Saturday, November 8, 2014

Change at the Top, and More

What does it mean to the Durham Bulls that the top of the Tampa Bay Rays leadership team jumped ship?

Hard to say.

One of the oddities of the Tampa Bay Rays has been the stability of their front office and coaching staff. But the #1 front office guy, Andrew Friedman, and the manager, Joe Maddon, have moved on.  Friedman is off to California and manager Joe Maddon has signed on with the Chicago Cubs.

Friedman was “in the house” at the DBAP once or twice each season and was thought to keep a very close eye on the Bulls’ roster. Certainly someone up there was finding the veterans to fill out the team each season. And grabbing guys when the Rays needed help.

As far as I know the only time that Joe Maddon was ever at the DBAP was that exhibition game a few years back.

We are pleased to pass on that Bulls manager Charlie Montoyo is on the long list of folks to be interviewed for the Maddon job. However, he has lots of competition. The current Rays bench coach, Dave Martinez, would seem to be a leading candidate, which could open the door for Charlie to move into that position.

For Durham Bulls fanatics, note that another candidate on the long list, Kevin Cash, spent a good bit of time in a Durham Bulls uniform back in 2005 and 2006. He is coming into the interview from a coaching job in the Cleveland organization.

So, what does it mean? It could mean that for the first time in a very long while we will see some change in the leadership of the Bulls. We always see a lot of change among the players, but we’ve been blessed with a very stable managing/coaching crew for several years. It could stay the same, but ...

Outside the game —
  • Robby Price has been released. As noted earlier, he was a valuable guy last year, but often an odd man out.
  • Jerry Sands, the outfielder who started with the Bulls last year with some extraordinary numbers, went up to the Rays and then had a season-ending injury, has been designated for assignment. Power hitter. As regular readers know, we are far from being expert on the DFA process. He could end up with the Bulls in 2015, but other teams could want him.
  • Vince Belnome has also been DFA’d to make room on the Rays 40-man. Again, hard to say if he will be back. We like Mr. Belnome, but have to recognize that 2014 was not a good year. Maybe 2015. 

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