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If the White Sox are indeed strongly considering Houston bench coach Joe Espada as their next manager, then any official news will probably have to wait a while, because the Astros haven’t yet lost a game this postseason.
That’s all well and good if the White Sox search committee actually agrees on who should be leading the team, because then it’s just a matter of the process taking as long as it has to take.
But because the White Sox don’t have a clearly defined chain of command, and we can’t trust one member of said search committee to not pull the rug out from under any best-laid plans, then the next however many days could be spent with white knuckles.
For instance, on the same day that a tweet saying Espada will be the next White Sox manager gained traction, NBC Sports Chicago said that the White Sox will interview Ozzie Guillen next week. And because the White Sox announced their decision to hire Tony La Russa with a graphic bearing AJ Hinch’s signature, precedent says there’s no way to truly determine which idea has more validity.
While we wait it out, a few other managerial futures around the league were confirmed on Friday, and none seem to disrupt the White Sox’s plans too much.
Texas Rangers: Hired Bruce Bochy
I probably would’ve been thrilled about the prospect of Bruce Bochy managing the White Sox were he available after the team fired Rick Renteria, but having just seen Tony La Russa depart the team under a shroud of uncertainty due to multiple health concerns, a little of the excitement over three World Series rings would’ve been diminished by the three heart issues he experienced in consecutive seasons while managing the Giants. Not enough to knock the move or say the Sox should’ve looked elsewhere, mind you, but this particular team probably doesn’t take it easy on the ticker.
Anyway, it sounds like that possibility wasn’t in play, because the Rangers and new general manager Chris Young seemed to take a direct line to Bochy, with Young foreshadowing the move in his end-of-season press conference.
(I’m taking a point for saying the Rangers were a better landing spot than the White Sox in my open job rankings.)
Toronto Blue Jays: Retained John Schneider
After a painful loss to the Seattle Mariners in the wild card series, the Blue Jays wanted to do their due diligence before removing the interim label from John Schneider’s title. Blue Jays GM Ross Atkins had praised Schneider for his work after replacing Charlie Montoyo and said it’d be hard to find better, but they wanted to process the concept of Schneider as a long-term manager rather than the most sensible internal midseason candidate before committing.
That process is complete, and Schneider has a new three-year deal.
Cleveland Guardians: Still led by Terry Francona
Speaking of managers with health issues, Francona will remain in his position with Cleveland for 2023, with the intent to sign a new contract after he has “drains removed from his backside.” It sounds like he’ll continue assessing his ability to withstand a 162-game season on an annual basis for as long as the Guardians will have him, and Cleveland’s front office sounds like it’s in no rush to look anywhere else.