6 Future Candidates for Red Sox Manager

Before the club won six of their last seven games, many talking heads were wondering if John Farrell would remain as Red Sox manager for much longer. This conversation led to speculation about who could replace him. Should the Red Sox decide to move on from him at any point, here are five potential candidates. Not including Torey Lovullo, who recently took a job with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

6. Gary DiSarcina

The former California Angels shortstop has made a few separate stints in the Red Sox Red Sox Managerorganization. He managed the Lowell Spinners from 2007-09 and the Pawtucket Red Sox in 2013. Baseball America named DiSarcina Minor League Manager of the Year in 2013 for leading the PawSox to the Governor’s Cup. After a brief time with the Angels’ staff, DiSarcina returned to Boston this season.

  1. Matt Williams

Williams won the National League Manager of the Year in 2014 while with the Washington Nationals. However, he was fired in 2015 after his team failed to return to the postseason. It was rumored that his lack of leadership that season also led to clubhouse dysfunction – especially between Bryce Harper and Jonathan Papelbon. Additionally, he was named in the George J. Mitchell Report for alleged steroid usage as a player. But his candidacy would draw some interest.

  1. Dale Svuem

Ben Cherington wanted to hire Svuem in 2012, but instead, he took the job with the Chicago Cubs and Theo Epstein. With Chicago, he had a 128-197 record in two seasons. Currently, he is the hitting coach for the Kansas City Royals. The Red Sox would probably want someone with a pitching background though.

  1. Brian Butterfield

The native Mainer is well-beloved in Red Sox Nation given his father-like personality. Butterfield is also well-respected in the clubhouse due to his history with the team and current role as third base coach. However, he has only ever been in the managerial conversation once, with the Blue Jays in 2010. If the Red Sox were to hire him, I believe it would only be on a short-term basis.

  1. Jason Varitek

The former big league catcher and team captain was always a strong leader. He has served as a special assistant to both Cherington and Dave Dombrowski since retirement. His storied MLB career, leadership skills, and Red Sox connection make Varitek an automatic favorite in any discussion.

  1. Jim Leyland

Leyland is the most successful of any name on this list. With just under 3,500 games managed, he clearly has the most experience too. The American team won a championship at the World Baseball Classic under his leadership. Leyland’s won World Series titles and American League pennants with the Marlins and Tigers respectively. However, due to his age, he may want to soon retire from managing permanently.

It’s Time The Red Sox Break Up With John Farrell

We’ve all seen that couple that stays together much longer than they should. They fight in front of others. They always look tired. They’re miserable even when they’re supposed to be having fun. Being in a dying relationship is like carrying cinder blocks in your hands all day long. It gets to a point where you just can’t take the weight and pain and wonder whyRed Sox Break you ever bothered. You’re drained, your friends are tired of hearing you complain, and pretty soon you feel alone and empty. So that’s why it’s time the Red Sox break up with John Farrell and fire him.

It’s clear it’s not working out anymore. Farrell and Drew Pomeranz argued with each other in the dugout when Farrell pulled him after four innings on May 20th. This also happened in 2015 when Farrell and Wade Miley got into it in the dugout. Disagreements are a part of baseball, but they’re best discussed behind closed doors—not in open dugouts. We’ve all seen our friends in a relationship fight with their SO at one point or another. It’s awkward for those standing nearby trying to pretend they don’t notice. They’re all thinking the same thing though: How much longer do we have to put up with this?

On a larger level, it makes the couple look like they can’t control their emotions. So when we see Farrell pointing a finger at Pomeanz I want to know why he can’t control himself. Why doesn’t he do what I used to do with my ex and say, “We’ll discuss this later”? It doesn’t always work (hence why I’m single), but it’s not something that Farrell can continue doing either. Open fighting like that is a sign of a bad relationship. It’ll only hurt him in the long run. too, when the Red Sox break up with him because no other teams will want to hire him. Who wants that kind of drama in their clubhouse?

The Red Sox look bored and passive nowadays. The Red Sox won the division last season, but it was a tough win for them. Ortiz’s final year was one of the few things that kept the season joyful and positive. But since Farrell’s wingman retired, the awkwardness between Farrell and the Red Sox has increased. Watching the team interact with Farrell is now like watching a high school girl ignore a guy who doesn’t get that she’s just not into him.

The Red Sox Break Up With Farrell Should Happen Sooner Than Later

Dumping someone is difficult. It’s more difficult if you’re on the receiving end. One minute you think things are okay, and the next you’re a refugee in Dumpsville. But it’s not like Dave Dombrowski can just text Farrell saying, “sry not feeling us nemore, hope we can still b friends.”

The Red Sox have to be up front and honest with Farrell. Take a page from the film Moneyball when Billy Beane taught his apprentice how to fire someone. Sit Farrell down, look him in the eye, and say “John, we’re letting you go. Thanks for your service and we wish you the best of luck.” It’s cold and direct, but it brings closure to an already difficult situation. But unlike in a real relationship, the Red Sox would have to replace Farrell right away. They don’t have time to play the field (pun intended).

A Red Sox break up with Farrell would not only bring a breath of fresh air to the clubhouse, but it would give the team a chance to try new strategies.

Stop Blaming Farrell For Red Sox Mishaps

There’s a Facebook group called The Remy Report that posts updates just about every hour about the Red Sox. Most of the posts lately have focused on John Farrell and the Red Sox poor performance this season. A Mojority of the posts strongly state that the Red Soxblaming farrell must fire him. But it’s time to stop blaming Farrell. What we’re seeing isn’t a managing issue. What Red Sox Nation is seeing is a team trying to find its stride in the wake of injuries and David Ortiz’s departure.

First and foremost, injuries have hit the Red Sox hard this season. Brock Holt has vertigo. Pablo Sandoval hurt his right knee. David Price hasn’t pitched a game yet due to arm issues. Jackie Bradley Jr. sprained his knee last month. Dustin Pedrioa got spiked in Baltimore and had to take time off. Steve Wright just had season-ending surgery. The Red Sox just can’t catch a break. These constant interruptions are leading Farrell to make major changes to the lineup and he hasn’t quite found a formula that works yet. That takes time.

Blaming Farrell Is Easy, But Building A Strong Lineup Is Hard

It takes a while for a team to create the kind of consistency it needs to win games. Players have to adjust to their place in the lineup. They have to build communication with newer players. And they have to learn how to counter the opposing pitchers who’ve studied their batting strengthens and weaknesses. Many fans don’t realize how many moving parts there are in building a winning team. Red Sox can’t just fire every manager that loses a game.

There’s no doubt the Red Sox have a strong lineup. But they’re also young. Players like Jackie Bradley Jr., Mookie Betts, Brock Holt, and Xander Bogaerts have only been around a few years. They’re not seasoned veterans yet. Their pitching staff is new too. David Price, Rick Porcello, and Steve Wright haven’t been with the team for more than a year or two each years. Pitchers and hitters aren’t like a computer that you can program for success. These guys, while they know one another, still have a lot to learn about each other and themselves. They don’t have Big Papi to lead them anymore. They are searching for their own place on the team. Until that happens, don’t expect the Red Sox to grab first place anytime soon.

Those in Red Sox Nation blaming Farrell every time the Red Sox lose need to chill out. Yes, it’s completely acceptable to get mad when they lose. But I can all but guarantee you that the next manager won’t be much different. In fact, the Red Sox would have an even harder time adjusting with new management if they fired Farrell now.

Stop hitting the panic button, but don’t hesitate to hit it again if the Red Sox don’t pick up the pace by July.

Is John Farrell A Good Manager?

John Farrell’s Complicated History

Red Sox manager John Farrell has had fluctuating performances during his Boston tenure. After being the team’s pitching coach from 2006-2010, Farrell managed the Toronto Blue Jays in 2011 and 2012. When the Bobby Valentine experiement failed, he returned to Boston.John Farrell

His first year saw a World Series victory over the Cardinals in 2013. But that was followed by a pair of last place finishes, which prompted some to question his ability to manage. Then, unfortunately, Farrell was diagnosed with lymphoma in late 2015. Following the diagnosis, bench coach Torey Lovullo led the team to a succesful season’s end. Ultimately, this led to Farrell being put on the hotseat even more, despite his current condition.

After the acquisition of David Price in the offseason, and the emergence of Rick Porcello as an ace, the Red Sox won the division in 2016 primariliy because of consistent pitching. This helped John Farrell’s case for continuing as manager, as he already had signed an extension in 2016.

But is John Farrell a good manager?

Many will cite his occasional gaff in a National League game or his usage of Craig Kimbrel in non-save situations. But I would counter with his ability to keep the teem afloat this season amidst the injuries, rainouts, flu epidemic, and berevement/paternity leaves.

Sure, it’s a small sample size, but it’s still impressive. On this homestand alone, the Red Sox played the defending World Series champions, as well as the two teams ahead of them in the AL East standings.

Personally, I like John Farrell as manager.

Does the post-game corporate-speak sometimes bother me? Sure.

But do I appreciate his sense of accountability when the team his underperforming? Absolutely.

However, I like him mainly because the players respect him. He doesn’t let sour grapes infect the clubhouse. You know what you’re going to get. Plain and simple. He lets guys like Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts learn and grow up. He lets guys like Chili Davis and Brian Butterfield have some autonomy.

Even if the Red Sox wanted to replace him, could they find a viable candidate? Torey Lovullo, who I also liked, is now in Arizona. The Red Sox would need to either find someone in the organization they saw as qualified or look elsewhere. My outlook is, if there’s a former manager available, there’s probably a good reason why.

Cue Bobby Valentine.

Red Sox Nation Needs To Take A Deep Breath

The Red Sox are struggling to break out of third place. Setbacks against the Orioles and Yankees are making fans freak out. Calls to fire John Farrell and trade away key players are swirling on Twitter. Fans are getting emotional because the setbacks of last year are still fresh in their minds. It’s understandable, even justified, to get frustrated. But Red Sox Nation needs to take a deep breath and remember that it’s only May. There’s hundreds of Red Sox Nation Needsgames the Red Sox have yet to play and a lot can happen between now and October.

One of first demands that fans are making is for Farrell’s ousting. Fans scream that he’s been in too long, he doesn’t know what he’s doing, etc. But few of us, if any, know how to actually manage a baseball team. We don’t know what he knows. It’s easy to say what Farrell should have done AFTER a play went wrong. Plus I highly doubt the Red Sox front office would keep him around and spend the money they are spending if they didn’t have confidence in him. Yes, I was one of the many calling for his ouster last year. But he did lead the Sox to another AL East title, so he must have done something right.

Much of the frustration stems from society’s inability to stay calm. This impulse is evident in the world of sports. We’re evolved into a society that expects instant gratification. We no longer live in an era where we have to wait until the next day to read about what happened in a game. Back in the early 1990s I had to wait until the next morning to read about how the Red Sox did in the paper. Now all we have to do is look at our phones. We get angry at one bad play and that anger gets worse a few minutes later if our favorite players don’t instantly play better. We go from being fans, to ESPN analysts, to managers during a three-hour ballgame. We’re getting information faster than ever but all it seems to do is make us less patient.

Red Sox Nation Needs To Stay Calm, But Maintain Its Vigilance

When the Red Sox don’t pull their weight they should expect their fan base to give them a hard time. If a player doesn’t hustle he deserves to get booed. Same goes for a pitcher who doesn’t back up first. But to demand that someone be fired or traded away just because of one bad play or a loss is ridiculous. Unfortunately, that’s what I’m seeing on Twitter and Facebook. If Farrell keeps Wright in an inning too long then Boston demands a public execution. So while Red Sox Nation needs to remain a loyal fanbase, they also need to  remember that the season is still young. If fans start making ridiculous demands now they’ll never stop. Or else next thing you know Rick Porcello will get booed because he didn’t throw an immaculate inning.

Relax, take a deep breath, and remember that it’s only a game. It’s fun to be a fan, and it’s fun to be emotional invested in a team. But at the end of the day we’re just fans.

Red Sox Learning To Take The Lead In Late Innings

One of the things that frustrated Red Sox Nation last year was the team’s inability to come from behind. An opposing team would outscore them, and the Red Sox couldn’t catch up. They’d load the bases but their hitter would strike out. Or they’d leave runners in scoring position inning after inning. In fact, they led the American League last year in runners left on base. With the Red Sox learning how to take the offensive in later inningRed Sox learnings fans are finally seeing a different tone.

Four of their eight wins as of April 17th were come-from-behind victories. Red Sox found themselves behind the Pittsburg Pirates during their makeup game on the 13th. Down 3-1 going into the 8th, Hanley Ramirez’s doubled home the winning run. The Red Sox did it again on Easter Sunday three days later against Tampa Bay. Down 5-4 in the seventh, the Red Sox rallied to pull ahead 7-5 by the ninth inning.

Even in instances where they didn’t win, they still showed strong effort. In an April 12th game against the Orioles, the Red Sox were down 9-0 going into the third. Despite losing the game, they finished the game 12-5. Win or lose, this was an issue the Red Sox sorely needed to work on from last season.

“The one thing that’s starting to show is that we’ve come from behind a number of games already,” manager John Farrell said in an article posted to Full Count on Weei.com.

With The Red Sox Learning To Come From Behind, Pitching Remains a Problem

I don’t think anyone anticipated the problems that the Red Sox rotation would have going into the 2017 season. We expected to see David Price at this point but he’s still down and out. Rick Porcello and Steve Wrignt have already taken their fair share of devastating losses. The Matt Barnes fiasco with Manny Machado isn’t helping things either.

Last year’s pitching was strong. Price dominated with strikeouts and Porcello became a 20-game winner. It was the offense that struggled at times. Now that the offense is heating up. it’s the pitching that’s struggling. If Farrell can find that balance the team needs, the Red Sox will be able to capture and hold onto first place.