Thursday, November 1, 2012

Who’s running the store?

So, John Farrell is gone. So is Torey Lovullo and now Brian Butterfield. Farrell is now where he wants to be and I wish him well. Did he prove to be the manager of the year or even a long term solution for the Jays? Alex Anthopoulos thought so. AA hand picked Farrell. Boston will have to find out if Farrell can lead that team to a better than .500 average. I don’t know what Boston thinks is so special about him, but I guess we all will find out soon enough.

AA’s “keep them happy” approach has left the Jays scrambling again. The off season machinations have begun and the Jays are rudderless. Who is on the list and who should lead the team?

Many talking heads have mentioned that the manager does not do much. Not really worth their salt. In Will’s article on Tuesday he mentioned Bruce Bochy’s approach to the Giants as a team. It seems to be the smarts of the manager and the chemistry of the club that put’s them on top. Go back to the heydays of the Jays. Cito Gaston let the boys of summer have fun and let them play, and they did. He won the World Series twice in a row with essentially different teams.

When the team loses, the manager gets fired. When the team wins, the players get the credit and the bigger pay checks.

So now what should the Jays do? Sandy Alomar Jr., DeMarlo Hale, Tim Wallach, Manny Acta and now Matt Williams, are the main candidates to become the Blue Jays' new manager.

Sandy Alomar has again been passed over by the Indians – and also the Red Sox. He is ready to move on. In the last half of the season he led the Indians to a 3-3 record. That is the extent of his managerial experience.

Manny Acta has lots of managerial experience and has a low-key style that some find professional, but he has not managed a winning record. He has managed 890 games but has only a .418 percentage. Not that that is the end all, as Bruce Bochy did not do so well with the Padres before going to the Giants. Acta sticks to the SABER method and does not go for small ball. He manages by number it seems. So for me, too many baseball options are gone with his approach.

DeMarlo Hale has solid managerial credits. He spent many years in the minors coaching successful teams. His Trenton Thunder –AA for Red Sox– went 92-50. He has now been with the Orioles for 3 years as the third base coach. Buck Showalter has praise for his abilities. Even though he did not play at the MLB level, his team building skill might be good for the Jays. The Farrell club house did not seem a fun place to be.

Tim Wallach is a seventeen-year veteran who played with the Expos and then the Dodgers. He won the Silver Slugger in 1987. He has some minor league coaching experience and is currently the Dodgers third base coach. Would he leave his home stomping grounds of California to manage here? I don’t think so. He is too involved with the Dodgers. If hired by the Jays, would he leave for the Dodgers like Farrell did for the Red Sox?

The Jay’s just got permission to speak to Matt Williams. However, he is past the interview stage for the Rockies job. He was a fine All Star player for the Giants and has coaching experience. He is the only player to hit a home run in the World Series for three different teams. Those with the Diamondbacks think he will not leave them for the Rockies. He and his wife host a pre-game show for the D-backs. He’s pretty entrenched there.  He is ready for an opportunity as manager in the bigs. If not the Rockies –which I think he will get– I think he could be right for the Jays. This one is a toss up as to whether he will take the Rockies job or is really interested in moving on.

Dan Wakamatsu is still on the list. He has a losing record and by all account lost his club house in Seattle – shades of Farrell. Remember, Ken Griffey Jr. retired after being benched by Wakamatsu. I do not know all the details, but handling “talent” is a big part of the job. He was fired in 2009 with a .375 record.

Now, I think the Jays should – as I have said before – take a good look at Ryne Sandberg. Of course, he is an HOF player from the Cubs who has won every award and managed at the minor league level to a winning record. He has been appointed as third base coach for the Phillles. He wants to manage at the MLB level. He can speak with authority to the veteran and the rookie. Maybe that’s what the Jays need.

My top choices are Ryan Sandberg, Tim Wallach and DiMarlo Hale.  As an aside, my top prospects are all third base coaches.

For the Jays, I think a little more hands on might be needed now with what appears to be indecision and weakness in the front office. AA and Paul Beeston seem not to have a clear picture now of the direction of the team. They should have an idea, as they just went through this process two years ago. This is AA’s last chance to show he can produce with players on the field and with staff. I had high hopes for him. He does not have a good record now, three years in. It better change in 2013.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How about Joe Carter as the Toronto's manager. I think he would be great.