Monday, March 8, 2010

Who will manage the Victoria Seals?

Now that the position of field manager of the Victoria Seals is vacant, I can't help but speculate on the name of Darrell Evans' replacement. A number of possibilities come to mind.

Teams in the GBL have a knack for selecting ex-big leaguers as managers. Not only does it help in recruiting players for an independent league team, but it provides the organization with instant credibility to baseball fans in the community. It will be interesting to see if this trend continues when the Seals select their new leader.

Perhaps it's just wishful thinking on my part, but the selection of a well-known ex-Expo or Blue Jay would create an instant buzz in Victoria. I'd be thrilled if someone like Gary Carter was selected. He has experience in the GBL, having led the Orange County Flyers to the 2008 GBL Championship. Unfortunately, he accepted the head coaching job at Palm Beach Atlantic University last fall.

Another ex-Expo that immediately comes to mind is Larry Walker. He hails from Maple Ridge BC and has even greater name recognition than Gary "Kid" Carter. Walker was the hitting coach for Team Canada at the 2009 World Baseball Classic, so it's not a stretch to imagine him managing a professional club. However, I find it unlikely that someone who has earned over $110M in his career would trade his retirement lifestyle to ride the buses (and planes) with an independent baseball team.

Another ex-big leaguer with Canadian connections is Ernie Whitt. He spent 12 seasons with the Jays and has significant managing experience, which includes piloting Team Canada in the 2004 Athens Olympics and in both World Baseball Classics. Whitt, an original Blue Jay, also served as a coach on that team from 2006-2008. He managed the Clearwater Threshers in the Florida State League (Advanced A) in 2009, but he's not returning to the club in 2010 and to the best of my knowledge is currently without a job in baseball. Whitt also has Canadian citizenship, so the Seals wouldn't have any visa worries if they were to select him.

Of course, the manager will likely be none of these men. Who knows who the successful candidate will be. We should find out very soon.