Bobby Valentine. Torey Lovullo, Gene Lamont. The three (known) remaining candidates for the Red Sox' managerial job. Who are these guys, really? What are their strengths? Their weaknesses? What would they bring to the table?
Lou Merloni should know; he played for Lovullo in the minor leagues in 2006, was a member of the Red Sox when Lamont was a coach with the team, and had lots of overlapping big-league time with Valentine. On Tuesday night's 'SportsNet Central', he analyzed the three men's strengths and weaknesses with Carolyn Manno:
Positives: Ton of experience. Wealth of knowledge of the game. Very good in-game manager. Disciplinarian.
Negatives: May be too much of a disciplinarian. (Will the players push back at all at how strict he will be?) Big ego. Arrogant. Known not to get along with the front office. Strong personality, unlike any other Boston coachmanager.
"He's Boston's new Rex Ryan if he gets the job," said Merloni.
Positives: Great instructor. Great personality. Great voice. He knows the game.
Negatives: Lack of experience. Has only coached first base in the major leagues, and most teams like their managers to have had many different jobs (bench coach, third-base coach). May need "a little more time before he handles a market like this".
Positives: Lot of experience; has managed eight years in the big leagues. Knows the game.
Negatives: Doesn't have the personality to walk into a room and command respect. These Sox may need someone stronger and more vocal.