Cafardo: Tony Pena unlikely to take over as manager if Girardi leaves

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Via Nick Cafardo: Bench coach Tony Pena is not likely to replace Joe Girardi as manager if the incumbent winds up heading elsewhere this winter. “I don’t think anyone in our front office is even thinking about that,” said one Yankees official, referring to Girardi leaving and not Pena receiving consideration for the job.

Pena, 56, has been with the Yankees since 2005, first as the first base coach (2006-2008) and then as the bench coach (2009-present). He managed the Royals from 2002-2005 and won the Manager of the Year award in 2003. He also manages in winter ball just about every year. Experience is not an issue for Pena, who has been considered for other big league openings in recent years. That includes the Yankees after 2006 and the Red Sox after 2011. He’s reportedly a very player-friendly coach and after these last few years, he’s familiar with the New York market. I’m sure the Bombers would consider him for the job again, but I never thought it was a slam dunk that he’d automatically take over as manager if Girardi left.

Saturday Night Open Thread
NYT: A-Rod asked players' union to step aside during appeal
  • Matt :: Sec110

    I’d still love Giambi to be the manager if Girardi leaves. From all accounts he interviewed extremely well, and he’s always been know as a good clubhouse guy. Hopefully if that happened, he’s keep Pena to help him with some of the little nuances.

    Also, Mike…what don’t you like about Mike Scioscia?

    • LarryM Fl

      Matt: I’m surprised that you would advocate Giambi for manager. He has no experience managing or coaching. More importantly has never dealt with pitching rotations or bullpens.

      I would consider Pena in a heart beat. He is not a slam dunk but the guy has the experience in all facets of the game.

      I do believe Girardi is coming back.

    • Electric Nunez ll

      Say what? Is this Jason Giambi we’re taking about, or maybe his brother? I ask because if its Jason, don’t believe I’ve ever heard of an active player interviewing for a manager’s job before. When did this interview happen, and with whom?

      • I’m One

        Last offseason with the Rockies.

      • RetroRob

        He interviewed for the Rockies’ manager opening a year back. Supposedly he interviewed well and the owner was a fan, yet they still didn’t hire him. He then signed to play with the Indians.

        I don’t consider him an option for the Yankees opening considering he has no experience as a manager, major or minor. Not the Yankees style.

        And while the rumor was he interviewed well for the Rockies position, I’ve never heard him mentioned as a MLB manager. He would have bit to prove elsewhere before he showed up in NY.

      • Matt :: Sec110

        Yes, that Jason Giambi…porn stache sporting, gold thong wearing, Giambino.

        He interviewed with the Rockies and apparently interviewed well, but Walt Weiss came in and blew them away.

        As far as rookie managers, 2 teams in baseball hired rookies (at the time)…Matheny and Ventura with the Cardinals and White Sox respectively.

        The Cardinals haven’t missed a beat, although he did walk into a great situation. Venture had success in his first year, but the wheels kind of fell off this season.

    • jjyank

      Mike Scioscia? The guys who managed consistently underperforming Angels teams?

      May or may not be his fault, but sure as hell not someone I’m handing the reigns over to.

      I really don’t have an opinion of Giambi managing. Might be better off letting him get his feet wet elsewhere, like Girardi did with the Marlins.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Too high strung. His head would explode managing a team in this market and having to face an east coast media. Sorry.

        • Pat D

          I think I’d like to see Scioscia’s head explode. Especially over some of the NY writers like Lupica and WallyMatt and O’Connor and……

          • Roadgeek Adam

            We don’t know if Mike Scioscia is on his first head at the moment either.

    • Pat D

      I’ll tell you what I don’t like about Scioscia: everything.

      He’s a whiny little bitch, he’s never done anything that impressive as a manager, he’ll keep playing guys like Jeff Mathis (which for us would be Chris Stewart), he’ll do waaaaay too much NL bullshit.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      While I feel thinking outside the box may happen if the field is that thin, he’d have to give one hell of an interview, I’d imagine, to land the job. It’s going to take more than those qualities to be hired as Yankee manager.

  • Farewell Mo

    It would be a shame to see Girardi leave but I think Pena would be a good replacement.

    In reality, the next manager is likely gonna have a hell of a difficult time with the paucity of talent on this team.

    • I’m One

      The offseason hasn’t even officially started. We don’t really know yet what the talent level on the team will be like next year. Will they re-sign Cano? Granderson? Will Kuroda return? Will they go after Garza &/or Tanaka? What will happen with A-Rod? Will they target a replacement (for next season or beyond) for Jeter? Will Jeter be a productive hitter next season, even if he can only field 0 or so games at SS? Cut ties with Wells &/or Ichiro (unlikely on that latter in my opinion)?

      It’s never an easy job managing the Yankees and next season may be more difficult than most, but I don’t think it’s fair to say yet that the difficulty will be due to lack of talant.

      • OldYanksFan

        125 games and then back as DH/3B.
        .739 OPS.
        Wells goes during the year.

        There ya have it.

  • sevrox

    Pena’s not white enough to manage the NY Yankees.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Now that’s just fucking stupid.

      All sports are still being on minority hiring in leadership roles, not just the New York Yankees.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        “still behind”

      • sevrox

        Thanks! I always wanted one of my comments called out in cerebral fashion on a vaunted baseball blog. God Bless!

      • Kiko Jones

        Sevrox is not the only one among Yankee fans who believes that.

  • mt

    Does anyone know whether Pena and Cano are close or not? I know Pena managed the Dominican WBC team which speaks to the respect that he must have from Dominican players in general but have never heard of any special Cano/Pena relationship (like Cano used to have with Larry Bowa).

    If Pena and Cano are close, it should be interesting if Joe leaves (will know soon one way or the other) while Cano is still in free agency. How will Cano react if Pena is perceived to not get a reasonable shot at the Yankee manager job?

    Going to the highest bidder will probably decide 95% of the destination for Cano but issues like this can also add in to the mix.

  • Evan3457

    I’d consider Pena; I’d strongly consider Pena.

    Why not?

  • The Other Mister D

    Kinda blows for Pena. I remember hearing he interviewed very well last time, and I don’t see a lot of other standout options. I would think Pena the smartest choice unless someone out there blows them away. Or, I guess, just blows them.

  • dan2

    I am hoping that if the opportunity presents itself, there is a total house cleaning. The Yankees are in serious need of new thinking and new ways of doing things. We need people in the front office skilled in identifying and developing young talent. We need field management that know how to manufacture runs. We cannot hope for the three run homer with the current roster. I also believe that we need new thinking on the construction of the 25 man roster. We can no longer afford a one dimensional player on the bench like Hafner. if you do not have at least 2 of the 5 tools, there is no job with the Yanks. We also should look to reduce the relief corps by one and add another bench player who can pinch hit and/or be a defensive replacement

    • I’m One

      We cannot hope for the three run homer with the current roster.

      I tend to disagree a bit. If Granderson returns and Teix returns to form, those are certainly 2 HR threats, as is Soriano. If A-Rod somehow magically appears in the lineup he adds to that. We don’t know what the catcher situation will be. Maybe they bring in someone like McCann.

      I do agree with you that some changes are need for the long term. Manager is a typical place to start. If the Yankees cut ties with Cashman, I think that will be more his decision than theirs, for better or worse.

  • YankeeParrtohead

    I think the Yanks are only concentrating on resigning Girardi and will worry about finding the next manager if/when he leaves. The article didn’t say Pena wouldn’t be considered just that the Yankees haven’t thought about it yet

  • Nathan

    I don’t know why they wouldn’t give Tony strong consideration. He’s been a manager before, he’s been the bench coach for a while and he seems to have a good relationship with the players.

    • RetroRob

      My guess is they are confident Girardi’s going to sign, so they haven’t given much thought to Plan B. That’s why the article makes little sense. It’s not as if the Yankees would be leaking information on candidates they wouldn’t consider when one of them is still employed by the team.

      Not that said, I’m not sure Pena has the statistical leaning that Cashman would want from his manager.

  • JMK

    While Cafardo definitely has sources across baseball, I don’t put much stock in this report. His Yankee reports are usually the product of wild speculation or what appears to be misdirection. Unless there’s something big we don’t know, there’s absolutely no reason for the Yankees to outright dismiss the idea of Pena taking over.

  • Mick taylor

    Joe torre for2 years and he teaches Dave righetti who then takes over

    • Pat D

      What makes you think Righetti would be a good manager?

      • Matt :: Sec110

        what made anyone think Torre would be a good manager?

        • Robinson Tilapia

          For what team? Joe Torre was a veteran manager before he came to the Yankees. His track record was one of managing average to bad teams, not one in which his own role in that was in question.

          • Roadgeek Adam


            The 1996 media of course says that you’re wrong. :P

            • Robinson Tilapia

              Media? 1996 ME says I’m wrong.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        He was standing next to Hensley Meulens at the time.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    I’d be pretty shocked if Tony wasn’t the clear frontrunner if Joe left, for exactly the reasons Mike gave above. I wouldn’t read much into this. It’s all tea leaf reading.

  • FLYER7

    Gotta believe if Joe G doesn’t sign soon and LA loses to Braves,Joe is allowed permission to talk to Cubbies and Donnie Baseball returns to lead team…Yankees phased him out and he will know best how to handle a declining Jeter

    • Roadgeek Adam

      Don Mattingly seems no interest in managing NYY.

      Could be a ploy though.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        If I was managing that team right now, I wouldn’t leave for all the money in the world.

  • Mick taylor

    Yanks need a manager who knows pitchin. Righetti is a great pitching coach. He is a well liked former yank.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Every team needs a manager that knows pitching. Every pitching coach knows more about pitching than the average layman.

      Why did I just type this?

    • Pat D

      The list of pitching coaches who become great managers is very, very short.

  • There’s the Door

    Girardi will be back – that’s a certainty. His reps are just maximizing his perceived leverage, as they should.
    Next topic.

  • JobaWockeeZ

    Well yeah, what has Pena done?

    • BballJew

      Manager of the year when managing KC.. How about that ?

  • matt

    how about willie randolph if girardi does not come back?