The dust has settled in the Terry Francona/Red Sox divorce and rumors are buzzing as to who will replace Tito. Here is my personal list of worthy (and not so worthy) replacements:
The Good: Bobby Valentine. Valentine was an okay manager for some years in the bigs, but only made the playoffs twice. He had his time here and then moved to Japan. In Japan he was a better manager but got fired because he did not get along with the owner. So, why is he the good? He’s sort of funny, I guess.
The Bad: Joe Torre, the bad guy from the Evil Empire. Torre led the Yankees to four championships and is an overall likable guy. There’s only one problem with Joe, he has a dream job (Major League Baseball’s Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations) and will never coach again.
The Ugly: Curt Schilling. He may not be the ugliest guy in the world but I hate him so I had to insult him. People, he picked a scab on the ankle and he received television specials for it. He isn’t even Hall of Fame worthy! Anyways, you can never count out Curt when there is a job up for grabs that will get him some spotlight. He has a better shot at becoming President than managing a major league squad.
The Old: Lou Pinella. I wish we would be able to witness this nut-job manage the Sox. Just imagine him kicking around the Navy hat with the red socks on it, that would be epic. Too bad it will never happen.
The Older: Tommy Lasorda is still alive? Tommy turned a ripe 84 years young this year and is still kicking. The Dodgers let him be a special guest manager for the day and he only fell asleep on the bench twice. The guy still has it.
The Stud: Tony LaRussa is never going to coach the Red Sox. Why would you when you can join up with Theo Epstein with the Cubs and steal Albert Pujols from his former team?
The Young Gun: Gabe Kapler took steroids and everyone still loves him. Good for him, he knew he wasn’t great so he juiced up. Now he coached America’s youth to only one day become a manager and eventually get caught selling ‘roids to his players. Kapler is a serious candidate for the job.
The Realistic Choice: DeMarlo Hale. Boring. Hale is the current bench coach for the Sox and even began his managing career in 1993 with the Red Sox farm system. He will end up the manager of the 2012 Red Sox and we will all throw a fit.
But are any of these options truly worthy of replacing Francona? Tito brought the Sox to their first championship since 1918 with a group of Cowboys left behind by Grady Little. Then a few years later he brings the city another title. He made it look easy when others stood no chance with the cursed team. So what makes us think that Bobby Valentine or Joe Torre can get this team to the promiseland? Oh yeah, the money.