October 24, 2002

Managerial shuffle: : In the midst of a nailbiting World Series, it sounds like it's been decided: Lou Piniella will leave Seattle for his home in Tampa Bay (wow, it really was about playing closer to home), while A's manager Art Howe will head for the Big Apple to manage the Mets. Who will replace these men in their respective cities- and would even a World Series championship not be enough to heal the rift between Dusty Baker and Peter MacGowan?

posted by hincandenza to baseball at 10:21 AM - 3 comments

Piniella: Piniella might have made a good move- he won't be winning a championship in Tampa Bay any time soon (and if he does- then he, not Kile, ought to be on the ballot for the Hall of Fame :) ), but he will get to play out his probably managerial swan song close to home, in a relaxed and no-pressure atmosphere. And who knows? He may play for Tampa Bay the role he played for Seattle- rehabilitator of a once laughable franchise to a perennial contender. I have to say, I continue to be underwhelmed by the Mariners payroll and roster moves- when they had a chance to go for it, they didn't make the move to pick up another bat; yet here are the Devil Rays commiting big money for a manager (and supposedly giving up one of their better players for that right). Howe: The NY Papers are of course not happy with Howe, seeing him as a second choice to Sweet Lou, despite his good work with the A's (granted, I'd say the A's success, as shown in the post-season, is less the manager's brilliance than the GM's insistence on brilliant scouting, 'OBP' fundamentals from A-ball up, and a perpetual youth movement to keep costs down). Some are suggesting that Howe is the very worst sort of manager for the Mets, as he is more a player's manager when they probably need a strong disciplinarian. And really, the crown jewel of the A's is not Art Howe- it's Billy Beane, who almost every team in the league covets. Seattle and San Francisco: Lastly, we have Dusty Baker, where even despite guiding his team finally into the World Series we still hear media talk about that not being enough to heal the apparent rift between the owners and the manager; it's possible Baker will go onto the open market shortly after snagging a World Series ring. If so, where would he go? Would SF engage in the bidding war to bring him back (you'd think fan and player/ Bonds pressure to do so would be immense)? Would he end up in Seattle, which he's referred to favorably as "San Francisco North"- and if willing, would Seattle management pay the money for Baker that they were so unwilling to pay for any trading deadline offensive help these past two seasons?

posted by hincandenza at 10:33 AM on October 24, 2002

Howe is going from a wonderfully run franchise to a poorly assembled squad of past-their-prime overpaid non-hitting players at heavy-hitting positions. That ought to be fun to watch. As a bay arean I'm a bit upset to see him go. No loyalty these days... (shakes head). Strikingly similar to Gruden deserting the town. As for Sweet Lou, good for him. If he is content to manage the worst team in baseball instead of one with a shot, which not many would be, then I'm all for it. Sucks for Mariners fans though. As for Dusty, well, that would suck if he left, much as it would suck if Kent left (though after this post season, they can have him!) or Sabean left. They've all done a lot for the franchise and it's a shame noone can get along.

posted by Bernreuther at 01:26 PM on October 24, 2002

I wonder if Harold Reynolds has designs on managing? He has no experience at it but obviously has a wealth of baseball knowledge and ties to the city. In the absence of another big name proven guy like Dusty I'd like to see the M's give Harold a try. Or then I could do it. (by the way, my team the Diablos won the city championship)

posted by vito90 at 08:01 AM on October 25, 2002

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