Phillies Mailbag: Farrell, Girardi, and Bowa
We are back once again with a Philadelphia Phillies mailbag. As one might expect, the mailbag is filled with questions about the managerial search. Two new candidates may emerge as teams are making decisions.
Is John Farrell a candidate for the Phillies?
The Boston Red Sox dismissed manager John Farrell on Wednesday morning around 9:30 a.m. Farrell won a World Series with the Red Sox the first season after he arrived, and after a roster turnover, he led the Red Sox to the American League East title each of the last two seasons. However, the club failed to go any further than the Division Series.
Having managed in Boston, Farrell has experience managing in a big East Coast city. The Phillies probably will at least talk about the possibilty of Farrell internally. The bigger issue would be that the Red Sox may compete with the Phillies for some of the managerial candidates. Connecting the dots, the Red Sox may consider Brad Ausmus.
The Red Sox president of baseball operations, Dave Dombrowski, came to the Red Sox after exiting the Detroit Tigers and Farrell was not his hire. While with the Tigers, Dombrowski hired Ausmus and he very well could be a Red Sox candidate. This is where we could see the Phillies competing with other teams for a manager.
Farrell was pitching coach for the Red Sox under former manager Terry Francona. After serving as the manager of the Toronto Blue Jays, Farrell replaced the tumultuous Bobby Valentine, who was a poor match for the Boston job. Farrell was the safe, familiar face.
Will the Yankees let Joe Girardi go? If so, could he manage the Phillies?
This is a question that really interests me. The Yankees are now tied with the Cleveland Indians at two games each in the Division Series, with the winner to be determined tonight. What happens to Girardi on the Yankees end - who is not signed beyond this season - could depend on how far the Yankees advance.
But if Girardi is not retained by the Yankees, Joel Sherman of the New York Post suggests that Girardi might take some time off:
There were times this season when Girardi — for as much as he can express it (which is not much) — appeared happy to be involved in the rise of the young Yankees core. But at the worst moments, the wear and tension has appeared to submerge him as bad as ever. There are times it feels like Girardi is cloaked in joylessness and strain.
Ten years at this job has an eroding impact, plus Girardi is invested in the lives of his three children, and there have been people around the team who have wondered if he has had enough and just might want to re-energize with time at home and around family.
Ten years is also a long tenure for a manager.
I still tend to think that the Yankees and Girardi will remain together, but if they do separate, I would think Girardi will take the time off. It sounds like Girardi might not be ready to jump into another managerial seat, particularly with the rebuilding Phillies. I could see Girardi taking time off and joining a ready-to-win organization if he decides to return.
What role do you think Larry Bowa will hold in 2018?
The Phillies and Larry Bowa seem to want to continue to work with each other. I believe that the former player, coach, and manager, soon to turn 72 years old, wants to remain a Phillie for the rest of his career. I think the Phillies willl give him that lifetime contract.
I think the Phillies will let the dust settle, however, before they make any decisions. While a Todd Zolecki report on MLB.com suggests that Bowa will no longer coach, Bowa could fill roles much like Charlie Manuel and the late Dallas Green have held. The "special assistant to the general manager" role is certainly one Bowa could fill.
Manuel has assisted with instruction at Spring Training, done some scouting, and given some advice to the Phillies brass throughout his time in the role. It is flexible enough that Manuel can mostly live in his home base in West Virginia. Something along those lines could appeal to Bowa and the organization.
But, I would not count out Bowa doing some broadcasting, perhaps specifically for the Phillies. In between his managerial job with the Phillies and coaching job for the Yankees, Bowa worked as a baseball analyst at ESPN. After wrapping up his coaching tenure with the Dodgers and before re-joining the Phillies coaching staff, Bowa worked at MLB Network.
There were also rumors that CSN Philly checked in with Bowa about moving upstairs to the broadcast booth after the departure of Jamie Moyer, even though Bowa was on the coaching staff. Bowa stayed on as a coach, but there could be some movement in the broadcast team this season as Larry Andersen scales back his workload. One must wonder if Bowa, eight years older than Andersen, would want to travel that much, either.
So, while it probably will be unresolved for a while, I would expect that in March I will see Bowa somewhere around the Carpenter Complex in Clearwater. Just what he will be doing still remains to be seen. But he will be there.