Joel Sherman of the New York Post is a reporter who Walt Jocketty and Bob Castellini will have in their old paper rolodexes. Either would be comfortable whipping open a flip phone and giving Sherman an off the record quote.
#Reds are said to be looking more for face of franchise type as manager so Girardi might make more sense there or John Farrell. Both are championship managers who have interviewed with Cincy.
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) October 12, 2018
This thinking would take the organization in the opposite direction of what I wrote about the other day — many successful teams have hired young managers who would be open to and good at communicating information from the front office to players. Instead, “face of the franchise” candidates like Girardi and Farrell tend to be set in their ways and want to run the show.
Why would any faction in the Reds hierarchy want that?
Maybe ownership wants a famous guy like Girardi in the mistaken belief it would sell tickets.
Or, the owner sees signing a famous manager as an ego-stroke, a notch on the organization’s belt, like when the Reds hired Dusty Baker.
Or, the former GM turned Castellini-whisperer is pushing the hiring of a veteran manager because that’s all he knows, and resists modern approaches to winning games.
Take yer’ pick.
There’s no stinking way Dick Williams wants any of that. He wouldn’t be conducting this extensive of a search just to hire the guy whose Aqua Velva smells the strongest. Williams has signaled all along the Reds are looking for something new. External candidates he’s included in the mix indicate that.
Obviously, this is guesswork.
But the leak to Joel Sherman has the whiff of resistance through counter-programming. It’s the Old School guys pushing back against a manager search they feel is veering too far in the direction of candidates who would cede ground to front office analytics departments.
Unfortunately for the Reds and their fans, the manager search now appears to be turning into a clash between the old way of doing things and the new. As I wrote two days ago, a divided voice at the top will limit the effectiveness of whomever is hired.
More importantly — and it’s sad to even have to say the obvious — using ridiculous and obsolete notions like “face of the franchise” as a criteria for hiring a manager is exactly what is slowly, but surely killing the Reds.
Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.