Monday October 03, 2011 | 09:19 AM

I missed the Red Sox management press conference on Friday, but I did finally catch the final Harry Potter movie last weekend.

Take your pick of fantasy shows. I chose Harry.

Henry, Werner and Lucchino did not pick up Terry Francona's contract options, and then acted surprised that it is perceived that Francona was fired (Henry was not at the press conference, having hurt himself on his yacht).

It takes a gifted person to manage the Boston Red Sox. Management just dismissed one.

Can they find another?

Several names have been floated out there as possible replacements.

I can think of two possibilities:

1. Tony Pena. Age: 54. Distinguished 18-year playing career - 5-time NL All-Star as a catcher (and don't catchers usually make good managers?).

Managed Kansas City Royals 2002-05, including a 84-78 record in 2003. But went 58-104 the next year, and resigned in 2005 after 8-25 start.

Coached with the Yankees the past six years, including three as bench coach.

Pena knows baseball. He is respected.

2. Trey Hillman. Age: 48. Middle infielder in the Indians organization for thee years, but no major league playing experience (which is sometimes perceived as a problem).

Managed the Kansas City Royals 2008-2010, recording records of 75-87, 65-97 and 12-23 when he was fired.

Served as the Los Angeles Dodgers bench coach in 2011. Previously, a minor league manager in the Yankees system, and a Director of Player Development with the Rangers (always a plus on the resume).

Hillman has always been regarded as a sharp manager. His record with the Royals should not count against him (like it should not count against Pena; like Francona's record with the then-hapless Phillies was not an issue when Boston hired him).

The Red Sox need a good man. They just let one go.


About this Blog

Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.

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