Mariners bench coach Manny Acta is the sixth, and potentially final, candidate to interview for the manager job with the Baltimore Orioles
Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports reported on Monday night that Manny Acta, current Mariners bench coach and former Indians manager, had become the sixth person interviewed by Mike Elias and the Baltimore Orioles for the manager job.
According to Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun, at the winter meetings on Monday, Elias expressed confidence that the Orioles’ new manager would be one of the six candidates interviewed thus far, and that there may not be any second interviews.
Elias wouldn’t confirm the list, but the reported candidates include Acta, Rockies bench coach Mike Redmond, Royals quality control and catching coach Pedro Grifol, Cubs bench coach Brandon Hyde, Nationals bench coach Chip Hale, and Diamondbacks VP of player development Mike Bell.
We know that Acta, Redmond and Hale have experience managing in the major leagues, though none have been overly successful in their tenures. Acta has a career .418 winning percentage as a manager, while Redmond and Hale sit at .428 and .457, respectively.
At the moment, fans in Birdland seem to be back and forth between whether experience should be a prerequisite for the position. Elias said in his introductory press conference that good experience is a plus but it isn’t mandatory.
If you’re hesitant about the Orioles potentially hiring someone with no experience, it’s understandable. We want structure and consistency in Baltimore, and someone who has done it before could help the younger Orioles players. But first-time managers can be successful in the right situations; look no further than Alex Cora and his success in Boston.
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Experience is helpful in any position, but it’s just as important for the new hire to have a positive relationship with the executive management team, including having the ability to communicate and collaborate with Elias and Sig Mejdal, and to be open to using the concepts provided by the front office and have the ability to implement them in the locker room and on the field.
We saw the results of a dysfunctional relationship between GM and manager with Dan Duquette and Buck Showalter. Whoever Elias hires will certainly have a better relationship with him than Buck did with Dan, but the importance of the two parties working together can’t be overstated.
We’ve no way of knowing how Elias feels about the candidates or when the Orioles will make a final decision, but according to Meoli, Elias stated on Monday that the Orioles could make a hire this month.
We know this timetable feels extended, and it is. The Orioles might not have a new manager until late-December. But the new manager could be in Baltimore for a while, and it’s important to get the decision right.
Predictions? No thanks, we’ll wait until an official announcement. Opinions? Bell is a strong candidate; he has good experience, currently serving as the D’backs VP of player development, and we know how much room for improvement there is in Baltimore in this area.
Redmond fits the ‘traditional manager’ mold pretty well and has a good track record, including accolades for his minor league management experience. And Hyde has experience in one of the better organizations in major league baseball in Chicago.
We’re excited to see where the Orioles go from here, even if it takes a couple more weeks.