said from Los Angeles last night. "I got to know him years ago when he owned the Florida Marlins and we struck up a very good friendship.

"I called John two years ago when the job was available up there and recommended Glenn, but at the time Glenn wasn't able to go up there. I think if he gets the call this time, he's ready for it. Glenn is an unbelievable baseball man. He's managed at every level. He's been our field coordinator. He managed for me when I was the general manager here, and he did an unbelievable job for me."

Lasorda said Hoffman seems to match what the Red Sox are looking for -- a youthful but experienced manager who can adapt to a team philosophy.

Lasorda also believes the Red Sox should consider Valentine, currently an ESPN baseball commentator, who is about to take a managing job in Japan.

"In terms of the strategy of the game, I don't think there's anyone as well-prepared as Bobby," said Lasorda. "With all the Italians up in Boston, he'd be an instant hit up there. He's a Connecticut boy who understands the passion of the fans up there.

"He's a fiery guy, and that's what you need. You need a guy who can come in there and show them who's boss. You need a guy, who before every game puts on a face of enthusiasm that can be contagious to the team. You've got to have some life as a manager. You can't just sit there."

Asked if he would be interested in being Hoffman's bench coach if he were hired, Lasorda said, "Now there's an idea. I'll tell you this, I love Boston. If I had been able to manage up there I would have brought home a world championship. What a place to manage. I told Glenn that, and he knows from having played up there what it would be like to go in there and be the first manager to win a world championship.

"The great thing about Glenn is that he can manage people. He understands players and how they tick. He can get the most out of a player, I'll tell you that. He's a straight shooter. He'll tell you what he thinks."

Lasorda, who still is a senior official for the Dodgers, visits Boston as often as possible. He said if Hoffman or Valentine is hired, "I'll be spending a lot more time in Boston."

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