15 October 2002

Counter In-Lou-ition

Unlike most baseball fans, trying to put as much distance between themselves and Tampa Bay as possible, there are in fact a few managerial candidates who seem to be ambling perilously close to the precipice of inneptitude that is the Devil Rays. There are rumours flying about that have the new Devil Rays field manager variously named as Willie Randolph, Chris Chambliss, Lou Pinella, Jerry Narron, Bucky Dent, or someone else. The list would be longer, but there are only so many of the 1979 Yankees remaining. Sweet Lou was released from his contract, to free him up to explore other options, in much the same way that an occupant of the community in The Giver is "released" to another community when expressing dissatisfaction with the current one. Only instead of a quick, secretive execution, Piniella's career will be slowly poisoned to death over the course of the next few years if he takes Hal McCrae's old job. Sometimes, when a big-name, high profile baseball guy might change teams, ESPN or some website will make a computer-enhanced picture of what he might look like in his new threads. In this case, they could not show what Lou might look like as the Devil Rays' manager, as there were no available file photos of him crying.

Anyway, the more interesting question, frankly, is not "Who will manage the Tampa Bay club to another year of bumbling futility?", but "Who's gonna take the helm for the Mariners?" ESPN has a decent run-down of the candidates, with no real surprises: Ken Macha, El Dusto, Bobby V and His Travelling Fake Moustache Show, Cito Gaston, and some less likelies, right down to the Bone. The Seattle coaches, Bryan Price and John McLaren, may be the front runners at this point, though it would be unfortunate to lose Price's skills as a pitching coach, and especially his hand in the development of pitching in the Seattle farm system, for him to attempt to manage, a stretch which pitching coaches historically have not made well (Ray Miller, Joe Kerrigan, etc.) McLaren may be the most likely, though Seattle GM Pat Gillick essentially has his pick, as this is probably the most coveted managerial job in MLB this off-season.

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