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.