October 14th, 2013
As I indicated in a previous edition of BERNIE’S BASEBALL WORLD, I think a manager plays great significance in the outcome of a baseball game.
As I look at the baseball landscape today, I have identified several potential managers I feel have the temperament, the experience and the knowledge to guide a team for the coming season. I think each can handle a pitching staff and the personalities and egos of 25 diverse men. Those are critical qualifications in my book.
While those are all important components for success, I think communication is the key. Communicating with players and staff, the media and the fan base is crucial to guiding a smooth and steady ship.
In no particular order, here is my list of potential managers:
Tony Pena- With Joe Girardi having renewed his contract with the Yankees, this is the perfect time for the very likable Pena to get serious consideration to return to the bench. A previous Major League manager and a highly successful coach with the Yankees, Pena managed the Dominican Republic to the 2013 World Baseball Classic championship.
Pena is personable and outgoing. As a very successful big league catcher, Pena knows the game. He should get serious consideration to return to the dugout.
Like Pena, Brad Ausmus was a very successful catcher. He is intelligent, knows the game and has the personality to lead a group of men.
Short on experience, Ausmus is long on the intangibles that make a manager successful. He is articulate and confident. He is personable and charismatic. And of greatest importance, he has been there and done that. He’s played the game at the highest level, helping lead his team into a World Series.
The third catcher to make my list is Sandy Alomar, Jr.
Alomar has been mentioned before, but now is his time. Having him lead a club will result in a steady ship with players being well prepared.
Alomar has been in the game a long time and has the respect of his peers. He knows the fine points of winning baseball games.
Jim Fregosi is a name from the past. I think he would be outstanding on a club that is looking for a veteran voice tough enough but fair enough to get the best from his players.
Fregosi has a long resume’ of success and has the ability to lead men in a way that extracts the best qualities from each. His experience matters. His demeanor matters.
Matt Williams was a very tough, fair player. He wanted the best from himself and his teammates. More than anything, he’s an excellent teacher. He has the ability to dish out “tough love” while understanding what players are going through. I think Matt Williams will make an outstanding manager.
Manny Acta has never had a chance with a championship quality team -or anything even close. I think Acta will be very good with the type of club that has the same passion for the game he has. He wants to win. He is articulate and very genuine.
And Acta knows the game extremely well.
Chili Davis has been a hitting coach and has sat next to the best managers in the game. I have no idea if he wants to manage, but I think he has enough fire inside to want to be part of a winner. Davis is a long time baseball man with knowledge and instincts for the game that lead to success.
John McLaren never really got a chance to manage with the Mariners. He has the type of personality and game knowledge that can be very helpful to a young and developing club in particular. John knows everyone in the game and is greatly respected for his insight and player evaluation skills. He’s a sleeper.
Phil Garner has experience as a Major League manager that could be invaluable to a club looking to cross the finish line. I think he can bring good communications skills and in-game management to a young club or one on the brink of a championship.
Terry Pendleton is another baseball lifer with the experience and knowledge to lead a clubhouse of men. He has learned at the side of some fantastic managers in Atlanta. Like some of the others, Pendleton would be a sleeper pick, but I think he can do the job and do it well.
That’s my list for now. In each case, I believe the person will be capable of handling a pitching staff and a group of diverse players.
That’s it. I’m done.