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Cincinnati Reds: The search for a manager

Heading into the offseason at the start of October, as Cincinnati usually does, there are two questions that have haunted the Reds, who will pitch and who will coach? Earlier this week we looked over some options to take the rubber for the Reds. Today we will review possible managerial candidates.

After a 3-15 start, the Reds said enough with Bryan Price. Jim Riggleman was then promoted to interim manager. Usually, an interim manager does not last an entire season, but the Reds made it known they did not want to hire a new manager until the season was over.

After a long season that record-wise, showed no improvement, the next Reds manager is crucial. The manager always is brought into the scene much more than they should be. The Reds’ offense exceeded expectations and will only improve, and Bob Castellini said he will spend more money on the team than ever before.

If Castellini stays true to his word, then the question of the next managerial candidate is not as serious. The problem is, he has made promises in the past that lead the Cincinnati faithful to believe his words are just words.

The Obvious Calls

The most talked about name when it comes to the Reds’ open spot at manager is Joe Girardi. Girardi managed the then Florida Marlins and the New York Yankees for over a decade. The lack of postseason success is what led to his dismissal in New York. He may have won a World series, but 2009 is far too distant in the minds of New Yorkers’.

(Photo Courtesy: The Sporting News)

Another name that is often brought up is an in-house name. John Farrell, former Red Sox Manager and current scout for the Reds is often brought up. Farrell has not made his interest known, but a man of his caliber should have some interest in managing, likewise for the Reds and his services.

Outside Candidates

The Reds have hinted they may be looking at outside candidates such as Giants’ bench coach Hensley Meulens, Rays’ Charlie Montoya or another outside candidate. While neither of the two has any major league coaching experience, both have served under major league coaches for quite some time.

Former Major Leaguer David bell has come up quite often in conversation. Bell has managed multiple minor league teams throughout the Reds organization and would make a perfect fit for the club.

Bell has helped the Brewers deliver sadness to the Cincinnati faithful as a member of the Brewers coaching staff. That being said, Bell should still be given a look as the next possible option for the Reds’ coaching staff.

Mr. Red

For the longest time, both the Reds and the fans wanted Barry Larkin to manage the Reds. Larkin still remains a candidate, but has recently expressed he wants to when the time is right. The timing is certainly not right at the moment. If Larkin took over and failed he would be viewed as a pariah in a city he once owned. It would be amazing to see Larkin at the helm of any Cincinnati based sports team. Unfortunately, the 2018 Reds are not at a point where they can dominate yet.

The Current Head Man and the Future

Last, but certainly not least, there is Jim Riggleman. The current interim manager for the Reds started his tenure in solid fashion. Since the hot start, he has started to play players where he saw them before. This led to almost no progress throughout the organization.

(Photo Courtesy: The Cincinnati Enquirer)

The Reds felt an instant resurgent under Riggleman, which had to make the players feel good about themselves. Since then, the offense forgot they had to show up to the ballpark every day.  The Reds finished in the middle of the league offensively, but outside of a slow April and September, the Reds were one of the best teams in the league offensively. Riggleman deserves credit for making the Reds relevant again, but the Reds must not look too far into his contributions. He often was caught making poor decisions with the bullpen and not batting players where they should hit to best benefit the team.

Riggleman did a fine job to help the team when all felt lost, but that does not mean the job should be his.  With what feels like an endless amount of candidates, the Reds should explore every option available. Whether it be Bell, Larkin, Girardi,  Farrell or even Riggleman, the Reds owe it to themselves to conduct a thorough managerial search to find the next man to lead them to the promised land.


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