Blue Jays: What to look for in a new manager
While managerial speculation is at an all-time high, an industry insider has some advice for the Blue Jays front office as they decide who the skipper will be next season.
It’s no secret – Blue Jays manager John Gibbons is most likely not returning for the 2019 season. Though not his fault, the undeniable failure of the team this year plays at least a partial role in his seemingly inevitable dismissal.
While the topic of who will replace Gibby is an endlessly fascinating one, perhaps the Blue Jays should not be focusing on who will become their next manager, but what qualities their next manager should have. ESPN Insider Buster Olney appeared on TSN 1050 Tuesday and said that the Jays should look for someone who can “ferry this team through this period of development and have a chance to be the guy when they start to turn the corner”.
Olney also notes that the Jays will “probably work from the same model we’ve seen around baseball”, which includes a manager who “communicates very well with the front office and is very good with talking to players”.
In talking more on the subject, Olney points to Red Sox rookie manager Alex Cora, who, in his first season at the helm of a major league baseball team, will, according to Olney, “likely win the Manager of the Year award”. The most recent rookie manager to win that award was former Blue Jays coach and current Arizona Diamondbacks skipper Torey Lovullo.
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If indeed the Blue Jays do follow the trend of younger, more relatable managers, the list of names they could search within is extremely large. Of the recent MLB retirees, Justin Morneau and Carlos Beltran could conceivably be considered, while five-time MLB All-Star Victor Martinez, former Jay John McDonald, and Craig Breslow were among the former players named in OddsShark’s recent odds for the next Blue Jays skipper. Former Cleveland Indians manager Eric Wedge has long been considered the favourite to succeed John Gibbons.
Even if Ross Atkins and Mark Shapiro opt not to select a former player as their new manager, it would certainly serve them well to choose someone with a strong understanding of analytics and sabermetrics, something that Olney concludes would be a smart move for the team. Though Yankees skipper Aaron Boone and Cora are hardly sabermetricians, they can certainly understand the value of including baseball analytics in their team meetings and strategies.
Regardless of who the Blue Jays ultimately select as the next bench boss, it will be nice to see a fresh new face on the inside of the dugout – hopefully a face that is as excited about the rebuild as the fans are.