Has the Red Sox ownership come full circle?

As we steamroll towards a Bobby Valentine coronation in the coming days it is interesting to take a step back and look exactly what this decision may mean for the current Red Sox ownership group.

Now let me start by saying that this ownership absolutely turned this franchise around.  This was a directionless franchise for years and years until they took control.  They put into place cutting edge ideas that put this franchise out in front of basically all of the others.  They went the extra mile to put a winning team on the field and went out of their way to give the fans the best experience that they could possibly have coming to the park night in and night out, both on and off the field.  It was a great honeymoon between Red Sox Nation and John Henry, Tom Werner, and Larry Lucchino.  Like all honeymoons, however, it had to come to an end.

The Red Sox brass refused to sway from the new school line of thinking when they first took over.  When they were rebuffed by Sabre metric king Billy Beane they didn’t go out and hire a retread.  They hired Theo Epstein, then heralded as one of the best young minds in baseball.  Then they got together and found a manager.  Contrast that with the embarrassing back track that Ben Cherington had to make during his (to that point) ultra transparent search for a new manager when it was revealed that ownership had held talks with Bobby Valentine regarding the open position.

The formula seems pretty straight-forward to me.  Looking at 8 playoff teams this season 4 managers, Arizona’s Kirk Gibson, Milwaukee’s Ron Roenicke, Texas’ Ron Washington, and Tampa Bays’ Joe Maddon are all on their first managerial job.  The Yankees’ Joe Girardi had one year of prior managerial experience before getting the job as manager of the New York Yankees.  Only Charlie Manuel of the Phillies, Jim Leyland of the Detroit Tigers, and Tony LaRussa of the Cardinals had extensive prior managerial experiences before getting their current jobs (or in LaRussa’s case former job).  All three of those guys have at least one World Series victory and multiple pennant victories on their resume.  As a matter of fact the last 5 winners of the American League manager of the year were on their first jobs.  Why are the Red Sox now seemingly afraid to hand the reins to an up-and-comer?  It’s something that they have done in the past.  It’s what most teams do to succeed in the present.

Torey Lovullo, Dale Sveum, and Sandy Alomar all seemed to be good candidates from that vein.  Dave Martinez of the Tampa Bay Rays, Tim Wallach of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Phillies AAA manager Ryne Sandberg head a list of up and comers that the Red Sox didn’t even approach to interview.  Instead they look to turn the keys over to a guy who has made the post season twice in 14 years of managing in the big leagues.  But Bobby Valentine is known as a disciplinarian, someone who will take no crap from his players.  Is Larry Lucchino and company looking for a manager or a sheriff?  Because make no mistake, despite what may or may not have happened in the Red Sox clubhouse this past September, it is still a manager that we need and not a sheriff.  The thing to remember is throughout all of the investigative reports and exclusive stories regarding what went on in the Red Sox clubhouse, the games are still won in between the foul lines every night.

Baseball is a young man’s sport.  The Red Sox knew that when they hired Theo Epstein.  They knew it when they hired Terry Francona at age 43 to manage the team.  They knew it when they hired Ben Cherington to replace Theo Epstein.  Somehow they forget this when it is time to replace Tito Francona.  It seems that there is more concern about what goes on in the clubhouse than what goes on out on the field.  Again, I reiterate that the game is won between the foul lines.

Is Bobby Valentine ready to shake off a decade long sabbatical from managing in the majors to undertake this team and this situation?  Maybe but it’s not a slam dunk that members of the Red Sox ownership might think it is.  Maybe Ben Cherington agrees with me, which is why an announcement hasn’t been made yet.  Either way, this type of decision seems like they one that if it fails could lead to the beginning of the end of the marriage, let alone a honeymoon, for this Red Sox ownership group.

Twitter @ErikVenskus


About evonsports
30 year old sports enthusiast and aspiring writer from Boston.

One Response to Has the Red Sox ownership come full circle?

  1. toosoxy says:

    bobby valentine called papi jose about a dozen times. it’s going to be very bizarre if he’s manager.

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