Orioles reportedly likely to hire 'veteran manager'; here are 10 candidates for the job
From Manny Acta to Ron Washington, here are some potential candidates
The Baltimore Orioles hired a general manager this week, tabbing former Houston Astros executive Mike Elias . Now the Orioles will need to fill the league's only remaining managerial vacancy. That will happen in due time, of course, but don't expect the rookie Elias to appoint a first-time skipper.
Instead, Elias is more likely to hire an experienced manager, per The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal:
But Elias, according to one source familiar with his thinking, is more likely to go with a veteran manager rather than pin what likely will be a second straight 100-loss season on a first-timer such as Espada or former Oriole Mike Bordick.
Rosenthal throws out the names of Jim Riggleman and Walt Weiss as potential candidates -- noting that Baltimore is likely to avoid the big names, like Joe Girardi -- but notes he's just speculating. We like the exercise and decided to put together a list of our own.
Below, we've highlighted a number of former managers who the Orioles could deem to be worthy "caretakers" over the next few seasons. Keep in mind, we're not saying the Orioles will consider any of these folks -- just that they fit the bill. Think of this as a glorified brainstorming session more than anything else. With that in mind, here are 10 potential candidates to replace Buck Showalter in Baltimore. Note that the candidates are presented in alphabetical order.
Manny Acta: Formerly a cause celebre for analytics types, Acta hasn't managed since 2012 following a pair of three-year stints with the Washington Nationals and Cleveland Indians. Acta will turn 50 in January and has spent the last few seasons on the Seattle Mariners coaching staff.
Jeff Banister: Banister spent the last four seasons as the Texas Rangers' manager, amassing a 50.9 winning percentage. He has an inspirational backstory, but has been forthcoming about needing to improve his communication skills. Given Banister struggled with the younger Rangers, he may be a better fit for a veteran team.
Bob Geren: Speaking of folks with oft-criticized emotional intelligence, Geren's four-plus seasons as the manager of the Oakland Athletics resulted in him being publicly dissed by Huston Street, among others. Geren has spent the interim period as bench coach for the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers. He is known to be a proponent of analytics, which could make him appealing to Elias.
John Gibbons: It's possible that Gibbons fits in the same class Girardi, Dusty Baker, Mike Scioscia and others skippers who are above this gig. If not, Gibbons has ample managerial experience (more than 1,580 games) and he spent the past couple years babysitting the Toronto Blue Jays, suggesting he's not above doing the same for the Orioles should they desire. Gibbons rates among the game's best quippers.
Fredi Gonzalez: Around this time last year, Gonzalez was a legitimate candidate to take over the similarly rebuilding Detroit Tigers. He didn't get that gig, and instead remained with the Miami Marlins as their third-base coach. Gonzalez has, in the past, managed in parts of 10 seasons -- including five winning efforts. He's claimed to be more open-minded about sabermetrics these days than in the past.
Brad Mills: It's easy to forget but Mills, Cleveland's bench coach, managed more than 400 games for the Houston Astros earlier in the decade. The Astros didn't fare well under his watch, winning 38.4 percent of the time, though it wasn't his fault. Mills cannot be blamed if he'd prefer staying put to entering into another uphill situation.
Lloyd McClendon: The first thing everyone thinks about with McClendon is the tantrum he threw during his time managing the Pittsburgh Pirates. But McClendon received a raw deal with the Mariners, being dismissed after posting more wins than losses in two seasons. Who knows how that story ends if the 2014 Mariners would have qualified for the postseason -- it's a question McClendon probably has entertained.
Bo Porter: Porter was, if you'll recall, the manager of the Astros in 2013 and for most of 2014. The Astros were horrendous back then, but Porter's dismissal seemingly had more to do with ideological differences with the front office than results. Elias would know all about that, and could tip his hand on how things ended if he interviews Porter.
Mike Redmond: Redmond seemed like a fine young skipper during his days with the Miami Marlins. He was fired during the 2015 season and has since resurfaced as the Colorado Rockies' bench coach. He merits a second look at some point.
Ron Washington: There's arguably no one-time manager who deserves another gig more than Washington does. He won 52 percent of the regular-season games he oversaw in parts of eight seasons with the Rangers before resigning due to personal issues. Washington has returned to being a third-base coach in recent years, and was never known for his strategical wit, but on results alone he deserves another chance.
Will any of those 10 be the Orioles next skipper? There's no telling. But that's the class of candidates Elias and the Orioles could entertain over the coming weeks.
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