According to newly-hired Red Sox third base coach Brian Butterfield, he remained a candidate for the Blue Jays managing job until the "11th-hour," making it difficult to focus on his new position with the Sox.
"[Toronto general manager] Alex [Anthopolous] and I have a great relationship, and he stayed in contact. It basically came down to the 11th-hour," Butterfield said from his home in Maine. "There were certain things he wanted in his next manager. When push came to shove and they were trying to narrow down the list, and Alex even told me this, he really had to have a guy who had previous major league managing experience. I felt like I was right there in the hunt at the end, just like I was in 2010 when they selected John. But there are things that we want in baseball, it's life, and it's not my time yet. I love being a big league coach. I love working with infielders and baserunners. I love the fact I'm back home. I'm in New England. I love the passion of this sports town. I love the Red Sox organization. I'm getting closer and closer of being fully absorbed as a member of the Boston Red Sox, and as we get closer to spring training the more anxious I'm going to become.
"It was probably the most difficult period of my major league coaching career. I've always felt like I've been a guy, once I go forward I go full-speed. I go full-throttle. That's why I could never coaching the winter leagues because when I go through a regular season, I'm fried, because I'm going full-bore trying to make the club better, trying to make the players better and try to make the team a champion. It was very difficult because I didn't have both feet in. There was a chance with the Toronto situation, and the Red Sox situation. They were both good situations, but I didn't have both feet fully in. I didn't speak to anybody because I was in-between. It's almost like I've been given an extra breath because the decision has been made and now I can get both feet in and work toward a championship season."
Butterfield did, however, say that once informed by Anthopolous in the hours leading up to the announcement that John Gibbons would be getting the Jays' managing job earlier this week, he was able to embrace his new position with the Red Sox.
"I think the last month and a half, it was a situation where I had been in Toronto for an awful long time but I really grew accustomed to the city. Loved the people of Toronto, love the fans. Love the people in the front office and love the players I've had an opportunity to work with, along with some special guys on the coaching staff," Butterfield said.
"My top priority as things went down after John left was have the possibility of being the manager of Toronto. I was given that opportunity in an interview and it was soon after that that John called and offered me the third-base coaching job with Boston. I think it was the first time in my career I feel like I was in a win-win situation. I initially wanted to manage that club in Toronto, but that didn't work out and they wanted to go in another direction. So I could think of nothing better than to come back home and be the third-base coach of the Boston Red Sox."
Check back from more on Butterfield on WEEI.com later in the day.
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