Buster Olney made his regular appearance on WEEI Wednesday and the conversation inevitably turned to the Red Sox managerial situation. Nearly everyone in baseball expects Boston to relieve Bobby Valentine of his duties at season's end, inciting speculation about a wide swath of candidates. Olney cited the familiar frontrunner name of John Farrell, and the previously rumored Mike Scioscia, before also dropping the name of one of the most respected skippers in the game -- Jim Leyland. The ESPN reporter talked about the likelihood of Detroit making a change, and how Leyland would work with the Sox:
"And Jim Leyland would be, for me, really sort of a fascinating choice if the Tigers were to not make the playoffs and fire him. And I don't know if that's going to happen. All I do know is they spent an awful lot of money, and I can't imagine a situation where they not make the playoffs and then something doesn't happen. And I personally think that firing Jim Leyland would be silly. They've got a team that you can't necessarily win with because of the defensive issues. But if he's out there, shoot, if I'm the Red Sox, am I talking to him? Absolutely. ... He is great in a clubhouse, guys. You talk about contact with players and that type of thing, he would be tremendous."
While Valentine's club is mathematically eliminated, Leyland's Tigers are still in contention in the AL Central, and have an outside shot at the second AL Wild Card. They enter Wednesday's game with the A's three games back of the White Sox.
For more on the Red Sox manager situation, visit Over The Monster.