More on the four

A quick look at the known finalists for the Indians’ managerial job:

MANNY ACTAactaheadshot.jpg
Experience: Former Nationals manager

Hire him: His open-mindedness toward sabermetrics might mesh well with the Indians’ front office, his Dominican roots allow for an easy rapport with Latin players and he could be primed to succeed after learning from his experiences with the Nats.

Stay away: Yes, the Nats were an awful ballclub, so it’s best not to put too much stock into Acta’s managerial record, but the team was 26-61 with Acta this season and 33-42 after he was dismissed, so they showed improvement without him.



lovullo.jpgTOREY LOVULLO
Experience: Triple-A Columbus manager

Hire him: As the Indians retool with their young talent, who better to take over that young talent than the guy who helped mold those players at the Triple-A level? Lovullo is smart, confident and a good communicator.

Stay away: Hiring Lovullo, who has no Major League coaching experience, would reek of the “same old, same old” atmosphere the Indians are trying to avoid. Fans might view him as a Wedge clone.



mattingly.jpgDON MATTINGLY
Experience: Current Dodgers hitting coach and former Yankees first baseman

Hire him: His credentials as a player would earn him instant respect with his players. He’s studied under Joe Torre and is even said to be in line to be Torre’s successor, if he doesn’t leave first. “Donnie Baseball” has been very successful as a hitting coach.

Stay away: The Yankees didn’t name him Torre’s successor in 2007 for a variety of reasons, including his mild-mannered nature, what they deem to be his unpreparedness for a big-league managing job and the simple reason that they felt he was too much like Torre. If Wedge didn’t appeal to fans, would the soft-spoken Mattingly have a better fate?


Experience: Current ESPN analyst, former Mets, Rangers and Chiba Lotte Marines (Japanese Pacific League) manager

Hire him: He is, by far, the most experienced of the remaining candidates, and his career managerial record in 15 big-league seasons is 1,117-1,072, including a World Series appearance with the Mets in 2000. He would bring a welcomed new opinion to an organization that has struggled with the evaluation of its own talent. And his personality might be a hit with fans.

Stay away: At this stage in his career, is Valentine a good fit for a team that figures to come out on the short side quite often next season and will be geared more toward player development? And considering he made about $4 million managing in Japan last year, is Valentine affordable for the cash-strapped Tribe?


Bobby V. was in the World Series with the Mets in 2000 (not 2002). And I would love for the Indians to hire him.

I can choose option E, none of the above?
None of them wow me at all. Worse, none of them seem to be all that pitching minded.

Thanks for the catch, Ellie. Duly noted.

And LACF, there might still be an option E or F. For now, what you see is what you get.

Is there really much doubt that it will be Acta? It just seems to fit. The other guys would just make me ask ‘they fired Wedge for this?’ Valentine isn’t coming, why would he? It might not take the 4 million he got in Japan last year (they probably had to pay that to keep him there as long as they did) but he wouldn’t be cheap. Of course, Act isn’t going to do it for free either.

Can I be option F? Because that would totally mess with people’s heads.
Maybe they should let people vote on it, like they let the paper writers vote on the team’s nickname way back when (if we called ourselves the Indians in an effort to be as successful as the Braves of the time, should we be changing our name now to something either Red or Sox related?).

Rudy Jaramillo..hitting coach. Get Jaramillo, Acta, Hargrove, Fryman and a pitching coach.

Typical Shapiro, doesn’t want to hire someone that might make him look bad by being a better manager than his buddy Eric Wedge! … Hire Tony Pena, talk Greg Maddux into coming on board as the pitching coach and hire Hargrove as the bench coach. .. Problem solved! … Now if we only had a decent pitching staff for Maddux to “coach” ….

Imlbsim: What makes you think Tony Pena wants to come back to Cleveland? Also, How do you know that Shapiro didn’t already get permission to talk to Pena and already talked to him? We (you) don’t know.. You make it sound so easy. Just hire Tony!

And hire Pena based on what? Getting the Royals 4 games over .500 for ONE season and 104 losses the next? Sure, he was AL Manager of the Year once, but guess what? So was Wedge.
And hire Maddux based on what? Yes, he was a great pitcher — that doesn’t mean he can teach it.
As for all the Hargrove talk, the last thing this team needs is someone as an assistant who used to be in charge. The new manager will constantly be questioned and the fans and media will call for Hargrove to take over at the drop of a hat. It would be disastrous.

LACF, Amen. I agree. That was one of the dumbest posts I have read on this blog.

LACF/pigeon, I agree and commented previously on the new manager’s inability to hire one of the other candidates as a bench coach simply b/c of the scenario you described. However, I do think that Fryman is a few years away in his current form but could significantly benefit from the ML experience and exposure on the bench so perhaps I am contradicting myself. Then again, he’s not a finalist but nevertheless I digress.

Since none of these finalists are pitching-minded I once again restate that the pitching coach is the more important hiring. Having a great coach with a poor staff never works out well. None of the candidates are lock down guys. They all bring something different to the table. Acta is cerebral and bilingual but has a poor managerial history, Valentine is experienced but pricey and questionable for a rebuilding team, Lovullo would be a huge surprise so I kinda forget about him, and Mattingly is an up-and-comer with zero experience. Which direction should be go? Gimme Mattingly.

I am a little concerned with Mattingly’s perception of the situation though. Here is an excerpt from The Washington Times (via ESPN): the Nats have asked to speak to Don Mattingly, who is busy now with the NLCS. Mattingly also has talked to the Indians, who are in more of a rush. “Cleveland’s on, it seems like, a little different timetable,” Mattingly told the Times. “Washington is willing to wait until after the World Series to start.”

I don’t like that at all.

rgrunds, I felt the need to pass along some information to you. There are sources from ESPN, Yahoo Sports, and newspapers out of Chicago that Rudy Jaramillo has agreed to terms with the Cubs. Sorry dude.

Of the four, I kind of eliminate two of them based upon the situation: I like Lovullo, but, as AC pointed out, it defeats the purpose of at least pretending like we’re trying something new. And I don’t think any Valentine makes any kind of sense at all.
So I’m left with Acta or Mattingly or option E or F that we just haven’t heard yet. I’m okay with Acta, both because I don’t hold the Nationals against him and because I think he’s got something to prove BECAUSE of what happened with the Nationals. And I like Mattingly because I think he’d be a players’ manager aka I really doubt we’re going to see platoons at every position and a constantly changing line-up if Mattingly is filling out that card.
But, as we all keep saying, it’s the pitching coach who’s going to be the big deal breaker here, so I have to wonder: which one of these guys can bring in the best pitching coach?

I would agree. I’d be satisfied with either Acta or Mattingly. I do have a slight preference for the up-and-comer in Donnie Baseball b/c of his higher ceiling potential but I do not look at Acta as a poor hiring. In fact Terry Pluto had a great article today in the PD about Acta’s potential. I’ve convinced myself that he will be the guy so I’m prepared for it. I guess the only way I’m floored is if it’s Valentine. I don’t want him. On the pitching coach aspect I unfortunately do not have a list of those potenital candidates so when it happens we all will be scrambling for information.

I was on the fence between Acta & Mattingly. Then I saw Donnie Baseball’s mug shot. That alone makes me want to give the job to Acta. No grey soul patches will ever get me excited for a baseball coach.

I hope Choice E is talking John Farrell into accepting the position.

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