03 June 2010

who's got next?

even before the season began, there was much talk about the future of the dodger manager.  would this be joe torre's last season?  would he retire?  would he rather be managing the mets?   who knows. 
torre has backed off speculation that he will retire after the season, saying that he will wait and see if he still has a desire to continue managing next season.  if he does, i have to believe that frank mccourt (or whomever owns the dodgers) would love to have him back.  but what if he is done?  who would be the likely person to take over?

the most obvious choice is hitting coach don mattingly.
during spring training, mattingly managed the stateside games while torre and some of the team were in taiwan.  at that time, he mentioned that, while he had interviewed for the cleveland managerial position and turned down an opportunity to do the same in washington, he had also discussed his future with the dodger braintrust (an oxymoron?) of ned colletti and mccourt and this leads me to believe that there is some sort of unwritten understanding that he would be the one to succeed torre.

there are some other internal candidates, however, such as third base coach larry bowa
or bench coach bob schaefer.  bowa has managed in the majors before (with the padres in the late 80's and the phillies from 2001 - 2004), but his temperment is so externally different from torre's that i wonder if it would not work well with the team that has become used to torre's style.  as for schaefer, i don't know too much about him, but it looks like he has served as an interim manager with the royals on two occasions which provides too little to judge him with.  the fact that neither bowa nor schaefer are mentioned as potential successors in the press probably speaks volumes about their chances.

it would seem, then, that donnie baseball's only real competition (from within the organization) is the dodgers' current aaa manager, tim wallach.
wallach was named the pcl manager of the year in 2009, his first year as a aaa manager, as he guided the albuquerque isotopes to a franchise high 80 wins.  he had spent two previous years (1998 and 2001) managing in high a ball and also served as the dodgers' hitting coach in 2004 and 2005. 

in my opinion, mattingly is the guy.  this is based solely on the idea that he is currently at the big league level, working with the veterans and the younger players, as well as the call-ups.  if you recall, before he replaced walter alston, tommy lasorda was promoted to alston's coaching staff as many of the players he managed in the minor leagues were also being promoted.  i have to believe there was some foresight and logic in that, and while wallach is doing a great job juggling his roster as guys are being recalled and sent down, mattingly is privy to the big picture. 

now if only we knew who the owner was going to be...

No comments: