Like cockroaches in a fleabag motel, managerial wannabes come to surface wanting to manage a sure winner. Paul O’Neill is the latest to gravitate to the light in the wake of Dusty Baker being fired by the Cincinnati Reds. Really? I have already written about three other men supposedly being considered for the position, LaRussa, Bell and Riggleman. Click on their names to read the articles.
How many right fielders have become managers? I don’t have the patience to research it, but none come to mind, good ones anyway.
O’Neill was a good player, let there be no doubt about it. The fact that he is a Buckeye by birth doesn’t hurt his appeal either. But does a local man mean something special? Jerry Springer, now there is one that the Queen City faithful can boast of. But let me get real before I digress.
With all of the MLB managers who are currently on furlough for one reason or another, do we need to invent new ones? Back to the rumor mill at hand.
O’Neill said he would like to manager the Reds. Who wouldn’t? Move in to Dusty’s old office, look at the squad, add a little water and presto! You have a World Series team. Honest to God, I believe I could manage them to a title. According to Mark Sheldon, “Through a team spokesman late Wednesday evening, the Reds denied that they contacted O’Neill about their managerial vacancy.”
That is the way the rumor mill in sports, everything else for that matter, works its magic. A guy sees the Reds owner Bob Castellini speaking to an ex-ballplayer and immediately rush to judgment that they are talking employment. O’Neill told ESPN,
“I would love to sit down and find out
what their thoughts are,
There are basically two organizations in my life,
the Reds and the Yankees.
Any time you live in the city, you understand
and see what happens in an organization…”
I bet he would like to know their thoughts. Moreover Paul, what are your thoughts? Tired of broadcasting for the Yankees? Personally I would rather see Chris Welsh than O’Neill. At least he is familiar with the talent pool here in Cincinnati. Don’t get me wrong folks, I am not advocating a write-in campaign for Welsh, merely stating my preferences.
As far as we know O’Neill hasn’t even managed a Little League squad. Mike Matheny hadn’t managed prior to taking over for the aforementioned LaRussa. One thing to manage after being a coach for a while. A completely different scenario to just start off bare bones. I would like a little experience with my team please. Free-ballers need not apply.
With the men I have written about thus far, my pecking order would be from the top, Jim Riggleman, David Bell and O’Neill. Not much of an endorsement eh, more of an indictment on the pulpit committee.