Handicapping the Managerial Hunt
— Sam Perlozzo is out, replaced on an interim basis by bullpen coach and longtime minor league manager Dave Trembley. The rest of the coaching staff has committed, for now, to sticking around.
— Former Cubs and Twins executive Andy MacPhail is in as the team’s new chief operating officer, filling a position left vacant by the departure of Joe Foss in May.
Beyond that it’s all speculation. Reports indicate the team will meet with former Marlins manager Joe Girardi, and all signs point to them at least offering him the opportunity to replace Perlozzo. That said, there’s no guarantee Girardi wants the job. There’s also no guarantee the O’s will give him the salary and authority he’s likely to command.
In order to try to make sense of it all, what follows is a breakdown of the potential candidates along with some completely unscientific odds on whether or not we’ll see them heading up the black-and-orange. I’m not basing this on anything other than my own reading, research, and thought, so take it for what it’s worth.
1. Joe Girardi (5-3)
If they tell him what he wants to hear, pay him well, and give him the authority to run the team as he sees fit, you have to figure he’s the guy. But those are very big “ifs”.
Girardi’s a hot, young candidate with a reputation for getting the most from his players. He’s also got a rep for being hard to work with, and his track record spans exactly one season. Hiring him makes a lot of sense but could backfire in a big way if there aren’t also some significant organizational changes. You can bet he knows that.
Also worth noting just for kicks: Girardi was once traded, in 1995, from the Rockies to the Yankees for…wait for it…Mike DeJean.
2. Davey Johnson (4-1)
His name keeps coming up for two obvious reasons. One, he’s the last Orioles skipper who managed to field a winning team. Two, he’s not really doing much right now.
You have to figure he’d take the job if it’s offered, but he’s been out of the game for a long time. This would be a very, very risky move. But it might work.
3. Jerry Manuel (6-1)
Manuel had a very decent run with the White Sox from ’98-’03, going 500-471 and winning Manager of the Year in 2000. He seems ripe for a return to the bench, and it’d be hard to argue with the hire. On the other hand, it’d also be hard to argue too heavily in favor of it. We had a guy just like Manuel here already with Mike Hargrove, and look how well that turned out.
4. Dusty Baker (20-1)
Baker will eventually find a job somewhere, and the Orioles could do worse. He’s got a good track record and seems like the kind of guy who does a decent job motivating his team. He’s also completely uninspiring.
5. Dave Trembley (30-1)
Well…why not? Trembley’s got a wealth of minor league experience and probably knows the game as well as, if not better than, any of the other major candidates. Suppose he leads this group to a road sweep of the Padres — what then? Stranger things have happened.
6. Jim Palmer (47-1)
I said before that I thought Palmer might be the guy. That looks increasingly unlikely, so feel free to chastise away. But I’m still putting him on the list because his connections to the team and the owner, and his desire and heart, are too strong to ignore. It’s a possibility at least.
7. Buck Martinez (100-1)
Buck’s odds are so long because I heard him say on the radio tonight that he’s basically got no interest in the job. If I hadn’t heard that I would have put it at something more like 30-1. He knows the players, knows the organization, and has a wealth of experience. Hiring him would make a certain kind of sense, but at this point I don’t expect it.
8. Someone Else (150-1)
Since the Orioles don’t really talk much about their process, who really knows what’s in store?
I’m heartened by the moves they’ve made so far, and I think a long-overdue, fundamental change is finally underway. But I’ve been wrong before.