Maddux will make his pitch to Red Sox
Mike Maddux is eager to talk to the Red Sox about becoming their next manager - that is, if he can talk.
The pitching coach of the Texas Rangers has a bad case of laryngitis and is doing most of his communicating by text message these days. But he has been able to set up interviews with the Red Sox and Cubs about their openings.
“I’m humbled to find out how highly some other organizations feel about me,’’ Maddux said via text to reporters. “Unbelievable to hear those two teams have interest. Both storied franchises, full of tradition. Ballparks are shrines and they have great fans year after year.’’
The Red Sox also have been granted permission to interview Cleveland Indians bench coach Sandy Alomar Jr.
Maddux, 50, pitched for the Red Sox from 1995-96, going 7-3 with a 3.97 ERA in 59 games. He has spent the last nine seasons as a pitching coach, the first six with Milwaukee and three with Texas. He started his coaching career in the Houston organization.
The Rangers had a 3.79 ERA under Maddux, fifth in the American League, and advanced to the World Series for the second straight season. Given that the Rangers play half their games at hitter-friendly Rangers Ballpark, his work with their staff carries even greater significance.
“Mike is in a key role for us and has had a prominent hand in our success the past few years,’’ Texas general manager Jon Daniels said in a statement. “But this is a unique opportunity to discuss a coveted position with two storied franchises, and we believe in allowing our people to pursue opportunities that they’re interested in. It reflects well both on Mike and our organization that he’s under consideration.’’
Maddux has a direct connection to the Cubs. His brother, future Hall of Famer Greg Maddux, was an assistant to former GM Jim Hendry and remains employed by the team.
But Maddux said he did not seek the opportunity with the Cubs or Red Sox.
“It’s come upon our family and me quickly,’’ he wrote. “Just last week we were in the World Series, and managing another club was not on the game plan. Pitching and defense are considered the foundation of a winning team. The better you pitch and catch, the better chance of winning. With that being said, I guess being a pitching coach is a level away from managing.’’
Pitching coaches were once routinely excluded from managerial searches, the thought being that candidates should be more grounded in other disciplines. But Bud Black (Padres) and John Farrell (Blue Jays) have broken through that barrier in recent years.
“Buddy and John opened the door for former pitchers to advance in the game up to the manager seat,’’ wrote Maddux. “Because of their success, I feel that teams are more open to look into the idea of a former hurler leading a team.’’
Alomar, 45, has no managing experience. He was Cleveland’s first base coach and catching instructor this season and was promoted to bench coach when Tim Tolman stepped down because of Parkinson’s disease.
Alomar was with the Mets for two seasons (2008-09) as their catching instructor. He played 20 seasons in the majors for seven teams. Alomar is the son of longtime big league infielder Sandy Alomar and the brother of Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar.
The Blue Jays considered Alomar last year before hiring Farrell.
As Sox general manager Ben Cherington works through his list, he is coming in competition with Theo Epstein and the Cubs.
In addition to Maddux, the Cubs plan to interview Phillies bench coach Pete Mackanin and Brewers hitting coach Dale Sveum, the two candidates who have already interviewed with the Sox. Alomar also is on their list.
Epstein also said he plans to speak to former Red Sox manager Terry Francona. But Francona is seen as a more viable candidate in St. Louis than Chicago.
Cherington said Wednesday after interviewing Sveum that he and Epstein did work together researching managers last month. But he’s not worried about their paths crossing now.
“Since Theo’s left, our list has probably changed a little bit, and I don’t know what his list looks like,’’ Cherington said. “The manager/general manager relationship is critical, and it’s got to be one where you can develop a mutual respect.
“You can disagree and argue and wake up the next morning and go back to work together, so that personal relationship is key. And the person that I would develop that kind of good working relationship with may be different than the person that Theo would.
“So I don’t think we’re looking for the same person even if some of the candidates we might consider could be similar.’’
Epstein said the Cubs are also interested in Red Sox bench coach DeMarlo Hale (a Chicago native) and Rays bench coach Dave Martinez.