Friday, October 08, 2004

Who Else You Got?

The Phillies announced they have scheduled three interviews next week as they seek a new skipper. Once again I am reminded of Roger Angell’s observation that among the principal qualifications for becoming a major league manager is having failed at the same post somewhere else.

The Phillies can do no better than Don Baylor? What, precisely, do they see in him? Baylor doesn’t even have a winning percentage as a manager and he’s had nine years at the helm of two different clubs to try and make it to .500. Worse yet, he spent the last two seasons as bench and batting coach with the Mets. If I were he I would leave those last two lines off my resume.

At least the second man on the list, Charlie Manuel, is familiar to the Phillies as a special assistant to Ed Wade and batting guru to Jim Thome. Whether or not the former is a plus is dubious at best. There certainly didn’t seem to be much talk about him throughout the tumultuous season just passed short of his name cropping up every now and then as a possible interim replacement for Larry Bowa, whose demise was predicted every day beginning in April and twice on Sundays.

Among the three, Grady Little is the most intriguing prospect. He guided the Red Sox to consecutive 90-plus winning seasons in a town whose fans, despite Philadelphia’s notoriety, are much tougher than we are. He made one poor decision and they literally ran him out of town. Had the same thing happened in, say, Milwaukee, Little would probably have survived, but in Boston they never let anyone live anything down.

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