Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here... highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
It’s down to two.
The long and winding Red Sox [team stats] managerial search has entered its final stages, and barring a surprise, the team has whittled its list to a pair of finalists: Gene Lamont and Bobby Valentine.
The former met with Sox ownership for a second interview earlier this week and remains in the running. The latter met with ownership first and then conducted a day-long interview with general manager Ben Cherington on Monday.
The team hopes to make a decision early next week in order to have a manager in place before the winter meetings, which begin a week from tomorrow in Dallas. Blue Jays first base coach Torey Lovullo, the only other candidate still in the running as of Monday, will most likely not receive another interview.
So that leaves two 60-something potential skippers from a list that originally included mostly younger, unproven talent.
I've been begging the Sox to pick a manager for weeks, and it looks like they finally will.
If I had my choice, I'd probably go with Valentine, for the simple fact that I've been talking myself into him for the past week or so. But I wouldn't be disappointed with Lamont either. He did win the Manager of the Year award in the early nineties and nearly did it again with the Pirates. He's got experience, and has proven that he can handle a club.
Which is pretty much the same resume as Valentine. The big difference between the two is that Lamont is more of a low-key guy, while Valentine is a walking circus show. The decision will really come down to: Do the Sox want another manager in the style of Francona, or do they want to take the team in an entirely different direction with Valentine?
I think we already know the answer to that. But with Valentine comes the potential for more drama. Something else I hope the Sox are looking to distance themselves from as well. Either way, I'm just glad it's nearly over.
Rest of the links: