Ben Cherington Plans To Embrace ‘Open Mind’ With Managerial Search, Won’t Strictly Stress Experience

Ben Cherington Plans To Embrace 'Open Mind' With Managerial Search, Won't Strictly Stress ExperienceBOSTON — This time around, the managerial search will be
drastically different.

Not just in terms of time, considering the Red Sox didn't hire
Bobby Valentine until December. Given the different circumstances around the
team, general manager Ben Cherington and president Larry Lucchino won't solely harp
on a candidate's experience.

With a roster oozing with All-Stars last offseason, the Red
Sox primarily stressed experience in their search. But as the team shifts
toward a culture change — which includes a younger roster — there will be no
overlying characteristic among candidates.

"We have to have an open mind, sort of a blank-wide canvas
on this one," Cherington told NESN.com and three other outlets in a private
suite. "It's important to get this hire right and find someone who we can
build some stability around. So the best chance to get the hire right is to
start with a very open-minded approach and not discount any one particular type
of background or particular type of candidate."

The success of Cardinals manager Mike Matheny and White Sox
skipper Robin Ventura — both had no prior experience — should serve as quite
the example for Boston's brass moving forward.

During the upcoming search, the Red Sox are expected to target
Blue Jays manager and ex-pitching coach John Farrell, Red Sox bench coach Tim
Bogar
and Blue Jays first base coach Torey Lovullo.

Despite their familiarity with those candidates, Cherington
plans to be thorough with the pursuit.

"I
don't think there's a particular resume or background or blueprint for
it," Cherington said. "The right person for us moving forward is not
necessarily the right person for another team or the right person even for the
Red Sox four or five years ago. We need to find the right person for today, for
us moving forward. There are certain qualities we'll be looking for, we'll have
a chance to get into those more down the road."

A darkhorse candidate for the job could be Jason Varitek, who
was hired last week as Cherington's special assistant. When asked about the
former captain's role with the search, Cherington admitted Varitek would have a
viable role.

"He'll be involved," Cherington said. "I want to
get his insight. It was important to me not just in terms of the managerial
decision making, but important to me to just generally I could bounce things
off that has a lot of experience in a major league club playing in a place like
Boston and recently.

"Certainly Jason has all those qualities so I'll bounce
stuff off him and he'll be an important voice." 

That's one of many differences between this year and last year.

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