The Cleveland Browns have a head coaching vacancy, and General Manager John Dorsey, to his credit, said he was open to having a woman in the role. A report from ESPN surfaced over the weekend that the woman the Browns were targeting was former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Rice has been a longtime Browns fan and has stated her desire to be involved in the NFL, possible as Commissioner. But she also has no coaching experience at any level, unless you include coaching up the thousands of employees she oversaw at Foggy Bottom in the State Department. Rice was quick to dispel any notion she would take the job, and Dorsey denied she had been discussed.
Unorthodox hires in football may be a bit challenging with the need to bring in complicated offensive and defensive systems, terminology, and philosophies. Baseball managing, however, isn’t quite so complex. This is not to say managing is easy, just that it is easier to bring a neophyte to coaching and put that person in the dugout than say, in football. The fact teams have turned to former players with no coaching experience in recent years - Aaron Boone, Mike Matheny, and Brad Ausmus are some examples.
Would a baseball team ever consider a completely outside-the-box hire? Here are a few suggestions for the Royals.
Bill James is a noted Royals fan who now works as a front office advisor with the Red Sox. This wouldn’t be THAT out-of-the-box - the Marlins once took General Manager Dan Jennings and put him in the dugout. John Hart went from a special assignment scout to Indians manager before he became their GM.
James is considered the godfather of the modern analytic movement and could help the team maximize their potential by relying on probabilities rather than guesswork. No more bunting, no more Esky at the top of the lineup, no more rigid bullpen roles. You want a computer in the dugout? This might be the next best thing.
Paul Rudd is also a big Royals fan, and the everyman good-guy America needs right now. When he’s not dazzling us with his boyish good looks and charming humor, he’s beating the bad guys in Marvel’s Ant-Man franchise. Ned Yost is known for managing a good clubhouse, and Rudd could continue that tradition by bringing the laughs. Sure, he’s been seen with a Yankees cap on from time to time, but we got Dick Howser from the Yankees and he turned out okay.
Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger has earned more respect than almost anyone for averting disaster with US Airways Flight 1549, landing it safely in the Hudson River after its engines blew out. He has shown tremendous leadership and swift action in the face of grave danger. Besides, who better to steer the Royals out of disaster than Sully?
This is just for fun and not to be taken seriously (and let’s not make this a political thread), but who would be your out-of-the-box choice for manager? Maybe a college of coaches? A fan? You?