October 17, 2019
The Phillies are looking for their next manager, who will ideally be able to turn a roster featuring Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto, and Aaron Nola into a World Series contender.
This seems like an easy sell, but the Phils already missed out on Joe Maddon, so it's time to push on before other attractive openings -- the Cubs and the Mets, for instance -- draw in the biggest names.
According to odds released Thursday from popular oddsmaker Sportsbetting.ag, the three most likely candidates for the job are Buck Showalter (+300), Joe Girardi (+325), and Dusty Baker (+350). These three are separated by very little in the odds themselves, and also in reality: they all bring a wealth of managing experience to the table, though Girardi is the only to manage his way to a World Series title (and against the Phillies, no less).
The Phillies reportedly met with all three of the heavy favorites this week, but they'll likely keep their options open while there are plenty of candidates still available.
Here are the full odds:
• Buck Showalter +300
• Joe Girardi +325
• Dusty Baker +350
• Dusty Wathan +500
• Joe Espada +750
• Raul Ibañez +750
• Charlie Manuel +1200
• Curt Schilling +1500
• Mike Scioscia +2000
• Lenny Dykstra +2500
Former Phillies All-Star Raúl Ibañez would be an intriguing, if unexpected, option. Ibañez was popular during his three seasons with the Phillies, and has spent some of his brief retirement from baseball working as a special assistant to Andrew Friedman, the Dodgers' President of Baseball Operations.
Charlie Manuel is one of the more obvious dark horse choices, and would probably be worth a long-shot bet if you're feeling wild. Hiring back a former manager after you jettisoned him from the job mid-season would make for quite a scenario, but Manuel already returned to the team this past season as a coach, after previously working for them as a special advisor, and clearly gets both the organization and the city.
The inclusion of Curt Schilling at +1500 ahead of Mike Scioscia is a joke, and only exists because Schilling said this week he wouldn't mind becoming the Phillies' manager. I wouldn't mind owning the Eagles, but that's not happening, either.
Tossing Lenny Dysktra at the very end is even more insane than Schilling: Dysktra's post-baseball life has been full of run-ins with the law, and he also has precisely zero managing experience, or even coaching experience. He's also just plain wild.
I think the Phillies should hire Girardi, but I also won't be the one paying him. We'll see what happens.