Results tagged ‘ Dave Clark ’

Astros tidbits

Here are some various Astros tidbits from Tuesday:

— As you certainly know by now, Wesley Wright is going to winter ball to be a starter. Wright will head to the instructional league in Kissimmee, Fla., following the regular season and try to get stretched out by throwing five innings before reporting for the start of the Dominican winter league on Oct. 23.

— The Astros haven’t begun contacting candidates for possible interviews to be the next manager, but about 60-70 people have contacted the Astros through emails and phone calls in the days since Cecil Cooper was let go. The Astros are still in the process of sifting through names.

Pedro Martinez will start for the Phillies on Wednesday against the Astros instead of Thursday. Cliff Lee, who was originally scheduled to start Wednesday, will instead start Thursday. Philadelphia changed up the rotation so it can start lining up its pitching for the playoffs.

— Astros interim manager Dave Clark said he considered hitting Miguel Tejada in the lead-off spot Tuesday with Michael Bourn out of the starting lineup. “I thought about leading him off and seeing what happens,” Clark said. “It may happen in the Mets series. You just never know.”




How about a player-manager for Astros?

Remember when Pete Rose was a player and the manager of the Reds back in the 1980s? That was pretty cool, and I wish we had more of those in sports. I would have nothing more than the Astros to have a player-manager next year.

I could envision Geoff Blum coming in to yank a pitcher from third base and then later pinch-running for himself when he represents the tying run. Blum is pretty much a platoon player anyway, so he’d be in the dugout as manager half the time. Blum is full of great ideas, too. And I’d enjoy a manager doing his post-game interview with dirt on his uniform.

Alas, this won’t happen. After talking with many players in the last few days, there is a tremendous amount of support for Dave Clark to take over the job on a full-time basis. I know Clark will be in the mix, but I see Ed Wade bringing someone from the outside. I don’t think many people would have a problem with Clarkie, though.


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.”


Clark has what it takes to manage

Ask any player who’s played for manager Dave Clark in the Minor Leagues, and they’ll usually tell you the same thing: they would be willing to run through a wall for him.

Clark, a former boxer, brings a tough-as-nails demeanor to the dugout that was certainly lacking under laid-back Cecil Cooper. And managerial changes seem to always go in cycles: Terry Collins was fiery, and Larry Dierker was laid back. Jimy Williams was laid back, and Phil Garner was fiery. Cooper was laid back, and Clark certainly has outward passion.

“I would have to say that everybody that has played for him has loved him, and he’s a good guy,” said outfielder Hunter Pence, who was on the Corpus Christi team in 2006 that won the Texas League title with Clark at the helm.

The last two interim managers the Astros have had (Phil Garner and Cooper) have landed the jobs on a full-time basis, but Ed Wade will conduct a full search. He’s likely champing at the bit to bring in his own guy, and the decision will be made by owner Drayton McLane anyway.

I can’t imagine Craig Biggio or Jeff Bagwell would get serious consideration, and I don’t think Bagwell would even be interested. I’d hire Brad Ausmus in a heartbeat if I were the Astros, but he might not be willing to manage as early as next year.

Brewers bench coach Willie Randolph is interested, and plenty of other names are sure to surface. I’m guessing Wade will go outside the organization to hire a manager and most of the coaching staff won’t be brought back, but there is no doubt this is a tremendously important hire for McLane.