Whenever a team is seeking a new manager, the natural inclination is to name some former members of the organization as candidates. Usually, those "former members" are recently retired players. Sometimes, though, they're not.
Take the Philadelphia Phillies, whose list of managerial candidates could well include longtime manager Larry Bowa and, um, former general manager Ruben Amaro Jr.? Here's what Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reported on Sunday:
Other candidates believed to be in consideration for the Phillies include Dusty Wathan, manager of the franchise's Triple A Lehigh Valley team; Larry Bowa, Philadelphia's bench coach and the conscience of the organization; Red Sox first base coach Ruben Amaro Jr., the former Phillies GM who acquired some of the team's top young players; Eric Wedge, who was MacPhail's choice for the Orioles job ahead of Showalter; and Charlie Montoyo, who was recently promoted by the Rays to bench coach.
Cafardo also reported the Phillies might have interest in plucking Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter, but that owner Peter Angelos is unlikely to allow Showalter to leave before his contract expires. Therefore, we can file that one away as improbable and focus on the absurd possibility that is Amaro Jr. returning to Philadelphia in another, albeit different position of power.
Keep in mind, Amaro Jr. is the individual many blame for the Phillies' recent downfall. That isn't a totally fair critique -- good teams become bad teams over a long enough timeline, and rebuilds are tough and require a full buy-in from the top down -- but he made enough questionable decisions throughout his tenure that his propensity for doing so stuck with people. Whether Amaro Jr. was the worst GM in the world is besides the point. He has spent all of two seasons as a first-base coach for the Boston Red Sox. As such, his qualifications for the gig are iffy at best.
Credit the Phillies for thinking outside the box all the same. It's possible Amaro Jr.'s skill set is better cut out for the dugout than the front office. It's possible he goes on to have a successful career as a manager. Given the potential for lingering soreness on either side, it's just probably in everyone's best interest if the Philllies are not his first team. Not right now, anyway.