By:  Holly Horning

Last week, I started our foray into identifying a master list of managerial candidates the Tigers may be considering to replace Brad next year. To make it interesting, I started the analysis with candidates least likely to receive a phone call. If you missed Part One of the series, catch up and read it here:

What will turn out to be a four-part series, we will gradually work our way up the managerial food chain in three more installments. Each blog will hopefully bring us closer to the ideal candidates the Tiger will consider.

As stated in the first part of this series, there are a number of factors to be considered in identifying which managers are most and least likely to earn interviews. I’ve excluded coaches due to the lack of info about them and Mr. I’s rumored desire to hire a manager with experience.

In addition to the resume, candidates need to match in multiple categories, such as personality, corporate culture, managerial record, ability to work with developing players, veterans and superstars, as well as their practicing baseball philosophy.

Also consider how they will fit in with some of the new programs Al Avila is introducing. For example, the new analytics department is already off and running with four employees so any new manager would need to be on board with using it.

Remember that as we approach the end of the season, the membership in these lists will change somewhat as teams improve, some tank, some win a playoff berth – or don’t. Some managers will sign contract extensions. So will some GMs. And then again, more GMs may be fired which will put the team’s manager in jeopardy.

This will be especially true in the last two installments of the candidate lists. So far, there have been a couple of managers who have slipped from “likely” to “less likely” due to their teams upping their performance and ranking in their division.

Then again, there are a few owners who seem to operate on whim so potentially one or two more may find themselves suddenly on the outside looking in.

Last week, I categorized the first group of candidates as “Not a Chance.” Today, let’s label the second group as “Slim to None.” Later this week, we’ll work our way up to those most likely.

Ready to jump in? Let’s analyze a group of managers who simply don’t possess the factors Mr. I and Al desire in a new manager.

Fredi Gonzalez – Earlier thought to be on a short leash given the Braves’ firing of their GM, he and his coaches just had their contracts extended.

Dan Jennings – His track record is all of one year, and it’s a losing one, too.

Pat Murphy – Currently Interim Manager, his resume is a whopping half-year and on the losing end, too.

Bryan Price – As the Reds’ manager, he’s had two seasons with losing records which include losses numbering in the 80’s.

Robin Ventura – Despite one winning season, he’s expected to be fired at the end of this year. Much has been written about his laid-back demeanor being the reason why his team has not done well. Mr. I is probably thinking “been there, done that.”

Walt Weiss – He holds the Rockies worst record in managerial history. ‘Nuff said.

It is speculated that this year will be one of the biggest years for managers to be fired – and for them to be hired. Let’s hope the Tigers don’t move too quickly – or too slowly – in finding the best candidate. Let’s also pray that they are willing to consider solid strategists instead of going with the safe and familiar.

Stay tuned for Part Three later this week……….


  1. Holly, I love the premise and the thought that you have put into your series, “The Usual Suspects”. You may want to consider one additional installment because once the season is over and the manager has been selected, it would be great to get your take(s) on the Tiger’s decision process and the actual choice.


  2. Another thing about Bryan Price – earlier this season he gave which I believe was a post game interview in which he dropped the F-bomb 77 times. This alone will probably drop him from any managerial candidate list


  3. Holly, as always a pure pleasure to read your work. Your command of wording and thought process always makes my daily wake up call a pleasure! Thus far, I agree “almost 100%. I’d have Gardenhire included with this group. Now my “bomb”- we have to include Ausmus in this group 😦 Players are speaking up, he’s signed, and continues to spot start AA.


  4. Holly, will the blog be updated everyday throughout the off-season or just when the tigers make news? Some topics that would make great discussion on here this winter could include: Rob Manfred’s first year as commissioner, Pete Rose reinstatement or not, the debate to extend netting in all MLB parks or not and further expansion to include more teams


    • Hi, Chuck – Thanks for asking! Yes, we will continue to publish Believe it or not, there is so much to say about the Tigers that we’ll always have something. Occasionally, we do venture into the baseball in general and I have written about Manfred already – and will continue to do so. Appreciate your list of topics – keep them coming. And keep reading! Thanks – Holly


      • I don’t care, I still want Mike Scioscia. Yes, he has had some teams that did not do so well but i general he is exactly what the Tigers need. He can manage all aspects of the game well. Just my humble opinion


  5. Just wanted to say how awesome this site is; insightful, honest and articulate. Thanks for all your work. As for potential managers, how about Tim Wallach? I know he was interviewed last time. He has worked with the Dodgers and currently their bench coach. Heard he loves working with young players and has the experience in MLB with an excellent organization.


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