Valentine's coaching staff near completion
Bogar gets promotion; Royster, McClure chosen
It took the Red Sox two long months to hire a manager. Getting Bobby Valentine a coaching staff proved to be time-consuming as well. But that process should be settled in the next few days.
What is certain is that third base coach Tim Bogar will be the bench coach next season. Valentine confirmed that during an interview with WEEI yesterday.
“After talking to him, and figuring out what I could do to make him the best that he could be so that he could be the best coach he could be on this staff, the bench coach was exactly where he needed to be,’’ Valentine said.
Bogar, 45, will be entering his fourth year on the staff. He played briefly for Valentine with the 1996 Mets, then was traded to Houston just before the 1997 season.
“It wasn’t a pleasant situation,’’ Valentine said. “But since then we’ve had a relationship where I’ve seen him in the dugout or I’ve seen him on the field and I’ve always admired his passion for the game of baseball and his knowledge of the game of baseball.’’
The Sox decided on Jerry Royster as the third base coach, according to what Royster told reporters based in Korea.
Royster, 59, came up in the Dodgers organization with Valentine. He was the interim manager of the Brewers in 2002 and has experience managing in the minors and in Korea. Royster also played parts of 16 seasons in the majors.
The new pitching coach is expected to be 59-year-old Bob McClure, the former Royals pitching coach who was hired last month as a scout and minor league instructor. He was with Kansas City for six seasons.
“I think that it’s paramount that this group of outstanding pitchers has as good a guy directing them and working with them on a daily basis as possible,’’ Valentine said. “I think that we’ve come to one mind of who that guy is going to be.’’
The Red Sox also need a first base coach. General manager Ben Cherington previously said that hitting coach Dave Magadan and bullpen coach/catching instructor Gary Tuck would return.
Valentine has yet to speak with left fielder Carl Crawford but hopes to sit down with him before spring training.
“Carl’s working his behind off as he usually does in the offseason,’’ Valentine said. “He’s an athlete who loves to work. Speaking to his agent, he is working. We have a face-to-face planned, hopefully right after the first of the year when things settle down for him. It’s in the planning stages. I can’t wait to meet this outstanding athlete.’’
The Sox have made it a priority to get Crawford back on track after a disastrous 2011 season during which he hit .255 with a career-low 18 stolen bases.
“When I have talked to some of the guys they’ve said, ‘We have to make sure that Carl has a better feel this year. We have to make sure that Carl feels at home this year. We have to make sure that Carl can be Carl this year,’ ’’ Valentine said. “And that’s right on the front burner as far as I’m concerned.’’
No Epstein deal
Yesterday marked the two-month anniversary of the Red Sox allowing Theo Epstein to resign as general manager to become president of baseball operations for the Cubs. The teams released a joint statement that day saying an agreement on compensation would “be resolved in the near term.’’ No deal has been made and none is expected any time soon . . . The Sox continued the restructuring of the medical and training staff by hiring Boston-based Mike Boyle to handle the strength and conditioning aspects. He has experience with the Bruins, Boston University, and dozens of professional athletes. The Sox also soon will be announcing the hiring of Rick Jameyson as head trainer. He was an assistant with the Indians for 10 seasons . . . There will be no Bill Buckner reunion. Valentine’s longtime friend, Buckner was interested in a coaching position but was instead hired by the Cubs to be the hitting coach for Single A Boise. Buckner makes his home in Boise . . . Baseball America named third baseman Will Middlebrooks the top prospect in the organization.