Red Sox could do a lot worse than Pena


Red Sox could do a lot worse than Pena

This year's Red Sox managerial search is officially underway, albeit (thankfully) with much less fanfare than the 2011 fiasco.

According to reports, Tony Pena was interviewed today, Brad Ausmus will be in tomorrow and DeMarlo Hale is scheduled for Thursday. Dodgers third base coach Tim Wallach was in town last Friday.

Other than those four, Tigers third base coach Gene Lamont is said to be interested in the job, there's obviously the on-going John Farrell storyline, and I still haven't ruled out Larry Lucchino naming himself manager and running the Sox like Monty Burns did the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant softball team: Alright you ragtag bunch of misfits, you hate me and I hate you even more. But without my beloved ringers, you're all I've got. So I, uh, want you to remember some inspiring things that someone else may have told you in the course of your lives, and go out there and win!
In all seriousness, though: I'm intrigued by the possibility of Pena. Unlike Hale, Wallach and Ausmus, Tony would come to town with experience as a Major League manager, and even though things didn't end well for him in Kansas City, he's still responsible for leading the Royals to their only winning season since 1993 (2003, when he won the AL Manager of the Year award). I also like Pena's laid back attitude, his ability to relate to Latin players and his previous experience as a Red Sox player, as opposed to just a Red Sox coach. I like that since leaving KC, he's worked and learned in a winning atmosphere in the Bronx. I like that, even though he's no spring chicken, Pea is only 55 and has plenty of energy to attack the job and potentially be looked at as a long-term option.

And it doesn't hurt that he was emblazoned on one of my favorite t-shirts in Boston sports history: THE KILLER B'S OF BOSTON, along with Wade Boggs, Mike Boddicker, Ellis Burks and Tom Brunansky (Pena was "The Backstop").

In a perfect world, John Farrell is still my choice to take over the job, but if those negotiations hit a snag, you can do a lot worse than Tony Pena.

Tony Pena Sr., at least.

Junior still hasn't quite hasn't figured things out.

Rich can be reached at Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Pedro Martinez tells WEEI Ortiz will make comeback this season

Pedro Martinez tells WEEI Ortiz will make comeback this season

Never say never?

While Red Sox officials said at the team's annual Winter Weekend at Foxwoods on Saturday that they'd be traveling to the Dominican Republic to talk to David Ortiz about a role with the team, Pedro Martinez told WEEI he sees Big Papi returning to his old role - designated hitter - this season.

CSN's Trenni Kusnierek and WEEI's John Tomase talked to Martinez on their show Saturday at Foxwoods and Martinez said his old teammate would be making a comeback despite the long, emotional farewell tour last season. 

For the full interview with Martinez, click here.

Red Sox executives Tom Werner, Sam Kennedy and Dave Dombrowski made no mention of Ortiz returning as a player when talking about their Dominican trip. Ortiz has repeatedly said he is going to stay retired. 

Chris Sale on leaving White Sox: 'Time for both sides to do something different, I guess'

Chris Sale on leaving White Sox: 'Time for both sides to do something different, I guess'

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. -- While there’s a deal of anticipation going into Spring training with the four Killer B’s, David Price and Pablo Sandoval’s shot at redemption and Rick Porcello looking to be something similar to his 2016 self, there’s one name that trumps them all.

Chris Sale.

The lankly lefty received an ovation from fans at the Friday night Town Hall, kicking off Red Sox Winter Weekend. With his consistent success, there’s reason to be excited.

But there’s also reason for apprehension given the way Sale’s departure from Chicago was depicted. But he’s made sure to clear the air.

“I wouldn’t say . . . ya know . . . I loved my time in Chicago,” Sale said when asked if it was time to leave the Windy City. “My best baseball memories are there [and] will be there forever. I love the city; I love the people in the organization.

“It was time for both sides to do something different, I guess. I talked to (White Sox Senior V.P.) Rick on the phone, I talked to (White Sox pitching coach Don) Coop (Cooper). We’re all cool, it’s fine. We understand where both of us are, it happens in baseball, but I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Chicago.”

He didn’t seem irritated discussing the issue, and certainly wasn’t timid -- we all know that’s not in his DNA.

He genuinely seems excited to deal with the large sum of Sox fans and to call a new place home -- in a city his wife’s fond of no less.

But ultimately, he’s focused on winning, nothing else.

“Every time I’m out there it’s gonna be all I got,” Sale said. "Every time, no matter what. Can promise you that.”