A list of potential general manager candidates has been posted on Philly.com, including a surprising number of young poindexters. Unfortunately, Beerleaguer is not listed.
If you're hoping for a youth movement, the chances are slim if team president David Montgomery selects a popular choice. The loudest voice in radio, Howard Eskin, is already calling for Jim Duquette or Montgomery County product Gerry Hunsicker. Along with Yankees GM Brian Cashman, these are the names I hear and read most often.
My gut tells me Montgomery will indeed side with the majority and select the "Jim Thome" of candidates, a veteran with a name, either Duquette, Hunsicker or Cashman. Theo Epstein is also coming up on the end of his contract, though re-negotiations are already in the works.
That's not to say I disagree with those choices, but I'm very apprehensive of settling for "the people's choice." Like Thome, they sound comfortable at first, but could turn into albatrosses in the end.
I said it once and I'll say it again: the Phillies don't think outside the box and too often take cues from their fans. Though today's decision to fire Ed Wade was a long-time coming, rest assured it was fueled by fandom.
To prep for this decision, Montgomery should cancel his subscription to the paper and turn off his radio. Instead, he should listen to what the top minds in baseball have to say, and they're not in Philadelphia. Call Peter Gammons. Call Billy Beane. Call the Indians. Call the Blue Jays. Call all the teams that aren't National League rivals, and then take John Schuerholz to dinner at a far off location.
Monty's list of candidates must be extensive, wide ranging, and the decision should not be hasty.
Best quote on today's firing
Tom Goyne of Balls Sticks & Stuff: "Firing Wade is a waste of time if you aren't going to replace him with someone better."