Everyone talks about the Yankees as team whose internal deliberations are not typically leaked to the press, but the Blue Jays are right up there in the informational black hole rankings. Know how you know this? The wild, all over the place speculation about who their new manager might me.
I mean, it’s possible that Jim Tracy, Jim Riggleman or any other guy who has been mentioned may be the new guy. Or it’s possible they won’t be. But the fact that we’ve had any number of names mentioned, but none who have acknowledged, through surrogates or otherwise, that they are truly candidates is evidence of a press that really doesn’t have a handle on who the Jays are truly targeting.
Two new names from my Twitter feed overnight:
Manny Acta has been strongly reviewed by Jays, who are expected to soon announce their manager.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) November 18, 2012
Jays have phoned former Mariners executives and others asking ??? about former Seattle manager Mike Hargrove Next Blue Jays MGR?
— bob elliott (@elliottbaseball) November 19, 2012
Manny Acta would be an … interesting choice. Sure, I love his style and everything, but do you really get a job with a team that is going for it like the Jays are going for it after two very recent failed stints like Acta has had? He was forced to experience no time in bench coach/special advisor wilderness after being fired by the Nats and if he gets a job for 2013 after being canned by the Indians he’ll have done the immediately-land-on-his-feet thing for a second straight time. How good an interviewer is he?
Hargrove is a much more intriguing name. He’s been out of the game for a long time and left his last job — the Mariners in 2007 — in midseason while the team was 45-33, on a winning streak and in second place. The official explanation was that it was due to family and/or burnout issues or/something like that. It’s possible he was clashing with Ichiro Suzuki. Either way, the very next year he started expressing a desire to get back to managing in the bigs but hasn’t had an opportunity to do so. He spent some time managing a semi-pro team in 2008 and 2009. Then he took some time off. Since 2011 he has served as a special advisor to the Indians. But the dude does have a couple of pennants and was always well-thought-of as a manager.
That’s kind of the Davey Johnson track, isn’t it? Maybe, as some teams are looking to ape the Robin Ventura/Walt Weiss/Mike Matheny no-experience trend, the Jays are looking to go the bring-back-the-old-hand-who-left-too-soon route that the Nationals took?
Who knows? Based on the disparate reports we’ve seen, no one except the Blue Jays.