Philadelphia Phillies on Twitter exhibited a wide range of emotions on Monday after a report from a prominent national baseball writer connected the Phillies to a particular managerial candidate. Former Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. hopes to one day serve as a manager and is putting time in with the Boston Red Sox as their first base coach. But would the Phillies consider bringing their controversial former manager
What set the discussion into motion was a piece in the Boston Globe by baseball reporter Nick Cafardo. Cafardo said that in addition to perhaps Buck Showalter, the Phillies might be looking among others, Amaro:
Other candidates believed to be in consideration for the Phillies include Dusty Wathan, manager of the franchise’s Triple A Lehigh Valley team; Larry Bowa, Philadelphia’s bench coach and the conscience of the organization; Red Sox first base coach Ruben Amaro Jr., the former Phillies GM who acquired some of the team’s top young players; Eric Wedge, who was MacPhail’s choice for the Orioles job ahead of Showalter; and Charlie Montoyo, who was recently promoted by the Rays to bench coach.
Would the Phillies really consider bringing Amaro back?
Amaro has many qualifications. He is still relatively young, highly-educated, and now has coaching experience. I would not discount the Phillies employing Amaro again someday, in some capacity. But on a simple public relations level, this would not be a good move for the organization.
Amaro got high praise after acquiring three of the "four aces", but took the brunt of blame for the Phillies' descent into the basement, even if the decision to retain older, popular players was one of the wider organization. Amaro may ultimately be remembered for his rebuild moves, but not just yet.
So what brought about the report?
First, where exactly is the claim grounded that the Phillies are "believed to be" interested in these names? The report does not tie those names to a scout, an executive, or anyone else that is connected to the organization. Could Cafardo have read something of the sort somewhere?
If so, the source could be this CSNPhilly.com piece (now transferred to NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com) in which Corey Seidman and Jim Salisbury threw Amaro's name into a preliminary for-fun list of potential managers. They realistically state that Amaro will probably get a chance someday, but not this soon and probably not in Philadelphia.
Bowa's inclusion on the list of managerial candidates should raise a red flag. Reports such as one from Todd Zolecki of MLB.com have stated that Bowa is unlikely to coach for the Phillies again, let alone manage. The Phillies and Bowa appear to have mutual interest in continuing to work together - but not in any particularly-defined role just yet.
As for the other names, this is the first time that Wedge has been brought into this discussion. Cafardo ties him to Phillies president Andy MacPhail, but MacPhail has indicated that general manager Matt Klentak will be the one who makes the managerial decision. Montoyo could get some consideration down the line, but has not been linked to the Phillies just yet.
The Phillies could very well have someone in mind already (an observation I made on 97.3 ESPN's airwaves the day that Mackanin was dismissed). But Amaro and Bowa? They likely are not two names getting any real consideration. Not by the Phillies, anyway.