MLB: Former Players Destined to Be Managers
In the past decade, a trend has taken over major league baseball front offices as they try to perfect their World Series formulas and put together the perfect baseball team.
One of the most important decisions a general manager makes is not only who will play which position, but also who will reign over the team on a daily basis, make lineup changes, decide who pitches and control the clubhouse.
Managers of baseball teams are given much of the credit when their team wins, and take most of the blame when their team loses. Some would argue that the manager is the most important man on the payroll.
Among most of the recently hired managers, many are former players and are recent retirees. Robin Ventura, Joe Girardi (when he was hired in 2006), Mike Matheny and Dale Sveum lead a list of former players who are landing gigs as a skipper of a team rather than playing.
What other former players will manage in the MLB one day?
After a very long up and down (and then back up) major league career that spanned 18 seasons from 1995 until 2012, Jason Giambi should finally hang up his cleats for the 2013 season.
However, Giambi's desire to remain around the game is more than apparent after he interviewed for the Rockies' manager job and may still accept a job as their hitting coach.
Eighteen seasons is a very long time to be around the game and as mainly a pinch hitter/DH since 2009, he has spent a lot of time on the bench and was surely able to soak up some managerial experience from his former skippers.
Don't be surprised to see Giambi take the Don Mattingly route and wait in the wings as a hitting coach before eventually being given control of the lineup card.
In his years with the Red Sox, Varitek was always known for the "C" that he sported on the upper right shoulder of his uniform.
The "C," of course, designated that he was the captain of Terry Francona's Red Sox and that he was the leader of the wacky clubhouse throughout the 2000's. Varitek's leadership ability alone would be enough to net him a managerial job in the MLB.
However, that isn't his only qualification. Varitek, like most catchers, has a vast knowledge of the game and would definitely be able to handle the baseball decisions a manager has to make after years of handling pitching staffs and advising players as a captain.
Varitek was hired to work in the Red Sox front office this offseason after speculation that he would replace Bobby Valentine in the dugout.
Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez
Sticking with the theme of catchers as managers, arguably the best catcher of this generation of baseball would surely make a great manager. Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez led clubhouses in Texas, Florida (now Miami), Detroit and Washington.
Very few catchers possess as much knowledge of the game as Pudge as he has been around many different teams and many young players while also possessing one of the most complete skill sets of any position player of his generation.
Pudge knows how to win, taking a down-trodden Florida Marlins team to the World Series in 2003 and it seems as though in the waning years of his career, he was brought on strictly to be a player-manager type in the clubhouse.
Pudge would surely be considered for jobs with the Rangers, Tigers or Marlins if they opened up.
One of the most valuable qualities a manager can have is experience around the game. There is no player that has had more experience out of recent retirees than Vizquel.
A veteran of 24 seasons, Vizquel played for six teams and played across four different decades (the 80's, 90's, 00's and 10's). He was around before the steroid era, through the steroid era and beyond.
Perhaps no one understands an MLB clubhouse and the different dynamics that can take place than Vizquel. He has enough experience and time around the game to handle almost any personality of clubhouse.
Vizquel is loved in Seattle and in Cleveland after spending most of his career in those two cities and would be a great fit in either.