From Torre to Mackanin, list of possible managerial candidates
Three teams -- the Mets, Pirates and Brewers -- fired their manager on Monday
Former managers Bobby Valentine, Jim Fregosi could get another chance
Coaches like Joey Cora, Pat Listach, Brian Butterfield may be considered
It's résumé season for managing hopefuls. Three new openings were created on D-Day Monday with the firings of the Mets' Jerry Manuel, the Brewers' Ken Macha and the Pirates' John Russell. The Braves' Bobby Cox is retiring, as is the Blue Jays' Cito Gaston. Three teams -- the Cubs, Marlins and Mariners -- have interim managers. And according to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, legendary Cardinals manager Tony La Russa is driving cross-country deciding whether to return to St. Louis. So this promises to be one of the most interesting managerial offseasons ever. With that in mind, here are a few folks who could pop up on one or more lists, from the most famous to the more obscure.
1. Joe Torre. It's not positive the four-time World Series winner wants to come back and manage right away after announcing his retirement from the Dodgers. Not sure there's a perfect fit, anyway. The Cubs don't appear to want a "celebrity'' manager, and that would seem to leave him out, and the Mets are looking for a "high-energy'' type after the very calm Manuel, which seems to imply someone somewhat younger than the 70-year-old Torre, who made a rare error by misspeaking and implying he was interested in Manuel's job before Manuel was actually fired. It's doubtful the other teams with openings can afford Torre. One possibility could be St. Louis if La Russa leaves, but the broadcast booth seems way more likely for Torre, who is excellent at that, too.
2. Bobby Valentine. He would be a great fit wherever there's a young team or rebuilding project, so many of the openings make sense. But his price is probably high, as well. A return to the Mets, whom he managed from 1996-2002, isn't out of the question but he'd probably need to smooth things over with owner Fred Wilpon first. The Mariners make some sense, but it appears the Marlins are definitely looking elsewhere now after it looked like he was about to get that job during the season.
3. Joey Cora. Highly intelligent, hard-working White Sox coach seems on the verge of getting something somewhere. The Mariners are a possibility.
4. Fredi Gonzalez. Nice guy seems to have paid for Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria's unrealistically high standards after doing well in South Florida on a tight budget. Heavy favorite for Braves job. A fait accompli?
5. Ted Simmons. Sources indicate he is high on Seattle's wish list. He doesn't have major league managing experience, but he has everything else they're looking for. Doesn't hurt that he was the Pirates' GM when Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik was in their front office and also the Brewers' bench coach when Zduriencik was in Milwaukee as scouting director.
6. Jim Fregosi. Smart baseball man has aided the Braves' cause as a hard-working scouting guru in recent years. He reached the playoffs managing the Angels and the World Series managing the Phillies and is said to be on the Marlins' list.
7. Don Wakamatsu. Had a great debut year in Seattle in 2009 before things blew up this season. Seems to have big potential despite the poor season.
8. Bob Brenly. He won a ring with the Diamondbacks in 2001 but hasn't had many chances since. Pulled out of the Cubs' derby when some Cubs people were suggesting he didn't really have a chance anyway. Most likely will wind up back in their broadcast booth.
9. Mike Quade. He's impressed a lot of folks with his short interim tryout with the Cubs, and it looks like he may have risen from long shot to favorite there. Cubs management people love him, and when players started to stump for him, he might have moved to the top of their list.
10. Ryne Sandberg. The favorite son in Chicago appeared to be the favorite until Quade started doing the interim gig so well. He's done well enough as a minor league manager for four years that he could get looks elsewhere, too. Might be strange to see him with a different team, but as one NL executive pointed out, it could be "like (Don) Mattingly, where he was spurned by his employer (the Yankees)'' and landed elsewhere.
11. Terry Pendleton. Will get a look in Atlanta, where he is currently the batting coach. But if anyone besides Gonzalez is Bobby Cox's replacement, it will be a huge upset.
12. Willie Randolph. Hard worker looks better as a managerial candidate with a little distance from his Mets ending. He was a big winner as a player and coach with the Yankees and nearly got the Mets to the World Series as their manager in 2006. It's uncertain whether he's a candidate with the Brewers, for whom he's been the bench coach the past two seasons, though you'd have to think so, what with Bronx native Mark Attanasio owning the team and Randolph as popular as he is in Milwaukee.
13. Eric Wedge. Solid baseball man seemed to top Andy MacPhail's list before Baltimore hired Buck Showalter. Also being considered by the Cubs and others.
14. Bob Melvin. Mets scout took the Diamondbacks to the NLCS in 2007. Solid baseball man is on the list of the Cubs and Blue Jays, and maybe the Brewers, too.
15. Jerry Manuel. Showed he had thick enough skin and good personality for New York. Just couldn't overcome injuries.
16. Bo Porter. The Marlins like him very much from his days coaching there and he has a shot at that job. Recently not retained as Diamondbacks bench coach.
17. Tony Pena. The Yankees' success during his time as bench coach the past couple years doesn't hurt. He was the 2003 AL Manager of the Year with the Royals, as well. Another Marlins candidate.
18. Pat Listach. Feisty Nationals coach probably will get an opportunity somewhere, but may be a year or two away.
19. Don Baylor. Has Gaston's blessing in Toronto. But will that be enough? Former Cubs and Rockies manager is well-liked.
20. Brian Butterfield. Blue Jays coach and excellent baseball man has everything but name recognition (or Gaston's blessing apparently). Will get an interview in Toronto, though.
21. Rob Thomson. Solid baseball guy who's getting some good ink in high-profile Yankees third-base coaching role.
22. Rick Down. Blue Jays scout has excellent track record as minor-league manager and came close to several big-league managing jobs.
23. Randy Ready. Pardon the pun -- many say he's ready. The Padres' batting coach got good reviews as a manager the Arizona Fall League.
24. Ron Roenicke. Solid guy working under the great Angels manager Mike Scioscia. Just interviewed by Blue Jays.
25. Wally Backman. Another feisty guy, Backman is looking for a second chance after only holding Diamondbacks managing job four days after the 2004 season. Mets people love the work he did for Class-A Brooklyn Cyclones this season.
26. Tim Wallach. Very good major league player did nice job managing the Dodgers Triple-A team in Albuquerque. Supposedly turned down interview in Toronto.
27. DeMarlo Hale. Another well-regarded Red Sox coach. Can't hurt that Brad Mills did well in Houston.
28. Lloyd McClendon. Record as Pirates manager looks better now that his successors have been even worse.
29. John Farrell. Red Sox pitching coaches may get more chances with former-pitching coach Bud Black's stark success as a manager in San Diego.
30. Torey Lovullo. Highly regarded longtime minor-league manager was considered in Cleveland.
31. Larry Bowa. Fiery former Padres and Phillies manager who was on Torre's staff with Yankees and Dodgers is willing to get in players' faces but may be too blunt for some.
32. Sam Perlozzo. Ex-Orioles manager is helped by being on staff of the Phillies, probably the World Series favorite.
33. Ken Macha. Smart man but reports out of Milwaukee were that he didn't bond with the young Brewers team.
34. Lee Mazzilli. Started nicely with the Orioles, which isn't easy (though Showalter is obviously doing that, too), by going 78-84, their best record of the previous decade, but was fired in the middle of the 2005 season.
35. Tim Bogar. Came close last year in Houston. Another from the strong Red Sox pipeline.
36. Ken Oberkfell. Solid baseball guy managing well in the minors.
37. John Gibbons. The Mariners received permission to interview the Royals bench coach, according to Larry Stone of the Seattle Times.
38. Pete Mackanin. Twince a midseason replacement, once for the Pirates and once with the Reds, he did decent job in a short stint in Cincy, winning 41 of his 80 games in 2007 after taking over for Jerry Narron.