Thursday, September 23, 2010

Managing somehow

As the Cito Countdown reaches Ten Games, and JB has nailed #50...and we even had a sighting of the rare and elusive JPA today (wonder how many of those M's runs would have scored with an actual good defensive catcher behind the plate . . .) the major focus of discussion in jays-land turns to who the next manager will be.

I'll defer to Parkes at DJF for a thumbnail sketch of the oft-mentioned candidates but I did want to throw together a list of all the names I can find that have been mentioned, with a brief thought where appropriate:

EDIT: I've re-ordered the list a bit to try to reflect a ranking of who I think has the best odds, with the exception that I really think Gonzalez lands in Atlanta but he's just too good to rank lower, IMO)

1. Brian Butterfield - top in-house candidate, if familiarity with the organization is a big consideration, that's an ace in his hand.
2. Fredi Gonzalez - if you go outside the organization, this is the guy you probably want - but the assumption is he's a lock to follow Bobby cox in Atlanta.
3. Eric Wedge - One time indians manager, still widely well-regarded
4. Tim Wallach - perhaps the most highly praised out-of-system candidate who hasn't yet managed in the majors, he's the Dodgers AAA manager. the last time the Dodgers passed over their AAA manager and hired someone else, that guy went on to get a job elsewhere - and Mike Scioscia has turned out pretty well.
5. Ryan Sandberg - The "name" guy, reportedly under consideration but seems an awkward fit - if he's good, it would be insane if the Cubs didn't hire him, that's the job he wants. If they don't, that would be a red flag, no? 'Course it could just mean the Cubs are stupid too. You could argue he's a better choice than Wallach but as long as he's holding out for the Chicago job it weakens his chances here.
6. Dave Martinez - One of Joe Maddon's coaches in Tampa, good place to pick up lessons applicable here.
7. Nick Leyva - Has openly declared his desire for it, if jays go with him they might lose Butterfield to Baltimore.
8. Don Baylor - Cito has put in a plug for him.
9. Rob Thomson - Yankees 3B coach, NOT the guy who used to play 2B for the Giants. But he is Canadian, for what that is worth.
10. Pat Listach - yes, the one-time Brewer SS, said to be an "up and comer"
11. Don Wakamatsu - Everyone seems to agree he's got skills and got a raw deal in Seattle.
12. Juan Samuel - another former Jays player (along with Martinez) buzz has cooled lately on him as the list has grown.
13. Luis Rivera - AA manager, probably not his time yet.
14. Sal Fasano - Lansing manager, not his time yet, but likely will work his way up to a big-league staff within a few years.
15. Bobby Valentine - A lot of folks are enamored with him - I've never understood why. Spotlight in TO probably not hot enough for his tastes.
16. Joey Cora - was all the buzz over the last couple of years but less has been said this time around, probably for no important reason.
17. Alan Trammell - Nobody has mentioned him lately, particularly in relation to the Jays. But many feel he was doomed by the talent level in Detroit, and he has good mentors (Sparky Anderson and Lou Pinella).
18. Willie Randolph - Was once the "next big thing" - the dew might be off that rose - or not.
19. Bob Melvin - won manager of the year in Arizona . . . but has lost two different jobs pretty quickly.
20. Bob Brenly - won a ring in Arizona, hasn't managed since they fired him in '04. One has to wonder about the D'Backs penchant for firing people quickly. Also a prominent candidate for the Cubs job. I hope he gets it.

I'll add more as the names come over the wire. It's also necessary, for the sake of thoroughness, to mention that there will be a carousel of "big names" which will be in play this off season as several high profile managers are in the last year of their contract. Notably, the Yankees' Joe Girardi and the Cardinals Tony LaRussa. You can bet Valentine won't take his name out of that dance early. Also, besides Atlanta, Seattle, the Dodgers, the Cubs and Brewers also have openings, and the Mets are sure to join that group. Likely the Pirates as well. So technically, you have to include LaRussa (for instance)as a "candidate" in Toronto but there doesn't seem to be any buzz that they will go for the name choice.

Note: If I misspelled any names, overlook it. I was too rushed to hunt down a spelling verification on all these guys.

8 comments:

Navin Vaswani (@eyebleaf) said...

(wonder how many of those M's runs would have scored with an actual good defensive catcher behind the plate . . .)

I understand the desire to take every possible shot at Cito before he leaves but, really, they're the Mariners. I could call a game and they wouldn't score a goddamn run.

The Southpaw said...

that being the case, how come JPA only started one of the three games - and that against the hardest pitcher of the three?

The only logical explanation was that Cito was serving up the weaker pitchers to Buck for that milestone.

which is also...disappointing.

Anonymous said...

Never thought of Eric Wedge, but I'd be down with him as manager.

Bwilly said...

"The only logical explanation was that Cito was serving up the weaker pitchers to Buck for that milestone."

Or you know after a long season in which JPA played alot more than he has in previous seasons, management wants to slowly shut him down for the season. Whats more beneficial for JPA getting the start against Luke French a pitcher with the same calibre as the guys he's faced all year long in AAA or Felix Hernandez?

Just because you don't like CIto doesn't mean you don't have to think things through. You sound like a leafs fan bitching about Wilson

The Southpaw said...

with respect, you are rationalizing.

AA has been asked multiple times about the subject, and if they were indeed "resting" him then AA has no agenda which would prevent him from saying so and it would effectively defuse the criticism of Cito and stop the questions directed to him.

The fact he has not offered that explanation is self-evident proof that this isn't what's happening.

further, Cito himself offered up the "20 homer milestone" and the "got to reach .500" rationalizations, along with broadly implying that somehow JPA wasn't good enough for the job.

The idea that you throw a guy who's O-for-the-month out there against the best pitcher in the game is good for him is...unusual. Maybe if you use him against French and he gets a couple of hits and THEN send him against the ace, sure. but there's no confidence or momentum gained by facing Felix after weeks of almost unbroken inactivity.

one last point - "think things through"?

Yes. lets.

Your thesis:

"after a long season in which JPA played a lot more than he has in previous seasons"

Yr - Games _ AB
'10 - 113 - 442
'09 - 116 - 466
'08 - 126 - 510

So uh...yeah. might want to re-think your thinking through?

If i sound a bit testy, it's because of the prevalent knee-jerk assumption that disapproving of someones decisions is "not liking" them.

I have said on previous occasions and maintain, there are things Cito is good at, and deserves praise for, and things he isn't.

Same as with JPR, in fact. On a personal level, it's FAR easier to dislike JP than it is to dislike Cito. My like or dislike of either man is not at issue and I resent the assumption that I'd base my remarks on such a shallow basis.

Bot had qualities, both had flaws. I reserve the right to comment on either and welcome rational and well reasoned challenges.

But please don't insult me with the claim that I am making poorly reasoned charges because "I don't like him"

Bwilly said...

"But please don't insult me with the claim that I am making poorly reasoned charges because "I don't like him"" okay maybe its not because you don't like him but to say the only logical explanation that Cito was serving up the weaker pitchers to Buck sounds like an awfully poorly reasoned charge.

I made a previous post that had alot of good points I thought in it but somehow it got lost, but to sum it up. Your right on JPA games in the past, I foolish assumed he'd played alot more because he hasn't been hurt like he has in the past this year. When AA has been asked multiple times about JPA what did he say? anything of substance? If you have limited amount you can get him in I do believe he's better off facing the best, thats how he'll learn. Ideally yeah if you could get him in against french and than hernandez that'd be great, but if you can only get him in against one, do you think it helps his development to face french over Hernandez?

Ty said...

Ideally yeah if you could get him in against french and than hernandez that'd be great, but if you can only get him in against one, do you think it helps his development to face french over Hernandez?

You have to consider the context as well, though. Arencibia had seven at-bats in September before that game. Seven! It would be unreasonable to expect anyone to be successful against the best pitcher in the game after spending three weeks cold on the bench, much less a guy who spent the year in AAA.

Considering that Cito's explanation for hitting Snider 9th/benching him against "tough" pitchers was that he was trying to protect his confidence, the idea that he would choose JPA's only start behind the plate all month to come against a guy who is literally the best pitcher in the league is completely hypocritical, bordering on absurd.

The Southpaw said...

"When AA has been asked multiple times about JPA what did he say? anything of substance? "

Not really, no. Basically, it seems he's choosing to not call out Cito in public which is understandable given the circumstances.

Blair wrote an article in which he (Blair) implied AA agreed with Cito's use of JPA but there's no direct quote from AA that says that. And Blair has been demonstrably wrong before.

Cito, OTOH, has said everything from wanting Buck to get 20 homers, to wanting to finish .500, to wanting to respect the contenders, to implying JPA hadn't "earned the trust" of the pitchers (as if he can do that sitting on the bench) - all while there are other, perfectly reasonable, explanations he could have offered and didn't.

And, as Ty pointed out, the inconsistency in what he says from one interview to the next, and between what he says about one player and how he handles another, is stunning to behold.

The last interview i saw he all but called out JPA and implied strongly that he might have trouble next spring winning the confidence of his pitchers (what SEEMED to be an almost blatant advocation of signing a veteran to start behind the plate next year)

It's getting to the point that I'm starting to fear the fact that he's even going to be an "adviser" - because his advice on how to hit seems to be light-years better than his advice on roster construction.