For their first order of business, the Red Sox need to hire a new manager. That much is obvious.
Maybe it will be Alex Cora and maybe it won't.
If it is Cora, they won't be able to so much as talk to him until late in October. Cora's suspension from all things Major League Baseball remains in place until the completion of the World Series. The earliest the World Series could be concluded is Oct. 24, in the event of a four-game sweep. A World Series that goes the full seven games would finish on Oct. 28. And that's assuming no delays due to COVID-19, pestilence or locusts.
(Hey, it's 2020. As noted hardballer Kevin Garnett once reminded us: "Anything is possible!'')
In the meantime, there would be nothing to preclude the Red Sox from interviewing other candidates during October - unless those candidates are members of an organization still competing in the postseason. And even in that instance, remember that Cora himself was interviewed by the Red Sox in New York while the Houston Astros were involved in the 2017 ALCS.
Finally, there's the matter of addressing the coaching staff, about which chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said Tuesday that the Sox would be offering an update in the "coming weeks.''
For now, the staff is in limbo. The holdover coaches from Cora's staff have contracts that expire at the end of next month; the newcomers have deals that run past this year. But all find themselves in a kind of netherworld, uncertain if they're going to return, and if they do, for whom they'll be working.
If the Sox decided on starting and hiring someone other than Cora, and insist that a new manager inherit some of the existing coaches, it could get awkward as managers understandably like to have a say on the makeup of their staff. Then again, because the Red Sox are likely to turn toward a relatively young and inexperienced candidate, that person might not have the status or standing to insist on choosing his entire staff.
A look at the staff, the status of each coach and the likelihood that each returns. To streamline, I've eliminated two "assistant'' coaches -- hitting coach Pete Fatse and pitching coach Kevin Walker.
Also, when it comes to projecting the chances of a particular coach returning, the odds obviously would be impacted by a re-hiring of Cora, since four members of the staff coaching under him from 2018-19.
PITCHING COACH: Dave Bush.
Bush just finished his first year in the position after serving the organization in a variety of roles in previous years. He was brought on board to provide a more analytical approach to the position. The 2020 pitching staff, of course, performed horribly, but it's difficult -- if not impossible -- to lay that at Bush's feet. Many of the 27 pitchers -- not including the three position players tossed into emergency duty -- were simply not major league caliber.
Chances of returning: Strong.
Bush is highly regarded and has a familiarity with many of the younger pitchers in the organization, having worked for a number of seasons in development. If the Red Sox want any continuity when it comes to their pitching program, retaining Bush would be a way of accomplishing that.
FIRST BASE COACH: Tom Goodwin