The Tampa Bay Rays have announced a list of candidates in their job search for the next manager of the team. It is curious why the team took the unusual step of publicly announcing the names of the candidates. Most times names get leaked to the media by people with agendas. Leak a name here gets you get connected to the team publicly and you get fan support. Leak a name there you can drive up your perceived value with other clubs and use it to get a better pay-day. But once again the Rays prove themselves unique by taking all the intel out of the hands of the media and the agents and they get to control the rumors of who is hottest name for the job. The Rays run their team with a Wall Street style that few can match when it comes to the process they go thorough to make decisions.
The names on the list are very strong well-respected baseball men. Dave Martinez is the odds on favorite and the most popular and only internal candidate on the list. The other names are Charlie Montoya the Rays Triple A manager, former Nats and Tribe Skipper Manny Acta, Tribe Bullpen Coach Kevin Cash, Brewers front off guy Craig Counsell, Current Royal Raul Ibanez, Royals Bench Coach Don Wakamatsu, and Giants Bench Coach Ron Wotus.
Let me warn you right now, who ever the Rays hire they will think outside the box, and will look at the candidates up down all around and outside the box. The only thing I can tell you is that the next manager won’t be a clone of Joe Maddon. Who ever is the early favorite will not necessarily be the first choice. The next manager first and foremost will have to buy into the Sabermetric applications that the Rays will continue to use. He will have to bring out the most in players that have flaws. Young kids coming up before they are ready because the farm system is bare right now after producing so much over the last few years. He will have to value pitching and defense over power, not by choice but by necessity. He doesn’t have to be as wacky as Maddon for two reasons, one if he did he would seem like a poser for trying to be Joe Maddon, and there is only one Joe Maddon. Reason two some players thought Joe went to the gimmick card too often over the last few years. He will have to be a great communicator because with the team he has he will have to be able to explain to players why he is sitting them one day and back in the lineup the net because of their swing plane.
Maddon left big shoes to fill and who ever is the number one seed better bring it, because the Matt Silverman will thing outside the box that the box came in to find his net manager.