BOSTON – The mission of the 2019 Boston Red Sox seemed to be to get the "band back together" from the 2018 World Series championship team. The idea was that the same group of guys would continue to gel and hopefully propel the Red Sox to another deep post-season run. Included in this ultimately doomed plan was the managerial staff as the team essentially brought back every major coach to serve with Boston again under the stewardship of manager Alex Cora.
While Cora remains one of the best managers in the league and someone Boston definitely does not want to part with, the same cannot be said of some of the members of his staff, including pitching coach Dana LeVangie.
In an off-season that is sure to be transformative for the team going forward, the first instance of parting ways came last week when the Red Sox reassigned LeVangie. Having been the pitching coach for the past two seasons, there was no denying that the quality of both starting and relieving pitching was lacking in Boston and, as such, LeVangie was demoted to become a professional scout for the team.
It's one of the most logical and defensible moves that the Red Sox will make this off-season because there had to be a change in leadership on the pitching side of things. As for who LeVangie's replacement will be, we are not yet sure, but Curt Schilling, the former pitcher from the team, has thrown his hat into the ring. I'm betting he's a deep long shot, however.
Additionally, Andy Barkett, the affable and social media-friendly assistant hitting coach for the Red Sox was also dismissed while the off-season is underway. Barkett was beloved by the team, but he wanted to find a bench coach position for himself. With no such option available for Barkett on the Red Sox, the team let him go so he could be free to find the job he wants the most. It's sad to lose Barkett, but it was good of the Red Sox to give him the opportunity to thrive elsewhere.
The Red Sox might also be primed to lose two more of their coaches because of the large number of teams who are also revamping their managerial staffs. Bench coach Ron Roenicke and third base coach Carlos Febles have emerged as potential candidates for other teams to poach. The prime contender right now are the New York Mets who are in search of a new manager and have identified Roenicke and Febles as potential options for fresh blood in the clubhouse.
After all, which team would not want a slice of the Alex Cora managerial pie?