Yesterday, it appeared as though both the Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs were headed toward another off field confrontation. Despite what SB Nation’s Marc Normandin might try to tell you, it had nothing to do with cannibalism, and everything to do with who would be the respective teams’ next manager.
However, just as word broke that the Chicago Cubs had offered their vacant manager position to Milwaukee Brewers hitting coach Dale “The Human Windmill” Sveum, the Boston Red Sox let it be known that those grapes weren’t that sweet anyway.
According to Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe:
Red Sox owners John Henry and Tom Werner, who met with Sveum yesterday, appear to want a candidate with more major league managerial experience.
Which is strange considering that, not only did Sveum have two interviews with the Red Sox, but:
Outside of [Detroit Tigers third base coach Gene] Lamont, the team has not interviewed a candidate who has been anything more than an interim manager.
So, uh, enjoy Bobby Valentine, Red Sox fans.
The entire situation reminds me of this:
For all the blame heaped on former manager Terry Francona’s seeming inability to control a clubhouse, few fingers were pointed at the higher ups in management or ownership, a group that is now proving itself to be every bit as ineffectual as the accusations against Francona originally claimed he was.
I tend to agree with what FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal summarizes from the lack of progress in the Red Sox manager search.
This is what happens when an organization suffers a nervous breakdown. The Sox just had to find a scapegoat for their historic September collapse. They picked Francona, declining to exercise his options — and setting in motion a series of unfortunate events. Francona would have stayed with the Red Sox if Epstein and ownership had remained supportive of him, told him that he was still the man they wanted. They told him no such thing, and now the Sox are getting what they deserve.
Francona, who was passed over for the St. Louis Cardinals’ job earlier this week, pulled out of the running for the Chicago Cubs’ position and announced that he would not be managing a team in 2012. While that’s likely good news for fans of his work on television, a year off should also help to bolster his reputation for next year’s annual parade of manager swapping.
Again, Rosenthal is right when he suggests:
Terry Francona never looked so good.