While there are sure to be a bevy of reactions to a poorly-perceived press conference Friday afternoon, Philadelphia Phillies brass will begin interviews to find Gabe Kapler’s successor Monday.
Per Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia, the Phillies plan to interview veteran manager Buck Showalter Monday. Salisbury added that it was likely the Phillies would also interview Joe Girardi Monday, with Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic confirming that the plan is for managing partner John Middleton, president Andy MacPhail and general manager Matt Klentak to meet with Girardi this week.
Showalter, 63, has managed the New York Yankees, Arizona Diamondbacks, Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles previously. He has a 1,551-1,517 career record as a manager. Most recently, he managed the Orioles, who hired him in July of 2010. At that time, MacPhail was the president of baseball operations in Baltimore. MLB.com‘s Todd Zolecki previously reported that had Showalter been available in October of 2017, when the Phillies conducted their last managerial search, there would have been interest in speaking to him. He wasn’t at that time, but he and the Orioles parted ways after the 2018 season.
Girardi, after a 15-year playing career, became the manager of the then-Florida Marlins in 2006. Though he lasted just one season with the team because of differences in opinion with then-owner Jeffrey Loria, he won the National League manager of the year. In the summer of 2007, the Orioles, shortly after MacPhail assumed power, did attempt to woo Girardi, but he declined. That proved to be a wise move, as he became the Yankees manager in October of 2007, and went 910-710 in 10 seasons as their skipper. Most notably, he led the Yankees to their 27th World Series title in franchise history, as they defeated the Phillies in the 2009 World Series. Girardi, as noted by Joel Sherman of The New York Post, is said to have a “strong relationship” with MacPhail, who he played for with the Chicago Cubs from 2000-2002. The 54-year-old currently has media gigs with RADIO.COM, FOX and MLB Network.
While Middleton and the Phillies stressed the importance of casting a wide net in a managerial search Friday, they do appear to have a type in this search. In addition to Showalter and Girardi, the Phillies will interview three-time manager of the year Dusty Baker, per Mark Gonzales of The Chicago Tribune.
Middleton weighed the future of Kapler for over 10 days after the season concluded, and ultimately made the decision to fire him after two years. There are currently eight managerial vacancies. The 10 days that the Phillies spent debating the future of Kapler may mean they have to move especially quickly in their search for the 55th manager in franchise history, especially if they ultimately want to land a candidate that’s drawing interest from multiple teams.
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