Here Comes the Pendulum
OK, OK, enough with the post mortem's (actually I do have one more little nugget, which I haven't seen anywhere else - according to the most recent issue of Sports/Baseball Weekly, there was an incident at some point this summer when Tim Worrell punched Joe Kerrigan, has anyone else heard this?) let's look to the phuture, because thankfully, the Phillies are. Next week, the Phillies are expected to interview Don Baylor, Charlie Manuel, and Grady Little. Rumors regarding other people have been mentioned, but let's take a look at the three that will definitely be interviewed.
The Resume: Baylor is often mentioned as a candidate for open managerial positions around baseball, but is often passed over. Baylor does have previous managerial experience, taking the 1995 Rockies to the playoffs (something of an accomplishment) and several less than memorable years at the helm of the Cubs, back before they cared about winning.
The B.S. & S. Take: In sports, coaches/managers are constantly being recycled, and the large number of times it happens has always perplexed me. Baylor has proven to be a fine hitting coach, but little more. Pass.
The Resume: Managed the Red Sox from 2002-2003, surpassing 90 wins each year. The Sox reached the wild card in 2003 and I think we all know how that ended.
The B.S. & S. Take: When I first heard of the possibility of Grady Little managing the Phillies, I was phlabbergasted:
I realize the Pendulum of Managerial Style at the Phillies is swinging towards a laid-back manager, but isn't that a bit too far? This guy was so lethargic he let Pedro talk him into staying in one of the most important games in the team's history after he had just let 5 of 7 batters reach base and was clearly fatigued.I'm sure Grady Little is a fine man, and he is probably even an above average manager, and I honestly believe he should be given a second chance - just not with my team, let him prove himself somewhere else. Pass.
The way their team is playing, the Red Sox Nation may survive Grady Little. Asking Phans to survive even the announcement of the hiring of Grady Little after being asked to survive this season is way too much to ask.
The Resume: Randy Miller does a good job of "synopsisizing" Charlie Manuel's lengthy career in baseball in PhillyBurbs.com, but the strongest points are that he managed the Indians to a division title in 2001 and he has a high comfort level with Jim Thome.
The B.S. & S. Take: Yes, Manuel is technically another managerial retread, but he was fired after his team was gutted of talent (something else I have never understood in sports - how can a good manager suddenly become a bad one after all of his talent is taken away? Phil Jackson feared this more than anyone). Of the three candidates that will be interviewed next week, Manuel would get the Official Balls, Sticks, & Stuff Seal of Approval, but I wouldn't mind if the Phillies continued to look around with the idea of coming back to him later.