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Eight men out? (cont.)

Posted: Friday February 9, 2007 11:45AM; Updated: Friday February 9, 2007 4:12PM
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7. John Gibbons, Blue Jays.
He looks and sounds like a manager and appeared well on his way. But he seems to have a predilection for prize fighting as well. Shea Hillenbrand rebuffed Gibbons' offer to go at it, but when Ted Lilly took him up on it, Gibbons' nose wound up bloodied. Lilly said there were no hard feelings, then he bolted to the Cubs. Trying to beat the Yankees and Red Sox can wear on a man. Our only advice for Gibbons is to stay away from Vernon Wells, aka the Meal Ticket.

Odds to remain into 2008: 4-5 (still more likely than not to make it back).

8. Joe Torre, Yankees.
Unlike Perlozzo, he's not exactly a favorite of his owner. He's great handling the clubhouse and media but couldn't have done much worse last year handling his bullpen (his overuse of relievers foolishly included Mariano Rivera in 2006) and Alex Rodriguez, who should be baseball's best player.

Odds to remain into 2008: 3-5 (still more likely than not to make it back).

The Replacements?

Fired from Texas after last season, Buck Showalter has been hired by the Indians as a
Fired from Texas after last season, Buck Showalter has been hired by the Indians as a "consultant."
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

And now here's my rather long list of the folks who will be on teams' short lists, or should be:

1. Joe Girardi, Yankees broadcaster.
Personality conflict with Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria, GM Larry Beinfest and other Marlins front-office types led to his ouster in South Florida, despite his Manager of the Year trophy. Probably could have gone to Washington, but is waiting for something better.

2. Dusty Baker, broadcaster.
This multiple Manager of the Year winner took the blow for two disappointing years on the North Side when they've had nearly 100 years of disappointments. Something's wrong if he can't get another job.

3. Jerry Manuel, Mets coach.
Quiet intellectual seems primed for a second shot after becoming Willie Randolph's right-hand man in Flushing.

4. Bobby Valentine, Chiba Lotte Marines manager.
Superb strategist probably could have gone to the Dodgers for a paycut, but has it good with Chiba Lotte, including a multi-year, megabucks contract and the freedom to do with the team as he pleases.

5. Ken Macha, ex-A's manager.
Had messy divorce in Oakland after he failed to get along with GM Billy Beane and, as it turned out, many of his players. His teams did well but he got splattered with shrapnel in one of baseball's uglier breakups.

6. Larry Bowa, Yankees coach.
Resurrecting his career in the Bronx as a loyal, hard-working coach after complaints in Philly that his personality needed to be toned down.

7. Trey Hillman, Nippon Ham Fighters manager.
Went 0-for-3 in job interviews after becoming the second foreign manager (after Valentine) to win the Japan League title. Good guy, solid baseball man.

8. Joey Cora, White Sox coach.
Well-respected up-and-comer could be the choice if Ozzie Guillen steps too far over the line with one of his funny comments. Greg Walker is another White Sox coach who has impressed.

9. Tony Pena, Yankees coach.
Worked wonders with the tiny-budget Royals but was hurt by a messy final season there. Came back to do phenomenal job, turning Jorge Posada back into a top defender just when others were about to write him off as strictly an offensive player.

10. Don Mattingly, Yankees coach.
Class act and Yankees icon has a superb relationship with GM Brian Cashman and George Steinbrenner, making him the prohibitive favorite (over Girardi) should Torre's amazing run ever end.

11. Showalter, Indians consultant.
He's very good in his first year but tends to wear out his welcome. The history is that the man who follows him gets the ring (it happened in New York and Arizona and will be tested in Texas this year). Nobody's better prepared, and if you get him to stick to managing and not trying to take over the world, he could be great.

12. Davey Johnson, ex-Mets, Orioles and Dodgers manager.
He might have one more run in him. In his day, one of the best around.

13. Williams, Phillies coach.
Favorite for Phillies job over Lopes and Howe should Manuel fall. Ties to Gillick the key.

14. Tom Kelly, ex-Twins manager.
The only reason he hasn't returned must be that he doesn't want to. Two titles for a small-market team wouldn't be ignored.

15. Cito Gaston, ex-Blue Jays manager.
Practically had the White Sox job before Guillen won the interview, but two titles should have led to real chances by now. It's nothing short of a disgrace that he remains unemployed.

16. Rick Down, Mets coach.
Hard to understand why this guy never got a major-league managerial job. He was ultra successful as a Triple-A manager with the Yankees and as a batting coach with just about every major-market team (Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Orioles and Mets).

Others: Dave Righetti, Giants coach; Torey Lovullo, Indians minor league manager; Tony DeFrancesco, A's minor league manager, Dave Trembley, Orioles minor league manager; Razor Shines, White Sox coach.

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