Lovullo interviews with Sox

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Lovullo interviews with Sox

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.

Backes: Bruins were ‘wounded’ after ugly Detroit loss

Backes: Bruins were ‘wounded’ after ugly Detroit loss

BRIGHTON, Mass – It certainly sounded like there were some things that made the Wednesday night loss in Detroit a little different for the Bruins.

The Bruins media corps conducted postgame interviews in the hallway rather than in the visiting dressing room after what must have been a combustible atmosphere immediately following the shootout defeat. 

There was also evidence of anger in the visitor’s dressing room at Joe Louis Arena, according to reports, with a door off its hinges when the media was able to get a look inside the dressing room area.

David Backes confirmed something was different about the loss after blowing a pair of three-goal leads, and failing to follow up their dreadful no-show vs. the Islanders with a winning performance against another bad team in Detroit. The B’s forward said the plane ride home from Detroit was solemn and quiet, and that it was clear the Bruins team was “wounded” after a crushing loss.

“Both [losses] can be great lessons if we learn from it, and neither was very enjoyable. That was probably the quietest I think our guys were all year on that plane ride home from Detroit,” said Backes. “To me, that’s a great sign that it hit us in the heart, and it hit us where it really mattered. We’re thinking about how we can turn the tide and thinking about we can be victorious the next time out.

“We had the lead, and in a lot of instances you’re expecting, as you should, to come out of there with two points. We’re at the time in the season where wins need to be garnered and taken home.

“There were a lot of aspects where we should have grabbed the game back. When you feel like you’ve had a lot of opportunities to take the game and you don’t do it, it’s not a good feeling. I was reflecting on that during a very quiet team plane ride back from Detroit, and it seemed pretty clear that the whole team was feeling wounded. I think it’s a good sign that guys were feeling that way, and that means they’re going to do everything in their power to not have that feeling again.”

The words are encouraging from a 32-year-old natural leader in Backes, who has seen good times and bad as captain of the St. Louis Blues in his 10-year NHL career. But the proof is ultimately on the ice where the Bruins have games against the Blackhawks and Penguins coming up and face some very stiff tests coming off a couple of losses against the worst teams in the East that exposed Black and Gold fragility at this point in the season. 


 

After knee injury, Beleskey set to return for Bruins vs. Blackhawks

After knee injury, Beleskey set to return for Bruins vs. Blackhawks

BRIGHTON, Mass – The Bruins, looking for a spark after terrible, back-to-back losses to the New York Islanders and Detroit Red Wings, are hoping the return of Matt Beleskey from a knee injury can help provide the inspiration. 

The blue-collar left winger has missed the past 23 games with a torn MCL in his right knee suffered in early December against the Buffalo Sabres, but now he’s easing back into the lineup on the fourth line in Friday night’s showdown with the Chicago Blackhawks.

Beleskey was skating with Dominic Moore and Austin Czarnik on the fourth line at morning skate at Warrior Ice Arena and should be expected to throw a few hard hits and play with some intensity in his return.

“I’m ready to go and excited to get back out there,” said Beleskey, who has been skating with the team for roughly a week after giving the knee sufficient time to heal. “I’ve just got to keep it simple and do what I do well: Be hard on pucks, take the body and just try and find your groove. You don’t want to expect too much in your first game back, but you just want to be able to contribute.

“’I’ve been saving [the pent-up energy] for a while, so I’m ready to get back out there and hopefully provide a spark for us.”

The Beleskey return also provides the player with a bit of a reset button after a slow start to the season that saw him with two goals and five points along with a minus-6 rating in 24 games played for the Black and Gold prior to his injury. Here are the projected line combos and D-pairs against the Blackhawks based on morning skate today:

Marchand-Bergeron-Vatrano

Schaller-Krejci-Pastrnak

Spooner-Nash-Backes/Hayes

Beleskey/Blidh-Moore-Czarnik

 

Chara-Carlo

Krug-McQuaid

Morrow-Liles

 

Rask