It’s October, which means it’s
playoff awards searching-for-a-replacement-manager season. Unfortunately, one of the top names rumored for the San Francisco Giants’ managerial opening, Raul Ibanez, just removed himself from consideration.
Much like the inevitable disappointment that will come with the “Brandon Crawford’s brother-in-law” dreamcasting surrounding Gerrit Cole, it turns out that having once been Farhan Zaidi’s employee isn’t a compelling enough reason to jump the Los Angeles Dodgers juggernaut to manage a team in the throes of rebuilding.
So if Zaidi’s charms won’t do the job, what will?
Buster Posey’s charms
It seems like for every run at a high-profile free agent the Giants made in the last few years, Buster Posey has tagged along.
And for good reason. Not only is Buster Posey a living American hero who crushes the Reds without mercy…
… he’s also just a delightful guy. Players like him, managers like him, he’s definitely one of the better actors among his teammates, and his hugs are the stuff of legends. And compared to an egghead like Zaidi, well, it’s no contest.
(Side note: I’ll never get tired of watching Buster surprise hug attack of Tim Lincecum.)
Who wouldn’t want to work with a guy like that?
The Bay Area
Ah, the Bay Area. Few places offer the kind of views, comfort, and diverse communities you’ll find here. Plus, you get to work in the prettiest stadium in baseball:
As a well-paid manager of a professional sports team, whoever takes the job will be able to afford the rent! And thanks to Buster Posey’s good friend, Hunter Pence, he (or she) will know which sinking buildings to avoid.
Or maybe the person already lives here, and it’d be easier not to move:
Ron Wotus is interviewing with the Giants tomorrow. He was a hotshot managerial prospect when he joined the coaching staff as a 37-year-old. He's 59 now. But Felipe Alou, Joe Maddon and several others have shown that not all managerial careers take the fast track. Story soon.— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) October 8, 2019
The chance to join a storied franchise
I’ve often wondered how much a team’s laundry matters to free agents—or, in this case, managerial candidates. Of course, players and managers grew up following baseball, and of course, they all have a favorite team, whether they’re willing to admit it or not. But when weighing where to work, how much does a team’s exulted past play into a player or manager’s decision?
Baseball is, more so than other sports, a pastime steeped in nostalgia. That’s why it’s America’s pastime. No doubt even the most money-minded manager feels a small tug of his childhood when he walks into certain ballparks or considers donning certain uniforms.
Whatever the case, the new manager will get heaping doses of history—especially next year, the 10th anniversary of the first TGWTWS. Who knows, maybe it’ll be nice motivation to restart the past winning ways.
The opportunity to create a team in his own image
This is probably the ticket. It might be hard to fathom, but the team we have come to know and love will soon be completely unfamiliar. Starting in 2022, only Evan Longoria will be under contract—and that’s assuming Zaidi doesn’t work his magic to trade him to the Detroit Tigers for Casey Mize and cash. It’s a few years away, but the prospect of building a team from scratch must be somewhat tempting. And with Zaidi holding the reins of baseball operations, the new manager will have near carte blanche to do basically whatever he (or she, because hey, it’s 2019) wants.
It also doesn’t hurt that the Giants suddenly have one of the best prospects in the game. Thanks, Pablo Sandoval!
The new manager will likely have to suffer a few miserable seasons to get there, and it’s understandable why that would scare some candidates away.
But whoever decides to take the job, trust me, the Bart on Bart puns will be worth it.