Wednesday brought more news of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ list of interviews for their managerial vacancy growing. A process that began with Dodgers director of player development Gabe Kapler viewed as the favorite, now has San Diego Padres bench coach Dave Roberts reportedly in the lead.
Believed to be included in the mix are former Padres manager Bud Black, Dodgers coaches Ron Roenicke and Tim Wallach, former Arizona Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson, New York Mets bench coach Bob Geren and University of Nebraska head coach Darin Erstad.
The vast group of candidates supports Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman’s assertion the organization would cast a wide net in their search for Don Mattingly’s replacement.
However, according to Bill Plaschke of the LA Times, it was at the urging of Dodgers ownership that Friedman didn’t tab Kapler as the club’s next manager:
Apparently Friedman’s group was initially ready to anoint minor league boss Gabe Kapler as their dugout conduit. He is someone they know, someone they trust, and someone who thinks enough like them to transfer their ideas directly to the field. But then Dodgers ownership, while supportive of Kapler, asked them to consider other candidates who might be a better mix of numbers and human nature. The owners are smartly concerned about their dugout being run by a Friedman clone. They are, instead, hoping to find somebody who could complement the boss, taking Friedman’s smart ideas and turning them into the sort of scrapping baseball wins that the Dodgers couldn’t find under Mattingly.
Kapler, 40, played outfield for parts of 12 Major League seasons before retiring in 2011. He was a baseball analyst for FOX Sports prior to being hired by the Dodgers in November 2014.
Kapler’s previous experience includes managing the Boston Red Sox’ Single-A affiliate in 2007 and coaching Israeli national team at the World Baseball Classic in 2012. He’s never managed in the Majors.
With the Dodgers’ search continuing to add layers by the day, Friedman previously remarked he hopes to have a manger in place prior to the Winter Meetings beginning Dec. 7 in Nashville, Tenn.