Reds General Manager Walt Jocketty was asked Wednesday if it was kind of exciting to be in the middle of a search for a new manager.
After all, he hasn’t had to hire one in the major leagues since he joined the Reds in 2008, and he had only one manager in his last 12 years in St. Louis, Tony La Russa.
Exciting wasn’t the word Jocketty would use to describe the process, not when he just had to fire a man he considered a friend, Dusty Baker, five days earlier.
“It’s challenging,” Jocketty said. “We certainly have to make sure we find the right guy. It’s tough to have to replace somebody.”
Jocketty can’t go into many specifics about what the Reds are looking for in a new manager, when they might hire him or who it might be. The only thing he could confirm is that pitching coach Bryan Price will be a candidate. He said the club will not consult the players on this decision.
Louisville Bats manager Jim Riggleman is also expected to be a leading contender. Former Reds minor league manager David Bell, whose dad Buddy and grandfather Gus played for the Reds, has been mentioned as a possible candidate. Eduardo Perez, Tony’s son, told the Houston Chronicle he’d be interested if the Reds called. He was the bench coach for the Astros last season.
Other names that have been thrown out there: Cardinals third base coach Jose Oquendo; former Red Dave Martinez, a bench coach for the Rays; Diamondbacks third base coach Matt Williams; and Reds Hall of Famer Barry Larkin, now an analyst for MLB Network.
The Reds likely won’t hire anyone until after the World Series because some of the names they might be interested in could still be coaching in the playoffs.
Jocketty said they will compile a list of qualities they’re looking for in a new manager. Good leadership and communication skills will be on that list, he said.
“We haven’t even got a list yet,” he said. “We’re just in the preliminary stages. It’s probably going to be at least to the end of the month. Right now we’re tying up loose ends from last year. I’m on my way to Phoenix for some meetings next week and to watch the end of instructional league and the start of fall league. We’ll formalize plans next week and put together a list. We’ve had a lot of names.”
Meanwhile, Baker told the Washington Post on Wednesday that he contacted the Nationals through his agent to tell them he’d be interested in their managerial opening.