Dodgers Managerial Search Reportedly Down to Two

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At the very least, the Dodgers are clearly being very thorough with their search for a new manager. They’ve interviewed a number of candidates,

According to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, the wait might be over soon.

While it was reported earlier that the Dodgers had a pool of four/five candidates remaining, three of them really stuck out, especially after Darin Erstad withdrew his name.

We’ve known that the Dodgers wanted to name their manager before the Winter Meetings, which begin on December 7th. It appears this news will come by the end of the week, and that Bud Black will not be the next manager of the Dodgers.

Black was one of the favorite candidates of many, including myself. He’s the only one of those three with actual managerial experience, which doesn’t matter a lot to me but it surely doesn’t hurt. He seems to check off a lot of boxes (well-liked, good bullpen manager, open to advanced stats), but if Crasnick is to be believed, it appears the job will not be his.

May 8, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; San Diego Padres manager Bud Black against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. The Padres defeated the Diamondbacks 6-5. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Crasnick’s report means that the next Dodger manager will have extremely minimal managing experience. Dave Roberts has one game of MLB managing experience under his belt, which came after the Padres fired Black this season. Considering the Padres went out and hired an interim manager rather than stick with Roberts, there might be some red flags there. Roberts has been on major league coaching staffs in the past, which is more than Gabe Kapler can say. Kapler coached the Israeli national team in the 2013 World Baseball Classic qualifiers and has been the Dodgers’ Director of Player development for a year. He also served as Boston’s Single-A manager for one season and went 58-81.

Bill Plaschke of the LA Times reported much earlier that while Kapler was seen as the early favorite, Roberts overtook him as the favorite. Pretty much everything said/written by Plaschke needs to be taken with a grain of salt, but it appears this is where the Dodgers search for a manager stands.

Looking past the manager, the Dodgers could have other coaching openings. At the very least, their first base coach position is open and if former manager Don Mattingly‘s Miami introductory press conference holds true, the Dodgers could shortly be in search of a new bench coach. Ron Roenicke and Mark McGwire aren’t exactly locks to return as third base coach and hitting coach, respectively, so there is still a chance that a number of these managerial candidates are on the coaching staff in one way or another.

According to a very scientific poll I posted at this site the other day, Roberts was the favorite candidate among those that voted. He received 67 of the 171 votes for “Who should be the Dodgers’ Manager in 2016?”, while Black received 44 and Kapler 19. There’s a sentiment among many fans that Kapler is just an extension of the FO and that numbers are the devil.

Next: Should the Dodgers Go After Zack Greinke?

Personally, I love both of these candidates and would love to see both of them (and Black, really) associated with the Dodgers in some way. It’s a relief that Kirk Gibson isn’t a candidate, and really whoever the Dodgers choose will be a good fit. If I had to choose one, I would prefer Roberts to Kapler, but I would genuinely be happy with either of these two. Either way, it’s getting annoying waiting for the Dodgers to start making some moves, and the first big one could come in the next few days.

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