Despite the World Series approaching, we’ve still seen only one of eight managerial vacancies filled, and it was the one everyone knew was coming (Joe Maddon to the Angels). I’ve gotta believe there will be more announcements on Monday, the day before the World Series begins (or tomorrow, if the ALCS ends tonight).
From the circuit …
- Because of his closeness to the organization, and his role in the minds of Cubs fans – Grandpa Rossy, the World Series home run, Dancing with the Stars, all that stuff – I think many have been too quick to forget what David Ross’s reputation around the game was long before he even came to the Cubs in 2015. He was regarded, almost uniformly, as a future manager at that point for a lot of reasons, and none of them had anything to do with his relationship to this front office or these players.
- Patrick Mooney offers a great pice on Ross’s career, and his trajectory as a future manager:
With the Cubs' search in its final stages, a look back at the moment when David Ross put himself on Theo Epstein's radar as a future manager: https://t.co/t6djWiQCd8
— Patrick Mooney (@PJ_Mooney) October 19, 2019
- When Ross is ready to manage – and he’s ready for this Cubs opportunity – he should be regarded right up there as among the best candidates for the Cubs.
- Per reports – and what we just kinda know – it seems like Ross and Joe Espada remain the favorites, though the Cubs are still working through a process that could include one more interview (Yankees bench coach Josh Bard?).
- Sticking with The Athletic, Eno Sarris wrote up little profiles on the up-and-coming manager candidates around the game, and it’s littered with guys the Cubs have interviewed (Ross, Joe Espada, Will Venable):
It’s a time of great upheaval in baseball’s dugouts and free agency hasn’t even begun.
— The Athletic MLB (@TheAthleticMLB) October 18, 2019
- Meanwhile, the Padres’ search reportedly is down to Rangers minor league development coordinator Jayce Tingler (one of the names on Sarris’s list) and Braves coach, and former Rangers manager, Ron Washington. Clearly, AJ Preller is content to dip back into his Rangers roots for his next manager, though the two options are extremely different.
- The Phillies and their owner continue to focus on established, long-time managers like Joe Girardi, Dusty Baker, and Buck Showalter, with the latter perhaps the favorite:
Phillies owner John Middleton said to be polling players on Buck Showalter, which is what he did before letting go Gabe Kapler (though their vote didn’t seem like the deciding factor). Buck has front office links (and likely support) but Girardi/Baker also strong options.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) October 18, 2019
- Showalter has had a very long and successful managerial career, so it’s hard to criticize the decision, even if I think it’s very bizarre that it’s the owner making the calls. After going with an up-and-coming, development-and-data type like Gabe Kapler, perhaps an older school, seasoned manager is what the Phillies need anyway. I don’t know. Usually these kinds of hierarchy issues present in other problematic ways down the road.
- Lotta candidates for the Pirates, including well-regarded (and beautifully-named) Cardinals coach, Stubby Clapp:
New name in Pirates mix: Stubby Clapp. The #STLCards 1B coach is slated to interview next week with them. Also in mix are Kotsay, Christensen, Shelton, Bell, Banister, perhaps Fuld and perhaps others.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) October 19, 2019