Mackanin, Alomar, Martinez on Sox' list of candidates

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Mackanin, Alomar, Martinez on Sox' list of candidates

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
While the issue of whether they have to soon find a new general manager, too, remains unsettled, the Red Sox Tuesday took the first tentative steps to drawing up a list of potential managerial candidates to replace Terry Francona.

Even as, on a parallel track, Red Sox ownership debates whether to grant the Chicago Cubs permission to speak with Theo Epstein about their general manager vacancy, the organization is forging ahead with a managerial search.

None of the "name" candidates -- Joe Torre, Tony La Russa and Bobby Valentine -- are thought to be on the Red Sox' shopping list, as the club seeks a younger candidate, one more agreeable to working with others than a more established, veteran manager.

It's also unlikely that members of Francona's coaching staff, including DeMarlo Hale, will be interviewed. Hale is viewed as a top managerial candidate, but after some of the late-season issues the Red Sox experienced in the clubhouse, it's thought that a fresh start is necessary.

According to baseball sources, some of the candidates being discussed are still involved in the postseason, though one, Tampa Bay Rays bench coach Dave Martinez, saw his club's season come to an end Tuesday afternoon when the Rays were eliminated in the American League Division Series for the second straight October by the Texas Rangers.

Martinez has served as the bench coach under Joe Maddon in Tampa Bay since 2008. In those four years, the Rays won one American League pennant and went to the postseason all four years.

Maddon, it should be noted, was the runnerup for the Red Sox' job in 2003 when the team hired Francona. Maddon is regarded as one of the best and most innovative managers in the game and Martinez has undoubtedly learned from him over the last four seasons.

Philadelphia Phillies bench coach Pete Mackinin is another candidate, though at 60, he's older than any other candidate the Sox have considered.

Mackanin has served as Charlie Manuel's bench coach for the past three seasons, replacing former Red Sox manager Jimy Williams in that role.

Mackanin has also worked as a bench coach for the Pittsburgh Pirates and has managerial experience -- albeit brief -- in the big leagues, having served as interim managers for both the Pirates and Cincinnati Reds.

Another known candidate is Sandy Alomar Jr., the older brother of recent Hall of Fame inductee Roberto Alomar and the son of former major league infielder Sandy Alomar.

Alomar had a long, successful career in the big leagues, spent mostly with the Cleveland Indians. After his career ended, Alomar served two seasons as the New York Mets' catching instructor, before rejoining the Indians as, initially, their first-base coach and more recently, manager Manny Acta's bench coach.

He was on the short list of finalists to manage the Toronto Blue Jays last fall, before losing out to John Farrell.

Tony Pena, currently the New York Yankees' bench coach, has been discussed, but is thought to be less of a candidates than Mackanin, Alomar and Martinez -- among others.

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam.

Bogaerts' "maturity is clearly taking hold"

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Bogaerts' "maturity is clearly taking hold"

NEW YORK -- Xander Bogaerts enjoyed a terrific 2015, his second full season in the big leagues.

He finished second in the American League batting race, established himself as a solid defender at short and generally showed immense promise.

The only thing he didn't do was show much home run power, limited to just seven homers.

This past spring, both manager John Farrell and Chili Davis expressed confidence that the home runs would come, and that they would come organically.

And so they have. In Thursday night's loss to the New York Yankees, a solo homer in the fifth by Bogaerts represented the only Red Sox run of the night in a 5-1 loss. It also gave Bogaerts 21 homers for the year, exactly triple his output from a year ago.

"The maturity is clearly taking hold," said John Farrell of Bogaerts' growth. "You start to get a couple thousand at-bats at the major league level, you're starting to understand your swing, you're picking out certain counts in which to leverage a little bit more. He's been able to do that.

"Home runs are up across the board. But with Xander in particular, he's physically maturing and he's maturing as a major league player as well."

Bogaerts took the advise of Davis and others and didn't set out to try to hit more homers this year. He knew they would come in time.

"Maybe not this quick," he said of the big increase, "but probably in the future, yeah. That's what I did in the minor leagues, so it's kind of something that I thought might translate to the big leagues, too."

Bogaerts is hard-pressed to put his finger on any on factor to explain the big uptick. After all, he didn't change his swing or his stance.

Rather, the homers came as a result of him understanding himself better as a hitter and consistently taking the right approach at the plate.

"It's just (a matter of) taking good swings in good counts," he offered. "Sometimes, you're looking for one. But overall, it's just being a more mature hitter and looking for the right spots to pick and choose."

It hasn't hurt that he's surrounded by quality hitters in the Red Sox lineup, with Mookie Betts and Dustin Pedroia ahead of him earlier in the year, and now Pedrioa ahead of him and David Ortiz behind him.

In addition to seeing better pitches because of who's surrounding him, Bogaerts has also benefitted from listening to Ortiz, who watches his at-bats and offers advice when called for.

Still, most of the credit belongs to Bogaerts himself, who has grown into his power naturally -- just as his manager and hitting coach forecast.

Quotes, notes and stars: "It seems like everybody was happy that I'm leaving"

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Quotes, notes and stars: "It seems like everybody was happy that I'm leaving"

NEW YORK -- Quotes, Notes and Stars from the Red Sox' 5-1 loss to the Yankees:

QUOTES

* "It seems like everybody was happy that I'm leaving." David Ortiz, unaccustomed to ovations and cheering at Yankee Stadium.

* "I thought he threw a high number of strikes. There was good swing-and-miss to his changeup and he took the opportunity and showed well." John Farrell on Henry Owens.

* "It's just taking good swings in good counts. It's just being a more mature hitter and looking for the right spots to pick and choose." Xander Bogaerts, who has tripled his homer output since last year.

NOTES:

* With his fourth-inning homer, Xander Bogaerts tripled his home run total from last year, improving from seven to 21.

* The season series between the Red Sox and Yankees ended with the Sox winning 11 of the 18 games.

* The Boston bullpen has given up eight runs in the last two nights after allowing only seven this month before Wednesday night.

* The Sox suffered only their second sweep of the season. They were also swept by the Tigers in July.

* Jackie Bradley Jr. has reached base safely in his last 13 games.

* Junichi Tazawa has contributed seven straight scoreless outings.

* Robbie Ross Jr. allowed a season-high three walks -- all in the same inning.

* Henry Owens has a career ERA of 8.53 against the Yankees.

* David Ortiz went hitless (0-for-11) in his final series at Yankee Stadium.

STARS:

1) CC Sabathia

Sabathia turned back the clock and looked like a far younger version of himself, pitching into the eighth and allowed just a run on four hits while striking out eighth.

2) Jacoby Ellsbury

Ellsbury had a hand in the first Yankee run -- walk, stolen base, run scored -- and doubled home the second run in the fifth inning.

3) Xander Bogaerts

The Sox had little offense on the night, but Bogaerts smoked a solo homer in the fourth to account for their only run.