Sveum is on deck for interview today
During the two years he spent coaching third base for the Red Sox, Dale Sveum drew the ire of some fans with an aggressive approach that often resulted in runners getting thrown out at the plate.
But he also drew the admiration of the Sox baseball operations staff with his attention to detail, willingness to embrace advanced statistics in pregame preparation, and ability to communicate with the players.
That has led to Sveum being invited back to Fenway Park today to interview for the team’s managerial vacancy.
Sveum, who turns 48 this month, left the Sox after the 2005 season and has been with the Brewers since, serving as a coach under three different managers. He has been a third base coach, bench coach, and hitting coach.
Sveum was Milwaukee’s interim manager at the end of the 2008 season, going 7-5 to get the team into the postseason. The Brewers then lost their Division Series in four games to the Phillies.
The Sox interviewed Philadelphia bench coach Pete Mackanin Monday. General manager Ben Cherington has not revealed any other candidates, but Indians bench coach Sandy Alomar Jr. and Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux are considered possibilities.
Sveum’s managing experience is otherwise limited to three seasons in the Pittsburgh organization. But he had a 12-year career in the majors and has a good reputation as a coach for his teaching ability and knowledge of the game.
Three Gold Glovers
Center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, and second baseman Dustin Pedroia were announced as Gold Glove winners in the American League last night. It was the first Gold Glove for Ellsbury, to go along with his AL Comeback Player of the Year award. It was the third for Gonzalez, the first two coming with San Diego, and the second for Pedroia. The Sox had not had three Gold Glove winners in a season since 1979 when Rick Burleson, Dwight Evans, and Fred Lynn won. “It feels great,’’ said Gonzalez on the show announcing the awards on ESPN. “It’s pretty awesome hearing Dustin won as well. It’s pretty awesome playing along side him. Being able to win in both leagues I’m pretty grateful to everyone who voted for me.’’
The Cubs and Sox have gone 21 days without being able to decide compensation for Theo Epstein. Yesterday was the deadline commissioner Bud Selig set, and no deal was announced. Epstein told reporters in Chicago that MLB could give the teams an extension. MLB spokesman Pat Courtney said there was not yet a mechanism in place for Selig to decide the issue. Cherington said Monday that the sides had made little progress . . . Righthander John Lackey underwent Tommy John elbow surgery in California and was resting comfortably, according to the Sox.
No room for Ortiz?
Two potential suitors for David Ortiz - the Blue Jays and Yankees - indirectly distanced themselves from the slugger.
The Blue Jays plan to use Edwin Encarnacion as their primary DH after picking up his $3.5 million option.
“We still have the flexibility if a DH spot comes open or someone becomes available to go down that path, but I will say it’s very low on the priority list,’’ GM Alex Anthopoulos told reporters. “We have a lot of other areas we’d rather address first, but we do have the flexibility to get someone else if we want in that DH spot.’’
Yankees GM Brian Cashman told reporters in New York that he envisioned Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira, and even Robinson Cano getting at-bats as the DH.
That would seem to leave little room for Ortiz.
“As we enter the process this winter, I don’t anticipate a bat being of need at all,’’ Cashman said. “I anticipate people knocking on our door about the current bats we have. Offense is not a problem with this club.’’
Ortiz becomes a free agent tomorrow. He has said he wants to return to the Sox for a 10th season. Cherington said the team wants Ortiz back.
On the rise
Third base prospect Will Middlebrooks was named to the Arizona Fall League Rising Stars game, which will be Saturday night. Middlebrooks, 23, is hitting .250 with an .818 OPS in 13 games in the AFL. He has four homers and 11 RBIs. He injured his right thumb chasing a foul ball earlier this week but the injury is not believed to be serious, according to Sox player development director Mike Hazen . . . Catcher Ryan Lavarnway returned home from the Venezuelan Winter League because of an illness. He ended up playing in only five games. Hazen said it’s not serious.
Peter Abraham can be reached at email@example.com.