Gary Allenson once served as backup catcher to Carlton Fisk in Boston. Now he's set to manage Triple-A Norfolk after spending last season guiding Rookie-level Bluefield. Allenson got his start managing in the New York Yankees' system and led the Orioles' former Triple-A affiliate in Ottawa to the International League playoffs in 2003 before leaving the organization for two years.
What did it mean to you when the 2004 Red Sox ended The Curse? -- I'm happy they won it. New England fans are real tough on you when you play there. It could be the best place to play when you're going good. It may be the worst when you're not. But when you're done playing, it's like they miss you. I hit .220 in the big leagues and I still get people who come up to me and said, "Hey, I really liked the way you played. You played hard." They love their baseball up there.
What's it like to manage in Ottawa? -- It's a little chilly up there when you start out. And you don't see a baseball game on TV. You might see a Blue Jay highlight or a Montreal Expos highlight, but basically it's all hockey and curling. But it's kind of like having kids. The good outweighs the bad. I had [Brian] Roberts there and [Luis] Matos and [Larry] Bigbie. I lost a lot of those guys within the first month and a half. And the team wasn't as good after that talent-wise, but they made the most out of it. They persevered. We won 21 games in August.
How nice will it be to manage in Norfolk? -- I met my wife there at the old Tidewater ballpark in 1978. I've been married going on 27 years. In a way it's going back home. We have family there. It's obviously a step up. I'll tell you what, though ... we didn't have a lot of fans in Ottawa, but the ones we had were really good people. They were great fans.
Were you disappointed that you didn't get interviewed for the managing job that went to Lee Mazzilli? -- Yeah, to be honest with you, but it's in the past now. I'm a loyal person. I'm loyal when people are loyal to me, too. That's in the past now. You just need to get interviewed so you can talk baseball to people. And ask the guys who played for me. It's one thing for me to pat myself on the back. I don't do that. Talk to the guys who played for me. There might be something negative, but that's how you find out about somebody.