First off, I’d like to apologize for inadvertently turning IPL into a Blue Jays mirror site. Hopefully this is the last time, and then I, and we, can focus on whatever plans are being laid out for the Indians over the coming weeks and months.
Having said that, some very familiar names have surfaced as potential candidates for the head job in Toronto. The Toronto Sun’s Bob Elliott tweeted today that there is significant speculation surrounding Mike Hargrove for the Blue Jays gig.
I feel that his inclusion into their search makes a quite a bit of sense. He has experience dealing with egos (Albert had enough of it for twenty people) and he has experience in how to foster a contender. He’s only a couple bad breaks away from being a possible Cooperstown inductee. He’s already a walking legend for Indians fans and he still couldn’t get the team over the hump.
He had some pretty rough goes of it after his Cleveland tenure in Baltimore and Seattle, but his success with leading the Indians is what still makes him viable. Consider also that he would now have the potentially top-flight pitching that John Hart was never able to supply him with. By that fact alone, a convincing case could be made that this Toronto team could be a better bet than what he had in those days.
There is not a single managing free-agent who would turn down this job if given the opportunity after all of the talent acquired a week and a half ago. While it is all in the name of “due diligence” to talk to guys who were Indians wash-outs like Manny Acta (too apathetic) or Jim Riggleman (too interim-manager-y), if there’s a guy directly connected to the Indians (and is someone not named “Farrell, John”), one would think that Grover would be the guy they are definitely interested in. But not Grady Little. He may be the worst ever.
But as they should, Toronto’s casting their nets far and wide for their search, as names like Bobby Cox (for a second tour of duty) and Jim Tracy are also being considered. I’m pretty sure they would still want to talk to someone like Tony LaRussa. Or Phil Jackson (ha!). And, aw, heck, why not the ghost of Casey Stengal, too?
With my luck, though, they’ll use a bait-and-switch on me right after this hits your eyeballs and they announce the hiring of Sadaharu Oh. Because the Jays can’t hit well enough already, or something. Purely for fun, though, I think it would be fun if they’d talk with Ozzie Guillen. Just to see virtually half of their team climb the walls in horror. And because I am an evil person who takes pleasure in watching total train-wrecks.
Now, please Indians. Give me something about you to write and complain about.
UPDATE: Blue Jays will hire their former manager, John Gibbons for another round. It will be announced Tuesday morning (Nov. 20) in conjunction with the trade announcement. No word as to if Dana White will want to schedule an undercard fight with Gibbons a player when the UFC returns to T-Dot.