The Darkhorse Candidates


Mar. 8, 2012; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers third base coach Tim Wallach (26) during a spring training game against the Oakland Athletics at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Hilderbrand-US PRESSWIRE

So it seems the rumblings were true. John Farrell has joined the Red Sox mothership captained by Ben Cherington. Cherington got his Spock and apparently all is now well in Red Sox Nation. Where does that leave us up here in Toronto? Well we could assume the list of candidates from the last manager we need would still be in play: DeMarlo Hale, Sandy Alomar Junior and Brian Butterfield. These are all names that are highly regarded. Same as Jim Tracy or Manny Acta. But what are some of the names bubbling under the surface…the unknowns. Because as we all know in Jays land…we like to go for them up and comers (see Martinez, Williams, Gaston et al). So who is next on the list of supposed up and coming baseball minds?

Tim Wallach: Now apparently AA was denied access to Mr. Wallach during his last search but he is available this time. Wallach was one of the best players in the franchise history of the Expos. He had a hard nosed approach to the game when he played and I assume it has continued as third base coach for Don Mattingly‘s Dodgers. He has been a hitting coach in the bigs and in 2009 managed the Dodgers AAA Albuquerque Isotopes (ha!) where he was named Manager of the Year for the PCL. He is highly regarded in baseball circles and his name seems to be gaining popularity.

Brad Ausmus: A member of the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, this wasn’t even a man on anyone’s radar screen until Boston interviewed him this year. He has managed Israel’s entry in the World Baseball Classic and has been a Special Assistant to Baseball Operations for the Padres since 2010. He was a great defensive catcher and true student of the game. Known for his very detailed approach, he blew the Sox away with his plan for bringing the team back to prominence. Sounds like a man with some conviction…something desperately need here in Toronto.

Ryne Sandberg: My personal favourite. Loved the way he played and carried himself. A man who in some respects re-defined his position as a player. He has managed 6 seasons in the minors winning 2010 PCL Manager of the Year and 2011 Baseball America Minor League Manager of the Year. Pretty solid credentials. He will be coaching 3B for the Phillies this coming season but I am sure he will be on AA’s radar. His post career seems a lot like Wallach’s doesn’t it?

I am all for former players…usually the best managers turn out to be former catchers so my bet is that Ausmus will get a very long look from AA. Hopefully whomever AA chooses truly gets what we are trying to do up here and appreciates that this fan base is just aching for a winner. Give us someone who knows we deserve it and we know he deserves it.