Obsessive New Manager Watch: Are the Red Sox Withholding Permission to Interview Lovullo?

Torey LovulloJust when I’d let the last of the Red-Sox-related angst wash away from my soul, they might be pulling another steaming move …

Ken Rosenthal reported this weekend that the Chicago Cubs would soon interview Boston Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo for their open managerial gig. Rosenthal was on something of an island with that one, for, although it made complete sense, Boston sources insisted that the Cubs hadn’t even yet requested or received permission to interview Lovullo.

So what’s the deal? Rosenthal explains, and I suggest you take your blood pressure medication before reading. At the crux of the issue is the post-2011 agreement between the Cubs and Red Sox that the former would not raid the latter for employees in exchange for allowing the Cubs to hire Theo Epstein (to a promotion, damnit! A promotion!). It was a relatively reasonable agreement, and the Cubs’ subsequent raiding of the Padres could show you why.

But Rosenthal says the Red Sox are taking the position that Lovullo – who wasn’t even brought back into the Red Sox’s organization until 2012 – falls under the agreement. That, despite the fact that Lovullo has a legit shot at a managerial job, something that doesn’t exactly come along every day. Class move, gentlemen.

How will this play out? Well, the Red Sox, as is their wont, could ask for some kind of compensation if the Cubs talk to Lovullo and want to hire him. It would be pretty unprecedented for a team to receive compensation to let a coach be hired on as a manager with another club – but, after the Theo Epstein Compensation Saga, I don’t rule out anything unprecedented when it comes to Boston’s ownership/management group.

I suspect the Cubs will have an opportunity to speak to Lovullo before making a managerial decision, but I’d think the timing of this – the Cubs necessarily had to wait until after the World Series – could make things a little uncomfortable timing-wise. The Cubs want to have a manager in place by next Monday for the start of the GM Meetings.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

148 responses to “Obsessive New Manager Watch: Are the Red Sox Withholding Permission to Interview Lovullo?”

  1. Aaron

    Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo is one of the top candidates to fill the Cub’s managerial opening. Even though they just won another World Series, they are attempting to stick it to Theo by not letting the Cubs talk to Lovullo.

    Let’s go all out here and hire the right manager. In my opinion, the top 2 remaining choices are Torey Lovullo or Dave Martinez.

  2. Die hard

    Cut bait and reel in Ozzie

    1. DarthHater

      BAM!

  3. Tony_S

    http://www.bleachernation.com/2011/12/20/chicago-cubs-make-another-front-office-hire-agree-not-to-take-anyone-else-from-red-sox/

    I tried to wrestle the googles, all I could find concrete about the agreement, referred to in several articles, is a Gordon Edes tweet (which, I’ve apparently forgotten my password to, so I haven’t seen the actual tweet).

    Whether I/you/we like it or not, I feel like Boston would be technically correct based on what I’ve read, especially when you consider it was an area scout that seems to have started the whole mess (feel free to correct me, but I wouldn’t consider an area scout “front office personnel” any more than I would a bench coach, and the latter arguably more directly involved with team success).

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it isn’t a douche move (it is), but douche-ness doesn’t always make it incorrect.

    Also, the potentially most-important thing here is, what does Lovullo want? How much longer is he under contract? Maybe he’s happy in Boston, maybe he hates hot dogs and pizza, who the hell knows. I know he’s said some favorable things in the media about our dear Cubs organization, and the ‘opportunity’, but maybe he was just being nice.

    If Lovullo wants to interview and Cherington (Luchino, whoever) isn’t letting him, that damn near sounds like some sort of grievance material, regardless of any previously existing “agreement.”

    1. davidalanu

      I think you’re on the right track. Regardless of the situation between the Red Sox and Cubs, if the Sox are standing in the way of one of their coaches from interviewing for a manager’s job, they are being petty, and I believe it will hurt them in the long run (if not the short run).

    2. Mike F

      There is no grievance.. There is no union, no NLRB and no arbitration that covers this. The Cubs agreed not to compete for 3 years with Boston on their employees. Unlike Football they can block assistants from promotions. Have to get over it, pure and simple. They can appeal to Boston’s business sense because it isn’t good business to block coaches, and they can try to appeal to the commissioner, but like it or not, they don’t have anything to stand on here.

      1. Tony_S

        Probably true, don’t make it right!

        (what’s NLRB?)

        1. DarthHater

          National Labor Relations Board

          1. Tony_S

            Thanks.

            Also, managers and coaches are eligible to join MLBPA, whether or not Lovullo has.

      2. davidalanu

        Youre right. But if I’m looking for a job as a coach and I have any further career aspirations, I would probably check the red sox off my list.

    3. MichiganGoat

      That Edes tweet linked in Brett’s post is not showing up, don’t know how long twitter keeps links active or if it was removed.

  4. Mike

    I wonder how their employee retention prospects look after that?

  5. DarthHater

    Can we just hire Sveum back from the Royals? It would be a promotion for him. :-P

  6. Eric

    If this is true then the Boston FO really are a bunch of fuck heels.

  7. CRAZYHORSE

    All speculation ….. this post is petty.

    1. TWC

      This post, in which the author reports what a national sports reporter has written, is “petty”?

      1. DarthHater

        You know, now that I re-read it, I think he meant that his own post was petty.

    2. DarthHater

      Then why don’t you go bitch at Rosenthal, since he’s the one reporting it?

  8. Die hard

    This enlightening rant is from presumably a Boston fan on another site———Let me get this straight, the Two Boston bafoons in the Cubs front office rejected Ryne Sandberg in favor of Dale sveum who had no managerial experience and got fired after two years, while the Phillies hired Sandberg and now made him their Manager. They also could not get a deal done with Joe Girardi who wanted to come to Chicago, then didn’t act quick enough so the Tigers swept Brad Asmus right our from under them, so now they want to settle for another Boston guy with no managerial experience?

    1. DarthHater

      Only buffoons use the word buffoon without being able to spell it.

      1. Tony_S

        Morans

        1. Tony_S

          Morans.png

          1. Brian Peters

            Lol!!!! My mom’s maiden name was Moran!!

    2. Chef Brian

      You’re on a roll tonight! Ozzie and Sandberg in the same thread! Mention Watkins and you’ve hit the Troll Trifecta!

  9. jeff1969

    I knew the Cubs shouldn’t have cut Jair Boegerts. He would have been perfect compensation.

  10. Danno

    I’m becoming like a lot of others. If the Cubs are waiting to hear on Lovullo, then maybe the candidates so far didn’t hit it out of the park. Doesn’t bode well. Renteria will be my guess as to who gets the job. I don’t see the Cubs waiting around to see whether the BoSox will stick to their guns about not having any more folks join the Cubs from their ranks.

  11. Donjuan2134

    What’s really a shame in all of this is that the Tigers never requested permission to speak with him. If they would have been granted and the Cubs been stiffed….. then it’s a real story.

    1. YourResidentJag

      And interesting point you have there.

  12. cubfanincardinalland

    Wow. To block an employee from realizing a dream and a lifetime opportunity is just really bad. Poison for any organization.
    What it really illuminates is the extent of hatred that the guys running the Sox have for Epstein. There must have been some real shit go down. Egos make people do some really bad decision making.

    1. YourResidentJag

      Those contracts of 2010. Indeed Lucchino wanted them more than Epstein as Brett reported back then. Epstein wanted to focus more on the core from the minors, and yes, egos got in the way.

  13. The Dude Abides

    Smart move by Boston if this information turns out to be true. They know the clock is ticking and Cubs need to move quickly at this point before they lose another potential candidate. Even though they basically showed Theo the door they obviously take joy in making his life difficult. Seems like Cubs would have had some back room conversations going during playoffs to confirm interest and availability by all parties. Won’t look good for Theo if they walk away from this deal and they don’t get an interview. I have my doubts about the validity of this rumor. Theo isn’t that dumb.

  14. Obsessive New Manager Watch: Renteria Still Favored, Lovullo Interview Uncertain, Me Rankled | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary

    […] I’ve thought about the latest Cubs/Red Sox dust-up, I’ve gotten more and more rankled. Even if it’s true that the Cubs and Red Sox had a […]

  15. Fastball

    I said it on here last friday. Boston will not let Theo & Jed talk to Luvollo. They were going to say sray away from our employees. I wouldn’t be surprised if San Diego does the same. The may let Renteria go but I bet they tell Theo thats it or we go the commissioner and file a complaint. I would. I just knew thusbwas goung to happen with Boston. Theo should havr known better. I blame him for this outcome. You pick up the phone and talk to them way before your told to piss off. At least your told to piss off 2 weeks sooner.

    Now hire Ozzie and Martinez and get the show on the road. I don’t want Renteria he will endbup sucking like Sveum and Quade.

    1. TWC

      “I said it on here last friday. Boston will not let Theo & Jed talk to Luvollo.”

      It takes a real man to say “I told you so”.

    2. Fishin Phil

      I think they should hire you and Speel chicker!

  16. Fastball

    I have to side with Boston on this. You have to protect your business operations. They signed a 3yr agreement. Its sleazy of our FO to ignore an agreement. If the guy resigns andbtgen calls tge Cybs that’s different. Theo shouldnt even be looking at Biston. He burnt his his bridge to the ground. There is bad blood and its not going away. I think our young guns are learning some lessons the hard way.

  17. Fastball

    I aint saying I told anyone so. I said I knew this was going to happen. An objective look was all this was. Get your head out of the sand. Im a real man. I dont puck fights with people from my keyboard. ;)

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