The Candidate Collection: A Look At Three Managerial Candidates

I don't know a lot about Angels bench coach Ron Roenicke, but I do know he's a very prominent high-fiver: Each of the seven AP photographs of him I found were a variation of this pose.

As I've mentioned a couple of times this week, I'm working on a list of managerial candidates, and it's getting a little absurd. As of Wednesday, there were already 29 names on the list, and the Brewers had yet to conduct an interview.

Today, we'll start taking a look at those candidates, with some help from friends of the site from around the web. These candidates (and the rest in the series) are sorted in no particular order. Today we'll take a look at former Tigers manager and Cubs bench coach Alan Trammell, Angels bench coach Ron Roenicke, and former Indians manager Eric Wedge.

Follow the jump for more!

Alan Trammell:

The basics: Trammell played 20 seasons in the major leagues for the Tigers and has been coaching in one form or another since 1999. He managed the Tigers for three seasons from 2003-2005, including a team that went 43-119 and had to win five of its last six games to avoid becoming the first 120 loss team since 1962. 

Trammell was fired by the Tigers following the 2005 season, and has been the Cubs' bench coach for the last five seasons.

Brewer connection: None

Scouting report: Trammell's scouting report comes via Lee Panas of Tiger Tales.

As one of my all-time favorite Tigers, I'd love to see Alan Trammell get another chance to manage, but his first stint as a manager was not a very good one.   Sparky Anderson once said that Trammell was exceptionally knowledgeable about the game, but he hoped he didn't get into managing.  His reasoning was that he thought he was "too nice of a guy".   It sounded silly at the time, but there might be some truth to that.  

When he managed the Tigers from 2003-2005, his strength was working with and teaching young players.  He seemed to keep that 119-loss 2003 bunch playing hard all year.  There was never any indication that they gave up on the season and they actually finished on a positive note winning five of the last six to avoid breaking the 1962 Mets record for most losses.  He seemed to add a sense of professionalism and pride to the organization - something that had been missing for many years.  

When the Tigers started adding more veterans like Pudge Rodriguez in 2004-2005, Trammell seemed to lose control of the club.  In particular, he had a difficult time with Rodriguez and Dmitri Young.  The 2005 season was especially frustrating.  They were one game below .500 on August 23 and proceeded to lose 24 of their next 30 games.  I don't usually accuse teams of giving up, but that particular team seemed to mail it in. 

While I don't think Trammell did a good job, I think he was put into a bad situation.  He was a true rookie manager with no experience even at the minor league level.  He didn't help himself by hiring an equally inexperienced coaching staff including bench coach Kirk Gibson.  They gave him little more than a Triple-A team in 2003, so he really had no chance that year.   I don't think there was ever any intention of holding on to him once they put together a contending team.  I think he was just a bridge to the more experienced Jim Leyland.  There was also a sense that the front office didn't back him up in his battles with veteran players. 

On the positive side, he has a sharp baseball mind and hopefully has learned from his mistakes.  I would also think he might have learned from serving as Lou Piniella's bench coach.  I hope gets another shot.

Ron Roenicke:

The basics: Roenicke played eight major league seasons in the outfield for six teams between 1981 and 1988. He managed for five seasons in the minors during the 90's, and joined the Angels staff in 2000. He spent his first seven seasons as Mike Scioscia's third base coach, then moved to bench coach when Joe Maddon left to manage the Rays

As a coach, he's been a part of six playoff teams in his eleven seasons with the Angels. He was also 4-0 in a brief stint as acting manager in 2006.

Brewer connection: None

Scouting Report: This report comes from Rev Halofan of Halos Heaven.

Ron Roenicke has been with the Angels for eleven years - he was the 3rd base coach until succeeding Joe Maddon as the bench coach in 2006. It is difficult to tell what kind of manager he would be outside of Scioscia's shadow. In the games Scioisca has been ejected from, Roenicke has followed Mike's strategy and tendencies. Observing Joe Maddon and Bud Black, two Scioscia coaching alumni, one could expect that Roenicke as a manger would:

  • Place an emphasis on batters and baserunners pressuring the defense.
  • Have well-defined roles for bullpen arms that were etched in stone barring complete meltdowns over ten appearances.
  • Stay with starting pitchers through the middle innings and expect them to get out of tough jams through the 6th.
Other than that, i can offer one anecdote form Sciosica's coaching that Roenicke would figure into. Scioscia said in an interview once that he learned one thing form Tommy Lasorda: While the manager follows the game, the bench coach should be "thinking" the game. Sciosica is observing every pitch from near the top step of the dugout. This is one reason why he is out discussing things with the umpires so often - nothing escapes him, He can do this because he has no mental searching for strategy to distract him - that is Roenicke's job. Roenicke sits back and wonders  - would this matchup be best for a hit and run, would a lefty bat hit this pitcher better or should we save him in case we extras... the one thing you would get with Ron Roenicke as manager is someone immersed in matchups and strategy. You never see Sciosica walk back and check "the book" for numbers - Roenicke is "thinking" the game from the bench while Scioscia is the field manager.

 

Eric Wedge:

The Basics: Wedge played briefly in the majors for the Red Sox and Rockies, appearing in just 39 major league games between 1991 and 1994. After five years of managing in the minors he was promoted to the majors in 2003, where he became baseball's youngest manager (35 years old). 

The Indians won the AL Central in 2007, and Wedge was named the AL Manager of the Year. Two years later, he and his staff were dismissed after Cleveland went 65-97 in 2009.

Brewer connection: None

Scouting report: Wedge's scouting report comes from Ryan of Let's Go Tribe.

Wedge is a very intense, very motivational manager. You can't tell that by his press conferences, but there's always a story in Spring Training about how great his opening talks are. But Wedge likes to keep things within the clubhouse, so don't expect any entertaining Guillenesque clips. If he does actually call out a player, it'll come as a shock.

He's pretty conventional as far as strategy is concerned. He likes players to have specific roles, especially his relievers, and if he gets a group of 2-3 good relievers, he'll exclusively use them if the game is in question. He doesn't like to use his bench. He didn't bunt or hit-and-run much with the Indians, but the players he did have weren't exactly made for smallball. 

So what do you think? Do you want any of these guys to manage the Brewers?

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