BoSox should consider McClendon

BY foxsports • November 16, 2011

The Red Sox managerial search has turned into the Boston Boondoggle.

Terry Francona was ousted as the Boston skipper at the very beginning of October. Wednesday night, some six weeks later, Sox officials hit the reset button. Apparently dissatisfied with their current group of candidates, they are going to expand their search.

In doing so, they need to interview Tigers hitting coach Lloyd McClendon.

McClendon was a strong candidate for the Seattle job after last season, and it’s baffling that he hasn’t received more interviews in recent years.

McClendon has major league experience as a manager (five seasons), coach (10) and player (eight). He’s reached the postseason as a player and coach. And, at 52, he’s in the sweet spot of being very experienced, but not too old. Perhaps most importantly, he has the presence and easy confidence to which contemporary players respond well.

True, he had a losing record during his five seasons as the Pittsburgh manager (336-446). But look a little closer. McClendon won 75 games in 2003. That remains the most victories for any Pittsburgh team in the past 12 years. And it happened during a season in which the National League Central was at its most brutal, with competitive Cubs, Astros and Cardinals teams.

McClendon is a close confidante of Tigers manager Jim Leyland. He’s learned to manage games and players from one of the best in the business. In a candidate pool that is short on big-league managerial experience, McClendon’s pedigree would stand out.

Frankly, McClendon’s résumé is quite similar to the one Francona had when the Red Sox hired him before the 2004 season. And that worked out pretty well, didn’t it?

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