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Diamondbacks managers: the final four

As mentioned by DeadmanG in Snakebytes earlier, a decision regarding the new manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks may be made as soon as tomorrow, and it seems the field has been narrowed to four.

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Writing in USA Today, Bob Nightengale quoted un-named "high-ranking Diamondbacks officials with direct knowledge of the decision,: as saying that the remaining candidates are:

  • Sandy Alomar Jr., currently the Cleveland Indians' bench coach;
  • Chip Hale, the Oakland Athletics bench coach;
  • Phil Nevin, manager of our AAA affiliate in Reno;
  • Jim Tracy, not currently active.

Tracy is the only one to have previously managed in the major leagues before, though that doesn't necessarily give him an advantage - as Nightengale points out, three of our last four managers had no previous experience when hired by Arizona. It's also a bit of a double-edged sword. Yes, he has been at the helm of the Dodgers, the Pirates and the Rockies. It also means he has been fired/resigned from the Dodgers, the Pirates and the Rockies. All told, his overall career record is 856-880, but it's quite heavily skewed by his early success in Los Angeles. Of his last seven seasons (one partial) in the big leagues, he never won more than 83 games.

Here's an idea being floated, which would get two of the four names into the Diamondbacks dugout.

It would be somewhat odd, because usually, it's the manager who has the biggest say in choosing his bench coach.  However, if that is the intention, it might explain why Alan Trammell was fired from his role as bench coach, alongside Kirk Gibson (though Trammell hung around to manage the last series of the season), but the remainder of the coaching staff were left in their jobs - at least for now. In particular, after overseeing a staff which saw it's ERA+ slump from 99 to 88 this year, I would certainly recommend pitching coach Mike Harkey against signing any long-term leases on accommodation in the valley.

If these reports are true, it doesn't appear the next manager will be Jay Bell, who was the runaway leader of our last poll, looking at the full field of 11 candidates. Of the 314 votes, he received 36%, more than three times as much as the next-highest candidate, Hale on 11%. There wasn't much difference between the surviving candidates: Alomar came in at 9%, with Nevin and Tracy both getting 8% of the vote (Tracy edging into third-pace by a single vote). But that leaves 64% of the previous voters now able to switch their ballots to one of the remaining four, so the numbers could really change in this final poll...