A few days ago, the Cardinals’ longtime manager of 16 year, Tony LaRussa, retired. Obviously, Cardinal Nation was in a frenzy, with everyone wondering who would succeed him as the next manager. Well, yesterday(I believe), we got a list of the probable candidates for the Cardinals. The next manager could be Terry Francona, Jose Oquendo, Mike Matheny, Chris Maloney, Joe McEwing, or Ryne Sandberg. While all of them could be good, I see three of them being better than the rest. Here are my rankings for possible new managers.
1) Terry Francona – This guy has shown he can win, especially with two world series rings in ’04 and ’07. The Cardinals should look for a manager who can handle the pressure of being in a championship caliber team. Terry Francona fits that quite well. Even better, Dave Duncan likes the guy, and Francona won’t be looking to bring in a new pitching coach from Boston.
2) Ryne Sandberg – While he has never manages in the big leagues before, he may be a bit sour about not even being considered for a manager position with the Cubs, the team he spent most of his HoF career with. He may want to prove something by winning it all in 2012, its always good when you have a manager who wants to prove something to all of baseball by winning the world series. In my opinion, you can forget about the Cub experience, he has something to prove, and he will do it if he gets signed with the Cardinals. Only Concern, has not managed in the bigs before, but his minor league teams have had some success.
3) Chris Maloney – This guy concerns me a little, he has not managed in the big leagues before. However, he does know the players who have come through the system, and we have seen some good young players come up from the minors.
4) Jose Oquendo – He does know what LaRussa does, and he has experience with the Cardinals. However, it is my belief that he will never have control over the players, which is a very bad thing. In addition, almost no managing experience, and a 3rd base coach position doesn’t exactly prepare you for a big league managing job
5) Joe McEwing – Truthfully, I don’t know a lot about this guy, but if I have my facts right, he is a White Sox pitching coach. I fear that he will have the same problems that Oquendo may have, but Oquendo is ranked higher only because he is in the Cardinals system.
6) Mike Matheny – Yes, he was a great catcher. However, he never really coached at any level. I think, given some coaching time, he could be a great manager. He just needs some more experience, which right now he does not have.
I don’t know about you, but I’m a little excited to see who the new manager should be.