Phillies: Could Jim Thome or Raul Ibanez be Next Manager?


Who will the Philadelphia Phillies‘ long-term manager be?

Yesterday afternoon, the Phillies’ confirmed that Pete Mackanin would remain the club’s manager for the rest of the season. This came following a slew of executive changes over the course of the past week that saw Ryne Sandberg resign as manager and Andy MacPhail be introduced as Pat Gillick’s eventual replacement.

Not that he probably would have been back on the staff anyway, but it appears Mackanin took a job that has a clear expiration date. That date, simply enough, will be October 4th, when the 2015 regular season ends.

CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury took an educated speculative look yesterday at some possible candidates for the long-term manager. His look turned up some interesting possibilities with connections to the Phillies.

"Raul IbanezKeep an eye on this name if the Phils are willing to go with a young, inexperienced skipper to preside over the rebuild on the field. Ibanez has the smarts and is highly respected in the game. He has a tremendous work ethic and always led by example. He loved his time as a player in Philadelphia and still has a lot of admirers in the organization. He was one of three finalists last fall to manage Tampa Bay."

I don’t necessarilly want the Phillies to go with someone who has recent connections to the team, but Ibanez certainly should be a candidate. He’s been through the interview process and is going to get a look as a manager somewhere. If the team hired him, it wouldn’t be because of his Phillies’ connection but rather the widespread belief that he could slide into being a successful manager sooner rather than later.

Also, the Phillies shouldn’t rule out going with a first-time manager because Sandberg fell flat on his face. If Ibanez — or any other first-time candidate — is the best candidate, he should be hired.

"Jim ThomeA beloved former Phillie, hard worker and leader by example. He has stayed in baseball in the White Sox’s front office and has expressed an interest in managing."

Ryne Sandberg was a hard worker and someone who lead by example, and ended up being too nice of a guy to be a successful big league manager. I’m not saying Thome couldn’t be successful as a manager, but I’m not sure he’s the type of candidate the Phillies should be looking at right now.

"Juan SamuelHe was once an interim manager for MacPhail in Baltimore. He probably would have been a good choice to be interim skipper with the Phillies. It’s possible the Phillies did not go that route because they want to interview him with a clean slate in the offseason."

Worth noting: he was an interim manager in Baltimore for MacPhail, who then elected to bring in Buck Showalter, who had an infinite amount of experience compared to Sammy.

Your guess is as good as mine as to if Samuel would be a good manager. It’s difficult to judge something like that based off of him having coached both first and third-base for the Phillies. However, staying with someone that was on Sandberg’s staff doesn’t seem ideal.

"David BellFormer Phillies’ third baseman has minor-league managerial experience up to the Triple A level. He is currently bench coach for the St. Louis Cardinals. Bell was always a gentlemanly presence in the Phillies’ clubhouse, but he’s got a lot of fire below the surface and isn’t afraid to show it when needed."

Bell was one of my least favorite Phillies of all-time. He was part of the mid-2000’s rotating circus of terrible third-baseman that also included Wes Helms and Abraham Nunez

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That said, he comes from a very good organization in St. Louis, one that is led by a player-turned-manager in Mike Matheny.

The guess here is that MacPhail will pick a relatively inexperienced general manager to work under him, while balancing that out with someone with a good amount of experience in the dugout. Salisbury mentioned Ron Gardenhire, Mike Scioscia and Bud Black all as successful re-tread possibilities.

Another name to keep in mind could be Joe Girardi. Should the Yankees not make the playoffs for the third straight year, they could choose to fire him and pay the remaining two years of his deal. His second stint with the Cubs as a player came during MacPhail’s regime.

Next: Ruben Amaro Still in Charge?