Friday, October 26, 2012
Lovullo named Red Sox bench coach
By Joe McDonald
The Boston Red Sox, as expected, named Torey Lovullo as manager John Farrell's bench coach on Friday.
Tim Bogar, who held that position with the Red Sox last season, was told Thursday he would not be retained by the team.
The 47-year-old Lovullo, who managed with the Red Sox at Triple-A Pawtucket in 2010, had joined Farrell in Toronto as his first-base coach when Farrell took the managerial job there.
"Excited is probably an understatement," Lovullo said on a conference call. "I'm part of a great Red Sox family now. I had a short time there and I got a chance to experience some incredible people and developed some strong relationships. Moving forward and getting the opportunity to be in the dugout and contributing in a direct manner is pretty exciting for me. I'm ready for the challenge and I'm grateful for the opportunity. I can't wait to get started."
Farrell and Lovullo became teammates with the Cleveland Indians in 1993 and later worked together as the organization's farm director and Triple-A manager, respectively. Their relationship and baseball interactions are what made this an easy decision for Farrell.
"It makes this a very comfortable and natural relationship, which I think will be important in that dugout," Farrell said.
"Torey's track record as a staff member and as a (minor league) manager, he has the ability to stand alone in his own right," he continued. "There are three things that quickly jump out to me: That's the knowledge of the game that he has and that comes from his playing and coaching and managing experience. It became even more (clear) over the last two years working in Toronto that his ability to communicate with players is a strong one.
"And what fits most well in this role as bench coach is the decision-making that he has in terms of a non-game setting, but also an in-game setting which is critical for this position."
The Red Sox are also hoping bullpen coach Gary Tuck will return to that role next season, a source said. Tuck has an option year in his contract for 2013 and had said he would return "if the situation is good for me."
Tuck and Farrell enjoyed a close relationship when Farrell was pitching coach in Boston, but Tuck is also dealing with an illness in his family, so that could be a factor in his decision as well.
The Red Sox have a vacancy at hitting coach with Dave Magadan leaving for the Texas Rangers, and the other spots are up in the air as well.
"We've got some work to do," Farrell said. "We're deep into it, in terms of not only building lists that relates to each position on the staff. We're getting recommendations and going deeper than just personal relationships with an individual candidate, so we're working through it. We'd like to get it done sooner rather than later, but we're not going to take any shortcuts just to put names on the positions."
The current Red Sox pitching coach -- a role Farrell held from 2007-10 -- is Randy Niemann, who took over when Bob McClure was fired late in the season. Pawtucket pitching coach Rich Sauveur could be considered for the job, given his working relationship with the majority of the pitchers already on the staff.
"With any position, stability is critical," Farrell said earlier in the week. "I think it's important for the pitching coach coming in that this isn't going to be a situation, because so much has been brought out about my return here, that it's not going to be micromanaged. Certainly there's going to be involvement, but that person needs the freedom to do his job and do it to the best of his ability and that's why, to me, it's important to get the most qualified pitching coach available and bring him in here."