Joe Girardi

List of manager candidates opens with three veterans; interviews start today

It was just last Thursday when the Phillies fired manager Gabe Kapler and last Friday when CEO John Middleton, team president Andy MacPhail and GM Matt Klentak addressed the media. Now, the Phillies will start the week with two interviews scheduled for Monday and another coming later this week.

Former Orioles manager Buck Showalter and former Yankees manager Joe Girardi will both be interviewed today in New York. Showalter is currently working as an analyst with the YES Network in New York and Girardi lives in the New York area. Dusty Baker, who coincidentally – or not – managed Phillies right fielder Bryce Harper for two seasons in Washington, will also be interviewed by the team. Baker is currently a special adviser to the CEO with the San Francisco Giants where he also managed earlier in his career.

In addition to his time with Baltimore, Showalter also managed the Yankees, Diamondbacks and Rangers. Showalter knows MacPhail, Klentak and assistant general manager Ned Rice from when all four men worked for the Orioles. The Orioles and Showalter parted ways after the 2018 season and Showalter did not return to managing last year, but is said to be anxious to return to the dugout and is very interested in managing the Phillies.

As for Girardi, he has sat out the past two seasons after managing the Yankees from 2008 through the 2017 season. He has served as a baseball analyst for FOX the past two seasons and likely will be returning to the dugout to manage a major league team in 2020. The Cubs interviewed Girardi last week and he will also meet with the New York Mets, perhaps some time this week. His interview with the Phillies comes on his 54th birthday.

Ironically, Girardi managed against the Phillies when he led the Yankees to the World Series championship in 2009.

Baker is an interesting name since he hasn’t been connected to other managerial jobs that are open. He has managed 22 seasons in the majors with Giants, Cubs, Reds and Nationals. He was the manager of the Nationals in 2016 and 2017 with Bryce Harper on the team’s roster in each of those seasons. Baker has a managerial record of 1863-1636 and has been named the NL Manager of the Year three times during his career. The Nationals did not bring Baker back for the 2018 season even though he won 192 games in two seasons with the team.

Girardi played for the Cubs, who are also looking for a new manager and he is from Peoria, Illinois, near Chicago. He is listed as the potential front-runner for the Cubs and the Mets openings, however, the Cubs are also considering a couple other candidates, including another former Cub, David Ross. Meanwhile, the Giants will interview Kapler for their opening.

It’s likely that the Phillies will add more names to their list of candidates, but it appears they may be set on managers with former major league experience. Joe Maddon, who managed the Tampa Bay Rays and the Chicago Cubs, has expressed an interest in the Phillies job, but appears likely to be the next manager of the Angels.

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