The Red Sox did not interview their first managerial candidate last year until Oct. 31, the process delayed for a few weeks when general manager Theo Epstein left for the Cubs.
By that methodical standard, the Sox are speeding right along this year in their search for a replacement for Bobby Valentine.
They interviewed Dodgers third base coach Tim Wallach on Friday at Fenway Park, and are scheduled to speak to Padres special assistant Brad Ausmus on Monday.
Other than to confirm that Wallach interviewed, the Red Sox offered no information about his visit and did not make him available to the media.
The organization was much more open when Terry Francona was hired in 2003 and again last year, having the candidates attend informal press gatherings at the end of the day. What harm that might have caused isn’t apparent.
Wallach, 55, was the Dodgers’ hitting coach from 2004-05, then rejoined the staff in 2011 as third base coach. The Red Sox wanted to interview him last year but Los Angeles refused permission, invoking a clause in his contract.
Wallach was a five-time All-Star in a career that stretched from 1980-96 with the Expos, Dodgers, and Angels. He has no major league managerial experience, but managed Triple A Albuquerque from 2009-10. Wallach also managed for parts of two seasons in Single A.
For Wallach and Ausmus, who are considered strong candidates within the industry, it’s a question of where they stand on the team’s wish list.
Blue Jays manager John Farrell is an organizational favorite and has many of the qualities general manager Ben Cherington and his staff value.
But Farrell has a year remaining on his contract. Toronto can simply refuse to consider the idea or seek compensation from the Red Sox.
Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos has offered no comment other than to reiterate that the team has a policy that prohibits lateral moves to other organizations.
That policy was put in place last year after the Red Sox inquired about Farrell.
“I am the manager of the Toronto Blue Jays. That’s where I’ve been the last two years and that’s where I currently am,” Farrell told MLB Network Radio on Friday. “This speculation started to rear its head again probably the final two months of the season. I can tell you this: in my conversations with Alex, it hasn’t distracted me from my job and what the commitment there is.
“I’m extremely challenged, happy as the manager of the Blue Jays. But it’s obvious that there’s a vacancy to fill there and they’re going about their interview process as it is.
“Nothing has been communicated directly to me. If the Red Sox have contacted Alex, I’m unaware of that. Where it stands is what I said, [I’m] manager of the Blue Jays.”
Former Red Sox coach and minor league manager DeMarlo Hale apparently will not be a candidate. He said on Friday that he has not been contacted by the team.
Hale, 51, is the third base coach of the Orioles. He was Francona’s bench coach from 2010-11 after spending four years as Red Sox third base coach.