Manager rumor mill: National League edition

You may have heard: Joe Girardi is available for managerial openings. (YouTube)

It would be an understatement to say a lot of guys got fired this offseason (and one retiree, although I don’t believe Ned Yost retired voluntarily). I didn’t think much of it until I saw a couple of people complain on Twitter that there wasn’t anyone tracking managerial searches anywhere.

A manager scorecard seemed like the perfect offseason entry for me to start my writing career with South Side Hit Pen. It’s not like I’m not already following these, and this really is for the best, so you’re welcome. Let’s get started, with the National League …

San Francisco Giants

2019 Record 77-85
3rd in NL West
Former manager Bruce Bochy (1,052-1,054, .500)

Career highlights NL pennants in 2010, 2012, 2014; never finished worse than seventh in NL Manager of the Year voting; managed four All-Star teams (1999, 2011, 2013, 2015).

There are others who can wax more poetically about Bochy far better than I, so I won’t even try.

Giants rumors I saw Gabe Kapler, which … gave me pause. That’d be a bold choice of the Giants in their first managerial search in 10 years.

I’m not sure what else to say other than we’ll miss you, Bruce *salutes*.

Philadelphia Phillies

2019 record 81-81
4th in NL East
Former manager Gabe Kapler (2018-19, 161-163, .497)

Career highlights uh … Bryce Harper I guess?

Given the immense spotlight pointed at the Phillies after they got Harper signed for all eternity, Kapler was in kind of a lose-lose situation in the sense that if Philadelphia didn’t win the division he was getting fired this year, and if he didn’t win a World Series in 2020 he was getting fired next year. Even if we argue that Kapler would have survived if the Phillies had made it to the Wild Card Game, Philadelphia is a tough mistress to please (and the fans throw batteries). Now, Kapler can either interview with a team like the Cubs (who love a weirdo since it kinda worked once), or take up fly fishing. Or he can go to the Giants, which is apparently the rumor.

Phillies rumors: Curt Schilling’s friends say he’s interested in the job, but we all know that’s a lie because Curt Schilling has no friends.

Apparently Buck Showalter is interviewing with the team soon. Dusty Baker is also on the list to interview, as he continues a slow limp to retirement from baseball altogether. It kind of seems like Dusty is trying to manage every major league team before he dies, which is a noble bucket list. Naturally, because manager interviews are in the news, so is Joe Girardi. The Phillies would do well with someone who has managerial experience but can also handle the young players. I’m always curious about what offer a team could make to a guy like Girardi, who has transitioned to broadcasting, which seems like a much more stable job than managing a team that hasn’t finished higher than third since 2012.

Chicago Cubs

2019 record 84-78
3rd in NL Central
Former manager Joe Maddon (2015-19, 471-339, .581)

Career highlights Did you hear that when the Cubs won their first World Series in more than 100 years, Maddon was at the helm? I feel the need to remind you, because literally no one ever talks about it, ever.

Maddon started off this season with his days numbered. It really felt like the locals had been calling for his head since April or May. He made some half-assed attempts to remind people what a baseball genius he is by trying to maybe fight Clint Hurdle, because reasons, and playing a game under protest because Sean Doolittle stood weird. These cavalier moves came off like someone trying to pad his resume for a new job search. Lucky for Maddon, the Angels loved it and quickly snagged him.

Cubs rumors Girardi. I’m sure managing the Yankees of the Midwest would be fun for Joe, but wasn’t one of the reasons the Yankees let him go was he didn’t play well with the young guys? He dealt with the likes of A-Rod on a regular basis, so I think he’d been a good one to bring in to managed the egos on the team (Javy Baez, Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant’s hair…). David Ross also has been bounced around as the favorite for the job. He doesn’t have managerial experience, so that means he’ll probably get it.

Pittsburgh Pirates

2019 record 69-93
5th in NL Central
Former manager Clint Hurdle (2011-19, 735-720, .505)

Career highlights NL Manager of the Year (2013), two postseason appearances (2013, 2014), most epic stare down of Maddon (on 7/4/19, reaching a level of zen and chill I can only aspire to), and no less than two fights with Yasiel Puig.

Hurdle is one of those especially old, grizzled baseball guys whose going to die on the third-base line. Whenever someone complains about someone not following the unwritten rules, I imagine it is Hurdle doing the complaining. Considering his managerial stints have been with the Rockies, Pirates, and some minor league teams, I don’t think he’ll be out of work for long. As a major league manager, Hurdle seems to leave a lot to be desired, but he shouldn’t have a problem finding a hitting coach job somewhere. Had he returned in 2020, Hurdle would have been the longest-tenured MLB manager.

Pirates rumors I can honestly say I haven’t heard Girardi’s name kicked around with “Pirates,” so at least he gets a break between his TV schedule and interviews. I’ve seen Mark Kotsay mentioned (currently with the A’s organization, and recently may have interviewed with the Giants). My money would be on Jeff Bannister, who has worked under Hurdle before and managed the Rangers (2015-18) during some OK seasons.

New York Mets

2019 record 86-76
3rd in NL East
Former manager Mickey Callaway (163-161, .503)

Career highlights Franchise record for best start in club history (11-1) in 2018, gloriously stupid fight in the visitor’s clubhouse at Wrigley Field with a reporter who said they would “see [him] tomorrow,” put up with BVM and all-around dumb gossip for all of 2019.

Oh Mickey, what a pity, you tried so hard to get fired midseason. My money was on him leaving after the slash-and-burn of pitching coaches in June (on the bright side, Phil Regan knows Sandy Koufax). This season was such an all-around catastrophe, Mickey is going to be waiting a really long time for a second shot at managing a club. Maybe send him to Triple-A to hang out with Tebow.

Mets rumors Girardi (I’m not kidding), Derek Shelton, and Mike Bell. Also Carlos Beltran is the frontrunner I’ve been seeing a lot lately. A lot of the overall managerial rumors seem to consist of, “Did this guy play for this team? Was he an All-Star? Well then, why not!”

Don’t teams like the Mets and the Cubs have enough issues already without throwing former players in to the mix? Really, the Mets just need someone who can put up with the front office bullshit of BVM and Jeff Wilpon.

San Diego Padres

2019 record 70-92
5th in NL West
Former manager Andy Green (274-366, .428)

Career highlights Manny Machado

Poor Green. He tried, but the Padres seemed committed to spending this season only slightly better than last season. The additions of Machado, and his feud with Atlanta Braves mascot Blooper, was a welcome boost to the Padres (seriously, Google “Manny Machado feud Braves mascot,” it’s much better than his supposed feud with the Red Sox). The Padres do have talent, if they could get a manager who can keep it together long enough to use the talent.

Padres rumors Ron Washington and Jayce Tingler have popped up. Washington would be a great choice for them, honestly. He took the Rangers to the World Series twice and coached the A’s through the Moneyball timeline, so we know he’s at least interesting. Also, probably Girardi.