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MLB managers entering revolving door

The 2010 MLB season ends this weekend, with the AL East, AL Wild Card, NL West and NL Wild Card spots still up in the air.  But for many other teams, this off-season could potentially be as interesting as the playoff races. 

As many as 13 teams could change managers for the 2011 season, an unprecedented number. This is on top of the two recent hirings of Buck Showalter in Baltimore and Don Mattingly with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Here’s how the managerial landscape currently stands heading into the hot stove season: 

  • The Braves and Blue Jays are certain to have new managers due to the announced retirements of Bobby Cox and Cito Gaston, respectively.  Former Marlins manager (and Hanley Ramirez’s least favorite skipper) is the current front-runner in Atlanta.
  • The Cubs, Diamondbacks, Mariners and Marlins currently have interim managers, and are all likely to hire new ones.
  • The Brewers, Mets and Pirates are likely to make changes soon.  Don’t expect Jerry Manuel and Ken Macha to have their options picked up in New York and Milwaukee, respectively.  Two interesting names that have recently popped up – Joe Torre potentially going back to Queens (thanks to his “…I hope the phone rings” faux pas) and former Mets manager/current Brewers bench coach Willie Randolph taking over for Macha.  And would anyone really notice if John Russell was jettisoned in Pittsburgh?

This brings us to the most interesting part of the discussion, the potential changes that loom.

  • Tony La Russa’s contract us up in St. Louis.
  • Ozzie Guillen may want out of Chicago, especially given his son’s feud with White Sox GM Kenny Williams via Twitter.
  • Dusty Baker has yet to ink the Reds’ offered contract extension.
  • Joe Girardi’s contract is up with the Yankees at the end of the season.  The possibility still looms that the former Cubs catcher would return to Chicago to manage his hometown team.  However, Cubs legend Ryne Sandberg remains the fan-favorite to take over.

Oh, the possibilities are endless.  How about this scenario?  Girardi, miffed at not getting an extension after winning a World Series in 2009 and/or blamed for the Yankees’ collapse this season, bolts for Wrigley Field.  Torre, fresh off his make-up hug with GM Brian Cashman, makes like Billy Martin and triumphantly returns to the Bronx.  The Mets, spurned again and yet again reacting to the Yankees’ lead, hire ESPN’s Bobby Valentine for a second go-round.  Guillen moves to Miami to take the Marlins, where his son is also free to Tweet away at Williams.  White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf, sensing the “reunion” theme, brings La Russa back to the South Side (although the hideous 1983-style uniforms should NOT return).

At the very least, this should make for excellent reality television.  Who needs “Jersey Shore” (or is it “Sewer”)?

Used with permission of the author.

Chris Lardieri covers the Los Angeles Dodgers for Examiner.com and has written about Major League Baseball for Inside Edge, a scouting company that provides content to ESPN Insider and Yahoo Sports. He previously wrote for 1766, the Rutgers Alumni Magazine, and popular blog, ‘The Outer Loop’.  Be sure to follow Chris on Twitter for more MLB and sports observations.

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax, LLC

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