Phillies Manager Candidates: Could Raul Ibanez Get the Job?
With the sudden and abrupt resignation of Ryne Sandberg last week, the Phillies have been scrambling.
Pete Mackanin has taken over the managerial duties for the short term, at least on their current home stand, but it's not known who the manager will be when they hit the road this weekend.
During the introductory press conference of new president Andy MacPhail on Monday, Pat Gillick said that the Phillies expect to make an announcement "later in the week" on an interim manger for the remainder of the season. Before Monday's game Mackanin told reporters that he would like to know his future, but he's a "soldier and happy to do whatever they feel is the right thing for me."
It's safe to say that the Phillies would rather wait until the off season to make any permanent managerial hires with MacPhail taking over full time as president after this season.
With that said, let's go over a list of candidates that could (and should) interest the Phillies:
1. Mike Scioscia: 56. A Delaware County native and comes with a winning pedigree. Has been with the Angels since 2000 and has managed to a record of over 1,300 wins and was AL Manager of the year two separate times. His playing career lasted 12 years and he played under Dodgers legend Tommy Lasorda, winning a World Series in 1981 and 1988. He has an opt out clause in his contract after this season and there certainly seems to be some unrest in the Angels organization.
2. Rod Gardenhire: 57. An absolute people person, is currently a free agent candidate after being let go from the Minnesota Twins when they hired Paul Molitor this past off season. Gardy comes with a long and past relationship with MacPhail from their Minnesota Twins days. Gardy was first a coach with the Twins for 10 years before being promoted to manager in 2001. Gardy was voted AL Manager of the year in 2010, he comes with over 1,000 wins. His playoff record is not as impressive, as he finished 6-21 with the Twins.
3. Raúl Ibañez: 43. The former Phillies OF was a finalist for the Tampa Bay Rays managerial job last season before ultimately losing out to Kevin Cash. He would seem to be an outside-the-box type hire and continue the trend of teams hiring younger managers. The addition of Ibañez would undoubtedly be a popular one with the Latino players the Phillies have including budding star Maikel Franco. Ibanez does come with a prior relationship with some of the current veteran players with the Phillies, he was apart of the NL winning pennant team in 2009. Ibañez is currently with FOX as a MLB analyst.
4. Pete Mackanin: 63. He's currently the interim manager and it's unknown if he would accept a permanent role, but he's worth mentioning. Mackanin has no problem telling it like it is regarding this current team which has been somewhat refreshing to hear. He's in his second tenure with the Phillies, after spending several years prior under Charlie Manuel.
5. Chase Utley: 36. He's more in the Ryne Sandberg mold of a great player leading by example. Not the best communicator, but I wonder how fans would feel about this? It's a total shot in the dark, but could Utley go right from 2b to the dugout managing this team? It's unknown if we'll ever see Utley at 2B everyday with the emergence of César Hernández who is getting better by the game. Utley us currently on the DL and has a vesting option of $15 million if he reaches 500 plate appearances. The Phillies should obviously not let this happen.
MacPhail has spent time with three different organizations: Twins, Chicago Cubs and Baltimore Orioles. Is it likely that MacPhail will hire someone that he has recent ties with? Perhaps. He also made it clear in his press conference yesterday that the Phillies want to implement a new approach on baseball using analytics and sabermetrics. So obviously whoever the next manager of the Phillies is, that person will need be accommodating to the new age of the game.