Being a Red Sox manager is officially the most thankless job in the universe, second only perhaps to the guy who has to fit Steve Harvey for support stockings. We love you because you’re not the previous guy, then we hate you because you’ve done something insane like leave Pedro in too long with a title on the line or let the players eat chicken and beer in lieu of actual game prep or been caught pantsless fondling an emu. But somebody has to be paid boatloads of money to pretend to lead this team, and with pitchers and catchers set to report this month, precious time is running out. With that in mind, I conducted extensive research as to who is best-equipped to pretend to lead this team into the new decade. My findings are presented here, and I am also typing them up to mail to John Henry’s wife, along with my nudes.

Dennis Eckersley: Does he have managerial experience? No. Has he expressed interest in the job? No. Is he on the shortlist? No. Does he have a mustache? Yes. So he’s perfect for the gig. This teams needs a guy like Eck to shake things up, keep the players on their toes, and provide an example for proper tanning. And he clearly isn’t one to take shit, based on his now-famous oration after Wade Miley disrespected John Farrell. Trust me, nothing will be more entertaining than a mic’ed up Eck walking to the mound to take the ball from David Price. Give this man the job and let’s get on with it.

Kevin Millar: I know what you’re thinking. Millar makes serious bank as a TV personality and the last thing he needs/wants is the bullshit of running a team for one of the most demanding fanbases in the world. But I look at the big picture, which includes the most entertaining post-game pressers in the history of our team. In just a few short years Millar was responsible for some pretty memorable quotes, between “cowboy up”, “we’re gonna shock the world” and “don’t let us win tonight.” Imagine that mind responsible for explaining Heath Hembree’s performance on a nightly basis? Sign me up RIGHT NOW.

Mark Hamill: No rationale for this one other than the fact that I’m a huge fan. Star Wars Night every night? Might as well start printing money. Only downside is the lack of any baseball experience whatsoever but you could bring back Mike Napoli as a bench coach to create a sort of Luke Skywalker/Chewbacca dynamic that I, personally, would lose my shit over.

Red Sox Fans: There is no fanbase as populated with armchair managers as Red Sox Nation. Why not put this to the test? Do an American Idol kinda thing on NESN where ordinary fans get to compete to run the team. The rules can be simple: you get to be manager until you lose a game, then it’s on the next person. Fan with the most wins at the end of the season gets a fabulous prize or is beaten senseless by a boozed-up Trot Nixon. The Red Sox have a goddam TV network at their disposal! Think of the content possibilities! And those cost-conscious types in the front office should take note: Fans will line-up to manage this team for no money whatsoever. In fact, just saying your ass touched the same bench as Don Zimmer’s is payment enough. Or it should be.

Management By Committee: We all remember the year the Red Sox said, “who the fuck needs a closer, anyway? We’ll just… pick a different fella each night!” By the time management realized that this was a critical error, fans had burned most of Fenway to the ground and wedgied Chad Fox within an inch of his life (to this day, doctors still refer to the medical removal of cotton fabric from a colon as a “Foxing”). But perhaps we could argue that in 2003 we just weren’t ready for that sort of radical thinking. Now it’s 2020 (I think). We’ve got 4 World Series titles under our belts. Maybe it’s time to go that route again. Imagine the possibilities! Tek gets a week, then maybe Ron Gardenhire. Hell, give Joe Girardi a couple days when we play New York for the pure media spectacle. There’s no shame in wanting to live commitment-free. And we don’t even have to limit it to people with actual managerial experience. Why not players? Celebrities? Certified public accountants? One night it can be Xander. The next, maybe the guy who plays Hiram Lodge on “Riverdale.” Assuming there’s an actual human being in the Wally costume and it’s not some sentient creature the Henrys captured while on a Norwegian safari, I’d give him/her a shot, too. It’s a new decade, people. Get your goddam minds out of the past.