Management Hunt Begins for Red Sox: Who Will Lead the Club in 2012

Jon O'ConnorCorrespondent IOctober 7, 2011

(Left) Bench Coach Dave Martinez and (Right) Manager Joe Madden
(Left) Bench Coach Dave Martinez and (Right) Manager Joe Madden

With Terry Francona now in Red Sox history, the club is on the hunt for their next leader. 

The next one has large shoes to fill, and is coming into a burning hot fire. Everyone knows of the historic collapse that just took place; and the situations that needs to be rectified. 

Some of the names that were thrown around early for possibilities were Bobby Valentine, and perhaps Tony LaRussa if he leaves the Cardinals. Valentine would be a decent fit, he has a great track record as a proven manager that knows how to lead a clubhouse. If LaRussa does leave the Cardinals, Boston may be his next stop, although I feel LaRussa may be toward the end of his coaching career.

Some other names, which seem to be more probable names are Indians bench coach Sandy Alomar Jr. and Rays bench coach Dave Martinez. 

Alomar, who has returned to Cleveland where he spent the majority his playing days, has proven throughout his career that he's a leader. Coaching under Manny Acta plays into his favor as well. Acta has turned the Indians around and could very well keep them in contention for years to come. Although Alomar was recently named bench coach after Tim Tolman was reassigned, if the Sox were to offer him a managerial position how could he turn it down? 

Martinez is another coach who was been working under a great manager. It goes without saying that what Joe Madden has done with the never-say-die Rays is incredible, imagine what Martinez is learning in Tampa. The way the Rays play the game is very well accepted in MLB. Off the field, they are what seems to be a care free ball club; having theme dress days for road trips and pulling pranks on one another. But on the field, they are all business and just completed one of the best comebacks in MLB history. Martinez looked to be the top man for the White Sox manager spot, but with the hiring of Robin Ventura, Martinez is still on the market.

The question with all of these potential managers is, can they handle the clubhouse and fix the issues that may have cost the Red Sox a playoff spot in 2011? The Sox need a manager who can handle the Veterans who lead this club, keep the team together and handle the big pressure cooker that is Boston.