On Monday, the Boston Red Sox named Torey Lovullo as Pawtucket’s new manager for 2010.
Ironically, two years ago, the record book shows that Lovullo was the opposing manager in perhaps the most infamous loss in Pawtucket history – the “Stinko de Mayo” game on May 5, 2007 when Craig Hansen and Manny Delcarmen combined to blow an 8-run lead in the bottom of the 9th inning in a 15-14 defeat at Buffalo.
So how did Pawtucket’s new manager inspire the troops to overcome impossible odds and beat the PawSox that night? He didn’t – Lovullo was back home in California for a family function and missed the game.
I’ve always wondered how the conversation went when he called his coaching staff that night:
Lovullo: “So, how did we do tonight guys?”
Coach: “We rallied from 8-down in the bottom of the 9th to beat Pawtucket against their top two relief pitchers”
Lovullo: “Ha, ha. Very funny. So what really happened?
I don’t know Torey well, but I’ve interviewed him on a few occasions and found him to be extremely personable and well-spoken. People that worked with him in Buffalo and Columbus (where he managed the Indians Triple-A club) swear by him.
I think it’s a great hire by Boston. Lovullo was one of four finalists for the Cleveland Indians managerial job this year that went to Manny Acta. A few years ago, he interviewed to be the skipper of the LA Dodgers before they hired Grady Little instead.
Although he’s only 44-years-old, Lovullo spent eight years managing in the Indians system and compiled a record of 595-531 (.528). Additionally, he played in the big leagues for parts of eight seasons with the Tigers, Yankees, Angels, Mariners, Athletics, Indians and Phillies. Of all the managers he played for, Torey says his biggest influence was his skipper in Philadelphia in 1999.
“Terry Francona easily had the biggest influence on me,” Lovullo said recently at a news conference in Cleveland. “It was his ability to communicate and relate to his players. He was a friend, but also a teacher. He knew when to draw a line between the two when he had to. As a manager, I’m my own guy, but Terry is the guy I would like to most pattern myself after.”
Lovullo becomes the 13th manager in Pawtucket’s Triple-A history and probably had the most interesting childhood of any of them. His father, Sam Lovullo, was the long-time producer of the TV show Hee Haw, so Torey spent his youth hanging around the legends of country music. A few years ago on one of our pre-game shows, he told Steve Hyder about the time he shot hoops with Elvis Presley. That’s tough to top.
I look forward to speaking to Torey soon about his new job with Pawtucket. More importantly, I think PawSox fans are going to love having him as their new manager.
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