Friday, October 30, 2015

Gardy getting shut out

Andy Green, most recently third base coach for the
Arizona Diamondbacks, will manage the San Diego Padres.
For a good while on Wednesday, Internet reports -- or perhaps I should say Internet rumors, considering how it all ended -- had Ron Gardenhire getting the San Diego Padres managerial job. Late in the night, it was suddenly Rick Sofield's job. And on Thursday afternoon, the Padres held an actual press conference with their actual hire: Andy Green.

Other than the obvious lines on his resume -- he's 38, hit exactly .200 in 265 major league plate appearances over four seasons, all  with Arizona, bounced around the minors as a player, managed four seasons in the minors for the Diamondbacks before getting back to the majors as a coach -- I don't know anything about Green, so I'll pass on saying good hire or bad hire. San Diego's been a oddy comfy job for managers -- Bruce Bochy lasted there forever. and Bud Black held the job for more than eight years without much success -- but the new front office might be swinging the pendulum the other way. We'll see.

No, the thing of interest here for me is Gardenhire. I wrote in the Monday print column that I thought the former Twins skipper a better fit for the Washington job than the Padres position, but apparently the Nats are going with Black, who checks the "major league experience" block as well as Gardenhire does and is at least reputed to be more in tune with the analytical approach to the game than Gardy is. The Black hire isn't official yet, and the Dodgers and Marlins haven't made their announcements yet either, but right now it appears Gardenhire won't have a helm going into spring training.

What we aren't seeing in this year's wave of hires is a strong bias for skippers who never managed on any level. Green has. Black has. Don Mattingly, who is said to be taking the Miami job, has. To be sure, Scott Servais in Seattle is a novice, so that trend hasn't died out completely, but it's not as pronounced as in the past few offseasons.

Still, front offices aren't backing off their insistence that the dugout bosses use the new analytic information they are being supplied with. I suspect that, fairly or not, that's an issue for Gardenhire as he tries to land a new position.

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