Lovullo interviews with Sox

Lovullo interviews with Sox
November 12, 2011, 2:15 am
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BOSTON -- The Red Sox continued the search to fill their managerial vacancy, meeting with Torey Lovullo Friday. Lovullo managed Triple-A Pawtucket in 2010, leading the PawSox to 66-78 record, before leaving to join John Farrells major league staff in Toronto last season. He is the fourth candidate to interview.

Lovullos time in Pawtucket gave him some insight into what the Sox top job would be like.

Farm director Mike Hazen said to me when I was hired in that position, he said, Youre now the 31st manager of a major-league team, Lovullo said. And it made a lot of sense because I was exposed to many of the media, exposed to the Red Sox Nation, and its real. You dont know exactly what its like until youre a part of it. Its a pretty spectacular place.

"Does that give me a leg up on the competition? Im not certain. I feel very comfortable with the surroundings, the people and their concepts, and Im fortunate for that.

Lovullo, 46, was a fifth-round pick of the Tigers in 1987. He played parts of eight seasons with the Tigers, Yankees, Angels, Mariners, As, Indians, and Phillies. His playing career done, he began managing in the low minors of the Indians organization, saying he wanted to earn my stripes, working his way up through the organization, as he did as a player. In 2011, he had his first season on a big league staff.

My qualifications are such that Ive been groomed by a couple of organizations, he said. Ive seen a lot. I feel like Im very diverse in many areas. As a player I played in Latin America, I played in Japan. I worked for the Cleveland Indians for nine years and then shifted quickly over here to Boston and managed in Pawtucket.

Last year I was the first-base coach in Toronto, had a chance to see what that level of baseball was like. I was very excited to get to that level as a staff member. I was able to work once again with Blue Jays manager John Farrell, who Ive learned a great deal from over the years in the Cleveland and Boston organizations.

Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington was pleased with the meeting.

He did a great job, Cherington said. We knew him pretty well before but first time we had a chance to talk to him about this particular role. Good opportunity to kind of get his insight on being a manager in Boston and sort of how you transfer the skills that we know he has to this particular job and hes a compassionate guy. He cares about players . . . creative, smart, hard-working. And hes a guy that certainly we already know that we can work with effectively and so today was mostly about transferring that, trying to put that in a major league context and enjoyed the chance to do that with him.

Cherington said, despite their familiarity with Lovullo, that does not necessarily translate into an advantage.

I would say thats one of the factors that led us to want to talk to him more about this job, Cherington said. But each of the candidates has their own particular strengths and he has his particular strengths and right now were not giving anyone a leg up. Were going to get through Saturday and use next week to try to figure out who has a leg up.

The Sox will interview Tigers bench coach Gene Lamont Saturday. Lamont, who turns 65 on Christmas Day, also spent a season with the Sox, serving as third-base coach in 2001.

Cherington said he has no plans to expand the pool of candidates beyond the current five, but wouldnt completely rule it out. But, asked if he had requested permission to talk with other candidates, he replied: We havent had any formal permission requests right now.