Monday was an off day for the World Series, but it was an active day when it came to teams announcing their new managers.
The highest-profile introduction occurred in Philadelphia, where the Phillies named Joe Girardi their new manager. Girardi signed a three-year contract with a club option for 2023.
The Phillies entered the 2019 season with high expectations following a flurry of offseason moves that included the signing of Bryce Harper to a record 13-year, $330 million contract. However they finished in fourth place in the NL East and missed the playoffs for the eight consecutive season. It’s a big reason why Gabe Kapler was fired and replaced by a more experienced skipper like Girardi.
“That’s why I came here, because I think there’s a great opportunity to win,” Girardi said. “You have dedicated ownership, you have a dedicated general manager and front office. And you have a dedicated fan base that supports this club and wants the same thing.”
Girardi was let go by the Yankees following the 2017 season in large part because he reportedly had trouble connecting to the younger players on the roster. However, there’s little denying the success he’s had as a manager, boasting a career 988-794 (.554) record and having won a World Series back in 2009.
Ross is Boss
Also officially introducing a new manager on Monday was the Cubs, who named David Ross their 55th skipper in history.
As far as the experience factor goes, Ross is the polar opposite of Girardi, having never held down a manager job of any sort. However, he believes his experiences as a player have prepared him for the gig. Ross also played under high-profile managers like Bobby Cox, Terry Francona, Bruce Bochy, Dusty Baker and Joe Maddon.
"I know what winning looks like," Ross said. "I've always been a guy who asks questions to my teammates and managers, trying to soak in those answers, those experiences, preparing for this opportunity that I'm about to take on. There are many ways to get experience. I don't think everybody takes the same road, but I know I'm ready for this."
Ross became a bit of a cult hero during the Cubs’ run to the World Series title in 2016, earning the nickname “Grandpa Rossy.” He was even carried off the field following their Game 7 win over the Indians in what was the final game of his career. However, Ross isn’t concerned about the friendships he still has with some of the players on the roster being an issue.
"I think there's a little bit of a misconception of maybe the fun-loving Grandpa Rossy," Ross said. "I don't think that's me in the dugout as much. As much as I would love to say that I'm that guy, I just, to the core, I'm a guy that has a lot of expectations when I come into work. I'm very professional. I expect professionalism.”
Ross will be taking over a Cubs squad that has gone backward since winning the World Series and missed out on the playoffs this season. For what it’s worth, former Cubs manager and current Angels skipper Joe Maddon said Monday that Ross is “going to be perfect in that situation.”
Padres Tap Tingler
Lastly, the Padres on Monday announced the hiring of Jayce Tingler. Tingler – who was signed to a three-year contract – will be introduced at a news conference on Thursday.
Tingler is a bit of an unknown. His managerial experience is limited to the Dominican Winter League, Dominican Summer League and Arizona Rookie League, but the 38-year-old has held various positions in the Rangers’ organization, most recently serving as Texas' major league development coordinator.
“Jayce has extensive experience in virtually every aspect of coaching, player development and baseball operations, and our entire group believes that he’s the right person to lead our talented roster,” general manager A.J. Preller said in a statement. “His multifaceted skill set, combined with his ability to develop talent and help players reach their potential at the Major League level, were key factors in his selection as our manager.”
The Padres haven’t reached the postseason since 2006 and haven’t posted a winning record since 2010. However, they had the youngest roster in the NL this season and also have one of the better farm systems in the game. There’s potential in San Diego and Preller has tapped Tingler to coax it out of the roster.
Quick Hits: Kurt Suzuki said Monday that his hip flexor is "getting better" and he hopes to be ready to play in Game 6 … Jon Paul Morosi of MLB.com has reported that the Dodgers are expected to pursue a trade for Francisco Lindor this offseason … John Tomase of NBC Sports Boston has reported that the Red Sox have not made a new contract offer to J.D. Martinez, who must decide after the World Series whether to opt out of the final three years on his deal … Chris Sale (elbow) is expected to have a follow-up appointment with Dr. James Andrews in mid-November … Justin Bour has elected free agency after being outrighted by the Angels … The Mariners outrighted Ryon Healy off their 40-man roster on Monday … Craig Mish of FNTSY Sports Radio has reported that Gabe Kapler is getting a second interview for the Giants' managerial vacancy … Andy Martino of SNY.tv has reported that the Mets will hold a third round of managerial interviews this week, with Derek Shelton, Eduardo Perez, Tim Bogar, Carlos Beltran and possibly others expected to be in the mix … The Red Sox officially hired Chaim Bloom as their new chief baseball officer … Alex Speier of the Boston Globe has reported that Dave Bush is the "clear front-runner" to become the Red Sox' new pitching coach … The Yankees will not bring back pitching coach Larry Rothschild, who is expected to be a candidate to become Joe Girardi’s pitching coach with the Phillies … The Pirates announced the firing of general manager Neal Huntington on Monday … Jim Salisbury and Corey Seidman of NBC Sports Philadelphia have reported that Bryan Price "has emerged as a strong candidate" to become the Phillies' pitching coach.