You can take your pick of the litter for why Red Sox fans are clamoring for the retired three-time All Star to become a skipper, but that desire is there as shown by the fact that fans continued to interrupt Henry throughout his speech.Henry played along with the Boston faithful as he continued to speak, but ultimately made it clear to reporters that the team was going to go through a rigorous process before making any final decisions.
“Hire Varitek!” the crowd interrupted him. Cheers and applause from other audience members followed.
As the Red Sox front office scrambles to try and find a replacement for ousted manager Alex Cora, Boston fans have made it clear who they want their team’s new skipper to be: former catcher and team captain Jason Varitek.
“I think if we poll the audience, they’d get this done right now,” he joked, according to Boston.com. “We want to go as quickly as possible, as long as we’re doing it right. Obviously, Spring Training is coming [and] we’re very aware of that, but it’s important that we make sure we do this right. We need to move from it a little more quickly than if we would be if we were starting this in October, but the same focus is on making sure we get it right.”
Spring Training for the Red Sox begins February 21 at JetBlue Park at Fenway South in Lee County, Fla. They’ll have until at least then to figure things out.
“We’re in unusual circumstances,” he began. “Obviously with the events of this week, you’re not normally looking for a manager this early in January –”
He continued: “That’s said, we try to have a thorough, but obviously we have to go fairly quickly because we want to get a manager in place early ahead of Spring Training. We’re in a thorough process, we’ll consider internal and external candidates. We’ve started identifying traits and characteristics of the manager that we’d like that person to have —”
Varitek played for the Red Sox for 15 seasons, served as team captain from 2004-2011 and was on two World Series-winning squads, including the ’04 team that ended the club’s 86-year title drought. That 2004 season was also highlighted by Varitek shoving his glove in the face of Alex Rodriguez, a hallmark of the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry.
“It’s a constant battle between what we need to do this year and what we need to do in the next couple of years,” [Red Sox owner John] Henry explained. “Nothing really surprises me as far as the reaction to –”
At a town hall event the team recently held during its sixth annual Winter Weekend– a fan festival of sorts meant to unofficially kick off the 2020 season — it was clear the fans want Varitek as Cora’s replacement.