LOS GATOS, Calif. — Kevin Youkilis knows better than most what can go wrong with a Red Sox manager, particularly when it comes to the media.
The former Red Sox star said Friday afternoon that he thinks both Alex Cora and DeMarlo Hale would be great fits to replace John Farrell because of their experience in the market. He acknowledged both are friends — Cora as a former teammate, Hale as a former coach. But he believes in their credentials as well.
“I think Alex Cora’s a great fit, I think DeMarlo Hale’d be a great fit,” Youkilis said Friday afternoon from the restaurant he owns in California, Loma Brew. “Because they both have experience in that city, they know that city, they’ve been around it. I think it’s hard — I don’t know what it takes to be a manager. I’ve played for good managers. I just know in Boston the key is one, the media, and two, culture-clubhouse. It can go sour quickly, and if you’re that guy, the glue that can hold the team together while also holding the glue together and handling that, it’s a great fit.
“The reason I’d hire them is they have the experience working not only with the media, but just being in that town and seeing winning in that town. And understanding success and the failures, even when we lost. They’ve seen both.”
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Youkilis was criticized by Bobby Valentine in a television interview early in the 2012 season, an incident that prompted Dustin Pedroia to speak out and proved the beginning of the end for Bobby V.
“I think Tito worked out well because he came from a long background in baseball and his personality was perfect for Boston,” Youkilis said. “So I think Tito’s personality — just, you got to have somebody that can handle the media, first and foremost, and that can separate the team from the media and how to be the middle man. So [to me] personally, the Red Sox job, probably more than 50 percent is media driven. A sense you have to be able to handle the media and take on that role and be OK with it.”
Youkilis is still involved in baseball, helping out the Cubs and his first general manager, Theo Epstein.
“And the other half is making sure the culture of the clubhouse is good and the product on the field [is good] and the guys are doing the right thing,” Youkilis said. “That’s easier when you hire a good coaching staff. I’ve learned that through the Cubs. You put together a great staff, your in-game management’s easier.
“But, managing in Boston’s a very tough task. And you got to have very, very thick skin. You just got to want to take on the challenge. And you’re going to have to force laughter when there’s no laughter to be around, and I think that’s why Tito did so well. And so, you have to have a good personality in a way. Or, you just have to be this guy that just enjoys that spotlight. Because if you don’t enjoy that spotlight…. you’re going to have a lot of clashes that aren’t needed.”
Living in Northern California, Youkilis has teamed up with Jonny Gomes — who’s from the area — to help those affected by the wildfires in the area. Youkilis is storing supplies at his restaurant and plans to deliver them himself next week.
“I’m driving up a truck on Tuesday,” Youkilis said. “We got a bunch of stuff here.”