Following up: White Sox, Royals have last remaining managerial vacancies

The Miami Marlins hopped off the managerial carousel on Tuesday, and their selection shouldn’t figure to disrupt any of the White Sox’s plans, assuming they’ve been planning something.

The Marlins are making a skipper out of Cardinals bench coach Skip Schumaker and his terrible forearm tattoo.

While the reporting says that Schumaker established an inside track early, the Marlins tried to establish due diligence with candidate quantity. Jordan McPherson of the Miami Herald says they conducted at least 10 in-person interviews.

General manager Kim Ng and select members of the Marlins’ front office conducted the first round of interviews. Marlins chairman and principal owner Bruce Sherman joined Ng for the interviews of the finalists, a group that included Schumaker, Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro, Astros bench coach Joe Espada and Yankees third base coach (and former Mets manager) Luis Rojas.

Sources confirmed to the Miami Herald that the Marlins also interviewed Tigers bench coach George Lombard, Royals bench coach Pedro Grifol, former big leaguer Raul Ibanez, Dodgers first base coach Clayton McCullough, Phillies third base coach Dusty Wathan and former Blue Jays manager John Gibbons.

With the Yankees and Dodgers retaining their managers despite exiting the postseason with a thud, the Royals are the only other team with a vacancy, and they’re going through their own extensive process.

Internal candidates Pedro Grifol, Vance Wilson and Scott Thorman have all gone through first-round interviews with the Royals, sources told MLB.com.

They are in addition to the external candidates who have interviewed, including Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro, Dodgers first-base coach Clayton McCullough and Phillies third-base coach Dusty Wathan, per sources.

Maybe it’s because the White Sox have never given a reason to pay attention to the potential-manager pool, but I can’t recall seeing such a broad field of candidates. The Rangers snapped up the offseason’s only tried-and-true candidate in Bruce Bochy, although between Joe Girardi, Joe Maddon and AJ Hinch’s 2022 season with the Tigers, past performances haven’t guaranteed future results lately.

Beyond Bochy, experienced managers aren’t really getting a whole lot of oxygen. There’s Gibbons in Miami’s search, and Ron Washington was linked to the White Sox earlier in the winter, but otherwise, the field is largely unknown and untested, and you can greet the unfamiliar with all the excitement or nervousness your personality type determines. If you’re an optimist, maybe you’re seeing the league that’s working to expand its definition of “manager material.” If you’re skeptical, these candidates seem interchangeable because front offices want them to be.


Speaking of front offices, Scott Harris has been turning over various parts of the Detroit Tigers organization since he was hired as the team’s president of baseball operations.

Previously, Harris dismissed/opted against retaining the Tigers’ incumbent amateur scouting director. He also let go of their senior director of medical services, and strength and conditioning coach, while reassigning their head trainer down the chain. From the way Harris is talking, names won’t be the only things changing in that department.

Harris is already talking about these concepts on a deeper level than we ever heard from the organization’s old guard.

“We need to understand how our players are moving and how we can align those movements with our hitting coaches and pitching coaches,” Harris said. “If we have a medical and strength and conditioning department that has strong relationships with our pitching department and our hitting department, then all of a sudden we can work on movement patterns that are gonna help our guys to get a little bit more power out of their deliveries, or get a little more contact, or reshape their bat paths to allow them to perform a little bit better.”

This week, he fired longtime assistant GM David Chadd, replacing him with Rob Metzler, who was previously the director of amateur scouting for the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Tigers still have to hire a GM, but given the amount of major work that lies ahead and the hands-on approach he’s shown so far, Harris looks like the only guy you need to know for now.

Take a second to support Sox Machine on Patreon
Jim Margalus
Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

Articles: 3793
64 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Wayne

White Sox been linked to Phillies third-base coach Dusty Wathan yet too?

GrinnellSteve

There were rumblings about the hitting coach, Howie Long or Chuck Long or Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Wayne

Kevin Long. I know about that one.

As Cirensica

Was also Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington considered?

asinwreck

Given how sentimental Jerry Reinsdorf’s hiring practices are, Longfellow is a good fit for the organization.

roke1960

I’ll bet the Sox have an agreement with Espada, just waiting for the World Series to end.

GrinnellSteve

Or could Espada be slow-walking it (I’m focused on the World Series.), hoping they win, Dusty retires, and he gets the Houston job?

dwjm3

Houston already signaled their intent to bring Dusty back. I saw a report on mlbtr referencing that.

GrinnellSteve

I imagine there’s a non-zero chance Dusty walks away if he wins.

HallofFrank

I doubt that number far enough away from zero to convince Espada to turn down all other offers, though.

One possible explanation could be that the Astros have communicated to Espada that they want to keep him long-term and see him as the heir to Dusty. With a pay raise and other pot sweeteners, that may be enough to keep him around for another year or two. That’s quite risk, still.

As Cirensica

That’s so un-White Sox that I don’t believe it.

DuhSox

I have a dream that someday (I doubt that it will be in my lifetime) the White Sox have a person in charge of baseball operations that has the knowledge and ability to objectively evaluate everyone in the organization. Retain those who are meeting goals, expected standards, and effectively doing their job (I am sure there are several, and perhaps some we hardly even know about), and let go of those who are not. Then being able to identify individuals who can replace them to provide immediate improvement in the failures and shortcomings of those areas. It all starts with people, and holding them accountable for their decisions, and/or performance.
Every year there are numerous posts (and rightfully so – they are well earned) on Sox Machine and other Sox blogs regarding the weaknesses in the White Sox organization in scouting/drafting, player development, coaching, managing, trades/free agent signings or lack thereof, misguided use of resources, misguided use of player personnel, and I could go on and on. Until there are changes in holding decision makers accountable for outcomes, and ultimately, replacing said decision makers, the White Sox with annually be “mired in mediocracy”.

steelydan52

That’s not a dream, that’s a fantasy.

BenwithVen

Personally, I’d be thrilled with either Kevin Long or Joe Espada.

a-t

I tend to think it’s going to be Espada and the announcement is pending the Astros’ playoff run ending (i can only hope for a quick and brutal end at the hands of Harper and co.)

steelydan52

Cairo must not have made an impression during his interview.

As Cirensica

He might still be the next manager’s bench coach

steelydan52

That is possible but I would think a new manager would want his own bench coach unless it’s dictated otherwise.
I don’t know much about Kevin Long but sounds like he’s a good hitting coach and that ain’t all bad!

peanutsNcrackerjack

Has Ozzie interviewed with the White Sox yet? Has he interviewed with any other teams? Something tells me if the Espada theory where he is waiting until after the series to take job is not valid, then we are looking at Ozzie.

BillyKochFanClub

If Guillen isn’t announced today, I’ll be convinced that he isn’t the pick since today is the anniversary of the Sox winning the championship. Seems like the Sox would view it as the perfect time to announce him as the new manager.

I don’t think it’s Espada, but if the Sox wait until after the WS, I bet it’s Long. There seems to be a lot of smoke regarding the Sox and Long.

dwjm3

What smoke are you seeing out of curiosity?

BillyKochFanClub

Most of the latest rumors center on Long (and Guillen). Vinnie Parise tweeted that he’s hearing Long as a “big time possibility” this morning is the most recent example.

dwjm3

thanks

BenwithVen

He said himself late last week that he hasn’t been asked to interview. Personally, I’ll stop watching games if he’s hired.

Alfornia Jones

I would guess that Espada is being hyped by his friends for the White Sox to force the hand of the Astros to commit more salary and ultimately the job for either 23 or 24. If he doesn’t get that, then he leaves for the Sox after the WS. The Astros job is obviously better, so its in his best interest to force HOU into a decision now. Waiting a year to takeover is still better than the White Sox job now.

At that point the Sox probably give Ozzie a shot for a quick rebound, and I’m sure that’s his sales pitch. Bring Willie Harris on as his bench coach as credible baseball manager in waiting. The difference between LaRussa and Ozzie is that Ozzie is fodder and can be fired. Treat him as the White Sox version of Billy Martin where they hire and fire him to inject life. Its hard to imagine real baseball people managing this team when non-credible front office people are still calling the shots.

The 70’s/80’s Yankees used the manager to light a fire (Martin), once the fire went out they brought the good cop in (Lemon or Howser, etc) to calm it all down. They won 2 WS, lost 2 WS, and lost one ALCS in about 7 years. Manager is not important, if the team is not responding then fire him. Keep repeating until morale improves. It’s not a very professional approach, but it would be an improvement for the White Sox.

steelydan52

Yep, accept Steinbrenner’s loyalty was to winning. I watched the documentary on Billy Martin and wow, what a head case he was. But a great manager as long as the focus was on him. Him, Reggie and Steinbrenner deserved each other.
I still say there’s no way Jerry goes back to Ozzie. Course, the quieter Ozzie gets the more it makes me wonder.

ChiSoxND12

Bernstein said earlier today that he’s heard Espada is out of the running entirely for the Sox

dwjm3

Hopefully it is Long then…I don’t want Ozzie or some obscure candidate that Kenny thinks is a four star general in the making

upnorthsox

How is Long not a four star general in the making? Did you even know who het was before a few days ago? I don’t want Ozzie either but it’s feeling like he’s becoming their only option which sucks.

dwjm3

Yes, I was familiar with Long before a few days ago. He has been a respected hitting coach in the game for a considerable amount of time. The four star general hiring to me would be taking somebody that has a thin resume and declaring them fit for purpose similar to Ventura.

As Cirensica

I wish Ventura had a thin resume unless you count managing children part of a MLB resume credentials because I have a friend here that coaches his son’s baseball team and tell him he might have a shot at being a major league manager.

steelydan52

I’d still like to know who Bernstein’s source is.

Right Size Wrong Shape

I don’t think he’s going to tell you.

texag10

“Just trust me bro”

As Cirensica

I wonder when is too late to get the new manager on board. Sure, a free agent can be signed in February, but a manager is different. He/she needs to start working earlier than February. I think the White Sox should wrap this up before December.

dwjm3

The longer this goes the more nervous I get. It just feels like odds of an unforced error go up as time passes and nobody is named

Last edited 1 month ago by dwjm3
As Cirensica

I wouldn’t be surprised at all if this drags on, but in recent years, the White Sox have been doing hasty signings before “reading” the market, and shooting themselves on the foot.

upnorthsox

This, absolutely.

Buehrlesque

I would guess the only real reason — general White Sox dysfunction aside — this is taking so long is simply the fact that two of their top candidates are still in the playoffs and they cannot make any kind of official announcement until after the World Series.

So I’d say the longer this goes on, the less likely the Sox are to hire someone ridiculous like Ozzie, Thome, Getz, etc. If they wanted to go that route, they would have done it already. Once the World Series ends, this should all wrap up pretty quickly.

steelydan52

Yes but I also wonder if they’re waiting for a decision from someone that isn’t in the game any longer like Konerko. I hope to hell not but it scares me. I think I need help.

Buehrlesque

Hey, nothing’s impossible with the organization! Still, I’ll stay with Kevin Long as the most likely outcome.

Joliet Orange Sox

He/she needs to start working earlier than February. I think the White Sox should wrap this up before December.

I’m not at all concerned that the Sox haven’t named a new manager yet. I certainly agree that the new manager needs to be in place before February(!) and I think it should be done well before December. The World Series will wrap up on November 5 (unless there are postponements) so I see no acceptable reason the Sox can’t have this done by November 15th at the latest.

Andy51

Espada makes a whole lot of sense but just have to wonder if he’s playing from both sides of the deck. Houston wins, Dusty retires and he takes over or even if Dusty somehow screws up like he always seems to and he winds up with no ring he retires anyway. A name that has surfaced is Carlos Beltran. You go back 2 years and Hinch had the job before JR got involved. Hahn may just be in love with that 2017 collection of talent and Beltran is going to get his chance somewhere. He would seem to be a good pick if you have the stomach for some drum banging every once in a while which the Sox seemed good with when they had Hinch ready to roll. Will be good when all this is over and the Sox can address some needed changes to the roster and coaches.

jorgefabregas

Heyman claims that Dusty is not retiring whether he wins or loses. But he also said that Espada has not heard back from the White Sox after his first interview.

Last edited 1 month ago by jorgefabregas
Andy51

Thanks, I just heard that as well. I understand the need to keep all this very low profile but if Espada isn’t the guy then why the delay? Washington or Beltran sound really good to me.

jorgefabregas

Kevin Long is another candidate that they would have to wait for, and who has reportedly had two interviews.

Bernstein and Holmes said that Ozzie’s interview lasted 5.5 hours, which makes it sound like they are taking him seriously.

dwjm3

God help us if they pick Ozzie

Last edited 1 month ago by dwjm3
Right Size Wrong Shape

It probably just took that long to get him to shut up after they asked the first question.

dwjm3

Kenny: Ozzie explain exit-velocity to us

Ozzie; Where the heck is Chuck he knows this crap

jorgefabregas

Ozzie loves to talk about exit velocity. He thinks it doesn’t matter because you can hit it hard into the ground and right at someone. No nuance as usual.

dwjm3

Yup, another reason he shouldn’t be a manager again. I think anything analytics related is over his head.

ChiSoxND12

Point understood, but Chuck Garfien might be the stupidest man I’ve ever seen

upnorthsox

As always, If they’ve decided on that guy and are waiting for the end of the WS to announce then we will hear about it long before then. I recall Wannie being all but a done deal the whole 2 weeks before the SB.

For Ozzie, half that time was probably accessing if things were going to come to blows.

As Cirensica

5.5 hours of which Ozzie spoke during 5.4 hours

jorgefabregas

Someone had made a comment about the Heyman interview on WSCR this morning, but I can’t find it.

Heyman said that Espada hadn’t heard back from the White Sox after his first interview, which definitely doesn’t sound like a “they are definitely hiring him” situation.

upnorthsox

Who are the successful managers who were hitting coaches? Cito Gaston?

jorgefabregas

Dusty Baker was a hitting coach from 1989-1992 and then was hired as the manager of the Giants.

jorgefabregas

Don Baylor was not the most successful manager, but was a hitting coach prior to being one. So far I’m 2-for-2 in thinking of managers who were good hitters and checking to see if they were hitting coaches before becoming managers.

jorgefabregas

Buddy Bell (again, not the most successful manager) was not a major league hitting coach, but was a roving minor league hitting instructor for one year.

jorgefabregas

Joe Torre never was a hitting coach, but Lou Piniella was the Yankees hitting coach before managing and general managing them.

Last edited 1 month ago by jorgefabregas
jorgefabregas

So, TL;DR from my strolls of wiki and SABR, Dusty Baker and Lou Piniella are two others. There are probably more.

upnorthsox

Ok there are a few, that’s good. All internal hires though.

jorgefabregas

Clint Hurdle (who had a decent reputation in Pittsburgh) was a hitting coach promoted to manager, then hitting coach for another team, then manager for another team. Charlie Manuel was a hitting coach promoted to manager. Yeah, internal hire seems to be common.

upnorthsox

Charlie is a good comp as a player but had a lot of minor league managing under his belt. I’m more encouraged that a Long hire could work out the more I look into it but I reserve the right to severely trash it if he brings back the same coaching staff.