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Friday Bantering: Managerial Search, Playoffs

Oakland Athletics v Seattle Mariners Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images


As we know many names are being mentioned as the Blue Jays search for their new manager. Eric Wedge, John McDonald, Sandy Alomar Jr., and Stubby Clapp are mentioned as likely candidates. DeMarlo Hale and Double-A manager John Schneider are also known to be under consideration.

As briefly mentioned elsewhere today Toronto is also looking at Giants VP of player development David Bell and MLB Network analyst Dave Valle.

Bell is also a candidate for the Reds’ manager position, and has been mentioned as a potential successor to Bruce Bochy in San Francisco. Before becoming the Giants’ farm director, Bell worked for the Cardinals as a bench coach and assistant hitting coach, the Cubs as a third base coach, and as a manager for the Reds’ Double-A and Triple-A affiliates.

Valle would be a very leftfield (pardon the pun) choice as his only pro managing or coaching experience was one season managing Seattle’s A-ball affiliate in 2014. Since wrapping up his 13-year playing career in 1996, Valle has been a TV and radio broadcaster for the Mariners, as well as a broadcaster for MLB Network since 2009.

Mark DeRosa “has been linked” to the Rangers’ managerial job (DON’T DO IT MARK!!) and he could be a candidate of interest for the Blue Jays as they look for a new dugout boss.

He has been a broadcaster since retiring after the 2013 season, though he has touted as a possible future manager (he interviewed with the Marlins in 2015 and the Mets last winter for dugout vacancies). DeRosa played for both the Rangers (yuck) and Jays over the course of his 16-year big league career, as well as a brief stint with Cleveland (when Shatkins were in the organization).

The Twins have offered Paul Molitor a new position with a “likely” focus on player development but as his preference is to continue coaching or managing at the big league level, it isn’t likely he will accept it. There are several other managerial openings around the league (OriLOLes, Angels, Reds and of course the Jays) for which Molitor could potentially emerge as a candidate. He also has experience as a big league hitting coach, and both the D-backs and Pirates are looking for someone in that role.

I loved Molitor in his time with us as player, but im not keen on him being manager.

The two Game 1s of the NLDS yesterday couldn’t have been more different.

Hyun-Jin Ryu threw a gem against the Braves at Dodger Stadium as his team won 6-0, taking a 1-0 series lead.

Joc Pederson led off the bottom of the first inning with a solo home run off of Mike Foltynewicz while Max Muncy tacked on a three-run homer in the second. That was more than enough offense. Enrique Hernández added a solo homer in the sixth off of Brad Brach to make it 5-0. David Freese knocked in one more run just for good measure in the eighth with a sacrifice fly.

Ryu pitched seven great innings, yielding just four hits with no walks and eight Ks on 104 pitches. Oddly, Atlanta out-hit LA six to five. The Dodgers, however, out-walked the Braves eight to none.

I can see this being a tough series for Atlanta, especially as they face Clayton Kershaw tomorrow. But there is hope:

In the other game, the Brewers nearly collapsed, but instead walked off 3-2 winners against the Rockies in a game that was toight like a toiger.

A two-run home run by Christian Yelich in the third inning seemed to be all the offense the Brew Crew needed as Rockies starter Anthony Senzatela pitched decently. He gave up three hits in total with two walks and struck out one on 73 pitches across five innings. The Rockies’ bullpen then held the Brewers scoreless for four more innings.

Brandon Woodruff went well for the Brewers throwing three scoreless, hitless innings. He yielded just one walk while striking out three.

Jeremy Jeffress, an All-Star and former Blue Jay castoff who finished the season with a 1.29 ERA, came on in the ninth for the save and that’s where he ballsed things up. The Rockies greeted him with three successive singles, including Charlie Blackmon’s RBI hit. Then Nolan Arenado lifted a sacrifice fly two batters later and the game was tied.

Christian Yelich worked a walk in the 10th before Mike Moustakas’ two-out, two-strike single gave Milwaukee the win. Special mention must go to former Jay Curtis Granderson who moved Yelich into scoring position with a force out.

Both teams’ bullpens did a lot of work tonight, so it will be interesting to see just how much managers Bud Black and Craig Counsell rely on their starters today.

In other former Blue Jay news, Cleveland’s final roster spot for the ALDS has gone to Rajai Davis, as Terry Francona indicated that the potential to utilize Davis as a late-inning baserunning threat was too good to omit. Rajai didn’t hit much this season (has he ever?) — .224/.278/.281 in 216 plate appearances — but he still managed to swipe 21 bases in a very limited role.

Sources say that Blue Jays VP of baseball operations Ben Cherington won’t be interviewing for the Mets GM position. Apparently Cherington is happy in his current job....

And it seems that John Farrell has found another ‘dream job’ as all signs point to him being the Reds next manager.

And to end, I leave you with the most pressing question of the postseason: who has the best hair??