Ron Gardenhire was never going to be out of baseball for long. The two vocal suitors have been the Washington Nationals and the San Diego Padres, both making their interest public as soon as they realistically could, but now the situation has changed since the Nationals have announced the hiring of Bud Black.
Now that Black is on board in Washington, the Padres are the last team standing for Gardenhire's services. When reading about the process that the Nationals and Padres were going through, one thing stood out: both the teams were looking for a solution through their own lens, and still coming up with Ron Gardenhire as a tangible solution. The Nationals, after a string of managers who haven't lasted long, were on the lookout for stability; Gardenhire's 13 years in Minnesota, overseeing six division titles, certainly ticks that box. So too does Black, who managed in San Diego for nine seasons. His former haunt, the Padres, seem to be looking for a manager that fits an exiting mold; they're looking for a leader who is a bit old school and willing to lay his passions out for the players to see.
Now that Washington is out of the running, here's the latest on the Padres' managerial pursuit.
- Dennis Lin at the San Diego Union-Tribune noted yesterday afternoon that Gardenhire and Rick Sofield (Pittsburgh's third base coach) are the Padres' two finalists. He believes that A.J. Preller, General Manager of the Padres, prefers Gardenhire.
- Scott Miller of Bleacher Report and Turner Sports, however, hears that Sofield is the favorite. So who knows who to believe.
- Just a couple of days ago, Chris Johnson of MASN Sports made a list of the most likely candidates to win the Nationals' job. Check out the top three names. They shout stability, as all three have a good deal of experience. Interestingly, Gardy is third on that list. If I'm a Nats fan, I'm not sure I have any desire to see Dusty Baker lead my pitchers anywhere and so am counting my lucky blessings for Black's appointment.
- The Daily Dose made a pun we should've all seen coming.
- Jacob Kornhauser at Friars On Base thinks the Padres should definitely hire Gardenhire, believing he got the most out of his best teams.
- The Brewers have already named Pat Murphy as their bench coach, which is totally different from what I originally wrote here. I read it as the Padres hiring their fired interim manager as their bench manager. Which would have been strange. But no, he's going to Milwaukee. So nevermind what I said before!