A fan favorite in Chicago as a player, Robin Ventura becomes the Sox's newest skipper
When a baseball player retires, despite the career he's had, he has to get a second job. Sometimes he leaves baseball and pursues another interest, while sometimes he comes back to baseball as a coach, in the hopes of becoming a manager someday.
Robin Ventura is the latest example of a player who decided that his baseball career wasn't over just yet. After former White Sox skipper Ozzie Guillen took his talents to South Beach, Ventura was hired as the new manager of the Sox.
Ventura was popular as a player in Chicago, so it seems almost natural that he starts his managing career in his adopted city.
This got me wondering. What if current major league baseball players, after they retired, got managing jobs with their teams, or others? Here are the 16 best options in my opinion.
Note: This is the first of two slide shows, with this one focusing on the National League, and the other one on the American League.
If you think about it, Chipper Jones has been the face of the Atlanta Braves ever since he made his major league debut back in 1993.
He's popular with the home crowd, despite the fact his best years are way behind him. He won an MVP in 1999, a batting title in 2008, and is still regarded as the true leader of the Braves clubhouse.
When Jones retires, and should Fredi Gonzalez not work out, expect him to return to the Braves dugout, this time as a manager.
I say this strictly out of humor, mainly because there really is no veteran presence on the Marlins.
With Ozzie Guillen's hiring, it seems that Jeffrey Loria wants to change the culture of the Marlins. If Ozzie makes an impact on the team, then expect him to significantly affect a few players. Logan Morrison certainly would be one of them because, like Guillen, he can't seem to keep his mouth shut.
David Wright is the de facto captain of the Mets, and for good reason. He's a leader, a positive clubhouse influence, and likely a baseball lifer.
When he retires, I hope that he takes a coaching job with the team so that he can reflect his positive attitude on the Mets of tomorrow.
As the old saying goes, bad catchers make good managers.
Schneider isn't a "bad" catcher, so to speak—he's just the typical mold. All glove, no bat, but a leading presence on a good team.
Catchers are supposed to have a lot of influence, and a guy like him should find himself patrolling a dugout almost immediately after he retires.
I did not want to say that Zimmerman would be a potential fit as a Nationals manager, but unfortunately, aside from Pudge Rodriguez, there's no veteran presence on this team like him.
Zimmerman is the team's captain, like David Wright, and his leadership and hometown popularity could potentially translate into a manager's position in the future.
Same reason as Jones. He's easily identifiable as a Cub, despite stops in Cleveland and New York. However, there is another old saying to watch out for: Pitchers can't manage.
Rolen has gone through four different teams, learning under plenty of managers, including Tony La Russa and Dusty Baker. Surely a guy like him can manage after learning under two of the greatest minds of baseball in the 21st century.
Should Biggio trade in his dinner jacket for a dugout jacket? I certainly think so.
There is no veteran presence on that team that would make a good manager. If the Astros were to hire someone with team experience, they should go for one of their Killer B's. Craig Biggio, perhaps?
Something has always told me that Mark Kotsay would make a good manager. I don't know why, though. Maybe it's because he's well traveled, maybe it's because he's had a long career and is getting close to retirement. Nonetheless, it would be interesting to see how he would do as a manager.
Derrek Lee has been around for a while, playing for managers like Jack McKeon, Lou Pinella, Buck Showalter and Bobby Cox. All were great managers, and Lee is a great presence in the clubhouse. Expect him to become a coach, and maybe a manager, when he retires.
What? No Albert?
Pujols may be a fan favorite, but Berkman has said that he wants to manage when he retires, albeit at the University of Texas. Quite a stepping stone for a leading clubhouse presence.
The Diamondbacks are a relatively young team, thus it was pretty hard to determine who could be a good manager for them.
Stephen Drew beat Justin Upton because he seems to be a charismatic leader who could take charge of a clubhouse.
It's almost a no brainer, considering the fact he's been with the team all his career, and is the captain. Helton could find himself managing the Rockies, should Jim Tracy not pan out.
Barajas is nearing the end, and like Schneider, he's a catcher. Barajas has helped develop some quality arms, like Clayton Kershaw and the 2001 Diamondbacks staff. These positives, as well as a series ring, could potentially translate into a managerial position in the future.
I know I said pitchers make bad managers, but look at Bud Black, current manager of the Padres.
Without Adrian Gonzalez to lead them, Bell is the longest tenured and most popular Padre on the team. Needless to say, it's a landslide in determining who could manage the Padres.
Burrell has leadership qualities, he was once a captain in Philadelphia. However, since he's left the Phillies, he's been referred to as a senior presence, both in Tampa Bay from 2009-10, and San Francisco from 2010-now. Add to his accomplishments two world series rings, and you have a good candidate to be a manager.
There will be another slideshow that will discuss the American League's potential managers on each team.