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Red Sox won’t bring in managers until Theo Epstein situation is resolved

10.11.11 at 8:09 am ET
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Manager Terry Francona says he isn't demanding that Sox GM Theo Epstein trade for anyone. (AP)

Until Theo Epstein's future is determined, the Sox will not start interviewing candidates to replace Terry Francona. (AP)

The search for the next Red Sox manager will need to wait for the decision about the Red Sox general manager.

Red Sox GM Theo Epstein, after 10 years in the organization and nine in his current role as general manager, is currently at a crossroads. The Cubs have requested permission to talk to him about a position in their organization.

The idea of being the man who not only ended an 86-year championship drought in Boston but also an even longer fallow period (103 years and counting) with the Cubs has undeniable appeal. At the same time, it is not a foregone conclusion that Epstein would leave Boston at this time, with a year remaining on his contract and coming off of two seasons without reaching the postseason, most recently as a result of an unfathomable 7-20 performance in September that cost the Sox a playoff berth on the season’s final day.

According to a major league source, the Sox — who are currently performing due diligence on potential managerial candidates to replace Terry Francona, who left Boston after eight years — will not bring in candidates to interview for the position until after the status of Epstein is resolved.Given the importance of the relationship between the manager and general manager, the Sox appear set to wait until the identity of the GM is determined before they bring in candidates to investigate their fit for the job.

That said, Epstein’s status is only one element in preventing the Sox from interviewing candidates at this point. The team also is likely to interview one or more candidates who are still in the playoffs, something that will not occur until the relevant team or teams are eliminated.

While the Sox’ search is on hold, the issue is not regarded as a significant impediment for the Sox, given that no other team in the majors is currently conducting a managerial search that could deprive the team of any candidates with whom it would want to talk. History also suggests that the Sox need not rush to begin interviews.

The Sox, after all, did not start bringing in candidates for interviews in their last search — the one that yielded Francona — until after former manager Grady Little had been fired near the end of October 2003, with the first candidate (Glenn Hoffman) coming in on Nov. 3. The team conducted interviews until just before Thanksgiving, meeting with Hale on Nov. 24. Francona, who finished his eight-year tenure with the Sox two days after the end of this season, was not introduced as Sox manager until Dec. 4, 2003.

As for the coaching staff that worked under Francona, both first base coach Ron Johnson and coaching assistant Rob Leary — both of whom were on one-year contracts — have been told that they won’t be asked back next year. The rest of the members of the coaching staff — bench coach DeMarlo Hale, pitching coach Curt Young, hitting coach Dave Magadan, third base coach Tim Bogar and bullpen coach Gary Tuck — remain under contract.

The team is open to the idea of bringing back some coaches from last year’s staff, while also wanting to give the new manager the freedom to select his own staff members. That being the case, the fates of the members of the staff likely await the resolution of the managerial search, which in turn awaits the resolution of the Epstein decision.

Read More: curt young, Dave Magadan, demarlo hale, Terry Francona
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