Boston Red Sox

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – JANUARY 15: From left, Red Sox Owner John Henry, Chairman Tom Werner, CEO Sam Kennedy, and Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom attend a press conference at Fenway Park on January 15, 2020. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

98.5 The Sports Hub staff report

The Boston Red Sox will not let a potential cheating scandal stop them from interviewing in-house candidates to replace Alex Cora, team president Sam Kennedy confirmed on Friday night.

“It’s fair to say you’re naturally inclined to look inside an organization,” Kennedy told reporters (via MassLive). “That’s been the Red Sox’ practice when it comes to executives and players, homegrown talent. It’s just natural. You know your people better than external people. I know there’s a lot of discussion about internal candidates so I think that’s fair to say.

“That’s a natural place to start.”

Thus far, the Red Sox haven’t ruled anybody out when it comes to replacing Cora. But they also know they’re not the only team looking for a new manager right now (the Astros fired A.J. Hinch and the Mets and Carlos Beltran mutually parted ways earlier this week), meaning they’re likely to jump on interviews with their in-house candidates real, real soon.

That list of internal will surely include bench coach (and former Brewers manager) Ron Roenicke, as well as fan favorite (and Vegas favorite) Jason Varitek.

The 63-year-old Roenicke was the manager of the Brewers for four plus seasons, and compiled a 342-331 record for Milwaukee, making him a safe choice if the Sox brass opts to stay with an in-house option.

Varitek, meanwhile, has been working both on and off the field as a special advisor since 2012, and has seemingly emerged as the Nation’s No. 1 choice for a new manager. Varitek, mind you, has no managerial experience. But that didn’t stop Kennedy from gushing over the potential the former Sox captain has to be a great manager when he’s ready.

“I think he’s going to be a great major league manager someday, if that’s what we wants in his career,” Kennedy said earlier this week. “It’d be too early to speculate on that given we haven’t had those specific conversations. He is part of the organization as an alum, part of the Red Sox family and part of our baseball operations staff. Hopefully, whether it’s as manager or something else, he’ll be taking on a broader role. That would be my hope.”

No matter the hire, the next manager of the Sox will certainly have his work cut out for him, as the team has made minimal free agent activity and are looking to bounce back from what was a third-place finish in the AL East last year.

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