Musings: Why Not You For Red Sox Manager?

By Dick Flavin
Boston Red Sox Poet Laureate
and New York Times Best Selling Author


Admit it.
You sat by the telephone for two weeks waiting for that call from Dave Dombrowski, the
call that never came, the one asking you about your interest in the Red Sox manager’s
The fact that Dombrowski doesn’t know your phone number and doesn’t even know who
you are is certainly no excuse for his failure to call. The guy has been in town for more
than two years now and he surely must have come across someone to whom you’ve
passed on your insights how the team should be operated. Lord knows that you have been
generous in sharing your opinions with others, particularly on days folowing Red Sox
You’re not being unrealistic about this; you didn’t expect Dombrowski to offer the job to
you sight unseen although that would be the efficient thing to do. You’d have been more
than willing go through the interview process. In fact, it would have afforded you the
opportunity to expain how you would have done things differently this past season as
well as seasons gone by.
For example, you would never have allowed Chris Sale to remain in the game on
September 20 th so he could get his 300 th strike out. Those extra twelve pitches that he
threw must surely have been the reason the Sox were bounced from the playoffs in the
first round.
You would have come up with some sort of diversionary tactic to get David Price’s
attention so that he wouldn’t have noticed Dennis Eckersely boarding that flight to
You’d have banned Apple watches from the clubhouse, just as you’d have banned
Popeyes’ fried chicken in 2011.
You’d have done away with the outmoded practice of managers conducting mini-news
conferences before and after games. Tweets, as our president has taught us, are a far

better way of getting out the message. You know, something like, “Buck Showalter is a
sissy. I challenge him to an IQ contest.”
You’d have gotten rid of the hitting coach who did such a lousy job this year and brought
back the guy who was so good the year before. What’s that? It was the same guy?
You’d have lobbied long and hard against signing Pablo Sandoval to that big contract in
2014; besides, the Sox wouldn’t have needed a third baseman if they’d taken your advice
and signed Adrian Beltre to a long term contract while they had the chance.
You’d have interrupted Grady Little’s nap and told him to go out to the mound and take
the ball away from Pedro in the seventh game of the ALCS in 2003.
You’re still upset with Don Zimmer for – well, you can’t exactly remember what it was
for – but, by God, you’re still upset.
You’d have never allowed Denny Galehouse to start that playoff game against the
Indians in 1948. The fact that you weren’t even born in 1948 is beside the point, you still
wouldn’t have allowed it to happen.
And you absolutely would have signed Jackie Robinson in 1945.
If only someone could have gotten to Dombrowski and told him about your qualifications
for the Red Sox manager’s job all his problems – and yours – would be solved. The only
thing is that there are several hundred thousand others with precisely the same
qualifications. And at least some of them have probably been sitting by their phones, too.

There’s this about baseball that’s truly a blessing:
It’s a barrel of fun if you like second-guessing.
You can sit in the stands or at home in a chair
Manager-bashing, lambasting a player.
You can pick apart lineups, critique every pitch.
“Send up a pinch hitter!.” “Don’t let that bum pitch!”
“Hold up the runner!” “Send him into score!”
“That guy took strike three!” “He just swung at ball four!”
“Get rid of that pitcher!” “We need a new bat!”
“Please tell me why we can’t get guys like that.!
“The umpire’s blind! He just called that a strike!”
“Ketchup on hot dogs? Now that I don’t like!”
No one pays attention, but nevertheless,
There’s nothing in baseball you can’t second-guess.
But I’m telling you this and I’ll say it out flat.

It’s the best game of all. Now second-guess that!