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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Sherman: If Red Sox manage to make change, Varitek a good fit

Tekserve: For All Things Appled-Up.

I am not here to fire Valentine, a man I like and think had the thinnest possible chance for success in a soap-opera environment poisoned well before his arrival. But, fair or not, if he truly is one and done, then my managerial suggestion for Boston would be Jason Varitek. He would allow the Red Sox to co-opt the idea of their main rival while honoring what is in vogue in the sport right now.

Like Joe Girardi was for the Yankees, Varitek is a former championship catcher for the Red Sox. So he comes with built-in credibility within this group. Look we can say the Red Sox players need to look in the mirror and not the manager’s office for the problem. But the reality is this core is coming back again next season and, if that is the case, the Red Sox are going to need to find someone who commands instant respect and who can begin to re-establish sanctity and sanity within what has become a Wild West baseball setting. Varitek should have that immediately with this group because it is so familiar with his preparation, professionalism and sturdiness as a teammate.

In the past, you would dismiss someone who was just a year out of the game with no professional managing experience. But the success this year Robin Ventura of the White Sox and the Cardinals’ Mike Matheny — both returning to old haunts as first-time-anywhere managers — is changing the rules.

Repoz Posted: August 18, 2012 at 05:42 PM | 31 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: red sox

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   1. Yastrzemski in left. Posted: August 18, 2012 at 06:13 PM (#4211566)
If Tek wants it. Hire him.
   2. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: August 18, 2012 at 06:16 PM (#4211567)
My first reaction is that Varitek could be a pretty effective manager, but the examples of Ventura and Matheny don't wash, mainly because their "old Haunts" were much further in the rear view mirror than Varitek's would be. I don't believe Matheny has anybody on his roster with whom he played, and I'm sure Ventura does not. Varitek would have much of the roster in that situation.

And I can't imagine that would be a good environment for a first-time manager.
   3. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 18, 2012 at 06:23 PM (#4211569)
Girardi had been a bench coach and manager by the time the Yankees hired him.
   4. Rob_Wood Posted: August 18, 2012 at 06:24 PM (#4211571)
Worst Idea Ever.
   5. SoSH U at work Posted: August 18, 2012 at 06:28 PM (#4211572)
My first reaction is that Varitek could be a pretty effective manager, but the examples of Ventura and Matheny don't wash, mainly because their "old Haunts" were much further in the rear view mirror than Varitek's would be. I don't believe Matheny has anybody on his roster with whom he played, and I'm sure Ventura does not. Varitek would have much of the roster in that situation.

And I can't imagine that would be a good environment for a first-time manager.


Same here. I'm sure Tek will be a fine managerial candidate some day, but I'd be very hesitant to bring him in here (unless Bobby V gets canned soon, and you test drive him for the remainder of 2012. He can't screw this season up).

I just think it's a big jump from respected teammate to respected boss. If this were a normally functioning work environment filled with consummate professionals and surrounded by a less jackalesque media, maybe. But not this clown show.


   6. booond Posted: August 18, 2012 at 06:51 PM (#4211583)
Worst Idea Ever.


Squared.
   7. Squash Posted: August 18, 2012 at 07:07 PM (#4211590)
It may be a dumb idea, but it's starting to feel inevitable. The current ownership seems to have very thin skin when it comes to the press, and if this picks up more steam they'll give the mob what it wants. I think Varitek would make a pretty decent manager, though.
   8. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 18, 2012 at 08:02 PM (#4211621)
Sox are going to need to find someone who commands instant respect and who can begin to re-establish sanctity and sanity within what has become a Wild West baseball setting. Varitek should have that immediately with this group because it is so familiar with his preparation, professionalism and sturdiness as a teammate.

Maybe, but did he do anything about the beer & chicken festivals when he was with the Red Sox last year? Different role, sure, but pretty tough to tap someone without coaching or managing experience at any level.
   9. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 18, 2012 at 08:13 PM (#4211626)
Worst Idea Ever.

Squared.


Times ten thousand. This sounds like a random "Oh, I need something to write about, so let me concoct a stupid idea and write about that as if it has a prayer of happening."
   10. DKDC Posted: August 18, 2012 at 08:36 PM (#4211639)
I've never liked Varitek and I think this has high bust potential.

So I'm all for it.
   11. Walt Davis Posted: August 18, 2012 at 08:45 PM (#4211644)
Manny not available? Or Hall of Famer Jim Rice?

Ortiz as player-manager has a certain "I'd love to see how that works out" to it. He's respected in that clubhouse and he ain't doing nuthin' most of the game anyway.
   12. cardsfanboy Posted: August 18, 2012 at 08:53 PM (#4211648)
I don't believe Matheny has anybody on his roster with whom he played, and I'm sure Ventura does not. Varitek would have much of the roster in that situation.


Except the catcher that he mentored before going to San Francisco.
   13. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: August 18, 2012 at 08:57 PM (#4211653)
The frozen head of Ted Williams will put all of these dumbass players in their place.
   14. tjm1 Posted: August 18, 2012 at 09:14 PM (#4211666)
Ortiz as player-manager has a certain "I'd love to see how that works out" to it. He's respected in that clubhouse and he ain't doing nuthin' most of the game anyway.


I doubt we'll see another player manager again, but you're probably right that if there is one, it will be a DH. Given the issues between Ortiz and the team's upper management over his contract situation, I think it's extra unlikely that he would get this job.


Sox are going to need to find someone who commands instant respect and who can begin to re-establish sanctity and sanity within what has become a Wild West baseball setting. Varitek should have that immediately with this group because it is so familiar with his preparation, professionalism and sturdiness as a teammate.


Mike Lowell also always seemed like he'd be a good manager.

I think there is another key question - how bad is the clubhouse, really? What are we seeing here? Is it that Francona was a master at keeping problems from popping up? Or is it that Francona was a master at manipulating the Boston media so that they didn't make a big deal about the problems that popped up?

Clearly the team isn't performing well this year - but a lot of that is due to injuries to star hitters. The rest is due to the starting pitchers - but I think Beckett has probably been pitching through back problems most of the season, which would explain why he got off to a pretty good start, and then has been inconsistent since. Lester's having an off year with no real explanation, but then Cook and Morales have been better than expected. The bullpen has mostly exceeded expectations.

I don't know that you can blame the team's struggles on any of the drama.
   15. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: August 18, 2012 at 10:24 PM (#4211685)
If he maintains his popularity in Beantown (and I don't see why he wouldn't), he'd be very hard to fire. Especially if his Sox start out like 10-3 or something. I would advise against his hire.
   16. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 18, 2012 at 10:55 PM (#4211690)
I don't believe Matheny has anybody on his roster with whom he played, and I'm sure Ventura does not.


Sorry, I totally screwed these responses up. Somehow I thought Matheny was the manager of the Giants now. Total brain fart.

Anyway, yes, Yadier Molina.
   17. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 18, 2012 at 11:00 PM (#4211692)
Also Chris Carpenter was Matheny's teammate not only with the Cardinals but with the 1999 Blue Jays. No, I don't remember Matheny on the Blue Jays either.
   18. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: August 18, 2012 at 11:16 PM (#4211698)
FWIW, when Girardi took over, the only guys left on the Yankees roster from his tenure were Jeter, Posada, Rivera and Pettitte. Obviously that's four pretty important guys--and Posada and Girardi ended up having their issues--but it's a big difference from taking a team where one was an active player the season before.

OTOH, some players thrived in the player/manager role*, and others failed miserably. So who knows?

*I know Varitek wouldn't quite be this, but it's in the neighborhood
   19. Yastrzemski in left. Posted: August 18, 2012 at 11:47 PM (#4211709)
For this alone, I say if he wants a shot at it, go for it.

http://bostonherald.com/sports/baseball/red_sox/view/20220301teks_defining_tilt_stuffing_a-rod
   20. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: August 18, 2012 at 11:55 PM (#4211710)
I don't think Varitek would be a terrible choice but I don't know if he'd be a good one either. I think Varitek is probably better suited to being a bench coach than a manager. He was never a vocal leader either publicly or by all accounts in the locker room and while some level of reservation is good I think he'd be a bit too far the other way.
   21. SteveF Posted: August 19, 2012 at 12:14 AM (#4211719)
Apparently Brad Mills is now available.
   22. Walt Davis Posted: August 19, 2012 at 01:24 AM (#4211732)
I doubt we'll see another player manager again

Me too. I never understood that brief spike in the late 70s-early 80s with Robinson, Kessinger and Rose (did I forget anybody). But it's a fun idea ... and it would justify slipping Ortiz a few extra million.
   23. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: August 19, 2012 at 01:29 AM (#4211733)
Me too. I never understood that brief spike in the late 70s-early 80s with Robinson, Kessinger and Rose (did I forget anybody).


Torre, though he was quite stingy about penciling himself into the lineup.

   24. tjm1 Posted: August 19, 2012 at 04:43 AM (#4211742)
There's a full list of player-managers here:

Player managers
   25. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: August 19, 2012 at 08:32 AM (#4211765)
I doubt we'll see another player manager again, but you're probably right that if there is one, it will be a DH.


The active player I could almost see as a player-manager is Vizquel. I think a utility infielder who's going to get fewer than 200 PAs could do it, if he had a pitching coach he trusted to run the bullpen.
   26. bobm Posted: August 19, 2012 at 09:30 AM (#4211805)
I could see Jeter as player-manager as he tries to rack up 4,257 hits.
   27. Bob Tufts Posted: August 19, 2012 at 09:31 AM (#4211806)
Tim Wallach.

And if Jeter gets those hits, do we all send him a gift basket?
   28. donlock Posted: August 19, 2012 at 11:05 AM (#4211851)
#24 Great link. What great baseball names!

Lena Blackburne
Mordecai Brown
Nixey Callahan
Count Campau
Gavvy Cravath
Jack Crooks
Lave Cross
Patsy Donovan
Red Dooin
Kid Elberfeld
Dude Esterbrook
Silver Flint
Jack Glasscock
Fielder Jones
Malachi Kittridge
Blondie Purcell
Patsy Tebeau
Kaiser Wilhelm
Ivey Wingo

Would love to see Boston Globe headlines about Manager Jack Glasscock, Silver Flint or Kaiser Wilhelm.

Was not aware of the babes who were player-managers-Blondie Purcell, Patsy Tebeau,Lena Blackburne, Patsy Donovan and Nixey Callahan. Who knew?
   29. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: August 19, 2012 at 11:15 AM (#4211858)
A catcher, backup or otherwise would be perfect for it. I wonder how the mound visit rule would be handled in such a situation.
   30. charityslave is thinking about baseball Posted: August 19, 2012 at 02:07 PM (#4211961)
Game time management is only a small part of what modern managers do. I would want to see how a potential manager handles the media (not to mention his bullpen) as well as how he relates to the players. It's not enough to be a "leader of men".
   31. The Ghost's Tryin' to Reason with Hurricane Season Posted: August 20, 2012 at 12:38 AM (#4212276)
Teh bench coach idea is intriguing, but no way he can be the manager.

I just read that Cherington didn't want Valentine, but the brass overruled him.

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