The Phillies announced the hiring of former managers Art Howe, Davey Lopes and Jimmy Williams to fill the vacant coaching spots at third, first and the bench respectively. As Chris Wheeler is bound to say next April, the Phils’ coaching staff now boasts something on the order of 836 years of major league experience. For his part, top man Charlie Manuel has to be looking over his shoulder wondering which of these three ex-skippers listed “interim” on his resume among his capabilities.
I am reminded of Roger Angell’s line that one requirement for becoming a major league manager is to have failed at that post somewhere else. With the edition of not one but three former managers, there will be no shortage of in-house candidates should the occasion arise.
No matter what becomes of the newcomers or incumbent, the Phils signaled earlier this month that they were looking for a few good wise old hands to teach their young studs a thing or two about fundamentals. The threesome who joined the staff today certainly bring experience to the table. Whether or not they have the communication skills needed to get through to an i-Pod toting group of millionaires is another matter.