Sunday, October 25, 2009

And so it goes: The Indians add another name to the equation

The Cleveland Indians continue their head-scratching methodology in their hunt for a manager with the potential news that the Indians have been given permission by the Angels to talk to Ron Roenicke about their manager position.

Huh? What?

Where did this guy come from?

Okay, let me start off by saying that Roenicke actually might be a good fit with the Indians. He's been with the Angels as both a third base coach, and a bench coach for the past ten years. He's been Mike Sciosca's bench coach for the past four seasons.

Now, what does a bench coach do exactly? Call him the manager's executive assistant. This is the guy that fills in all the holes. In general, two types of guys have this job. The first would be a Mike Hargrove or a Don Zimmer. He'd be the guy that mentors you, keeps you level, and has been through every situation ten times or so. He's not necesarily looking for a top spot, but could take over in a pinch. The other type is the up and comer, like Roenicke and Don Mattingly, who served at Joe Torre's bench coach in New York, before becoming his batting coach in LA. This is the guy that is being groomed to manage. Enter Roenicke, who was interviewed for the Dodgers position back in 2004. He didn't get the job, so Scioscia eventually moved him to his bench coach position, likely helping him take his next step.

He is the type of guy that's been missing here in Cleveland. He's a risk-taker, and in the lines of Valentine, not a guy that needs to look at Sabermetrics to make a decision, a lot Wedge, Shapiro and Manny Acta. In other words, he's an old school manager. Now, just for the sake of this discussion, who were the final four teams? Yeah, these were the teams that had high payrolls. These were also managers, Joe Torre, Mike Scioscia, Charlie Manuel and Joe Girardi, that coached the game based on the old school mantra. Some do it more than others (Girardi can be a numbers guy, but does come from that old school mentality that you take a pitcher out when he's struggling, not necesarily for a match-up), but you get the point.

Roenicke would likely steal more bases, take more baserunning chances, and really get this team going. In other words, he'd be a good choice, in the lines of Bobby Valentine.

So, why the head-scratching? Where did this come from? Roenicke was in the top 11 picks, so it's been said, but wasn't mentioned as a top two candidate. Was he one of the other two guys that Shapiro mentioned a couple of days ago, that would come into play if the other four didn't pan out? Is he the fourth, and the mention of Don Mattingly was just plain wrong. Remember, Shapiro hasn't said a word about who the fourth guy was.

Likely, it's just Shapiro being Shapiro. In other words, it's a big, giant secret, that will likely end up locked away in Area 51...with all the other aliens.

What's the positive here? At least Cleveland isn't jumping the gun and hiring a guy like Acta because Houston is also looking at him. I know Acta seems smart and knows about the young guys. I know Acta made a mysterious little comment about having been in contact with the Indians organization for a month or more (how about that Wedgie-poo), and I know he had a good presser.

That said, I'm not sure you go out and hire a guy that lost a whole lot just because he sounds like he knows what's what. As my Dad said...if it looks like dog crap, and smells like dog crap, I don't care how many times you try and convince yourself it's not dog's still dog crap. comes another WITH TWO candidates left to talk to. And so it goes...and so it goes...

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