So now that we've narrowed things down to 10 candidates that I'd like to see Mark Shapiro go after, who among those candidates are best suited to manage the Tribe in 2010 and beyond? Assuming John Farrell says no and is definitive about it, this is my top five.
5. Torey Lovullo
Out of respect for Lovullo's efforts with this club and the sheer potential that he has as a manager, I think Lovullo is a fantastic fall-back option if it came to that.
However as I said earlier, it would be very wise of the Indians to give him major league experience as the third base coach or bench coach, so he can go through the wars of a season. Him or Double-A Akron Manager Mike Sarbaugh would both be individuals I'd consider for that role, and encourage the new manager to bring aboard.
4. Ned Yost
This is where the plan of action would be to hire Ned Yost, or a candidate in his position, make Lovullo bench coach and get him experience for the future. If in fact Yost has not learned from his past experiences and still has the same shortcomings he did with Milwaukee.
From the names I can come up with, Yost seems to fit the bill of this plan of action the best.
3. Ron Roenicke
There is something about the fact that Roenicke has had time to soak up all this experience from a great manager that makes me positive towards this idea. Also looking at Joe Maddon's success in Tampa Bay is something that I think works in favor of Roenicke.
He could be a totally different person than Maddon in that aspect of dealing with young players, Maddon is certainly one of a kind with his mannerisms. However Roenicke can be someone with a lot of experience, yet have the hunger to get a shot.
2. Fredi Gonzalez
If the Marlins were to make such a move and fire Fredi Gonzalez, he'd float to the top of my list in a heart beat. Someone who's had success with young talent at the major league level, with a completely strapped payroll in a market with virtually no fan support? Sign him up and sign him up now.
1. Bobby Valentine
I'm in love with the idea of having someone with Bobby Valentine's knowledge and insight around. If Mark Shapiro to go out and sign Bobby Valentine up to manager the team in the offseason would be the equivalent of signing Kerry Wood to close in 2008.
Hopefully it would produce better results, but it would send shock waves through the city, "The Indians just hired a big name with a bigger personality." I respect his credentials and would respect the fresh ideas he'd bring to the table.
He's someone that would challenge the way the organization thinks and with Shapiro's open mind to change things on the fly, it could work out to be very beneficial.