Sizing up Tigers managerial candidates known to be on Detroit’s interview list:
Pros: A one-time, big-league infielder (six teams) who has been bench coach on one of the more sophisticated teams in baseball, the Astros. Cora is a former ESPN analyst and is versed in the metrics Avila’s staff has taken on, full speed. Cora is considered to be a potential managerial star.
Cons: That word: experience. He has it as a coach. He has worked as a Winter Ball manager. Tigers general manager Al Avila undoubtedly prefers more time as a skipper, but there’s a reason he’s being interviewed.
Pros: Experienced and respected, professionally and personally. Having worked for years with the Twins, he knows Detroit’s baseball community, knows the division. Has worked with elder and rebuilding teams.
Cons: If the Tigers are seeking ethnic diversity, specifically a Latin American who is bilingual, Gardenhire offers no advantage there.
Pros: Avila craves experience, and Gonzalez has plenty following his stints with the Marlins and Braves. He has a splendid reputation, personally, and has known Avila since their early days with the Marlins.
Cons: Is he the right fit for a reconstruction project that could be bruising during the next couple of seasons? The interview should tell all.
Pros: He played for nine big-league clubs and has been a bench coach under Joe Maddon with the Rays and Cubs. Has been interviewed for a variety of big-league jobs and appears destined to get one, perhaps Detroit’s. Players who know him tend to endorse him with passion.
Cons: No managerial resume.
Pros: A worldly man and ex-big-leaguer, from Curacao, who speaks five languages and who has managed the Netherlands team in the World Baseball Classic. Now a hitting coach with the Giants and regarded as a cerebral, dynamic gent who could easily win an interview.
Cons: Hasn’t managed in the minors or in the big leagues. Again, it depends on Avila’s seeming insistence that his manager have some skipper spurs. Does the WBC count in a GM’s view?
Pros: Another of the Marlins gang when Avila and many of the current Tigers staffers were in Miami. Has skippered the Marlins and was viewed as strong and a certainty to manage again.
Cons: This job will require patience and a soft touch, at certain times, anyway. Will a man with Redmond’s fire be the right fit for a remodeling job?