Jason Varitek not a candidate for Red Sox manager

Former captain Jason Varitek, as special assistant to the GM, will give the clubhouse a voice in the managerial selection.
Former captain Jason Varitek, as special assistant to the GM, will give the clubhouse a voice in the managerial selection. –file/jared wickerham/getty images

As the Red Sox embark on their second annual search for a new manager, former team captain Jason Varitek will not be a candidate.

The former catcher, who retired in February after a 15-year major league career, recently took a position as a special assistant to general manager Ben Cherington.

“Right now, that’s not what he’s focused on,’’ Cherington said Thursday. “He’s joined the organization as a special assistant. He’s going to get his feet wet in a lot of different areas. He’s excited about that.

“He wanted to take a little step back this year from the daily grind of the clubhouse. He’s enjoying that. That’s what he’s focused on and we’re happy to have him in that role right now.’’


Varitek, however, will be on the search committee, joining Cherington and baseball operations executives Mike Hazen, Allard Baird, and Brian O’Halloran.

“I want to get Tek’s voice involved and get his advice on it,’’ Cherington said.

Team president Larry Lucchino said that while Red Sox players will be consulted regarding the next manager, the team would not “hold a referendum’’ about the matter.

But Varitek’s involvement in the process will give the clubhouse a voice, given his relationship with the players.

Dodgers deal done

The Red Sox completed the Aug. 25 trade with the Dodgers by officially acquiring righthander Rubby De La Rosa and first baseman/outfielder Jerry Sands.

They had been listed as players to be named later in the deal that sent Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez, and Nick Punto to the Dodgers.

The Sox also received first baseman James Loney, infielder Ivan De Jesus Jr., and righthander Allen Webster in the deal.

De La Rosa, 23, was 11-9 with six saves and a 2.86 ERA in 59 career minor league appearances over six seasons in the Dodgers system. He was 4-5, 3.96 in 14 major league appearances, 10 of them starts.

De La Rosa had Tommy John surgery in August 2011. He pitched in seven games this season, one with the Dodgers.


The 25-year-old Sands spent most of 2012 with the Dodgers’ Triple A Albuquerque affiliate and was named to the Pacific Coast League’s postseason All-Star team. He led all of Triple A with 107 RBIs and finished third in the PCL with 26 home runs. He also had 17 doubles, 4 triples, 84 runs, and 59 walks in 119 games.

To make room on the 40-man roster, catcher Guillermo Quiroz was designated for assignment. He was 0 for 2 in two games.

Grouped access

The Red Sox did not hold a press conference to discuss the firing of Bobby Valentine. They instead invited reporters to Fenway Park for a series of late-afternoon meetings with Lucchino and Cherington.

Reporters from the same media outlets were grouped together for individual sessions. The interviews were held in Lucchino’s suite overlooking the field. The Red Sox gave first access to their three local rights holders, NESN, MLB.com, and WEEI.

Chief operating officer Sam Kennedy, senior adviser to the president Dr. Charles Steinberg, and senior manager of corporate communications Zineb Curran monitored the interview conducted by four Globe reporters.

“The suggestion of our public relations department was this was a better, more effective way for us to communicate,’’ Lucchino said. “There was some thought that just a release would be sufficient.’’

Team owner John Henry, for the second consecutive year, did not make himself available to answer questions about firing a manager. He did not respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

“John is here in Boston,’’ said Lucchino. “But the job of dealing with the press, for better or for worse, falls on Ben and me.’’


In their release, the Sox included a statement that was attributed to Henry, which read, “In our meeting with Bobby today, he handled everything with dignity and class, and it is deeply appreciated. Ultimately, we as owners are responsible for arming our organization with the resources — intellectual, physical, and financial — to return to the levels of competitiveness to which we aspire and to which our fans are accustomed. Our commitment to winning is unwavering. It is a commitment to this team, to this city, and to these fans who have supported us through thick and thin.’’

Criteria has changed

Lucchino said that while the Red Sox considered major league managerial experience “highly significant’’ last year when they hired Valentine, that is not the case this time. “We thought wrongly, as it turned out, that we were on the verge of an exceptional season and had the core nucleus of a great team and needed somebody who could manage that kind of team,’’ he said. “Speaking personally, it has opened my eyes.’’ . . . Second baseman
Dustin Pedroia is scheduled for surgery later this week to stabilize a torn ligament in his left thumb. The procedure will take place in Arizona . . . Speaking on ESPN, former Red Sox manager Terry Francona recommended four of his former coaches — John Farrell, Brad Mills, DeMarlo Hale, and Tim Bogar — get consideration for the job. Francona will interview with the Indians on Friday and is expected to land that job. Mills and others from his staff with the Red Sox could join him there . . . Valentine, when speaking to reporters in front of his apartment, got off perhaps one final zinger when asked about the Sox. “I hope we have a lasting relationship where they could call me, use me, abuse me, any time they want,’’ he said, “and even buy me dinner.’’

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