Wednesday, 20 October 2010

How will he manage?

There have been many machinations in the 4 weeks since I listed what appeared at the time to be a comprehensive list of potential candidates for the Jays managing chair. Before updating the newcomers to that discussion, let me review the list in brief (those known to still be active possibilities are bolded):

1. Brian Butterfield - still a candidate, reportedly a finalist.
2. Fredi Gonzalez - as expected, hired by the Braves.
3. Eric Wedge - hired in Seattle.
4. Tim Wallach - denied permission by the Dodgers in some flaky back-room shinanigans.
5. Ryne Sandberg - finished second in race for Cubs job, hungry to manage in the majors.
6. Dave Martinez - crossed off AA's list.
7. Nick Leyva - not publically ruled out.
8. Don Baylor - word was tweeted today that he's out, and unhappy. No details yet.
9. Rob Thomson - same report as one concerning Martinez - apparently eliminated.
10. Pat Listach - never confirmed to have interviewed here.
11. Don Wakamatsu - was said to be in line for an interview but one hasn't been confirmed.
12. Juan Samuel - was said to be in line for an interview but one hasn't been confirmed.
13. Luis Rivera - reportedly ruled out, may still be promoted within the system.
14. Sal Fasano - ditto.
15. Bobby Valentine - interviewed, not considered to be a candidate.
16. Joey Cora - was said to be in line for an interview but one hasn't been confirmed.
17. Alan Trammel - hasn't been mentioned as a candidate for ANY opening.
18. Willie Randolph - no report that he's been seriously considered here.
19. Bob Melvin - considered front runner for Brewers, not a serious candidate for Jays.
20. Bob Brenly - only ever mentioned for Cubs job, which he declined interest in.

New names!

As you surely know by now, Sandy Alomar Jr. has come out of nowhere to be a strong contender. Bob Elliot tweeted tonight that he had a "day long interview" today. Mike Wilner recalls that Anthopoulos told him on-air that the team might feel the need to grab a guy who was a "potential star" even if he were raw and not ready yet - observed that perhaps Alomar was the man of whom he was thinking.
My take is that even if the Jays ultimately decide to go elsewhere they will try to grab Alomar for a coaching position in the Jays organization. IF the Jays go with Alomar, look for an aging baseball guru (Nick Leyva at a bare minimum) to come on board as the bench coach to hold Alomar's hand. Be thinking of such old-timers who have connections to the Jays or the current front office crew.

Another relatively hot name is Red Sox bench coach DeMario Hale (who's work as a minor league manager in that system is highly regarded) - he's said to have had multiple interviews. Two other Sox coaches have been mentioned, but 3B coach Tim Bogar has been ruled out and pitching coach John Farrell has had at least one confirmed interview according to Elliot.

Two members of the Padres organization saw there name come up. Rick Renteria is apparently still on the list, though he's been penciled in as the padres bench coach for 2011. The other name was minor league manager Randy Ready about whom little has been said lately and appears now to have just been speculation.

Angels bench coach Ron Roenicke continues the RR theme - he's also Josh's uncle, if I'm not mistaken.

Two men still involved in he playoffs - Rangers hitting coach (and former Rockies manager) Clint Hurdle has been mentioned as a possibility, along with Phillies bench coach Pete Mackanin though both are apparently cases of journalistic speculation more than more reliable reports.

A reasonable approximation of the short list would be Butterfield, Alomar, Hale and possibly latecomer Sandberg in the first rank, with Renteria, Roenicke, and possibly (depending on how much credit you give Griffin's speculation) Mackanin still on the radar.

Hale has the pedigree - read his bio at Wkipedia if you want the details - and the judgment of Terry Francona and the Red Sox executives has to be respected.

Butterfield has the long-time association with the team and the familiarity with the player personnel. If he didn't get the job, retaining him on the new man's stuff would be a very wise move.

Alomar has, perhaps (based on the level of interest) the "rising star" magic that might perhaps convince AA to make a very dramatic move.

Sandberg has the high profile of a Hall-of-Fame player and a solid coaching resume to support it.

I'm gonna have to defer to the Boy Genius on this one I think.


Anonymous said...

No thanks to Sandberg. Butters, Alomar and Hale all seem like good picks. So just pick one of their names from a hat and be done with it!

Anonymous said...

Please, no guys who owed their minor league manager gigs or MLB coaching and big league cheques, to a#%hole buddies who are old school GM's, or field managers.

Give me a guy who handled a big league pitching staff, ran the defence, all as a perennial all-star in the Big Show for 20 years. Give me a guy who won't go all redneck on Escobar, who will be a padron for young and previously mishandled prospects like Snider and Arrancebia, most pitchers young and old, oh hell, make it all prospects, Latino or not.

Give me a guy who will have the cajones to hire his brother for the infield and baserunning coaching, just because he is perfect for the job. Even better, Roberto as the bench coach brings a brilliant baseball IQ.
OK, OK, that's 2 guys in spots they haven't held before. But they are 2 young and unique talents who have forgotten more about baseball than any of these other guys will ever know. I can see how Sandy hit it out of the park with Double AA, just watching his YouTube analysis re handling / developing personnel.

Oh yeah, about the reports of Manny spotted in downtown TO at the Eaton Centre yesterday. He came up to the Show when Sandy was a clubhouse leader with a pretty good team in Cleveland. Somebody was keeping Albert Belle on the rails back in those years as well.

Don't put it past Double A to sign Manny as DH with a bonus loaded contract and a club friendly option. If he can still turn on the heater, he's a steal because the Alomars know him inside out, have his respect, and will get way more out of the guy than anybody else. Sandy can always pound him out if he starts going goofy.