Now that the Cincinnati Reds have said “So long, farewell, goodbye” to Dusty Baker, the speculation begins as to who will be next in the managerial office swivel chair. Some early speculation, in alphabetical order:
1. DAVEY JOHNSON didn’t want out of Washington, but the Nationals told him 2013 was his last year. Johnson never got to finish what he started in Cincinnati in 1995 when Marge Schott pushed him out the door. Does he want to manage?
2. BARRY LARKIN is content as a baseball analyst on television but he managed Team Brazil in the World Baseball Classic. While he has no other managerial experience he would be a popular public relations move.
3. JOE MORGAN always said he doesn’t want to manage but as a close advisor to general manager Walt Jocketty maybe he can be talked into it. And he does have a statue in front of the stadium.
4. BRYAN PRICE was Dusty Baker’s pitching coach and an extremely popular coach in the clubhouse. Baseball people believe he would be an excellent manger. But like Baker he is very low key and soft-spoken. Is that what the Reds want?
5. JIM RIGGLEMAN managed the team’s Class AAA affiliate in Louisville and has major league managerial experience with the San Diego Padres, Seattle Mariners, Chicago Cubs and Washington Nationals. Do the Reds want experience or a fresh face?
6. CHRIS SPEIER was Baker’s bench coach and stepped in as interim when Baker was suspended for three games in 2010 for the fight with the St. Louis Cardinals and in 2012 when Baker suffered a minor stroke toward the end of the season. Speier has an edge to him, a fiery personality, but do the Reds want one of Baker’s guys to replace him?
7. RICK SWEET was highly successful as a manager for the Class AAA Louisville Bats and managed many of the current Reds. He has been with several organizations in their minor-league systems and is a roving instructor with the Reds. Do the Reds want to stay within the system.