At last the Red Sox long winding managerial search is almost over. After a month of searching and interviewing, the Red Sox seem to have the field narrowed to two; Bobby Valentine and Gene Lamont.
While neither option is stellar, like it or not one of these two men will be managing the Red Sox win 2012, barring any major surprises. The biggest question is, who should get the job?
My opinion is that if the final two candidates are indeed Valentine and Lamont, Valentine should absolutely get the job. He impressed in his “press conference” and has much more major league managing experience than Lamont. A big plus in Valentine’s favor is that he seems much more inclined to be a stats guy, something that the Red Sox front office loves. On the other hand it is well-known that Lamont is far less a numbers guy, and more of a “hunch” guy, a lot like Grady Little.
Lamont is also older (albeit not by much) than Valentine, and never really enjoyed much success as a manager. He had two first place finishes, but other than that he didn’t enjoy much success at all.
While Valentine has had more than his fair share of problems with the Mets, with the team drug problem and friction with the front office, he is clearly the best candidate for the job right now and seems ready for a fresh start. Most importantly he seems very keen on stats, and he is unlikely to not open a book of stats on the opposing team in the playoffs, like Grady Little did in 2003.
Like him or not, it’s hard to see Valentine not being successful in Boston. He seems like the type of guy who would shake things up and do anything to ensure success for the Red Sox, which is all Red Sox fans should be looking for. A manager that will stop at nothing to bring home a World Series championship. He seems to be a numbers guy as well, in ESPN broadcasts he has used stats such as UZR and WAR and according to people working in the broadcast booth with Valentine, he was very interested in the stats of the game, something that bodes very well for him in Boston. Valentine is far from a perfect candidate, but right now you’d be hard pressed to find a better candidate out there. Joe Maddon and John Farrell are not walking through that door, so Red Sox fans should be happy that one of the top candidates for the job is as qualified to run a big market team as Valentine is.