Keane observations about life, politics and sports.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Breaking News: Indians Fire Manager Eric Wedge

In a move sure to surprise no one, the Cleveland Indians dismissed manager Eric Wedge and his entire coaching staff today. Wedge and staff will stay on for the rest of the season.

Some may question the timing. Why fire him with five games left? The answer to that question is simple. Once the decision is made it is only right to let them know. Assistant coaches are not paid like the on field talent and the sooner they can start looking for new employment the better.

As far as Wedge goes, it is obvious he was not ready to manage at the big league level. His failings include poor starts to each season and an inability to develop young players.

The next question is who to hire as the new manager? My preference would be a manager with major league experience. I don't want another first time manager still learning on the job. Here are various names likely to be considered with short blurbs of other factors:

Buck Showalter - Former manager of three teams (Yankees, Rangers, Diamonbacks). Previously was an assistant to Indians GM Mark Shapiro.

Bobby Valentine - Former manager of Mets and Rangers. Very successful managing in Japan.

Larry Bowa - Current 3B coach for Dodgers & former manager of Phillies.

Omar Vizquel - Utility infielder with Rangers and free agent at end of season. Omar is a fan favorite who has expressed a desire to manage. No chance.

Mike Hargrove - Former manager of Indians, Orioles and Mariners. Still has strong ties to Cleveland area. Quit on Mariners middle of last season. No thanks.

Torey Lovullo - Indians AAA level manager at Columbus. Will get consideration, but I'd don't want another guy without major league experience. Add him to the staff to help the new manager learn the players since Lovullo knows them well.

John Farrell - Red Sox pitching coach. Formerly an assistant in teh Indians front office. I don't like the history of pitching coaches becoming managers. Pass.

Chris Chambliss - Former Indians player. Longtime assistant coach for several major league teams with AAA managerial experience. Often interviewed to satisfy the mandatory minority interview requirement. He'd be an interesting hire. Has had the opportunity to learn from several very good managers (Bobby Cox, Joe Torre, Billy Martin, etc.). He is a little long in the tooth (he'd be 61 on opening day next year) for a first time manager, but he is due for a chance.

Pete Mackanin - Current Phillies bench coach. Longtime minor league manager & major league coach. Served as interim manager in Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. Known for developing young players and good in game decisions. Another guy like Chambliss who never got an opportunity.

This is the biggest decision Mark Shapiro will make as general manager. Can Shapiro's ego handle hiring a high profile, strong, opinionated manager? If the new manager doesn't work out Shapiro will be out the door with him. Many are wondering why Shapiro is getting a free pass as it is.

I'm sure there are candidates I overlooked. Who else should be considered?

Added names:

Sandy Alomar Jr. - Currently coaching with New York Mets. Can't believe I forgot Sandy. He is still active with Cleveland charities and like Vizquel a fan favorite. Probably will manage in the future, but this isn't his time yet.

Brad Mills - Red Sox coach. Father of Indians prospect Beau Mills. Doubtful choice.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Ben said...

Not a surprise.....but as much as I have never liked him as a manager, classy that he is going to finish the season.

I think you left off Milton Bradley as a player/manager candidate.

September 30, 2009 at 2:38 PM

 
Blogger bob said...

I was surprised I didn't think Dolan would pay Wedge not to manage next year. For the same reason we won't be seeing any high profile candidates. Dolan can't or won't spend the kind of money expeience commands.

October 1, 2009 at 1:54 AM

 
Blogger LargeBill said...

Ben,

No go on MB.

Bob,

I hope you're wrong on Dolan not being willing to spend on an experienced manager. If he just promotes the AAA manager people will decry it as Wedge all over and there will be no boost to ticket sales. His comments at yesterday's press conference indicated a desire to pique fan's interest with this hire. That tells me that a first time isn't their target unless it is a big name first timer (Chambliss, Vizquel, Alomar). My concern is (based on the Charlie Manuel fiasco) Shapiro can't handle a field manager that doesn't completely share his views.

October 1, 2009 at 7:34 AM

 

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