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Manny Acta? Mike Hargrove? Is anyone not a potential Blue Jays manager?

Nov 19, 2012, 7:29 AM EDT

Mike Hargrove

Everyone talks about the Yankees as team whose internal deliberations are not typically leaked to the press, but the Blue Jays are right up there in the informational black hole rankings.  Know how you know this? The wild, all over the place speculation about who their new manager might me.

I mean, it’s possible that Jim Tracy, Jim Riggleman or any other guy who has been mentioned may be the new guy. Or it’s possible they won’t be. But the fact that we’ve had any number of names mentioned, but none who have acknowledged, through surrogates or otherwise, that they are truly candidates is evidence of a press that really doesn’t have a handle on who the Jays are truly targeting.

Two new names from my Twitter feed overnight:

Manny Acta would be an … interesting choice. Sure, I love his style and everything, but do you really get a job with a team that is going for it like the Jays are going for it after two very recent failed stints like Acta has had? He was forced to experience no time in bench coach/special advisor wilderness after being fired by the Nats and if he gets a job for 2013 after being canned by the Indians he’ll have done the immediately-land-on-his-feet thing for a second straight time. How good an interviewer is he?

Hargrove is a much more intriguing name. He’s been out of the game for a long time and left his last job — the Mariners in 2007 — in midseason while the team was 45-33, on a winning streak and in second place. The official explanation was that it was due to family and/or burnout issues or/something like that. It’s possible he was clashing with Ichiro Suzuki.  Either way, the very next year he started expressing a desire to get back to managing in the bigs but hasn’t had an opportunity to do so.  He spent some time managing a semi-pro team in 2008 and 2009. Then he took some time off. Since 2011 he has served as a special advisor to the Indians. But the dude does have a couple of pennants and was always well-thought-of as a manager.

That’s kind of the Davey Johnson track, isn’t it? Maybe, as some teams are looking to ape the Robin Ventura/Walt Weiss/Mike Matheny no-experience trend, the Jays are looking to go the bring-back-the-old-hand-who-left-too-soon route that the Nationals took?

Who knows? Based on the disparate reports we’ve seen, no one except the Blue Jays.

  1. papalurchdxb - Nov 19, 2012 at 7:35 AM

    I’d read that Ozzie Guillen was out of work and pleading poverty recently. He’d have a head start above anyone else seeing as he’s familiar with half the Jays roster already…

    • kopy - Nov 19, 2012 at 10:48 AM

      Canada also has flights to Cuba, so visitation would be much easier for him.

  2. Mark - Nov 19, 2012 at 7:44 AM

    AA has made a point in saying if you hear a rumour about the Jays it’s not true. Look at how that blockbuster got done and nobody knew about it until it was happening.

    The only thing we know about the Blue Jays next manager is that it likely won’t be any of the names we’ve heard through the media.

    • paperlions - Nov 19, 2012 at 7:57 AM

      Well, it almost hast to be one of the names, doesn’t it? I think every possible name has been rumored.

      • proudlycanadian - Nov 20, 2012 at 8:37 AM

        Nobody, but nobody mentioned John Gibbons. Gibbons had a .500 record in his previous stint as a manager, which was much better than the record of the retreads mentioned in stories in the media.

      • paperlions - Nov 20, 2012 at 8:41 AM

        True enough. Seems like an wholly uninspiring choice….but it could have been worse.

  3. proudlycanadian - Nov 19, 2012 at 7:57 AM

    Elliott has done some useful research trying to find out whom the Jays have actually talked with. Elliott has gone out and phoned numerous potential candidates to see if they have been interviewed. Hargrove is an interesting name and might just be a great fit.

    Olney is just pissing into the wind. A couple of days ago he wrote “Two of the final names they discussed were Jim Tracey and Jim Riggleman. It appears that the Jays have not talked with either of them. In his column today, Elliott strongly states that neither of the Jim’s will be the next manager.

    Olney’s claim that the Jays have “strongly reviewed” Acta is essentially meaningless. As far as Acta is concerned, his past connection with AA is tenuous. Acta was the third base coach with the Expos from 2002 to 2004. AA began working for the Expos in 2000, before joining the Jays as a scouting coordinator in 2003. There was a slight overlap, but no indication that they actually had much contact. Acta has managed 890 ML games and has a winning percentage of .418.

    If the Jays do want an experienced manager, another name to consider is their bench coach Don Wakamatsu. When asked, Wakamatsu had not admitted to Elliott that he has had an interview. That may have changed.

    The only thing that we can be certain about is that the Jays will have a new manager before the winter meetings begin on Dec 3.

    • proudlycanadian - Nov 19, 2012 at 3:27 PM

      The Toronto Star is reporting this afternoon that sources say that Hargrove has not been contacted by the Jays. The Star also reports that Acta is not returning emails and phone calls.

      That is much more interesting and potentially significant than a report that the Jays have “strongly reviewed” Acta.

    • proudlycanadian - Nov 20, 2012 at 8:40 AM

      Elliott was the first to break the news about the signing of Gibbons. I am sure that the Jays gave him the scoop because of all his effort in trying to find out who would be hired. Elliott did admit that he had forgotten that Gibbons and AA had a good relationship.

  4. jaybird22seven - Nov 19, 2012 at 8:21 AM

    Ernie Witt ?????

    • proudlycanadian - Nov 19, 2012 at 9:10 AM

      For fun, Elliott explored that option. Not happening.

    • jaysjunkie - Nov 19, 2012 at 1:45 PM

      Absolutely no chance.

  5. kiwicricket - Nov 19, 2012 at 8:42 AM

    I love it how the Jays play everything very close to their chests, while a percentage of the mass media are still stuck in ‘muck fling at wall’ mode with regards to them.
    Olney with the Riggleman/Tracy thing was actually laughable.

    Is it just me, or has this modern media craze of instant access gone too far?
    People arguing over who scooped things first…’tweeting’ absolute nonsense etc for what? The sake of it? To feel important?

    Can we not wait until things actually happen anymore? ‘Our’ need of instant awareness or gratification has gone a bit too far. The people thumbing smartphones while sitting at the bus stop or in the park bench during their lunchtime need to have something to look at(instead of being aware of their surroundings or existing like a normal human). Great for them, but can we not even make sure the information is correct before people absorb it?

    Enough rant. I think I just really freaking hate twitter.

    • Charles Gates - Nov 19, 2012 at 9:05 AM

      Cardiologists hate Twitter because of that grain of salt you have to take it with.

      • kiwicricket - Nov 19, 2012 at 9:31 AM

        I don’t understand it, I don’t follow it, I HATE it.
        Unfortunately I am in the minority of ‘young’ people who can assess the difference.

    • historiophiliac - Nov 19, 2012 at 9:46 AM

      Hey, now, don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Twitter can be useful, and it depends how you use it. I like getting speedy updates from my team and connecting w/ others’ work. I don’t much use it for news (and I suspect most young people don’t either). Also, it depends who you follow. I don’t follow a bunch of sports writers, but I do like getting pictures of Verlander’s car broken down on the side of the road and the like.

    • Charles Gates - Nov 19, 2012 at 9:53 AM

      I like Twitter. It’s the same as any other news bit; consider the source.
      If you want meaningful news, you kind have to consider it like those mining shows that seem to be replacing the Alaskan crabbing programs on tv nowadays…you need to dig through a cubic acre of rubble for single nugget. But the process can be very, very fun.

    • indaburg - Nov 19, 2012 at 10:34 AM

      So, I take it you don’t have a tweeter?

      As for Jays managers, I’m pulling for the rabbi.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 19, 2012 at 10:57 AM

      Is it just me, or has this modern media craze of instant access gone too far?
      People arguing over who scooped things first…’tweeting’ absolute nonsense etc for what? The sake of it? To feel important?

      I agree, although the backlash against the media has gone a bit too far as well, don’t you think? For instance PC has railed against Olney the last few posts as if Olney is making up this information. These guys may be luddites stuck in a previous time when sitting at your underwood type writer was the noblest of professions, but they don’t make things up.

      It’s entirely possible that during an internal discussion, Tracy/Riggleman’s names were brought up but summarily dismissed. So when Olney tweets that they have been discussed, it’s not a lie he just made up for hits/follows. Yes it’d be nice if we knew who the “inside sources” were so we could make our own determination on the validity of information, but I”m sure they aren’t asking the janitor what he’s heard.

      • proudlycanadian - Nov 19, 2012 at 11:47 AM

        Olney does not have any inside sources in with the Jays. Nobody in the media has any inside sources with the Jays. That was Craig’s main point. Olney is spreading gossip that appears to be totally inaccurate. Olney mentioned Riggleman, yet when Riggleman’s agent was contacted he said that Riggleman had not been interviewed.

    • Kevin Gillman - Nov 19, 2012 at 1:36 PM

      I guess Rick Reiley feels IMPORTANT since he wants to make it known he broke the first tweet.

  6. Charles Gates - Nov 19, 2012 at 9:07 AM

    Bobby Valentine Bobby Valentine Bobby Valentine Bobby Valentine Bobby Valentine Bobby Valentine Bobby Valentine Bobby Valentine Bobby Valentine Bobby Valentine Bobby Valentine Bobby Valentine

    Signed,
    An O’s fan that needs that guy to work his magic with another division rival

    • proudlycanadian - Nov 19, 2012 at 9:22 AM

      Nice try, but it is not Feb 14.

  7. plmathfoto - Nov 19, 2012 at 9:37 AM

    Who does Manny Acta have pictures of? The guy was the worst third base coach I’ve ever seen, has failed every time as a manager, why exactly does he keep getting mentioned/chances?

  8. Old Gator - Nov 19, 2012 at 9:43 AM

    Hargrove would be an interessin’ choice for the Feather Lice. Ozzie in….Toronto? Lots of stuff about that just doesn’t compute, somehow. One especially puckers at the thought of what his French would sound like.

    • mfortuna45 - Nov 19, 2012 at 10:05 AM

      Nobody really speaks French in Toronto. That said, I see your point.

      • soxfan1966 - Nov 19, 2012 at 11:09 AM

        A lot of Indian and Mandarin, though, eh?

    • Old Gator - Nov 19, 2012 at 11:25 AM

      Maybe not over in Queen West, but try the airport….

      Ozzie speaking Mandarin or Urdu? Heh…um…

      • soxfan1966 - Nov 19, 2012 at 3:15 PM

        My cousins in Etobicoke have mentioned that their end is getting very multi-cultural.

    • historiophiliac - Nov 19, 2012 at 11:55 AM

      My professor for Early Modern Spanish history was French. His English was heavily accented, so I was sure his Spanish was probably amusing as well. For a bit, we also had someone from the Prado co-teaching too. It was fun.

  9. jaysfan64 - Nov 19, 2012 at 10:37 AM

    I’d be good with Hargrove…remember watching a Twins – Indians “game of the week” in the mid 90’s where the Twins played a sped-up version on their Jumbotron of Hargrove’s complete batting ritual (including the walk up each base line and practice swings) to “La Macarena”…the broadcasters had a field day with it and even Hargrove was smiling…

    • rigatonikid - Nov 19, 2012 at 12:16 PM

      Mike “The Human Rain Delay” Hargrove.

  10. thesmedman - Nov 19, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    Larry Bowa.

    • proudlycanadian - Nov 19, 2012 at 2:55 PM

      A scoop? Who knows? You might be right.

  11. nprakash5 - Nov 19, 2012 at 2:53 PM

    Joe Torre

  12. fuggles7 - Nov 19, 2012 at 8:17 PM

    Pete Rose!

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