After being officially fired from the Boston Red Sox on Thursday, Bobby Valentine took a leisurely bike ride through the city. He did not seem that upset, and the Red Sox shouldn't be either.
It is now time to move on to the next phase of rebuilding for a better 2013 season—hiring the new manager.
The new Red Sox manager needs to be one who can handle the pressure-cooker that is Boston. He also has to be someone who can get along with the players but is strict enough so they respond when he calls attention to an issue at hand.
Whoever the Red Sox decide to go with, it needs to be Ben Cherington's final decision. Larry Lucchino can be somewhat involved, but it's up to the GM to choose who will run the daily operations of this Red Sox team in 2013.
Here are the five best candidates based on the descriptions above:
Arnie Beyeler had a terrific 2012 season with the Pawtucket Red Sox, winning the International League title with Boston's Triple-A affiliate.
That, along with the experience he gained with the Red Sox during Spring Training and the end of the 2012 season after the minor league playoffs, should put Beyeler at least in the loop until the final round of the interviews.
As the current bench coach for the Tampa Bay Rays, Dave Martinez has plenty of playoff experience. However, he is one of the few options on this list without a previous head managerial position in the majors.
"He would be very, very difficult to replace, but I would do somersaults (if he got the Sox job). He is absolutely ready. He's got a really quick baseball mind."
"He's got that one-step-ahead vision. He's a good instructor, and he's going to be a good planner and in-game kind of manager."
Not long removed from the Red Sox organization, Brad Mills is looking for a new job in the 2013 season.
After his time as bench coach for Terry Francona from 2004-2009 with the Red Sox, Mills was hired as the manager of the Houston Astros.
He was fired in August 2012 due to the fact that the Astros held the worst record in all of baseball.
Sure, his record has not been great, but who says a chance to make a difference on a beaten down Boston squad—whose 69-93 record in 2012 is the second worst in team history— won't benefit the former Red Sox bench coach?
Mike Maddux is one of those options that many can look at but don't get to touch.
The Red Sox wanted to interview him for this year's manager position, but he did not take the opportunity—probably because of all the drama surrounding the team after the September collapse.
The Texas Rangers pitching coach would make big changes in the culture of this clubhouse (and pitching staff) if he was to leave his current post and take a chance at becoming the 46th manager in Red Sox history.
The return of the Red Sox pitching coach from the 2006-2010 seasons would be welcomed by both upper management and the players.
According to ESPN reporter Gordon Edes, John Farrell is "at the top" of the Red Sox' managerial list for the 2013 season, thanks to a baseball source.
Farrell was rumored to be in the running for this position since last offseason.
According to Gordon Edes, Buster Olney stated:
“Last fall, before they hired Bobby, the Red Sox tried to hire John Farrell, the manager of the Toronto Blue Jays. They actually got very close to making a deal with the Blue Jays. But then the Blue Jays withdrew their permission from the Red Sox to talk with him.
I would expect that the Red Sox will go down that path again, that they will talk to the Blue Jays and ask if John Farrell is available. He is under contract through the end of next season. Maybe after a disappointing season Toronto will be looking for change.”
Farrell has also had communication issues with Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos. He could be available in a compensation package since he still has one year left on his current contract.