The Orioles are expected to interview at least six candidates for their managerial vacancy, per recent reports from Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Current candidates include Nationals bench coach and former manager Chip Hale, as well as Royals catching/quality-control coach Pedro Grifol, Diamondbacks farm director Mike Bell, and Cubs bench coach Brandon Hyde.
Following a seven-year career in the majors, during which Hale played second and third base for the Twins and Dodgers, the now- 54-year-old has served multiple stints as a manager and coach to the Diamondbacks, Mets, Athletics, and Nationals. He guided the 2015 and 2016 D-backs to a cumulative 148-176 record and was fired at the end of the 2016 season after the team skidded to their fifth consecutive losing record since making the playoffs in 2011. Following Hale’s departure from the club, he picked up a new role as the A’s third-base coach and lasted a year before signing on with the Nationals as bench coach.
Though a clear frontrunner has yet to be named, it’s assumed that the team will gravitate toward someone with managerial experience. So far, Hale is the only known candidate who previously served as manager to a major-league club, but Rosenthal points out that “new GM [Mike] Elias [is] open-minded” and may prioritize other qualities over direct experience.
Welp, that didn’t last long. Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia is going back on the injured list with more knee issues. If it matters the Sox say it’s not a big deal and they expect him back sooner rather than later, but they also said that his post-2017 knee surgery was just a “cleanup” at first and that basically cost him a year. So.
Pedroia has played in six games and is 2-for-20 with a walk.
I don’t think it’s hyperbole to say that Pedroia’s career may be nearing an end. Sure, he’s under contract for two more years after this season, but he’s also in a unfortunate spiral that so many players experience in their mid-to-late 30s.
Running a website like this makes it all the clearer, actually. When you search a player’s name in our CMS, you get every post in which he appears in reverse chronological order. Just about every long-tenured player ends with about six posts in which he is alternately placed on and activated from the disabled/injured list. Then an offseason link to a big feature in which he’s written about as being “at a crossroads” followed by something vague about “resuming baseball activities” and then, inevitably, the retirement announcement. I can’t count the number of guys whose careers I can tick off in that way by browsing the guts of this site.
I hope that’s not the case for Pedroia. I hope that there’s a “Pedroia wins Comeback Player of the Year” post in the future. Or at the very least a silly “Miller’s Crossing” reference in an “And that Happened” in which I say “the old man’s still an artist with the Thompson” after he peppers the ball around in some 3-for-4, two-double game. I want that stuff to happen.
It’s just that, if you watch this game long enough, you realize how unlikely that is once a player starts to break down.