Pena enthusiastic after interview with Red Sox
Yankees bench coach meets with Boston executives on off-day from ALCS
DETROIT -- While Yankees bench coach Tony Pena remains focused on trying to help his current team bounce back in the American League Championship Series, he made the most out of Monday's off-day, making a trip to Boston to interview for the vacant Red Sox managerial post.
Though he would be going to the other side of the rivalry, Pena has great familiarity with the Red Sox from his four seasons (1990-93) as the starting catcher in Boston.
"I know the city well, I know the fans. I played there for four years and I enjoyed every single moment there," said Pena. "Whatever happens, happens. I have no control over that right now. It's in their hands. I just want to concentrate on where we are right now.
"We are in the playoffs and I want to keep my mind right and keep my mind where it should be. Thank God yesterday was an off-day and we had time to relax and time to talk about it. Now, I'll just try to concentrate on where I have to be."
Pena was the second candidate to interview with the Red Sox. Tim Wallach spoke to the club last week. Padres special assistant Brad Ausmus is talking to the Red Sox on Wednesday and Orioles third-base coach DeMarlo Hale will interview on Thursday.
"I think Tony could manage anywhere, I do," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi. "I have that confidence in him, and I know how he prepares, and I know how he goes about his business. I think he could manage anywhere."
Pena enjoyed speaking to general manager Ben Cherington and special assistant Allard Baird, who was Pena's boss during his time as the Royals' manager.
"I was really comfortable. Anytime, whenever you talk about baseball, it's comfortable," Pena said. "It's nothing new or nothing wrong to talk about baseball. If you know the game, it should be easy for you."
Though Pena hasn't been a manager since 2005, he noted that he still has that same mindset every day while sitting next to Yankees skipper Joe Girardi.
"I manage every night. I manage every night, along with Joe," Pena said. "Being a bench coach, I'm involved in the game, I'm involved in the decisions. It's like you're managing. You have to be aware of every single little thing and thank God that I'm working with a guy who keeps me involved in everything."
The experience with the Yankees would likely be beneficial for Pena if he were to manage in a big baseball market like Boston.
"No question when you manage the first time and you come around a second time, you have more time to think about it," Pena said. "You have more time to learn. Every day is something new in baseball and you know more, more and more about the game. Right now, I'm better than I was. There's no question about that."
Pena enjoyed the thorough process of his interview in Boston.
"It was six hours but it was a very, very quick six hours because when you're talking about something you love to do, a thing you have passion for, you can talk the whole day, you can talk 24 hours, you can talk the whole year about baseball," Pena said.