Philadelphia, June 27 (Bloomberg) -- Dan Duquette spent the
winter making trades and signing free agents as Boston Red Sox
general manager. He'll spend the summer hitting fly balls as
an assistant coach for his son's Babe Ruth League team.
Joe Kerrigan began spring training as Boston's manager,
monitoring Pedro Martinez's shoulder and Derek Lowe's
transition to the starting rotation. Now he watches the Red
Sox by satellite dish from his home near Philadelphia.
As Boston continues to play some of the best baseball in
the major leagues, Duquette and Kerrigan look on with mixed
feelings. Fired in spring training, they're pulling for the
team while wishing they could share in its success.
``I don't care if you're a milk man or a bread man or you
work in the computer industry,'' Kerrigan said. ``Anytime you
get fired, you feel somewhat violated.''
Duquette and Kerrigan lost their jobs in a purge by the new
John Henry ownership group, which bought the team in January
for a record $700 million. The new owners replaced Duquette
with assistant Mike Port, and hired Cleveland bench coach
Grady Little to replace Kerrigan.
While Duquette had $3 million left on his contract, which
runs through 2003, the money doesn't eliminate the hurt.
``It's like having an antique car and spending a lot of
time restoring it, tinkering and tuning it up so it's running
like a Ferrari,'' Duquette said in a telephone interview.
``Then somebody steals it from your driveway. That's how I
In the Red Sox offices, they're not surprised. Although
Duquette called his firing ``personal'' and said the team
never gave him an objective reason, Boston's new ownership is
inclined to let him vent.
``It's understandable for someone to express sentiments of
disappointment,'' said Charles Steinberg, the team's executive
vice president of public affairs. ``We all might feel the same
way if we were in that position.''
Running the Red Sox was a dream job for Duquette, a Dalton,
Massachusetts, native and Amherst College graduate. He was 35
years old when he took the job in January 1994, and not afraid
to make moves.
The Red Sox selected shortstop Nomar Garciaparra in
Duquette's first amateur draft. Duquette acquired Martinez by
trade from Montreal in 1997, and signed free-agent Manny
Ramirez to an eight-year, $160 million contract in December
Duquette points to three playoff appearances, record
revenue of $152.5 million in 2001 and the team's $700 million
sale price - - which included Fenway Park and an 80 percent
interest in the New England Sports Network -- as evidence the
Red Sox thrived under his leadership.
But Duquette's missteps cost him. Boston's minor-league
system declined during his regime, the acquisition of
outfielder Carl Everett created problems in the clubhouse, and
his decision to fire manager Jimy Williams in August was
Duquette also had a testy relationship with the Boston
media, which considered him arrogant and aloof. Reporters
objected when he communicated with fans through the team's Web
site rather than give interviews. Duquette doesn't regret that
approach, even if it cost him goodwill in the end.
``Ted Williams had the same type of relationship with the
Boston media,'' Duquette said. ``Do you think it was
reflective of Ted Williams's contribution to the Red Sox?''
Kerrigan, 48, worked with Duquette in the early 1990s in
Montreal, earning a reputation as one of baseball's best
pitching coaches. It carried over to Boston, where he coaxed
winning records out of John Wasdin, Steve Avery, Butch Henry
and several others.
But after Duquette named Kerrigan to replace Williams as
manager last summer, the Red Sox lost 26 of their final 43
games. The Henry group fired Kerrigan on March 5, five days
after Duquette lost his job.
``When they acquired the team and six weeks went by and
they didn't call me, that was a bad sign,'' Kerrigan said.
``Once they got the general manager and the scouting director,
I knew chances were the manager would be next.''
Kerrigan, back in his native Philadelphia, took a job as a
studio analyst for Comcast Corp. cable company on Phillies
broadcasts. He's comfortable in front of the camera, and well-
versed on the mindset and mechanics of pitching.
``The guy really knows what's going on,'' said Phillies
reliever Rheal Cormier, who pitched for Kerrigan in Boston.
``I'm sure somebody will give him a job if he wants it.''
Kerrigan has two years left on his contract, so he's
willing to wait for the right position. In the meantime, he
and his wife, Abigail, are busy moving into their new house in
Montgomery County, 45 miles northwest of Philadelphia.
As for Duquette, he's busy with construction of the Dan
Duquette Sports Academy, a camp for boys that's scheduled for
completion in 2003. The camp, located in the Berkshire Hills
of Massachusetts, will include four baseball fields and six
basketball courts, and give Duquette a place to channel his
energy until he determines his future in baseball.
Duquette has attended five Red Sox games this season,
watching from box seats near the visitors' on-deck circle, and
said the Fenway Park crowds have been positive and supportive.
More supportive, it appears, than when he ran the club.
``It all depends upon the competitive nature of the team,''
Duquette said. ``If the team does well here, the fans love