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Nick Punto on Tim Wallach: ‘He has almost like a Tito-type personality’

10.11.12 at 11:32 pm ET
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Tim Wallach will interview for the Red Sox managerial opening Friday. (AP)

It was just a 36-game get-to-know-you session for Nick Punto and Tim Wallach, but the Dodgers’ third base coach evidently left quite an impression on the former Red Sox infielder.

So much so that Punto broke off a question he only directed at a select few.

“Toward the end of the season I asked him, just because I’m always curious when I see a guy who I think could be a good manager. I said, ‘Hey Wally, one day do you want to be a manager?’ He said, ‘Absolutely.’ That was pretty much the extent of the conversation,” said Punto by phone Thursday afternoon.

Friday, Wallach is taking a step toward getting his chance.

The 55-year-old will the first to interview for the vacant Red Sox managerial opening, attempting to become a manager for the first time he served as the skipper for the Dodgers’ Triple-A team in Albuquerque from 2009-10.

“He’s just an awesome baseball guy,” Punto said. “He knows a lot about the game. He’s very personable. He’s a great personality. He relates to all the guys. He’s just a solid baseball man. I think he could do a good job in that role. And I know he wants to be a manager.

“He never got too high or too low. He was an aggressive third base coach, not afraid to make mistakes. I enjoyed his personality on the baseball field as far as his intent to win the game. But he never did get too high or too low.”

But, as Punto learned in his short time with the Red Sox, there is that other piece of the equation when it comes to managing in Boston, one which exists within very few other big league jobs – dealing with a most unique atmosphere.

“He could handle it,” said Punto of Wallach. “He has almost like a Tito [Terry Francona] type personality, where guys are going to get along with him. He could handle the media, for sure. He could handle that whole atmosphere, in my opinion.”

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