Red Sox

Let's just get this out of the way - Dustin Pedroia ISN'T going to be next Red Sox manager

Let's just get this out of the way - Dustin Pedroia ISN'T going to be next Red Sox manager

As the Red Sox begin the process of finding a new manager, perhaps the most useful service we can provide is crossing some names off the list.

First up: Dustin Pedroia.

The former MVP is home in Arizona rehabbing the knee injury that is probably going to end his career, and some have speculated that he could serve as a sort of player-manager following the dismissal of his good friend Alex Cora.

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This possibility was put to team president Sam Kennedy on Wednesday, and he couldn't help but laugh.

"Sorry to laugh out loud," he said, "but I don’t know what Dustin’s long-term goals are. I know he would tell you he could do it and he’s probably ready tomorrow. But I'm not sure that’s in the cards for 2020."

Kennedy meant no disrespect to Pedroia, a franchise icon and three-time champion who seemed on his way to a Hall of Fame career until injuries interceded. Still, with the Red Sox looking to pick up the pieces following Cora's shocking departure, they're unlikely to tab a player on their 40-man roster with no experience and no expressed interest in the job.

Pedroia has already said that he expects to need a knee replacement down the line. For now, he's trying to figure out how to find a quality of life that will allow him to play with his kids. Jumping into Cora's old office would only impede that process.

Kennedy went on to say that he "wouldn't rule anything out," but let's take his gut reaction as the telling sign that it was -- the 36-year-old Pedroia isn't a realistic candidate.

An Opening Day start for Red Sox' Chris Sale: 'I think I'm going to be ready'

An Opening Day start for Red Sox' Chris Sale: 'I think I'm going to be ready'

Already coming off a season cut short by an elbow injury that shut him down last August, Chris Sale's spring training got off to a slow start as he recovered from a bout with pneumonia just as pitchers and catchers reported to Red Sox camp in Fort Myers. 

He says he's progressing after the illness led to him dropping a few pounds from his already thin frame (6-foot-6, 180). He'll throw a side session Sunday and told reporters on Saturday that he thinks he'll be ready for Opening Day March 26.

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"I think I’m going to be ready for [the opener]. But like I said, those aren’t my calls to make. I go out there, do my job, tell them how I feel on a daily basis," Sale said. "Obviously as the workload picks up, we have to see how things work out. I’ve just got to be open and honest with them and then we map out a plan and see how it works out."

In a Friday interview on WEEI's "Ordway, Merloni and Fauria" show, Sale said having his season end early last summer and going through a rehab process to avoid Tommy John surgery has him raring to go into 2020 despite questions about his stamina.

"I feel like I'm better now than I was then because of going through that [injury and rehab]."

Sale hasn't reached 200 innings pitched since 2017. He went 6-11 in 25 starts (147.1 IP) in what he called "a nightmare season" in 2019 after his and all the starters' workloads were limited in spring training and he struggled with his velocity at times before the injury was diagnosed.

"I feel really good," he told WEEI. "I can sit here and tell you what I want to do, what I think I'm going to do, but I've just got to go do it. I live here in town and put in a lot of work. I was here four to five times a week. It's exciting. For me, this really started last September October when that rehab process began.

"I gotta get back to the basics. Not really worry about fading, the injuries. This is sports. Injuries can happen overnight...I'm not worried about what my track record is or what people are thinking of me."

Jerry Narron hired as Red Sox bench coach

Jerry Narron hired as Red Sox bench coach

Ron Roenicke officially has his bench coach for 2020.

The Boston Red Sox manager announced after Saturday's spring training win over the Tampa Bay Rays that Jerry Narron will take over the role.


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If Narron's name sounds familiar, that's likely because he served as Red Sox bench coach during the 2003 season when Grady Little was manager.

The 64-year-old went on to assume the same role with the Cincinnati Reds in 2004–05, then served as the Reds' interim manager from June 2005 to July 2007.

Since then, Narron has had multiple jobs including stints as bench coach of the Milwaukee Brewers (2011-15) and Arizona Diamondbacks (2017-19). He was Roenicke's bench coach in Milwaukee.

Boston's bench coach position opened up once Roenicke was promoted to interim manager earlier this month. Roenicke replaced Alex Cora, who parted ways with the Red Sox after his name was mentioned in MLB's report on the Houston Astros sign-stealing investigation.