Red Sox

Red Sox managerial candidates 2020: Intriguing option reportedly ruled out

Red Sox managerial candidates 2020: Intriguing option reportedly ruled out

The Boston Red Sox suddenly have a job opening, and they need to fill it fast.

The Red Sox and manager Alex Cora mutually agreed to part ways Tuesday after Major League Baseball implicated Cora in a major sign-stealing scandal with the 2017 Houston Astros.

Cora is expected to be banned from baseball for at least one season, and the Red Sox are still subject to an MLB investigation into their own sign-stealing operation under Cora in 2018.

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In the meantime, though, new Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom and his staff need to find a replacement for Cora in 2020.

We laid out some internal candidates Tuesday, including Red Sox bench coach Ron Roenicke, former catcher Jason Varitek and second baseman Dustin Pedroia.

But who could Boston bring in from outside the organization? The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal ruled out an intriguing candidate Wednesday morning in Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro, who worked with Bloom in Tampa Bay and was a finalist for the Pittsburgh Pirates' and San Francisco Giants' manager jobs this offseason.

Here's a look at seven other external candidates the Red Sox could hire to replace Cora:

John Gibbons

The former Blue Jays manager had an up-and-down tenure in Toronto but has 1,581 games of managerial experience in the American League East. Gibbons stated last October he wants to return to managing after taking the 2019 season off.

Brad Ausmus

A Connecticut native, Ausmus interviewed for the Red Sox manager job in 2017 before Cora won the role. He has five total years of managing experience with the Detroit Tigers and Los Angeles Angels, although he was fired in L.A. after just one season.

Dusty Baker

Baker ranks 15th all-time in wins by an MLB manager and is one of the most well-respected figures in baseball. He hasn't managed since 2017 and has yet to manage an AL team, but if the Red Sox want to go the safe route, Baker would be a solid choice.

Mike Lowell

Here's where the list gets interesting. Like Varitek and Pedroia, Lowell is beloved in Boston after winning 2007 World Series MVP with the Red Sox. He has no managerial experience but currently works in media as an MLB Network analyst and could make the same transition to managing that Cora and Aaron Boone made.

Raul Ibanez

Ibanez has a cushy gig as special assistant to Los Angeles Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman. The former outfielder has interest in managing at some point, though, so perhaps the chance to compete for a championship in Boston will lure him into the coaching world.

Mark Loretta

Another former Red Sox player, Loretta served as Joe Maddon's bench coach with the Chicago Cubs last season and interviewed for the manager job that David Ross eventually won. He's a less sexy candidate than Lowell but has more experience.

Craig Breslow

The Yale graduate just landed a job as "Director of Strategic Initiatives for Baseball Operations" on Theo Epstein's Cubs staff and is one of the smartest minds in the game. He had two separate stints in Boston as a player, though, so maybe the Red Sox could entice him with the chance to work with the analytically-minded Bloom.

Pedro Martinez relives glory days with iconic Sports Illustrated cover

Pedro Martinez relives glory days with iconic Sports Illustrated cover

Twenty years ago, the Boston Red Sox were in the 82nd year of the Curse of the Bambino. There was some hope, though, in the form of the most electric pitcher in baseball.

That pitcher, of course, was Pedro Martinez. The Red Sox legend was coming off a historic 1999 season in which he earned his second Cy Young Award and finished as the American League MVP runner-up. His 23 wins, 2.07 ERA, and 313 strikeouts topped the league, and he continued to exert his dominance over opposing hitters the following season.

Sports Illustrated previewed the 2000 campaign by featuring Martinez on their iconic cover. They even went as far as to predict the Red Sox would win a World Series title with Martinez leading the charge.

On Friday, Martinez took a trip down memory lane and posted the cover to Twitter.

How's that for nostalgia?

Obviously, the Red Sox had to wait four more years before they finally broke the curse. Still, that's a cover to hold on to if you still have some old Sports Illustrated magazines laying around your household.

In 2000, Martinez earned his third Cy Young, going 18-6 with a 1.74 ERA, 284 strikeouts, and an absurd 0.74 WHIP.

Red Sox pitcher Collin McHugh shares adorable comic he made to cheer up nephew

File Photo

Red Sox pitcher Collin McHugh shares adorable comic he made to cheer up nephew

Baseball's regular season was supposed to begin on Thursday. Alas, that didn't happen as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The absence of baseball left many across the country a bit melancholy, including the nephew of recently signed Boston Red Sox pitcher Collin McHugh. But McHugh did what he could to cheer him up.

As McHugh detailed on Twitter, he wrote a little comic for his nephew. He also took the time to share the wholesome comic so his fans could see it.

That's a kind gesture by McHugh and the comic itself is adorable. Let's hope it brightened his nephew's day a little bit.

McHugh joined the Red Sox late in the offseason after spending the previous six seasons with the Houston Astros. In 2019, he went 4-5 with a 4.70 ERA and 82 strikeouts in 74 2/3 innings.

McHugh was rehabbing an elbow injury that was expected to keep him sidelined to start the Red Sox season, but he was eventually expected to compete for a job in the bullpen or starting rotation.