Sox may pursue Hershiser as pitching coach

Sox may pursue Hershiser as pitching coach
December 2, 2011, 11:58 am
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BOSTON -- Now that the Red Sox have finally hired a manager, the next step is lining up a coaching staff.

New manager Bobby Valentine said at his Thursday press conference that his focus will be on finding a pitching coach to replace Curt Young, who returned to Oakland after one season in Boston. Jack Curry of the YES Network reported Thursday night that Valentine had called David Cone -- the long-time Met and Yankee who played his final season, 2001, with the Red Sox -- to determine his interest in becoming the Sox' pitching coach. Cone, who works with Curry, is said to be not interested.

Valentine may now turn to his recent ESPN broadcast partner, Orel Hershiser, who once worked as the pitching coach for the Texas Rangers, though long after Valentine managed there. Hershiser, however, is putting together a group to bid for the Los Angeles Dodgers and that commitment may preclude him rejoining Valentine in Boston.

The Sox still have four of their 2011 coaches under contract: DeMarlo Hale, Dave Magadan, Tim Bogar and Gary Tuck. (They didn't renew the contract of first-base coach Ron Johnson, who was subsequently hired by the Orioles to manage their Triple-A team.)

According to sources, the Sox recently denied the Yankees permission to speak to Tuck about becoming their bench coach, which indicates they intend to retain him as bullpen coachcatching instructor.

If Hale isn't retained as the Red Sox' bench coach, he'll likely take a position as the third-base coach on Buck Showalter's staff with the Orioles. Hale could come back on the Sox' staff as third-base coach, but according to sources, he's said to see that as a demotion after serving as the team's bench coach the last two seasons.

Magadan is considered a good bet to return as the team's hitting coach and Bogar could return as well, either as the first- or third-base coach.