|Hey now... I pinch hit Coffey for a reason|
Here is something none of you know about me yet, but will quickly realize, god dammit I love baseball. Playing, watching, complaining, Ken Macha bomb plotting, I just can't get enough. So you can probably imagine my excitement knowing someone else will be at the helm in 2011 besides Mr. Macha. In 2011 we will be graced by a new face that by mid-July we will be chanting for his removal, please sit back and realize, we are still the Milwaukee Brewers.
Nevertheless, there are about a handful (or two) of candidates that you should know about and a few candidates you should pray never ever manage in Milwaukee.
Cecil Cooper: Please, no. Cooper was arguably one of the best players in Milwaukee Brewers history, and served as the bench coach in 2002. Cooper held the helm at the Brewers Triple-A club from 03-04, and has most recently been seen managing the Houston Astros for three seasons. In those three seasons he held a 171-170 record. Now, you may be saying "hey, that's above .500, give him a shot". Just no. With a lacksadaisical style, much comparable to Macha, Cooper just cannot offer the passion we need for the young kids on this team.
Pat Listach: Another former Brewer gunning for the helm is Pat Listach. The former Brewer and Rookie of the Year in 1992, Listach most recently has been stuck in a void around third base in D.C with the Nationals, so what I am saying is he really hasn't been doing much. He managed the Cubs Triple-A Iowa affiliate from 06-08, winning Manager of the Year in 2008. Listach has already been noted saying how interested he is in this job. If Listach were named the skipper, I wouldn't be pleading a end-all in the 2011 season, but I don't see him as the clubs long term option, again, just my opinion.
Juan Samuel: Samuel, the former Orioles interim manager managed 51 games in 2010 before the team hired Buck Showalter. In those 51 games, the team was 17-34. I feel bad for saying I don't know much about this guy, but hell, I don't know much about this guy. If you take anything away from this post, just know that Juan Samuel named his son Samuel Samuel. Yes, that's true.
Ron Roenicke: Roenicke is a interesting guy. He is that guy who you know has been waiting his entire managerial career to get a shot to be the top dog. He managed 643 games a crossed six seasons in minors, and has served as the Los Angelas Angels of Anaheim bench coach since 2006. Roenicke also holds a 4-0 managerial record when he filled in for a suspended Mike Scioscia in '06. Roenicke is that name where if he doesn't become manager in Milwaukee, you won't think twice about it, but if he does, you might not be as disappointed as you think you would be.
Joey Cora: Serving as the White Sox bench coach and interim manager when Ozzie Guillen losses his cool (did I mention that's a lot?). Cora has already been contacted by the Brewers and is said to be interviewing for the job "soon". Knowing he has sat under Guillen for six seasons, he probably has had a attitude check and developed a bit of fire. That might sound like a bad thing, but when it comes to a manger in Milwaukee, I don't think it is.
Bobby Valentine: I'm sure you already know this name and it is for good reasons. Valentine has managed over three-thousand games in his career and currently has a nice comfy job at ESPN. Valentine spoke quite "informally" with Doug Melvin, and openly said he doesn't have the "burning desire" to manage again. With that said, he also did not rule out the fact that he would manage again, but it is pretty clear he wants to manage a winner after turning down a job with the Marlins. It's currently unknown whether he will interview in Milwaukee, we can only hope that he does.
Bob Melvin: Saving the favorite for last, Bob Melvin is the name and face I want to see in Milwaukee in 2011. Melvin served as the bench coach in Milwaukee during the '90's, managed the Mariners from 03-04, and managed the D'backs from 05-09. Yes, he only went 493-508 during those seven seasons and 1,001 regular season games, though it doesn't seem like a good record, note that includes a 63-99 record in 2004. Melvin also led the D'backs to a NL West title in 07, a title that earned him Manager of the Year honors. Nicknamed "The Mad Scientist" is Bob Melvin the answer to the Brewers questions? The answer to that remains to be seen.
In my honest opinion, I do not believe who manages the Brewers in 2011 will matter all that much, the difference between Cooper and Melvin may be a handful of wins. The Manager choice will not matter until the 2012 season. Unless Milwaukee crash lands into a pitching gold mine, we can expect the under-performing of our pitching staff to continue. Dump Fielder to the Giants for Bumgarner, move Lawrie for a mid-tier pitcher, and hope and pray that Rogers and Jeffress stay healthy and pan out to the expectations that the organization has for them.
I am a very biased and opinionated Brewer fan, who very much looks forward to writing for The Bucky Channel, I hope you look forward to reading my thoughts and opinions on the team as we move forward to 2011. As I typed that last line, it just hit me that the 2010 season is still going on, but I know in a blink of an eye it will be March, and we will start this train all over again. All Aboard.
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