Well, the chairs on the deck of the Titanic have been rearranged and Trey Hillman has been sent packing. Ned Yost will manage the team for the remainder of the season, but its unclear as to whether he'll be given the job beyond that. Let's first take a look at Ned Yost, and examine other managerial candidates who may be available this winter.
Trey will now be picking up his own folding chairs.
After spending over a decade as a coach in the Braves organization, Yost managed the Brewers for six years, overseeing their rise from lousy baseball team to NL Central Division contender. He has managed a team full of young talented players - Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun, Corey Hart, Rickie Weeks and Yovanni Gallardo - as well as gritty vets like Scott Podsednik and Jason Kendall. He drew praise for having patience and not sacrificing development for a "win now" mentality. He went just 457-502, but had winning seasons in three of his last four seasons there, and in his last season the team went on to win the Division. Of course, it is telling that the team dismissed him with just weeks to go before the end of that Division Title season.
Yost has been accused of playing favorites and sticking with certain players too long, even after they have shown their uselessness. For a giggle, go to Baseball Think Factory and read any of Harvey Wallbangers' rants on Yost.
You methodically, and I commend you on your tremendous focus, tear apart the pitching staff. Then, once that task has been completed, you ALIENATE the most popular guy on the club while SIMULTANEOUSLY creating racial tension. ...
I know Doug Melvin doens’t like to do anything in the "heat of the moment". He also likes to let his manager, manage. But this isn’t managing. This is some grotesque performance art display of how not to handle people. This is the anti-Carnegie. Tony Robbins gone bad.
This post is already way too long. But having observed this waste of skin for FAR TOO LONG I can restrain myself no further. Ned Yost needs to be relieved of his command.
Yost drew criticism for both his handling of Bill Hall (moving him from position to position), and for his handling of the pen.
Despite his bullpen's utter disintegration over the previous six weeks, despite his veteran starter being in command, despite the obvious need to minimize using obviously exhausted pitchers, Yost put "The Plan" ahead of the obvious. Unfortunately, Yost managed his bullpen like a man in a body cast trying to scratch a 'personal itch'; he kept flailing around seeking relief but had no idea how to manage it.
-John Brattain, Hardball Times
The Brewers attempted 178 steals in 2004, although at a 77.5% success rate. His attempts fell off greatly after that as the team improved offensively. The Brewers also tended to be near the bottom of the league in sacrifice hits under his helm. He was also one of the most ejected managers in his time in Milwaukee.
Ned understands the importance in defense.
Defense is very important in that it makes your starting pitchers better, your bullpen so much better. So defense is probably our No. 1 priority area. We really need to do better there this year, and everything flows from that.
He is also at least curious about statistics, having been spotted reading "The Book" by Tom Tango.
Yost was hired by Dayton Moore and goes back with Dayton to his days in Atlanta, so if the team plays remotely well over the course of the remainder of the season, he will be sure to be a leading candidate to retain the job.
If the Royals decide to go in a different direction, they will have a wide array of both experienced and inexperienced candidates. I have compiled a list of managerial candidates, and given a brief overview of each. There is always some risk in this. In 2006, when Buddy announced his resignation, I suggested the Royals look outside the box at a plucky young manager in Japan who espoused the merits of Moneyball and playing for the big inning and not giving away outs, but had adapted to smallball in Japan because it suited the team. Little did I know he had converted into a devotee of small ball, had questionable if not bizarre reliever usage, and his lack of MLB experience would undermine his ability to lead a MLB clubhouse.
So without sitting down and interviewing these guys, its hard to know exactly where they stand. All I can do is look at their resume and their pedigree. A few things I am looking for in a manager:
1. A manager not wedded to old school conventional wisdom, willing to try innovative strategies
2. A candidate from a successful small market franchise
3. It helps, but it is not essential, to have a background in pitching or pitching instruction
4. A candidate who has helped facilitate the development of young players.
With that in mind, here are a few candidates I think would be worthy of closer inspection.
Rick Anderson, Pitching Coach, Minnesota Twins
I don't know why pitching coaches don't get hired as managers more often. Handling pitches is arguably the most important aspect of a managers' job, from when to pull the starter, to reliever usage, to instruction for young pitchers. The Royals number one priority with pitching should be to develop young pitchers that can throw strikes. The Twins have espoused this philosophy for years and Anderson has been a large part of it.
Anderson took over as Twins pitching coach in 2002. Here is where they ranked in the league in walks allowed - 3rd, 2nd, 1st, 1st, 1st, 2nd, 1st, 1st. And guess where they are now? First. Sure, the Twins were good at not allowing walks before Anderson took over, but he has continued that tradition, even getting pitchers from other organizations like Carlos Silva, Livan Hernandez and Carl Pavano to improve their BB/IP ratios under his tutelage.
"We just say, 'Make one of the first two pitches a strike,'" Anderson said, "because if they throw ball one, we don't want them thinking, 'Uh-oh. Now I'm already in trouble.'"
And for those of you with a fetish for hiring guys with a Royals connection, he pitched thirteen games for us!
On the downside, he seems wedded to conventional bullpen usage.
"I had somebody tell me that we can save a game in the seventh as well as we can in the ninth," Anderson said. "OK. Well, if our closer saves it in the seventh, who throws the ninth? You’re in helter-skelter. You’ve got three guys down there saying, ‘Well, maybe it’s me.’ Even though you’d like to, we’ve never, ever thought of it."
Joey Cora, Bench Coach, Chicago White Sox
Cora has served as the bench coach for the White Sox since 2006, and prior to that he managed in the minor leagues for the New York Mets. While Cora has served under the fiery Ozzie Guillen, he insists he is the "other side of the coin." Cora is known to be laid-back and amiable. He is still quite young (45) and relates well with players.
"There's got to be pride, got to be a way to play the game that the fans and the organization feel proud of," Cora said. "Making sure that the other teams worry about us. We don't want to worry about them. We want to make them worry about us."
He has been associated with Ozzie Guillen's "small-ball" ways, but its unclear as to whether Cora believes in those same philosophies. Cora interviewed for the Mariners managerial position - which speaks well that Jack Zduriencik was interested in him. But he was a huge fan favorite for the job - so it says something that Zduriencik passed him over despite the popularity of Cora's candidacy.
Tony DeFrancesco, Minor League Manager, Oakland Athletics
I don't ever hear his name come up in managerial discussions and I can't really understand why he isn't a more attractive candidate. He has served as a manager in the Athletics system for fourteen seasons, winning three Pacific Coast League titles and 2003 Minor League Manager of the Year. He's been part of the "Moneyball" organization for over a decade now, overseeing talented young players like Tim Hudson, Barry Zito, Miguel Tejada, Nick Swisher and Eric Chavez. On the downside, his only MLB experience was one season as Oakland's third base coach. His lack of MLB experience as a player or coach could hurt him like it has seemingly hurt Trey Hillman.
Its hard to find much about DeFrancesco's managerial philosophies. If he's part of the Athletics organization, one would guess he is at least somewhat sympathetic to sabermetrics.
John Farrell, Pitching Coach, Boston Red Sox
Farrell has been considered an attractive managerial candidate for a few years now and its uncertain as to whether he would even consider taking a position in Kansas City having declined interviews with clubs last year. He was an instrumental part of the Cleveland Indians front office in the earlier part of last decade, helping to develop their young core. In 2007 he decided to go into coaching, taking a position with the Red Sox as pitching coach.
``Not too many people can make you stray away from the bad things you're thinking and make you see the good in things. That's what he's done a whole lot of in the short time I've been here. It's a lot of constructive criticism. Instead of saying you really need to get better at this, he says you're really good at this, let's work on something else. That's huge.''
While the Red Sox certainly have spent a lot of money on free agent pitchers, Farrell does deserve credit for helping develop some of the younger pitchers - Jonathan Papelbon, Jon Lester, Justin Masterson and Clay Buchholz.
By simply moving his foot six inches toward first base, Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell helped Josh Beckett go from a good NL pitcher who had struggled in the AL (16-11, 5.01 ERA in 2006), to a bonafide American League ace (20-7, 3.27 ERA in 2007)....
He helped to create the program that keeps closer Jonathan Papel-beast's shoulder together and makes him one of the most dominant closers in the game....
He is bilingual (he speaks Japanese) and has Midwestern ties as a graduate of Oklahoma State University. On the downside, Red Sox pitchers took a step backwards last year (7th in ERA, although 3rd in runs allowed) and are off to a poor start this year. The Red Sox also seem to be of the philosophy that relievers should only go one inning, although its unclear that Farrell shares this philosophy.
John Gibbons, Bench Coach, Kansas City Royals; Former Manager, Toronto Blue Jays
Gibbons managed the Blue Jays for three full seasons and parts of two others, leading the Jays to a 305-305 record. He never lost more than 82 games in a full season, but never won more than 87. Gibbons is probably best known for his confrontations with players - a tunnel altercation with pitcher Ted Lilly and his challenge of third basement Shea Hillenbrand to a fight.
Working with the sabermetrically-inclined J.P. Riccardi, Gibbons seems to be open to statistics.
The bottom line in this game is to score runs. You have to get guys on base, however that’s going to be; the hit, the walk, the hit-by-pitch, whatever way. When you get guys on base it’s a good thing, and there’s no question that with discipline, those things increase. You also put more pressure on the opposing pitcher, and get into their bullpen earlier, where in today’s day and age teams are more vulnerable. And once you get them on base, you need to drive them in, so it all works together. There are times where you need to be more aggressive, because there are certain pitchers who aren’t going to walk certain hitters. If you’re too selective, you end up sitting 0-2 and it gets tougher to hit....
Ideally,you want your leadoff guy to be someone who can get on base and make things happen. I prefer a guy who has some pretty good speed.
Gibbons seems to prefer having guys that can steal bases, but doesn't seem willing to force the issue if his personnel consists of slower players.
I’m a believer in the pressure game. If you can get somebody into scoring position, a lot more singles get hit than doubles, triples, or home runs. Any time you get runners in scoring position you’re in better shape, but I also believe that you need to have a high percentage. Unless you have guys where that’s the case, that the steal is almost guaranteed, sometimes you’re better off being conservative. So the bottom line is that I’m not against anything, but the way we’re built, we’re not a speed team.
He is "all for the bunt" in late situations, but he generally seemed to take a more hands-off approach, letting his hitters create offense.
My biggest complaint about his handling of the offense last year was that he did little to keep the opposing defense on edge. For the most part, it was station-to-station baseball with little effort in trying to turn double-play balls into seeing-eye singles by keeping the opposing infield in motion.
Gibbons has been trying to ignite the offense—it's the hitters that have failed to catch the spark.
-John Brittain, Hardball Times
He is generally against using a closer for more than one inning, but has been willing to do it in the past when the situation dictates. But he is adamant against using the "closer" in the sixth or seventh.
Chip Hale, Third Base Coach, New York Mets
Hale is a former gritty journeyman utility infielder who has both minor league managerial experience and MLB coaching experience. He began managing in the minors in 2000 and was very successful, leading his club to the best record in the league three times over the next seven seasons. He also handled a number of talented young players like Brandon Webb, Scott Hairston, Jose Valverde, Conor Jackson, and Carlos Quentin.
He spent 2007-2009 as the Diamondbacks third-base coach, serving under former manager Bob Melvin.
"Innovative and creative are two words that I would use to describe... Chip. That's what impressed me during the interview process...."
"Chip learned from Tom Kelly in Minnesota, where everything is about fundamentals, fundamentals and fundamentals,"
-Mets Manager, Jerry Manuel
Hale, a former bench player himself, seems to advocate using his bench as much as possible.
There's a saying, 'Bench players are only as good as the amount they play.' Everybody is going to have a chance to get their work, get their at bats. At any level, there are three, four, maybe five 'priority guys' on the club, and the rest of the guys the organization says, "work 'em in.' I played with a lot of guys in 'A' ball who weren't 'priority guys' who had long Major League careers. You give them opportunity, and believe me, there's enough opportunity, these get guys in, they get at bats, plus pinch hitting and double switches and they can improve and really have a chance to show their stuff.
Hargrove unexpectedly retired from the Mariners mid-season in 2007, but apparently wants to return to managing, having spent summers managing the college summer team in Liberal, Kansas. Hargrove is a very experienced manager with over a thousand wins as a MLB manager. He took a bad Indians club and helped steer them towards five consecutive division titles and two American League pennants. He also took over a 99-loss Mariners ballclub and guided them towards improvement in all three seasons in Seattle.
On the downside, he never won more than 74 games in four seasons in Baltimore. While his Cleveland teams tended to outperform their pythag, his Baltimore and Seattle teams usually underperformed. He has also been allegedly undermined in two jobs - in Cleveland some feel hitting coach Charlie Manuel was able to ouster Hargrove from his job, while in Seattle, assistant coach Dan Rohn was fired for undermining Hargrove.
He has also been criticized for failing to take advantage of platoon splits and not handling young players particularly well. Hargrove was criticized for his handling of young pitchers earlier in his career, but later on became a more conservative manager when it came to pitch counts.
Hargrove believes – and uses – pitch counts on a case-by-case basis. When it comes to the magic number, 100 pitches, Hargrove said, "That’s fine early in the season, coming out of spring training, but by midseason through the end of the year, it should be 120 to 125 pitches for a guy with a healthy arm.
"But you can’t generalize. If a guy has a history of injuries, you’re opening him up to more injury by throwing that much."
Hargrove has been willing to go with a "closer by committee"and multiple innings for his closer.
Grover does too many other things wrong to be on this list as just himself, but this one aspect of in-game management, he’s done exceptionally well at, and he seems to be getting better by the week. He’s using J.J. Putz for multi-inning saves, letting George Sherrill face right-handers (sometimes, anyways), giving high leverage innings to Eric O’Flaherty and not sticking with struggling veterans like Chris Reitsma. Yesterday, he even used J.J. Putz in the 9th inning of a tie game at home, realizing there was no point in saving his closer for a save situation that could not happen. Bob Melvin used to drive us insane with his bullpen usage, and while I don’t think I’m ever going to be much of a Mike Hargrove fan, I’ll gladly stand and applaud the way he’s used his relievers this year. The M’s bullpen is, by far, the strength of the team, and Hargrove has leveraged this strength into a lot of wins
-Dave Cameron, USS Mariner
He also has literally written the book on how to hit, bunt, and slide. FUNDAMENTALS! Plus, who best to handle Jose Guillen next year after we give him his extension?
Hurdle is another ex-Royal (former Sports Illustrated cover boy and prospect bust). He has managerial experience, spending over seven seasons as skipper for the Rockies. He did win the 2006 pennant, but that was his only winning season in Colorado, and his .457 career winning percentage was less than impressive. He did help develop a good group of young players including Troy Tulowitski, Brad Hawpe, Matt Holliday, Ian Stewart, Manny Corpas, Aaron Cook and Jeff Francis. In fact, one of Hurdle's strengths may be how he handles young players.
Hurdle certainly had his strong points. He was patient, upbeat and optimistic, always having something good to say about his players. I thought he did a good job building a starting rotation, getting good work out of marginal pitchers like Josh Fogg, Jason Marquis and Jason Hammel. He kept his starters relatively healthy, considering they were working in Coors Field.
He was never afraid to use a young player. In fact, he was never afraid to use anyone on his roster, at any time; if you played for Clint Hurdle, you saw plenty of game action. I believe this was a key factor in the 2007 hot streak; the regulars were well-rested, and the role players were ready to step up when needed.
-Tom Nawrocki, Baseball Think Factory
Hurdle had a curious knack of putting low OBA hitters at the top of his lineup, suggesting he still adheres to old school notions that "speedy guy = leadoff hitter."
In seven seasons as manager, his No. 1 slot had a lower OBP than all other non-pitcher slots three times: 2003, 2004, and 2005. In the 50-plus years for which I have data, no manager has presided over four such seasons. Based on the info I have, only one team in 15 achieves this undistinguished distinction.
-Chris Jaffe, Hardball Times
He has also been accused of throwing players under the bus and not having consistent lineups.
Torey Lovullo, Minor League Manager, Boston Red Sox
Lovullo has been a highly touted minor league manager for years, interviewing in the past for the head jobs in Los Angeles, Pittsburgh and Cleveland. He was a minor league manager in the Indians organization for eight years (2001-2009), twice winning Minor League Manager of the Year before moving on to the Boston organization this year. He has been known as a players' coach, a manager who communicates well with young players and elicits enthusiastic praise from his team.
"I love playing for him. I’ve played for Torey the last two years. He has a way of making young players feel confident."
Lovullo is an adamant believer in set lineups.
"I want to get the starting lineup set as soon as possible and stick to it," said Lovullo. "There's nothing better than a player knowing he's going to be hitting leadoff and playing center field every day when he walks in the locker room."
He's also a big believer in set roles in the pen.
"The biggest challenge to an AL manager is knowing how to run a bullpen," Lovullo said. "You try and put guys in a role in which they are comfortable."
"I think the biggest challenge of an American League manager is to figure out how to manage the bullpen. It starts with managing the workload so the pen isn't tired by the end of the season. I think it's about getting a closer and working backward."
Dave Martinez, Bench Coach, Tampa Bay Rays
Dave Martinez was a gritty journeyman bench player for several years, mostly in the National League. He has been the Rays bench coach since 2007 under manager Joe Maddon. I consider Maddon to be one of the best managers in the game and in the dugout I constantly see him talking to Martinez. If Martinez is absorbing half of what Maddon is saying, he's already got a leg up on the last few managers we've had here.
He's very blunt and good with the players when we mess up. He takes care of a lot of stuff I don't have to take care of there. And the players have a lot of trust and faith in him based on his experience as a major league player as well as how he handles them as a coach.
- Joe Maddon
"I suggest when maybe to pinch-run, when we might want to pinch-hit due to the matchup. I suggest when to bunt, when not to bunt. He lets me do a lot. … Every game I'm a student of the game and I've always been that way, even when I played. To me, Joe is probably one of the best – if not the best – teacher I've been around as far as knowing everything about the game. Not just the game, but statistics, using the computer. We talk. I listen. I'll pick his brain. Now it's to the point where I'm on the same page every day."
- Dave Martinez
Terry Pendleton, Hitting Coach, Atlanta Braves
Pendleton has been the Braves hitting coach since 2001, drawing praise for his work with young hitters and is considered by many to be the heir apparent to Bobby Cox. Accordingly, he may be a long shot to come back to Kansas City (he is an ex-Royal!). He is known as a funny and likeable character, and well-liked by the media.
On the downside, Pendleton has been criticized for the lack of success by young hitters like Jeff Franceour and Kelly Johnson. The slow start by many Braves hitters this year has led to discussion that perhaps Pendleton should be relieved of his duties.
Looking at these very basic numbers, a valid conclusion is that Terry Pendleton knows what to do with guys who can slug, a la the Sheffields, Andruws, LaRoches and Francoeurs. But given a lineup full of hitters who don't necessarily have the same raw power as prior years as well as an aging and creaky Chipper Jones, and it appears that TP can't adapt to optimize his dealt hand....
But let's not ignore the fact that the Braves are doing an outstanding job at getting men on base, but the bigger problem is the simple fact that not enough of them are coming home
Here is an analysis of his impact as a hitting instructor. The Braves plate discipline has improved recently, although that may have more to do with a difference in philosophy between current GM Frank Wren and former GM John Schuerholz. Pendleton wasn't a particularly patient hitter in his day, but that does not mean he will or will not preach plate discipline as a hitting coach. He has remarked at how impressed he is at Jason Heyward's plate discipline, suggesting he at least seems some value in it.
Jaime Quirk, Bench Coach, Houston Astros
Jaime Quirk is a former player and bench coach for the Royals, and even got to manage the team for eight games in 1998 while Tony Muser was serving a suspension. He was known for being a players' coach, the "good cop" to Muser's "bad cop" demeanor.
I would just try to be myself. I don't want to be the kind of manager - and I'm saying this, but I never managed, so who knows if you'd do it or not when the bottom line came - but I would want to be a player's manager. That's a guy who communicates and talks and can listen and chew up a behind when he needs to. To me, that's a player's manager. A player's manager is someone who a player would actually feel comfortable talking to.
In 2001, he was surprisingly fired, with many speculating that Muser had felt Quirk was undermining him with the players.
Quirk has interviewed in the past to be manager of the Athletics, Rockies and Blue Jays, but was passed over every time. He has served as a bench coach for a number of years for the Texas Rangers and Colorado Rockies before joining the Houston Astros this season. Quirk has made it no secret that he would love to manage someday and that Kansas City would be his number one choice.
In a perfect world, yes, I would love to be manager of the Royals. I would absolutely love it. But there are no guarantees I will ever get the job.
Willie Randolph, Bench Coach, Milwaukee Brewers; Former Manager, New York Mets
Could Randolph, who tormented Royals fans in the 1970s be in Royal blue? Willie has managerial experience as the head of the New York Mets for four seasons. While many remember him for his epic collapses in 2007 and 2008, we forget that he led the Mets to 97 wins and the NLCS in 2006, and has an overall winning percentage of .544, far better than the Mets have experienced since dismissing him.
Some credit Randolph's even-keel manner as stoicism, while other decry it as a lack of passion. Willie talks about "small ball", but many seemed to feel he did not bunt or steal enough, perhaps because of his personnel. This led to accusations of him of being an "American League manager.". He is known for having a quick hook to the pen, although he rejects having specific roles for relievers, insisting they be ready for all situations.
Willie was criticized however failing to be a fiery manager who inspired his club. He was also accused of sticking too long with veterans and for not handling young players like Lastings Milledge and Carlos Gomez very well.
You can’t make mistakes when you’re trying to win a championship. So it’s too much to really expect a young player to have all that mastered. Some organizations can be patient with that, some organizations say, you know what? No, we can’t afford to go with a guy at this point in time. He needs more seasoning.
-Willie Randolph, on Carlos Gomez
Willie also had issues with the New York media, with some interpreting his demeanor as aloof. He even went so far to suggest he was getting heat from the media because of his skin color.
Eric Wedge, Former Manager, Cleveland Indians
Wedge, a former Wichita State graduate, managed the Indians for seven years with a 561-573 record. He only managed two winning seasons, but they were a 93 win season and a 96 win season and he took a young Indians club to within one win of the World Series. He was named Manager of the Year in 2007. He managed a young team full of players like Grady Sizemore, Victor Martinez, CC Sabathia, Cliff Lee and Travis Hafner. On the downside, he underperformed his pythag by 25 wins over seven years.
The Indians were known for being slow starters in nearly all of Wedge's years managing. He was also known for chasing off "bad characters" which can be good, but on the flip-side, it led to the Indians giving up on Brandon Phillips, who has turned into a nice player. He was also criticized for poor bullpen management and playing vets over young talent.
He has been praised for defending his players, keeping problems behind closed doors, and turning the team around after slow starts. Wedge does not seem to be a proponent of "small ball", instead taking a more "hands off" approach to managing, leading to media criticism that the team was not good at bunting.
Wedge seems to be at least open to statistical analysis, even working with noted sabermetrician Keith Woolner.
For instance, manager Eric Wedge seems like a by-the-book kind of guy. But Wedge has sought out Woolner’s opinion — though, of course, Woolner can’t go into specifics — when asked about hypotheticals involving perhaps moving a player from shortstop to third, or from the leadoff spot to third in the lineup.
"I only have experience with one front office," he says. "But from what I’ve been told and believe to be true, there is more receptivity here among the coaching staff, Eric and so on, to whatever’s going to help them get the right results. If that comes from a statistical approach, that’s OK. If it comes from a psychological evaluation, that’s fine too. But so often you think of old baseball guys who dismiss anything a guy like me had to say, and that hasn’t happened. I’ve had conversations with Eric and the coaches, and they’re at least willing to listen, which is half the battle."
Frank White, Former Minor League Manager, Kansas City Royals; Former First Base Coach, Boston Red Sox
Frank is the popular choice among fans, mostly because he is a beloved former Royal who evokes memories of the glory years of Royals baseball. Some have argued that White should not get the job because it may "tarnish" his image, an argument I find unconvincing. First of all, it assumes White would definitely fail. Second, it should be up to Frank whether he wants to risk tarnishing his image or not. And finally, people overstate his image being tarnished. Most people are always going to remember Frank as the slick fielding, crucial member of many great Royals teams, not as a bumbling manager. No one remembers Ted Williams in a Rangers uniform. Few remember Magic Johnson bumbling around on the sidelines of the Forum as Lakers head coach. Wayne Gretsky's stint as Coyotes coach is not the first thing that comes to mind when I hear "The Great One."
However Frank's resume should be closely scrutinized. His experience as a player should be discounted, as there seems to be little correlation between how successful a players is on the field and how they perform as manager (for example, see Ted Williams). Frank was a first base coach for the Red Sox for three season, one of which was a post-season ballclub. He also managed in the Royals minor leagues for three seasons, coaching players like Alex Gordon, Billy Butler, Leo Nunez, Matt Diaz, JP Howell and Angel Berroa.
Its not entirely clear what Frank's managerial philosophies are, although he gives a few hints in the Royals telecasts where he now serves as an analyst. He seems to place an emphasis on fundamentals, small-ball, and the type of play the Royals used to success in the 1980s.
Despite popular opinion, the game is not all about hitting. There are many teams that could improve if they only played better fundamental baseball -bunting, hitting behind runners, advancing runners, running the bases to exploit the defense, making the right decisions defensively, outfielders hitting cut-off men. There are many keys to being a championship team other than just hitting.
-Frank White in "Good as Gold"
Other potential candidates:
Larry Bowa, Bench Coach, Los Angeles Dodgers; Former Manager, San Diego Padres, Philadelphia Phillies - gritty, small-ball manager known as a disciplinarian has a 418-435 record, all in the National League
Chino Cadahia, Bench Coach, Atlanta Braves – Cuban born Cadahia has coached under Bobby Cox since 2006 after a long minor league managerial career
Jim Fregosi, Former Manager, California Angels, Chicago White Sox, Philadelphia Phillies, Toronto Blue Jays – over a thousand wins and one pennant in fifteen years of managing, but hasn’t managed in a decade
DeMarlo Hale, Bench Coach, Boston Red Sox – was a successful minor league manager for a decade before becoming a MLB coach for the Rangers and Red Sox
Art Howe, Former Manager, Houston Astros, Oakland Athletics, New York Mets – over a thousand wins as a manager; took the young Oakland A’s to prominence in the 90s; has interviewed with the Royals in the past
Bob Melvin, Former Manager, Seattle Mariners, Arizona Diamondbacks – former Royals catcher has a .493 winning percentage in seven seasons as manager
Jose Oquendo, Third Base Coach, St. Louis Cardinals – considered the heir apparent to Tony LaRussa
Buck Showalter, Former Manager, New York Yankees, Arizona Diamondbacks, Texas Rangers – disciplinarian has a .514 winning percentage in eleven seasons
Joel Skinner, Minor League Manager, Cleveland Indians – 1998 Minor League Manager of the Year; managed the Indians for 76 games; prefers “aggressive” style on the bases
Alan Trammell, Former Manager, Detroit Tigers – just a .383 winning percentage in three seasons in Detroit, albeit with terrible talent; is currently bench coach for the Cubs
Scott Ullger, Third Base Coach, Minnesota Twins – 1990 Minor League Manager of the Year; has been part of the Twins staff for 15 years and has managed in Ron Gardenhire’s absence
Bobby Valentine, Former Manager, Texas Rangers, New York Mets, Chiba Lotte Marines – now serving as ESPN Analyst, Valentine is one of the most sought after managerial candidates, and likely a long-shot for Kansas City; has over a thousand wins and a .517 winning percentage.
Dusty Wathan, Minor League Manager, Philadelphia Phillies – a long-shot, but someone to keep on the radar; just 36 years old; former Royal and son of former Royals player/manager John Wathan; is in his third season with the Phillies and has a connection to Special Adviser Mike Arbuckle