Posted by Steve
The whole “firing your manager” thing has a pretty cool side effect: the offseason action starts earlier than usual. It also seems weird to start the new “2009 Hot Stove” category, but I’m always down for an MLB offseason. TH reports today that Doug Melvin will be interviewing some other candidates for the managerial opening, though he is not eliminating Dale Sveum from consideration. Since I do not want Sveum back, this is giving me a bit of hope that they will go in another direction.
Melvin did say that the candidates he’s considering have all had major league managing experience. To me, that’s not necessarily a good thing, but whatever. Haudricourt speculates that the list could include Bob Brenly, Willie Randolph, Davey Johnson, Mike Hargrove, Ken Macha and Bobby Valentine.
That list is pretty much what I expected, and it doesn’t exactly excite me. I prefer Sveum to Willie Randolph, who was just as bad at bullpen management as Ned Yost was. The others, for the most part, are pretty blah. The one that does pique my interest is Davey Johnson. I admittedly don’t know much about his views on strategy, because I was about 15 years old when he last managed. Winning percentage isn’t the best way to evaluate a manager, but his career .564 winning percentage in 2,039 games is impressive. In 13 full seasons, his teams finished with a losing record just once. They took first or second place in 11 of those 13 seasons. At the very least, you can assume a guy with that much experience managing winning teams isn’t going to give you the Nervous Nelly vibe that Yost let off when the team hit the home stretch the last few years.
Last I heard, Johnson wasn’t interested in managing again in MLB, so I do wonder where Haudricourt came up with his name. I plan on finding out a bit more about him, but for now I’ll tentatively say that among realistic options, I’m hoping Davey Johnson is the next Brewers manager.
It sounds like this could come to an end quickly—as in the next few days. Melvin told Sveum he’ll let him know as soon as possible, so I’m guessing the longer this drags out the worse it is for Sveum.
In other, more discouraging news, Jack Z is one of four finalists for the Mariners’ GM job. He certainly deserves a GM position, and him receiving one is probably inevitable, but it would be a blow to the Brewers to lose a great scouting director in a year in which they will have so many high draft picks from losing Sabathia and Sheets. Can we get a clause in there that will allow him to go to Seattle if he agrees to run one more draft for the Brewers? No. I suppose we cannot.