I love the debate about which managerial opening is the best…that would depend on the manager. Some managers are better with veterans, some with younger players.
The Red Sox will always provide a manager with a playoff caliber roster but also provides a rabid media market & fan base which may be a turn-off to some. I like that they’re speaking with a younger coach like Sandy Alomar, Jr. Having played until just a few years ago he may be more able to communicate with the players. I would suspect they may hire someone who would be able to control the alleged clubhouse activities. On that note, why is there alcohol in the clubhouses anyway? I’m sure the folks in the business office would like alcohol in the breakroom while they’re working. Why can’t the player, on this team or any other, wait another half hour until they leave their job to begin drinking like 95% of the other workers do in this country.
The person who gets the Cubs job better get a long-term deal; three years shouldn’t be enough. This team will be very bad next year (another 90 loss season), then will be barely .500 if that in 2013, may be in playoff contention in 2014 and then may be set-up for consistant winning in 2015. Why would someone take this job just to be fired before the roster is built to win? I know, there are only 30 of these jobs & if you need to take what you can get. I think Mackonin or Maddux will get this job.
The Cardinals have to be considered the best job. Not because they just won the World Series but because they seem to have the best overall organization. Boston has ego & media markets issues to deal with & the Cubs are in a total rebuilding mode, this leaves the Cardinals as the best job available. Solid ownership (as does Boston & possibly the Cubs now with Rickets), a solid front office (Boston probably still does & the Cubs should be) and a playoff caliber roster. Yes, I know Pujols may leave but even without him the Cardinals should be able to keep a solid team on the field. Wainwright coming back to go with Carpenter & Garcia..with Lohse being one of the best #4 starters in baseball. I suppose there could be a dropoff in pitching with Duncan gone; he does appear to be some sort of miracle worker with pitchers. Even with the Pujols uncertainty, the Cardinals job is the best one available.
Francona would be perfect for the Cardinals; although it looks like he may not get an opportunity to interview now. I’m suprised that Terry Pendleton isn’t being mentioned for this job. By contrast, I don’t think Francona will be a good fit with the Cubs. As I mentioned above there will be a lot of losing in the near future with a lot of unhappy players. But I didn’t think Francona was a good pick for Boston either.
The Red Sox have an interesting situation; they played like a bunch of prima donnas who though they’d just get out of the September slump they were in, but none of their players seem to be or have ever been accused of being prima donnas. So do they need a disciplinarian to take the video games & alcohol away from them, another players manager which worked for five of six months having learned their lesson or does it not matter? I don’t think it matters…personally I’d like to see Sveum or Alomar get the job.
Odds & Ends: If Mackonin gets one of these jobs does Sandberg become the new bench coach or 3rd base coach for the Phillies? This would make him “eligible” to be Epstein’s 2nd manager in Chicago…Dan Duquette interviews for the Orioles GM job? Yikes. He’s great at building a minor league system having done it twice but he’s not much of a communicator, which is necessary now. Angelos has to know that he’s the reason that nobody wants to work there, right…Chuck LaMar is a great hire by the Jays; being a minor league/draft geek I know he will help the Jays build for their future.
Fired up the baseball blog after a couple of years. I waited until the off-season to start again because I love the hot stove stuff; partly because of the wheeling & dealing and partly because I get a kick out of the pundits backtracking on what they report.
I’m thinking Pujols could end up in Detroit. The Tigers need a first baseman (Cabrera is a DH), Mike Ilitch has as much money as any owner and Dembrowski likes to stun people…Ivan Rodriguez comes to mind. The 3-4-5 spots in that line-up would be the best in baseball if Pujols went to Detroit but who would bat 5th? Would you split up the right-handed batter with the switch hitter? That would put Cabrera batting 5th which seems unlikely.
With the Yankees, Red Sox & Phillies having 1st base wrapped up for a while, the Dodgers & Mets having money issues I’m not sure who is left to buy Pujols away from St. Louis. I think Detroit may be the only option. I suppose the Rangers may dip their toe in the waters. How many offensive records would Pujols set playing 81 games a year in that ballpark surrounded by that line-up.
For those of you who think the Cubs will go after Pujols you’re wrong, at least now that Epstein is in charge. As a Red Sox fan I know he’ll never go eight or ten years on a player Pujols age or size. Pujols can move around fine now but that big body will be an issue as he ages. On top of that Epstein will be rebuilding the farm system and signing Pujols wouldn’t help & wouldn’t put any more fans in the seats. By the time the Cubs will be ready for a superstar middle-of-the-order hitter Pujols will be starting to fade.
Odd & Ends: Both Cashman & Sabathia staying with the Yankees…nobody saw that coming, huh? Lowe to the Indians should be interesting; a ground ball pitcher in a small ballpark will help…as long as those ground balls don’t go toward Chisenhall. I, like everyone, doesn’t know what Aramis Ramirez is thinking; there’s no way anyone will give him $16 million for two years…the Angels like to out bid themselves for players, maybe they will sign him to another five-year deal.