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.
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