Dodgers Narrow Managerial Search
By Alex Campos
According to ESPN’s Jim Bowden, the Dodgers have begun to narrow their field for their managerial opening. They will interview four candidates for a second time.
While the four aren’t set in stone yet, Bowden reports that the four will come from the following five names: Bud Black, Darin Erstad, Kirk Gibson, Gabe Kapler and Dave Roberts.
First few things that stand out. I don’t understand how Gibson is in these five. Hopefully, he’s the one of the four that won’t get a second interview.
Second, Dave Martinez is not among the candidates anymore. That’s a shame. Martinez has been a hot name on the manager market for a while and was probably my favorite of all their initial candidates.
May 10, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; San Diego Padres manager Bud Black against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Thirdly, Tim Wallach also appears to be out of the running. While nothing is official, it seems likely that his time with the Dodgers is over, as former manager Don Mattingly said in his Miami press conference that he thought Wallach would join him in Miami.
Power ranking the remaining candidates, Gibson has to be the least likely of the five. He seems like five steps backwards from Donnie, and that would be the most puzzling move this front office has made by far.
The other four seem like worthy candidates. I’m not sure how much I love Erstad, but he’s had success in four years of coaching at the University of Nebraska. By my count, 16 Cornhuskers have been drafted since 2012, the end of Erstad’s first year as coach. In his former Angel days, Erstad was said to possess great leadership ability, which according to Mark Saxon of ESPN is a huge factor for this front office.
Other than Gibson, Black is the only candidate with managerial experience at the Major League level. It’s surprising that he is even still in the running, as he was all-but-named the Nationals’ manager until they lowballed him and hired Dusty Baker instead. I wrote more about Black here.
The two favorites at this point have to be Dave Roberts and Gabe Kapler. Roberts (who I wrote about more here) reportedly aced his interview and was seen as a favorite. USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, who isn’t always exactly right, said that at the very least, Roberts would likely join the Dodgers in some sort of coaching role. Kapler (who I wrote about more here) has been a controversial name among Dodger fans that think he’s just a puppet for the front office to do whatever they want. He would definitely be the most interesting and out-of-the-box choice, but I’m not sure if he’s the best man for the job.
Kirk Gibson is somehow still a candidate. I’m not sure about anything anymore.