BOSTON In their quest to find the 46th manager in team history and second in less than a year after Bobby Valentine was fired two weeks ago, the Red Sox interviewed DeMarlo Hale on Thursday. This appears to conclude the interview process for candidates not named John Farrell.Of the four candidates who met with the Sox Dodgers third base coach Tim Wallach, Yankees bench coach Tony Pena, and Padres special assistant Brad Ausmus, along with Hale only Pena has major league managerial experience, leading the Royals from 2002 2005. He was named the 2003 American League Manager of the Year. Wallach has managed in the minor leagues, while Ausmus has no coaching or managerial experience.But, Hale, 51, has paid his dues, and knows the Red Sox roster and organization better than any of the other three candidates. Before serving as the Orioles third base coach in 2012, he had spent the previous six seasons on the staff of former Sox manager Terry Francona, the first four years as third base coach, the last two as bench coach.The Chicago native was a 17th-round pick of the Sox in 1983 and spent five seasons in the Sox minor league system. He began his professional coaching career in the Sox organization in 1992, becoming a manager the next season. In 1999, his Double-A Trenton Thunder went 92-50, and he was named the Eastern Leagues Manager of the Year, and minor league Manager of the Year by three national outlets Baseball America, The Sporting News, and USA Today.He went to the Rangers in 2000 to manage their Triple-A team, joining the major league team as first base and outfield coach for 2002 2005 when Buck Showalter, now the Os manager, was the Rangers manager for Hales last three seasons in Texas before returning to the Sox and the major league coaching staff.Hale has interviewed for several other major league manager jobs in recent years including the Blue Jays, Mariners, and Mets. He also met with the Sox in 2003 after Grady Little was fired, in the search that led to Franconas eight-year tenure with the Sox.Hale was not interviewed by the Sox last year, though, in the process that led to Valentine being named manager on Dec. 1, the Sox apparently believing Franconas bench coach was too close to the issues that resulted in the historic collapse of September 2011. It was not until the winter meetings in early December, though, that Valentine announced Hale would not be returning to the team.But, now, a year removed from the Sox, he is under consideration to be their next manager. Or is he? Are any of the four interviewees viable candidates? Or are the Sox just biding their time until they can work out compensation with Toronto to extricate Farrell from his position with the Blue Jays? This is the second consecutive year the Sox have tried to lure Farrell to be their manager. Talks between the teams last year ended when the Jays requested Clay Buchholz in return for releasing Farrell from his contract. But Farrell now has just one year remaining on his contract with Toronto after posting a combined record of 154-170 in his first two seasons as a big league manager.It appears Farrell remains their top choice. But, they could certainly do worse than naming Hale.
Three things we learned from the Red Sox' 6-3 loss to the Kansas City Royals
BOSTON - Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox' 6-3 loss to the Kansas City Royals
"We continually do a great job in creating opportunities and I'm confident that (the struggles with men in scoring position) will turn.'' - John Farrell
"When you start off with a five-run spot in the first, that's a tough deficit to overcome.'' - Steven Wright.
"That's how it goes sometimes. Sometimes, we score when we're not expecting to and then when we need to score, sometimes it doesn't happen.'' - Mookie Betts on the team going 4-for-15 with RISP.
* The loss was just the third in the last 13 series openers for the Red Sox.
* The game marked the first time in 20 home games in which the Sox never led.
* Boston was 4-for-15 with runners in scoring position.
* The first four hitters in the order were 13-for-19 (.684). The fifth-through-nine hitters, however, were just 2-for-21 (.095).
* Mookie Betts (five hits) leads the majors with 55 multi-hit games.
* Dustin Pedroia has reached base in each of his last eight plate appearances.
* David Ortiz's double was the 625th of his career, passing Hank Aaron to move into 10 place in MLB history.
* Ortiz leads the A.L. in doubles (41) and extra-base hits (72).
1) Eric Hosmer
Hosmer cranked a three-run homer into the Monster Seats four batters into the game, and the Royals were off and running with a five-run inning.
2) Ian Kennedy
The Royals starter wasn't dominant, allowing nine hits in 5 1/3 innings, but he bailed himself out of a number of jams and limited the Sox to just two runs.
3) Mookie Betts
Betts had his first career five-hit night and knocked in two of the three Red Sox runs, though he also got himself picked off first base.
First impressions from the Red Sox' 6-3 loss to the Kansas City Royals:
Steven Wright recovered nicely after the first inning, but the damage was done.
Wright's last five innings featured just three hits allowed -- one in the infield. But the first inning did the Red Sox in -- two walks followed by a three-run homer, then a single and a two-run homer.
Whether this was a matter of rust for Wright -- who last pitched three weeks ago Friday night -- or an early inability to command his knuckleball is uncertain.
The fact is, Wright dug an early hole for his teammates, and he had the misfortune to do so against a team with the best bullpen in baseball.
To his credit, Wright kept the game somewhat within reach thereafter, but the five-run head start proved too much of a jump.
It's time to worry a little about Jackie Bradley.
Bradley was just 7-for-40 in the just-completed road trip, and things didn't get any better on the first night of the homestand.
In the first, he came up with two on and two out and struck out swinging to strand both baserunners. In the third, he came to the plate with runners on the corners and, again, struck out swinging.
We're seeing the same kind of slump that Bradley fell into in previous seasons, where even contact is hard to find, with nine strikeouts in the last 16 at-bats.
Problem is, with Andrew Benitendi on the DL, there aren't a lot of options for John Farrell with the Red Sox outfield.
Trying to get Fernando Abad and Junichi Tazawa back on track in low- leverage mop-up didn't work.
Tazawa had a perfect seventh, but gave up a monster shot into the center field bleachers to Lorenzo Cain to start the eighth.
Abad entered, and while he did record a couple of strikeouts, also gave up a single, a walk and threw a wild pitches before he could complete the inning.
Getting some work for the two was the right idea, given that the Sox were down by three runs at the time. A good outing might help either regain some confidence and turn the corner.
But not even that could be accomplished Friday night.