And the next manager is…

Well we know the next manager of the NY Yankees will be Joe Girardi, Don Mattingly, or Tony Pena, barring an unforeseen addition to the candidate list.

Girardi has a strong case. In 2005 he managed a low-budget Marlins team to a respectable season and won manager of the year. However, it is difficult to judge how much that really relates to leading a high-budget team that is expected to win the World Series. Also, he couldn’t get along with the front office there, something that is critical in NY. Girardi does have the benefit of having played for and coached the Yankees before. And he has three rings.

Mattingly doesn’t quite have the experience that Girardi has but he is even more beloved in NY as a former player. And his big advantage is he offers continuity. He has been a coach the past 4 seasons and the players like him. Having him as manager might not be as “player-friendly” as having Joe Torre, but at this point it’s probably the next best thing. So hiring Mattingly would likely bode well for bringing back Posada, Pettitte, Rivera, and A-Rod (though I think they’re all coming back anyways).

Pena is the dark horse despite having more experience than both Girardi and Mattingly. You get the feeling that the Yankees really like Pena (and the work he’s done with Posada in particular) but they probably will go with Girardi or Mattingly. However, Pena will likely be retained.

The unfortunate thing is that it seems doubtful that Girardi and Mattingly could co-exist on the same coaching staff. I think if it was simply a matter of managing a team, Girardi would get the nod. But because of how much everyone adores Mattingly and the continuity he offers, Mattingly is the safe pick. Pena will likely be bench coach or remain first base coach for one of the two.

Rumors have Bowa leaving for the Mariners third base job, but now he is waiting to see how things shake out. You’d have to think that if the Yankees offer him a job, he’ll come back to them. I hope that he is the bench coach if Pena is not or at least comes back as the third base coach. Bowa has experience, is a competitor. Also, how many times did you hear about his coaching at third base last season? Pretty much none, which means he was doing a great (if thankless) job.

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