Farrell appears to be the most qualified of any likely successor to Bobby Valentine. He was the Red Sox’ pitching coach from 2007 through 2010. For five years before that, he was the Cleveland Indians’ director of player development under current Sox GM Ben Charrington. And he was born on the same day as Roger Clemens: August 4, 1962.
Lovullo managed the Pawtucket Red Sox in 2010 and, by his own admission, wants to be a major league manager. He interviewed for the Red Sox job, only to learn that Valentine was the owners’ choice all along.
Lovullo hit .381 in 1988 as a September callup. Sparky Anderson wasn’t sure where to play him — first, second, third, or the outfield — but was sure that he was ready. As was his habit, to declare certain rookies the best in baseball history at their positons, he made the young Californian his 1989 opening day first baseman, and said he would die before Lovullo came out of the lineup.
Lovullo hit .115 in 29 games and went back to the minors, to never again wear the Olde English “D.” Sparky survived.
He would play for six major league teams but never hit more than .251 (for the 1993 Los Angeles Angels) with any of them, and manage nine seasons in the minors.
Many successful managers weren’t great major league players. Bobby Cox, Gene Mauch, Tony LaRussa, Terry Francona, although never stars, absorbed the game, learning its mechanics as players with natural talent never did. As Yogi Berra stated, you can observe a lot just by watching.
If John Farrell does take the Red Sox job, the Blue Jays in Torey Lovullo have a qualified candidate for his replacement on their own coaching staff.