Pena wants another chance, 'ready for challenge' as manager

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Pena wants another chance, 'ready for challenge' as manager

DETROIT -- Tony Pena managed parts of four seasons with the Kansas City Royals from 2002-2005. If he got the chance to manage the Red Sox, Pena believes he would better at the job the second time around.

"I'm ready for the challenge, no question," said Pena, who became the second candidate to interview for the Red Sox managerial vacancy Monday. "When you manage the first time and you come around a second time, you have more time to think about it. You have more time to learn. Every day is something new in baseball and you know more, more and more about the game. Right now, I'm better than I was. There's no question about that."

Pena met with the Baseball Operations staff, led by general manager Ben Cherington, for about six hours and said he was "really comfortable," with the process.

"Anytime, whenever you talk about baseball, it's comfortable," said Pena. "It's nothing new to talk about baseball. If you know the game, it should be easy for you. It was six hours but it was a very, very quick six hours because when you're talking about something you love to do, a thing you have passion for, you can talk the whole day, you can talk 24 hours, you can talk the whole year about baseball. That wouldn't bother me at all."

As the bench coach on New York Yankee manager Joe Girardi's staff, Pena has kept his game management skills intact the last four seasons.

"I manage every night," he said before the start of Game 2 of the American League Championship Series. "I manage every night, along with Joe. Being a bench coach, I'm involved in the game, I'm involved in the decisions. It's like you're managing. You have to be aware of every single little thing and thank God that I'm working with a guy who keeps me involved in everything."

Still, Pena admits he wants another chance. He interviewed for the Yankees job that eventually went to Girardi and has been a candidate for other jobs.

"You're in the game for a reason," he said. "I'm a baseball man and obviously you want to manage. You don't want to be stuck in the same place. But I'm just the type of person who has a lot of patience. If it comes through, it comes through if not, life keeps going. One thing's for sure: as long as I have that uniform on, I'm going to enjoy myself. I'm going to enjoy every single moment. I'll just wait."

Pena also knows and understands Boston, having played four seasons with the Sox from 1990-1993. That experience would be a benefit, too.

"I know the city well, I know the fans," said Pena. "I played there for four years and I enjoyed every single moment there. But whatever happens, happens. I have no control over that right now. It's in their hands.

"I just want to concentrate on where we are right now. We are in the playoffs and I want to keep my mind right and keep my mind where it should be. Thank God yesterday was an off-day and we had time to relax and time to talk about it. Now, I'll just try to concentrate on where I have to be."

"I think Tony could manage anywhere," said Girardi. "I do. I have that confidence in him and I know how he prepares, and I know how he goes about his business. I think he could manage anywhere."

New York GM Brian Cashman said having coached in a big market like New York would help Pena in Boston -- but only to an extent.

"You'd like to think that, without a doubt, witnessing everything that takes place in a big market (would be beneficial)," said Cashman. "But then, when you take that seat, I don't care who you are, it's different. You could be on the front line as the bench coach in Boston and then replace the manager and it's going to be a huge difference . . . Living it is different than anticipating it."

Having been part of the Yankees staff since 2006, Pena is eminently familiar with the American League East and the Sox themselves.

"There's no question I know that ballcub real well," he said. "Nobody can tell me anything about them (I don't already know) because we have to go through it (18 times per year). We play them so many times each year. I don't know if it's an advantage or not -- depends on how they take things."

A native of the Dominican Republic, Pena is bilingual and as a catcher for 18 seasons, understands pitching.

"When you're a catcher," said Pena, "you have more understanding of the game. You have to be ready for every single pitch. Every pitch means something. You have to be ready for every single pitch that you're going to call. You have to know different people. That gives you an advantage -- when the pitcher has to go, when you have to make changes and things like that. I have to say yes.

"Being a catcher gives you a great idea because you're the only one to have everything in front of you and you have to be aware of everything."

Wright extends scoreless streak to 9 1/3 innings in Red Sox' 10-7 win over Pirates

Wright extends scoreless streak to 9 1/3 innings in Red Sox' 10-7 win over Pirates

The angst surrounding the David Price- and (possibly) Drew Pomeranz-less Red Sox starting rotation may have eased a little -- or a lot -- on Thursday.

Steven Wright extended his string of scoreless spring-training innings to 9 1/3 by blanking the Pirates for 4 1/3 innings in his third spring-traing start, leading the Sox to a 10-7 victory over the Pirates at SkyBlue Park.

Red Sox-Pirates box score

Wright allowed two hits -- the only two hits he's allowed this spring -- with one walk and three strikeouts.

Several of his pitching brethren, notably Heath Hembree and Robbie Ross Jr., didn't fare nearly as well. (See box score above.) But the Sox -- using what may be their regular-season batting order for the first time -- bailed them out with a 16-hit attack, led by Dustin Pedroia (3-for-3, now hitting ,500 for the spring). Mookie Betts, Hanley Ramirez, Jackie Bradley Jr., and, yes, Pablo Sandoval each added two hits. Sandoval also drove in three runs and is now hitting .362.

Xander Bogaerts went 1-for-4 in his return to the Sox from the World Baseball Classic.

 

A hungry ballplayer: Ex-Sox prospect Moncada once ate 85 Twinkies a week

A hungry ballplayer: Ex-Sox prospect Moncada once ate 85 Twinkies a week

This isn’t your average young and hungry player on the brink of the big leagues.

Yoan Moncada, the ex-Red Sox prospect who was one of the principal pieces in the trade for Chris Sale, ate 85 Twinkies in a week, his agent told ESPN The Magazine

David Hastings, Moncada's agent, clarified to CSNNE that this was a one-time thing when Moncada first arrived in the U.S. Moncada had never had Twinkies before, Hastings said, so he was like "a kid in a candy store."

He's still in great shape. Moncada had a huge spring training with the White Sox after a disappointing major-league debut with Boston in September. 

The 21-year-old third baseman has been optioned out of big-league camp, so he’s slated to start the year in Triple-A. But he hit .317 with a .391 on-base percentage and .683 slugging percentage and 3 home runs in 41 at-bats — some of the best numbers anywhere.

Moncada took a $31.5 million signing bonus from the Red Sox, money that the Sox turned into Sale. Moncada, meanwhile, didn’t exactly invest every cent.

Twinkies weren’t his only indulgence. 

More from the story: 

Moncada had money to spend on drones, video games, toys and clothes. He sometimes spent $1,500 or more during nights out, David says. After he purchased the second $200,000 car, Josefa [Hastings, David’s wife] tried to talk some sense into him.

David Hastings reinforced to CSNNE that the message to Moncada was to invest in things that appreciate in value.