The easy thing to do, at this point, would be for Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom to select his new manager from within the organization.
Bloom could choose from among bench coach Ron Roenicke, third base coach Carlos Febles and special assistant Jason Varitek.
Each has a list of accomplishments and selling points. Roenicke has spent his adult life in baseball, having played eight seasons in the big leagues. He was both a manager and coach in the minors, spent time as a coach with both the Angels and Dodgers and managed four full seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers.
Febles played six seasons with the Royals and has managed through the Red Sox minor league system, with stops in Lowell, Greenville, Salem and Portland. During that time, he managed many of the players currently on the Boston roster. He's also bilingual, always a bonus.
Varitek has never managed at any level, but has worked both in Baseball Operations and as a catching instructor post-retirement. And if fan reaction at both the Boston Baseball Writers Dinner and Winter Weekend is any indication, he is the clear favorite of a sizable part of the team's fan base.
Perhaps one or more of these gentlemen could grow into becoming the next great Red Sox manager and, in time, become the fourth manager in the 21st century to lead the franchise to a championship. Certainly, their presence over the last few years and knowledge of the organization would provide the Sox with some welcome continuity and turmoil.
These are tumultuous times for the Sox. It's hardly typical to be conducting a managerial search in late January, and the specter of an MLB investigation continues to hang over the club. A familiar face could go a long way toward reestablishing some order and credibility at a time when both are badly needed.
And yet, that's not the way Bloom should go. Nor, I sense, is it where I think this search is headed.