Tim Wallach says he's ready to manage in the bigs, and after being passed over by the Los Angeles Dodgers, he may finally have his chance.
According to Bob Nightengale of the USA Today, the Blue Jays currently have their eyes on Colorado Rockies hitting coach Don Baylor, but he also says that Wallach is quickly emerging as a front-runner for the managing job in Toronto.
Current Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston has already announced his retirement effective at the end of the season.
Wallach was the fan favorite to succeed Dodgers' manager Joe Torre at the end of this year, however an alleged "secret agreement" was reached between Los Angeles and Don Mattingly before the 2010 campaign ever began.
Upon hearing the news that Mattingly was named the new manager of the Dodgers on September 17, Wallach told members of the media that he would prefer to work under Mattingly rather than return to Triple-A Albuquerque.
Since then, Wallach has been exploring his options. It's speculated that as many as 12 teams could be in search of a new manager this winter.
Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane told Nightengale that "It's going to be a circus."
Over the course of his 16 years as a player in the Majors, Wallach won three Gold Glove awards for defensive excellence and two Silver Slugger awards for his abilities with the bat. He was also named to five All-Star teams.
In 2004, Tim returned to the Dodgers as batting coach, and in January of last year he was named manager of the Albuquerque Isotopes, the Dodgers' Triple-A farm club. He eventually led the Isotopes into the playoffs with a franchise record 80 wins and was named as Pacific Coast League Manager of the Year.
Wallach is quickly developing a reputation as a "player's manager," and has earned the outspoken respect and backing of almost every player he's coached.
It's not yet known if Wallach has met formally with any representatives from Toronto. The Blue Jays are also talking with former Arizona Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin, and ex-Cleveland Indians skipper Eric Wedge.
After current Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia was passed over by the Dodgers back in the early 90s, many folks around Dodgertown are hoping the franchise wasn't letting another diamond in the rough slip through its hands.
Scioscia led the Angels to their first World Series championship in 2002. He is the Angels' all-time managerial leader in wins, games managed, and division titles. Scioscia was honored with the official American League Manager of the Year Award in 2002 and 2009.
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