Monday, December 5, 2011
Source: Red Sox cool on Bill Buckner
By Gordon Edes
DALLAS -- New Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine wants to add Bill Buckner to his coaching staff and the former Boston first baseman wants the job, but the team's front office is resistant to the idea, a source close to Buckner said.
Valentine and Buckner have been friends since 1968, the year they were both drafted by the Dodgers -- Valentine in the first round, Buckner in the second.
"I've watched his kids grow up and I respect his every opinion, in baseball and in worldly matters," Valentine said at his introductory press conference last week in Boston.
"Whether or not Bill Buckner would be on the staff is a decision that Ben (Cherington, the Boston general manager) will talk about or if anybody else is going to be on the staff, Ben and I will talk about it.
"It's not about friendship, it's not about who was here in the past, it's about who can do the specific jobs that need to be done.''
The Red Sox have yet to fill out their coaching staff, though four coaches remain under contract: hitting coach Dave Magadan, bench coach DeMarlo Hale, third-base coach Tim Bogar and bullpen coach Gary Tuck. Magadan said Friday that Valentine had called and he'd accepted Valentine's invitation to return as hitting coach. Tuck is highly regarded by the Red Sox and is almost certain to return.
Buckner just finished his first season as manager of the independent-league Brockton Rox, who finished 51-42 and qualified for the Can-Am League playoffs on the season's final day. The Rox were eliminated in the semifinals. Buckner has coached in the big leagues; his last job was as hitting coach with the White Sox in 1996 and '97.
Gordon Edes covers the Red Sox for ESPNBoston.com.