Let's start with a quick warm-up pop quiz. Bob Geren's 2011 option will be exercised because:
a. The need for better hitters supercedes the need for a better manager
b. A .500 record is all anyone could expect from a team with great hitting and sub-morgue hitting
c. Billy ain't firing his buddy, period
d. All of the above
Granted, "d" likely applies and the A's are probably not searching, this Winter, for the next great Oakland manager. But at the moment, Geren's 2011 option hasn't been exercised and so the other day I was pondering "Who would I want the A's to hire if they were looking?" And it's not that easy a question to answer...
Let's look only at candidates with the following in common:
* They will not be under contract to another team in 2011 (so forget about Bud Black, Francona, Scioscia, etc.)
* They are looking to manage in the big leagues in 2011 (so forget about Torre, Cox, Pinella, etc.)
As I see it, most candidates left fall into one of three categories:
* "Recycled" -- Dave Trembley, Bob Melvin, Bob Brenly, Fredi Gonzalez, Don Wakamatsu, Eric Wedge, Bobby Valentine...They've been hired before, been fired before, and now they can be yours! If you want them.
* "Runners Up" -- Orel Hershiser, Jamie Quirk, Rick Dempsey, Joey Cora...They've interviewed for managerial positions before but have never been hired to manage in the big leagues. There's only one way to find out if they have what it takes. Do you want to be the ones to find out?
* "In House" -- Tony DeFrancesco, Tye Waller, Todd Steverson...They coach for you now, but are they "major league manager" material?
Do any of the many "recycled," "runners up," or "in house" options out there strike you as great fits for this A's team right now? Or might there be someone you think would be great even if they haven't so much as interviewed before?
Remember that managing takes very different skills from playing -- it's largely about leadership, communication, and to a smaller, but more visible, degree in-game tactical skill. If you had a job opening to fill and could have anyone who probably wanted the post, who would be your ideal hire to take the Oakland A's into 2011 and beyond?
Let us know -- and then we'll just go ahead and have Geren back.