Wade, Astros preparing for arduous managerial search
Don’t expect the Astros have a full-time manager in place before the end of the season.
Astros general manager Ed Wade said club officials have yet to sit down and have in-depth internal conversations with regard to candidate lists, and the process could drag into November, especially if one of the candidates is on a coaching staff that reaches the World Series.
The Astros on Monday dismissed manager Cecil Cooper after two years and named third base coach Dave Clark interim manager. Clark will be in the mix for the full-time job at season’s end.
“Don’t call me a liar if we end up interviewing somebody in the interim,” Wade said. “I just don’t think it’s going to flow at that pace. We’ll have our internal discussions and try to come up with a manageable list, and then we’ll begin the process at some point thereafter.”
Wade hired two managers while he was general manager of the Phillies – Larry Bowa and Charlie Manuel, who led the Phillies to the World Series championship last year. Wade was an assistant general manager when Terry Francona was hired by the Phillies.
“I fired Terry, and I told him it was the biggest mistake I ever made in my baseball career,” Wade said.
Wade said he’d like to hire a manager that has managerial experience in the Major Leagues or Minor Leagues and coaching experience if the Majors. That would appear to eliminate Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio, both of whom have had their names surface in the media.
“I think experience goes a long way,” Wade said. “I agree with people that say just about everyone interviews well. I don’t think you can be overwhelmed in an interview setting, so you have to look at the individual’s body of work and what they’ve accomplished and what other people have said about them, people that have worked with him.
“You try to take all that information and make the right decision. I’ve been fortunate in the time I’ve been in baseball to work with some outstanding managers. I’ve worked with guys who were excellent tacticians on the field; I’ve worked with guys who were great in dealing with players. If you find somebody who can bring all those attributes to the job, you probably have Bobby Cox.”
Wade likes stand-up guys, managers who will pat players on the back when they need it and kick them in the tail when they need it.
“We’re going to have some core veteran guys on the club, we’re going to have young guys on the club,” Wade said. “There will be a lot of dialogue with the candidates about the dynamics of our team, the dynamics of our roster. We’ve got to ask them for input how they feel working with a club that’s a mixture of veterans and younger guys.
“There are some managers who are more comfortable or only comfortable with a veteran club, and there are some mangers who are developmentally oriented and like to take young players and see them grow. The way we’re going to be comprised next year would indicate a manager has to be willing to do both – work with veteran guys and get their respect and maintain the respect of those players, while at the same time having a willingness to bring the younger kids along and help to build what will become a new core nucleus.”