It has been 28 days since the Phillies removed Pete Mackanin as manager, and the team has still not named his replacement.
A number of candidates have been interviewed, and there appears to be two people leading the pack, Triple-A manager Dusty Wathan and Dodgers front office executive Gabe Kapler. Former Red Sox manager John Farrell was also brought in for an interview, although it’s unclear if he’ll get the second interview that Wathan and Kapler are expected to get.
But a potential new candidate may have emerged from out of the blue, former New York Yankees skipper Joe Girardi, whose contract was not renewed by the team following their exit from the American League Championship Series.
Girardi managed the Yankees for 10 years and won the 2009 World Series against the Phillies. He led New York to a 91-71 season and an unexpected wild card berth this season, and won at least 90 games for the fifth time in his decade-long tenure in the Bronx.
Girardi is likely to be the most universally qualified person to manage the Phils, but the question is whether or not he’d be the right fit, and whether he’d want to manage a team that is just now emerging from a long rebuild.
Will general manager Matt Klentak want a manager who has as much experience as Girardi does, and one who would seemingly be a more independently-minded field general? Or does he want someone that will funnel information and directives from the front office onto the field? Would Girardi be willing to do that?
And would Girardi want to take a job with a team that is still a couple years away from pennant contention? The Washington Nationals have still not filled their managerial vacancy and have a window to win a championship right now. Would that be more appealing to a skipper who was just one victory away from this year’s Fall Classic?
Girardi could also take the year off, but it’ll be hard to find two better managerial openings next year than what’s available in Philadelphia and Washington right now.
Of course, it’s possible that even if the Phillies want a veteran hand, it could be the recently-fired former Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell that they turn to.
Industry expectation is that if the Phils opt for MLB managerial experience, John Farrell will be next PHI skipper over internal options.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) October 27, 2017
Joining me on Episode 159 of The Felske Files is Kevin Cooney, contributor for The Athletic, who will break down the latest on the Phillies’ managerial search, the search for a new pitching coach, and whether the delay in naming a new manager has cost the Phillies a chance to land a top pitching coach.
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