Sunday, October 10, 2010

Just Say No To Bob Walk and Andy Van Slyke

After last weeks firing of former pirates manager John Russell, several names have emerged as potential candidates. Some, such as Phil Garner and Eric Wedge would be considered good hires.

There are others though, including names such as Andy Van Slyke and Bob Walk that would be awful hires.

Over the past week, both guys have been gaining some steam popularity wise and that's a bad sign. It would be just like the Pirates to offer one of these guys the job.

This is a major decision for a franchise that hasn't sniffed a winning season in close to two decades. There is more pure talent in the organization right now then there has been at any time during that span. This could be the Pirates only true chance to be competitive soon.

If they don't turn it around soon, then there is a chance they likely never will. You can't put that responsibility on a guy that has no managerial experience at all. Considering either guy simply because he has ties to the Pirates is insane.

Walk has no coaching experience what so ever. What makes you think he is capable of handling young players and handling a pitching staff that will likely struggle for 162 games?

The same goes for Van Slyke. Good players don't necessarily become good managers. In fact, there are very few cases in sports where it happens often. Van Slyke at least served under Jim Leyland's staff in Detroit for three seasons, but to think he's ready to be a big league manager is a bit of a stretch.

I would feel differently if either guy had worked his way through the minors as a manager the way the Cubs Ryne Sandberg has, or if either guy has spent significant time on successful big league staffs, but neither guy has.

Just because a guy has Pittsburgh ties doesn't mean he will be successful as a manager. Sure it could happen, but the Pirates shouldn't lay their future on a roll of the dice.

Hiring either guy won't mean a thing at the box office either. Thinking attendance will improve because they brought back a former Bucco to manage the team is also not smart. The only thing that will bring people to PNC park is wins. Plain and simple.

That's not saying having Pittsburgh ties is a bad thing. Garner and Ken Macha have them and both should be considered, although it looks like Macha won't be.

I've been wanting the Pirates to hire Garner for a couple of years now. They need a real baseball guy who has won before and at least shown the ability to handle a young team.

My top three candidates are still be Eric Wedge, Freddie Gonzalez, and Garner.

With the Pirates bad ownership and small payroll, it's also possible that these guys could fail as well, but with such a small window to hopefully succeed in, they have to give the job to a guy that's proven something as a big league manager.

The Pirates shouldn't even consider Walk or Van Slyke, no matter how much the casual fan want them to get the job. This is a bigger decision then most people realize. The Pirates haven't listened to the fans for over two decades. Let's hope they don't start now.