TOREY GETS MY VOTE
I mentioned in my last post that Torey Lovullo was pleased to at least be mentioned as a managerial candidate for the Red Sox. Well, it’s gone a couple of steps further. Lovullo, who managed the PawSox in 2010 is supposed to be in Boston on Friday to interview for the spot vacated by Terry Francona.
I am a little biased. I spent an entire season with the man and I honestly respect and like him very much. I have admitted to being nervous when he replaced Ron Johnson as the manager of the Pawtucket Red Sox. RJ had been there for 5 years and it was comfortable. We had a system, a routine and there was no way Torey could fill his shoes. I was dead wrong. Torey Lovullo not only had my respect, but you could tell that every man in that clubhouse respected him, as well. Torey has a no-nonsense approach. He completely understands the game and more importantly, the players. I believe he distinguishes himself in that regard.
Lovullo might be the perfect man for the job. A former player, still young and in touch at age 46, yet brought up in an Italian household, where his father Sam, the legendary executive producer of “HeeHaw” reigned with the right measure of discipline and compassion.
A couple of “nuggets” that long-time readers and listeners may remember that I’m certain my colleagues will start writing about after they read this.
1. Torey once played basketball with Elvis Presley in the “Kings” driveway. The Lovullo family stopped at Presleys’ Palm Springs home, and the bored young Torey went outside to shoot hoops. Presley joined him.
2. Lovullo graduated from Montclair College Prep High School, in Van Nuys California. Other notables from MCP include Michael Jackson, Cher, Frank Sinatra, Jr. and Eve Plumb (Jan from the “Brady Bunch”)
3. In high school, Lovullo dated the daughter of legendary singer Barry White.
4. Torey is enshrined in the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame.
5. When on the field, he ties his shoe laces in a double knot, an homage to the late John Wooden, who coached basketball at UCLA while he was a student on campus.
None of those things will help him get the job, but his other attributes should. Lovullo goes way back with Ben Cherington and Mike Hazen. He has an in depth knowledge of the system and the respect of the players. He will be a Major League Manager some day. It’s a big decision for the Sox, one that will define Cheringtons’ tenure. I think it’s a good calculated gamble. Even if Torey is a Los Angeles Lakers’ fan.