Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Red Sox Look For Perfect Manager

With Grady Little out of the picture in Boston, the braintrust is looking for the perfect manager to work with stat geek Bill James while still knowing how to run a baseball game on the highest level and then supervise a clubhouse full of multimillionaires for good measure.

The names kicked around to succeed Little are interesting to say the least.

Click below for more!Jim Fregosi, one of the real sourpusses of all time has been rumored to be on the list. Can you see Fregosi dealing with the Boston media after each game? I can’t. Fregosi would have a tough time working with Manny Ramirez, who often doesn’t hustle and takes unannounced vacations when you least expect them. Whitey Herzog, I don’t think he would put up with the modern ballplayer for too long either.

The Sox want a man who will read the many computer printouts that the stat guys come up with each day. They figure out what the best count is to swing at a pitch, who hits what pitch and when, which pitchers get what hitters out more often, who swings early in the count, stats not much deeper than those, but voluminous to say the least.

Any manager today is swamped with these kinds of computer sheets.

What the Sox really want is someone who can handle the media, keep the guys relatively happy in the clubhouse, run a bullpen, understand how to make pitching changes, and also not be afraid to tell the computer guys their stuff is terrific.

Fregosi is short on the first two qualifications, Bobby Valentine is out also.

Joel Skinner, not enough cache to get the team’s attention.

Bud Black, not enough experience to warrant the shot in Boston.

The one I like is Glenn Hoffman who played for the Sox in the early 80’s and understands Boston baseball. He has been a valuable member of the Dodger’s staff, he is a modern man, not adverse to the computer influence. He understands the game, and most importantly I think he can handle the clubhouse.

The A’s are the model for what the Red Sox want in their manager. Art Howe fits the description perfectly. Howe handled the bullpen expertly in Oakland even with unsteady closers like Billy koch and Jason Isringhausen. The A’s clubhouse had nothing but praise for Howe. He found the computer info very important especially with pitch counts for certain pitchers. He delegated well within the staff. No one left unhappy. He made the playoffs three years running with an inexperienced team. He knew what the correct matchups were at all times.

Too bad Art jumped to the Mets, he fits what Boston needs to a tee. Ken Macha subscribes to many of the same things Howe did. Macha just hasn’t got the same touch with the media or within the clubhouse. Macha loves the Red Sox and would be a good choice also if the A’s would let him go.

Maybe Theo Epstein should just ask Billy Beane and see what he says about Macha’s availability. If they throw Kevin Youkillis, the on base AAA leader into the mix, maybe the A’s would bite. This is not as farfetched as it may seem because Bob Geren is still in the picture as Macha’s replacement if and when he leaves.

Maybe the Sox should ask the Mets about Howe?

After seeing both Howe and Macha work first hand, they would fit the bill for Boston.

Terry Francona knows the A’s way also. He is personable and I think he will be successful in the ways I listed above.

Anyway, if Howe would have waited one more year before leaving the A’s, he’d be the perfect man for the Boston job.

The Red Sox should look for someone just like him and quickly.


1 Anonymous { 10.29.03 at 10:15 am }


Are the A’s unhappy with Macha? There have been rumors about him not getting along with some players (besides Long). Any truth to this? Or it is it just needing to find fault somewhere because of the early exit in postseason?

I cannot image anyone wanting the Boston job. Who wants to deal with Pedro and Manny? Those 2 seem to run the show there.

Any comment on Greg Papa leaving? Who will replace him in your opinion?

2 Anonymous { 10.29.03 at 11:14 am }

Hey Marty,
I, for one, hope Macha leaves. He just isn’t good for team chemistry. No player is going to respect or trust his judgement after pinch hitting for Dye, especially Dye. To add to the other comment above, I read an article, I think out of LA, that Beane and Macha are not getting along. Maybe that article is just trying to pave the way for Beane to LA, though, and isn’t very accurate. Makes you wonder either way.
You mentioned the A’s need a leadoff hitter. I agree. Who is out there? Rumor is A’s are looking at Kotsay from San Diego for centerfield. His offensive numbers aren’t that impressive, but he has good speed and is patient at the plate. Could he hit leadoff?

3 Ed { 10.29.03 at 11:26 am }

The baseball moguls keep looking for ways to take the human interest out of the game. Please keep the Bill James type as far away from the playing field as can be accomplished. Certain basic stats, i.e. who has trouble hitting left handed pitchers, who has trouble going more than seven innings etc are well known to every manager. It doesn’t take a James to educate them. Whenever the announcer tells me that a particular hitter has only three hits in his last fifteen at bats against a certain pitcher, I tune him out. This is usually meaningless. The game situation at the moment may be completely different from the preceding 15 at bats. As often as not, the batter disappoints the analyst. Stop trying to take all of the emotion from the game and turn it into some cold-blooded arithmetic exercise. By the way, how about some strong minded manager getting back to a four man starting rotation? The game isn’t that different from the days when the Deans, Hubbells, Groves went every fourth day and were available as well out of the bullpen in the ninth inning of a close game.

4 Anonymous { 10.29.03 at 11:44 am }

for my money,the perfect guy to replace greg papa would be marty lurie but I am biased. I am not related to marty but he is one smart dude with a lot of baseball knowledge.

As for the Red Sox, anyone who would take the job would be a masochist. The job has chewed up
every guy who ever worked there. The press,the fans and the prima donna players will get to you every time. They probably will pick a retread like Charlie Manuel or Mike Hargrove.
whoever it is he better have a lot of Valium
Jerry F

5 marty { 10.29.03 at 11:47 am }

Baseball Weekly indicated the A’s might have some interest in Todd Walker at second base. Walker is a free agent and would give the A’s some needed offense at the top of the lineup. It’s hard to read the BB and Macha situation since Beane is now on the top of the Dodgers wish list according to most observers. Macha does what BB wants, runs the game he likes to see, so I don’t see Macha and Beane having a fallout. Should be interesting to see what Paul DePodesta does after this Friday when his contract expires, if he stays on then I think BB might be serious about LA, if Paul leaves to find other work, then I think BB is staying put.
A’s are looking for a full time baseball person to replace Greg Papa who was not a favorite of the owner. Papa felt those vibes a few years ago so it wasn’t a shock to be let go.

Getting winning players who know their roles instead of 25-26 year olds who want to play every day even if they can’t, will solve the A’s clubhouse issues. Adding some 30-32 year olds who can still contribute will add to the bench and concentration of the team.

Ed’s analysis is absolutely correct about the stats used today. Decision’s should be based on game situations and not at bats that may have occurred five years ago. Every manager has the printouts, so the Red sox situation is not unique, it is just how far you let them go in deciding in game decisions.
I think the four man rotation will be tried by someone shortly, baseball has been around for 100 years in this form and every twenty years or so, someone comes up with a part of the game discarded by an earlier generation.

I was looking at an article in “The Sporting News” last night lamenting the fact that fans don’t get to see the big sluggers hit as the managers are ordering too many intentional walks. The writer suggested two bases for the intentional walk to slow down the use of strategy. The date of the article November 1947. Fans were complaining they come to the game and don’t get to see Johnny Mize, Ted Williams, and Stan Musial hit because they are being walked too often.
Same game, same complaints today about Bonds. Baseball is a percentage game and those percentages were figured out in 1903.

6 Anonymous { 10.29.03 at 10:12 pm }


Here’s hoping that you will consider applying for the current vacancy in the broadcast booth. Honest, you would be terrific.

7 Anonymous { 10.30.03 at 12:42 am }

No doubt. Marty is a smart cookie. As an announcer in major league baseball, I have no doubt he would have valuable and insightful knowledge to lend on a lot, if not all, situations. Joe Morgan is an excellent commentator. Why? Because he knows baseball inside and out and he offers angles that most people wouldn’t have thought of. Marty also has a deep knowledge of baseball and a personable, likeable demeanor. I think Marty Lurie appeals as a commentator the same way, and for the same reasons Joe Morgan does. And it is for that reason that I would, completely unbiased, agree that he could be Papa’s replacement. I’m certain his baseball knowledge is wider than and superior to a lot of commentators today.

8 Anonymous { 11.01.03 at 12:03 pm }


You’re exactly right.


9 Anonymous { 02.16.06 at 9:37 am }
10 Anonymous { 02.25.06 at 7:12 pm }
11 Anonymous { 09.22.07 at 1:14 pm }

12 Anonymous { 09.22.07 at 1:51 pm }

You must log in to post a comment.