The Boston Red Sox will eventually name a new manager to replace Bobby Valentine, and it won’t be current Toronto Blue Jays manager John Farrell. Instead, it should be former Colorado Rockies manager Jim Tracy.
Tracy resigned as skipper of Colorado on Sunday citing that he wasn’t “the right man for the job any longer,” according to Troy Renck of The Denver Post. He was adamant about that statement, claiming that “a lot of situations have changed since I was first asked to manage this club. I am not the right man for this position.”
Tracy did say, however, that he doesn’t have another job lined up, but Renck speculates that other teams could contact him.
Even though just five games separated the Rockies and the Red Sox in the win column, the current situations of the two franchises are vastly different, and that may intrigue Tracy about the open position in Boston.
The Red Sox need to improve a large variety of issues that plagued them in the second half of 2011 and in all of 2012.
One of those issues is to find a manager who can gain respect from his players, make smart pregame, in-game and postgame decisions, and control the clubhouse in an intelligent manner. Bobby Valentine clearly wasn’t the answer, but there was a lot of respect for Tracy with the Rockies, according to Renck.
“I always believed he would have a chance to be with us next year,” said All-Star outfielder Carlos Gonzalez. “He is truly respected inside our clubhouse, and I hoped he would be with us, so he could help us improve and have a better season in 2013.”
All-Star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki also chimed in on Tracy’s departure saying, “He definitely meant a lot to me. He is someone I will stay close to. I have a great deal of respect for him. He has been nothing but honest. He definitely did not lose the clubhouse. Guys respect him.”
Earning the respect of those in the Red Sox clubhouse is clearly not as easy as it seems, but with the experience and good rapport that Tracy would bring to Boston, a fit between the two wouldn’t be out of the question. Gonzalez and Tulowitzki are just as big as some of the names on Boston’s payroll and he shouldn’t have any problems conducting himself in a professional manager and gaining the respect that he deserves.
The Red Sox also need to improve their pitching problems that were as bad as it gets in 2012. Despite Tracy’s issues with Colorado’s pitching staff this past season—finishing in dead last in ERA, quality starts, WHIP and batting average against—that shouldn’t stray Boston from pursuing him. Keep in mind that Tracy was forced to use a four-man rotation for part of the season which didn’t help those eye-sores of statistics.
Tracy is a veteran manager who can turn this club around, and most importantly, it won’t cost the Red Sox anything but his yearly salary.
The primary target is John Farrell, but prying him from Toronto is not going to be easy. The Blue Jays may not let Farrell interview for Boston’s managerial job, and even if they do, they are going to ask for compensation should he be offered and eventually accept the job, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
There have been a couple of managers or executives who have switched teams with time still on their contracts, and WEEI’s Alex Speier researches how much it cost those clubs. He writes that although the cost of Theo Epstein or Ozzie Guillen may not have been too steep, a deal involving Farrell to Boston would be.
Yes, Farrell does have a lot of experience with pitching staffs, but his Blue Jays were no better on the mound than the Red Sox were this year, and he doesn’t have too great of a track record as a manager. Not that Tracy necessarily does, but they’re two very different managers.
The Red Sox need to evaluate which direction they want to go. Do they want to go with a former coach who could turn around the pitching staff and potentially bring this franchise back to its glory days, or do they go in a different direction and hire one of the most well-respected managers in baseball?
Do I think that the Red Sox will get Farrell? Yes, I do, but I think that Tracy is a much more attractive option that Boston needs to strongly consider.