The Tigers are in the market for a new manager after Ron Gardenhire announced his retirement on the heels of a 16-year managerial career. Asked at today’s end-of-year meeting with Tigers beat writers, general manager Al Avila confirmed that former Astros manager A.J. Hinch and former Red Sox skipper Alex Cora are on what the Tigers expect to be a lengthy list of initial candidates (Twitter link via Chris McCosky of the Detroit News).
Both Hinch and Cora lost their jobs in the wake of the investigation in the Astros’ 2017 cheating scandal. Hinch oversaw the team that orchestrated that sign-stealing scheme, while Cora, the club’s bench coach that season, was listed as one of the architects of the entire operation in commissioner Rob Manfred’s report on the investigation.
Manfred suspended Hinch until January 2021, and Astros owner Jim Crane fired him less than an hour after the league announced the findings of its investigation. Cora, meanwhile, had already moved on to become the manager of the Red Sox by the time the Astros scandal had come to light. That didn’t stop the Red Sox from firing him, however, even with Boston’s 2018 World Series win barely in the rear-view mirror.
Of course, that 2018 team was similarly investigated by the league for additional sign-stealing improprieties. The league’s investigation into the Sox deemed their transgressions to be less severe, pinning advance scout/replay coordinator J.T. Watkins as the primary offender. Cora was suspended by Manfred through the 2020 postseason, although the commissioner made clear that that was for his role in the Astros’ scandal — not due to anything that transpired with the Red Sox. Said Manfred in announcing his findings from the Red Sox investigation: “Communication of these violations was episodic and isolated to Watkins and a limited number of Red Sox players only.”
It was and still is rather baffling that Cora, who was at or near the center of both scandals, was banned from the game for a lesser period of time than either Hinch or former Astros GM Jeff Luhnow (who was also suspended by Manfred through January and fired by Crane). His role in the Houston scheme was clearly more hands on, but even if he wasn’t involved in the Red Sox’ violations, he’d seemingly be guilty of negligence.
What’s done is done regarding the suspension, and the shorter punishment would ostensibly allow Cora to be formally hired at any point after the World Series. It’s less clear how things would work with Hinch, who isn’t formally eligible for reinstatement until Jan. 13, 2021. Perhaps the Tigers could interview him but not officially hire him until his date of eligibility. It seems doubtful that they’d put their entire search on hold until he’s eligible to be reinstated, as doing so could cost them the opportunity to talk to other candidates of interest. Getting the manager on boarded early in the offseason is always preferable, though, and it doesn’t seem possible to do that with Hinch
It’s easy to focus on Hinch and Cora, of course, given their recent ties to high-profile cheating scandals that shook the sport to its core. But they’ll be just two of many candidates to whom the Tigers speak, and there’s nothing to indicate that either is somehow a preferred option.
Shedding a bit of light into the Tigers’ process for identifying candidates, Avila indicated that he’d consider both veteran managers and rookie skippers — but only those who have coached elsewhere in the Majors or managed in the minors (Twitter link via Jason Beck of MLB.com). Former players who lack coaching/managerial experience will not be considered.
The Tigers went that route in 2015 when they hired Brad Ausmus, just as the Cardinals had done a couple years prior with Mike Matheny. Since that time, Craig Counsell (Brewers), Aaron Boone (Yankees), David Ross (Cubs) and Carlos Beltran (Mets) have each hired former players who lack coaching experience. (Beltran, of course, was dismissed before managing a game as yet another ripple effect from the Astros’ 2017 scandal). Early interviews will be conducted primarily via Zoom, but the Tigers will eventually interview their finalists in person.
No no no no no no no no no no no no no
Bang bang lol
Hinch is weak and had lost his locker room. And let his bench coach lead a overthrow of his leadership.Cora is a snake who backstabbing is now known
So, MLB is firing scouts/coaches/baseball personnel, most over the age of 50, but Detroit is considering 2 guys who have cheated and taken advantage of the game! Go figure!!
David Ross hired as Cubs manager with no coaching experience either
I wasn’t endeavoring to list every example of it, but he’s obviously a pretty recent one, so sure I added him to the list.
Wow. What a disgrace. I’d lose a lot of respect for the Tigers. I know everyone wants to win, but come on.
I’m sure they’re concerned about losing your respect.
There’s a whole lot of people that would lose respect for that choice.
Fine, but what’s more interesting to me is so many people having respect for a sports team. Like I really respect the crap out of those padres really respect them. They are things not people. Do you have respect for a go-kart track? Where do all these emo people come from?
There are right ways and wrong ways to go about business and engaging the community. Nobody is perfect but the Tigers generally go about things the right way and treat the team as a public trust. I respect that.
Compare them to say Boston or Houston who win through roids and video booths and trade for guys like Osuna. No respect.
Obviously people are determining these organizational behaviors.
Aren’t teams made up of people? Or are teams inanimate objects?
Twins, are you saying the Padres players and front office are robots? If so, we have another cheating scandal with androids, because those are supposed to be people!
Yes Frankie that’s the lack of development of your frontal lobe causing your confusion. Sadly you’ll have to live with it. But do tell you’re clearly an in-depth thinker. So do we put all the ever changing people involved into a “good” side and a “bad” side? Then which ever category has more we can either respect that team or not? This is good stuff…can you do a run down of McDonald’s and let me know if I can respect them? Asking for a friend
You have a problem with go-kart tracks? Don’t think they deserve respect?
I’m a go-kart track.
Yeah, what did go kart tracks ever do to this guy??
I’d be mad if my team lost 18 straight postseason games too, it’s ok twinsfan.
And a whole lot of people would forget about it if they won.
Oh sorry Frankie you’re like 15. Had I known I wouldn’t have engaged. My bad. Have nice evening
Keep crying, it makes me laugh
Do you have respect for an organization who employed a drug dealer that ultimately killed a pitcher?
What a great culture to bring into a young team…oh wait…
Long shot here but Mark Prior would be an interesting hire to go along with their young staff and arms coming up. That or Mike Maddux.
who honestly cares. Hinch is the most qualified candidate on the market by far. im honestly so far gone it just doesnt even matter to em anymore.
Cora was at the center of the Astros scandal, although a main reason he wasn’t at the center of the Red Sox scandal is there was no whistleblower. No Mike Fiers. Not a single person believes Watkins was the instigator. The Red Sox tossed him under the bus. Cora was at the center of the Astros scandal and no way he didn’t do similar with the Red Sox. He should NEVER manage again.
And the MLB didn’t want to admit it was a league wide issue.
It isnt. Its a astros sox issue
You must still believe Santa really exist too.
most of us believe in hard evidence, actually
Steven St Croix
Padres458, if you think Hou and Bos were the only ones, you are mistaken. I have a few friends that played and they told me about the parks they knew were recording the sequences by the catcher.
NY has gone to court to keep evidence sealed, so…
No doubt many, maybe all were recording the catcher, BUT how many were relaying that information while the batter was in the box?! We don’t know how bad it was in Boston, but Houston definitely took it to a new low.
Silly uninformed response. It was League wide. New York Yankees sue to block internal email release as it would cause “irreversible reputational harm”. MLB provided live feeds to all teams – just outside the dugouts. You don’t think anyone else was watching them? Baseball has relied on cheating since its inception.
Indians were notorious for recording the pitchers and catchers and signs from their scoreboard
Funny thing about this article is that from news reports in houston that the sign stealing scheme was cooked up in 2016 with a lower level analytical guy who was one of the houston guys that reported that tidbit. What MLB now doesn’t want the press writing on was that Manfred knew more aabout that and he was taking the players who actually cheated side over that Cora evidence when he wasn’t there in 2016.
Hmm Mlb and Houston seemed to scapegoat a guy who was no longer with the team… OH wait there was two guys scapegoated by the players (Beltran)… Seems the Mets got their new hire fired too after the players still left in houston did their scapegoating!!!
We do know that sign stealing is prevalent all the way through baseball (gee as if no one new)… and Manfred let the Yankees off scott free again when it was know he sent that damning letter to them!!!
Finally an intelligent comment with actual facts. Its hard to believe that people think a video room guy who makes $60k would go up to the players with this scheme and be the SOLE person in charge.
Are these managers included with trash cans?
Yes, trash cans provided…as many as necessary….maybe they can be included on games away as well BYOTC….
(Bring your own trash can)
Bang bang buzz buzz
Far Beyond Driven
If Altuve and Bergman still have jobs, so should these guys. Let’s not forget who actually did it vs. who took the fall for it.
did you read the report or not? it clearly says it was the FO’s idea. only Beltran was known to have been involved besides actually listening to the can.
take the fall? Hinch turned a blind eye to the whole thing and vehemently denied any cheating during interviews from 2017-2019, he’s just as much at fault as the rest
Far Beyond Driven
When has any manager ever ratted out his own players? Should Joe Torre also be punished for turning a blind eye on A-Rod and Giambi taking anabolics?
That’s different era. Every team had guys on juice. It was the norm
Different era or not its still cheating. Or are you one of those people that cares about certain cheating?
Tigers are a nice lowkey place for them to get back in the game.
I am all for Hinch…he will have paid his price and now it’s time to move on….if he is deemed most qualified…hire him…Tigers need to start winning and this guy has won
Aren’t there plenty of qualified candidates out there to manage the Tigers? Maybe there I’m wrong…
Either one can and should have the White Sox job.
From what I saw from yesterday, Ricky has no clue about managing a major league baseball team. Poorest job I’ve ever seen. Put pitchers in roles they were never in during the season. Blow another lead.
TAN TAN TAAAN!!!!!!
“Manfred suspended Hinch until January 2021”
I doubt the Tigers want to wait until January for Hinch to finish his suspension. Hopefully the Tigers hire Alex Cora immediately, so the Red Sox can’t (although I do not think Bloom wants Cora anyway). I think there are plenty of good manager candidates that have not been recently suspended…..just a better PR move.
Theoretically the Tigers could agree with Hinch and wait til January to announce it
Rsox – …..and secretly consult with him about player and coaching decisions (October, November, and December)…..
I don’t want to work, I just want to bang on the can all day……
Best comment of the day
WMMS in Cleveland used to play this song every Friday, though with a different instrument actually included in the lyrics.
wild bill tetley
Ask Miguel Cabrera to Player-Manage. End the search. Give it a year.
I would like to see that. Last player manager was Pete rose?
wild bill tetley
Might as well. Detroit probably needs a year to get things together. Best case scenario they take big step forward in 2021. They play in the weakest division so I won’t count them out.
AL Central is becoming one of the strongest Divisions with 3 teams in the playoffs, White Sox, Twins and Indians.
Alex and AJ can have their own trash can band…..will probably make more money as recording artists……lol
L for sure
according to espn, Hinch’s suspension is up after the world series, not January
….what….no band….very disappointing
(bang) (bang) (bang)
Lay all the cards on the table and see who is best positioned to help the team succeed. The baggage Hinch and Cora carry have to significantly outweigh the benefits of their success. Life is a series of tradeoffs and it always comes down to, “what choices do we have?”
Sandy Alomar Jr., Don Kelly, Mike Rabelo, Carlos Febles, Phil Nevin, Hensley Meulens, Mike Lowell, all names that should be considered.
I don’t want to knock on Hinch and Cora but i think teams hiring them immediately after their suspensions end is too soon. Any and all success will be heavily scrutinized in the near term and thats a distraction no team wants or needs
If you’re gonna hire one of them, the sooner the better. It allows the most time to let all the awkward questions be answered and address the past and move on to the future.
I also have a feeling there’s more details about the roles Cora and Hinch played in their respective scandals kept tucked away by the press to release if and when they get hired.
Hinch and Lunhow should’ve received bans.
Ducky Buckin Fent
I mean you had to know this would happen.
I’d be wary of Hinch simply due to the fact it seemed his players and coaches were completely out of control.
I also don’t think Cora is actually that good of a manager.
Teams want to win.
That’s sorta the whole point of playing sports. Uh?
These guys’ll keep having their names thrown about. &, hey!, they served their punishment. I know lots of folks love their outrage & wanted the key thrown away.
Those are the perfect people, however. You know…the one’s who have never made any mistakes or did anything wrong.
Bless their little hearts.
If it were me I’d just block out all the noise (aka: HOTTAKES!) & hire the guy I thought was the best candidate. If that were to be Hinch or Cora… well, full speed ahead, then.
Very surprised that the Tigers would consider either of those guys with all the “garbage” they have attached to their names.
….it’s like hiring Monica Lewinsky…..lol
Why are MLB GMs in such a hurry to bring them back? Not a good look for the league.
They won back-to-back World Series’ (albeit of questionable means) thats the only thing i can think of
The backlash would be very severe if they hired one of these 2. Any team would be guaranteeing themselves bad karma by hiring anyone Beltran, Hinch, Cora or Luthrow.
So Rose gets banned but these 2 oversaw an cheating operation that led to WS championships and they’re likely coming back.
Yep. Rose is scum.
It Shows how big of a POS Rose is.
I know they don’t control Covid but to me they were suspended the season. A season is 162 games, not 60. They should still have 102 left
Already been addressed by the league. Even if the season had been a total loss, Manfred has already said the bans were done and they were eligible for 2021.
They both should have been banned from
Mike Rebello is the Tigers obvious choice.
Rabello knows many of the players and earned his stripes managing multiple Tigers minor league clubs successfully…yes MR is a very good candidate.
I’m in complete agreement. He seems to know how to win at the lower levels. LePlease give Mike Rabello the reins.
As long as you don’t care about the integrity of your organization or the sport itself, those would be good hires.
Plenty of great, young candidates to choose from besides AJ and Cora.
Those two may need a bit longer away from the game for the abuses to fade in the rear view mirror. With the many Hispanic and Latin players on the Tigers, it would be a great idea to look at some bi lingual managerial candidates…
I took flak the other day for mentioning Luhnow as a replacement of Jon Daniels as the Rangers gm, and people thought that was the worst thing ever. But this, this is different. Hinch can’t handle a team, and Cora peer pressures his players into cheating. Don’t do it Tigers.
Would no longer be a Tigers fan if either of these two were hired.
Why isn’t Bo Porter in the discussion any more? Very bright baseball mind. Struggled with some of the vets – and management -mostly Luchnow but was great with Springer and other younger players
I wondered about Bo last year. He knows his stuff but doesn’t get much mention.
The main reason Porter lost his job in Houston is because he was very resistant to the new analytics and where baseball was heading. He didn’t buy in. If he hasn’t shown to those in the league that he has changed in that regard, he isn’t getting an interview anywhere.
Bo Porter also lost his job because he treated the players like little leaguers hanging daily affirmations in their lockers which led to one Astros scout saying “if you want to win keep Bo away from the young players”
We all can use some daily affirmations. Especially when failure only 2 out of 3 times guarantees you a spot in the Hall.
Bo is a really bright guy. Surprised he’s not in the discussion.
Dennis Rodman used negative publicity to get noticed and receive endorsements and a larger NBA contract. If the Tigers want negative publicity to keep themselves relevant then by all means hire Cora or AJ, but if they want to avoid the drama, then they need to go a different direction with their hiring.
The list from above that included Mike Lowell had some interesting names. Why not give someone new a try…….?
BOTH offenders did WORSE than Pete Rose #ManfredIsAPussy
Pete Rose gets banned for life for betting on baseball, and these guys fixed 2 world series outcomes and are allowed back in the game, that’s a disgrace.
There is a huge difference between what Rose did and the Astros scandal. Both are cheating, but the degrees of significance are drastically different.
Might have as well said Pete Rose was on their list.
I think the Detroit Tigers should look elsewhere and this is coming from somebody who has the Tigers as a rival in the AL Central. No cheaters! That means no Cora and no AJ Hinch.
Orioles should hire hinch we already have alias there old gm now we just need hinch in our rebuild
Im gonna go out on a limb and say Don Kelly will get the job. Was here as a player for years and cut his teeth under Jimmy “smokes” Leyland and I think that Avila will hire him. Avila is to much of a bland GM to take that kind of chance on either Cora or Hinch b/c I guarentee that if they don’t win in the first few years with the kind of backlash he’ll get for hiring one of those two, the Illitch’s will “can” him (no pun intended). Just an opinion but I can see it happening.
Any justification for these guys to be hired or assertion that everyone (or team) does what they did is simply disingenuous. If you have to look to one of these two to turn your team around, out of all other prospective managers, you need to re-evaluate other more critical aspects of your team.
Pete Rose would be a better and more logical choice, even including his violation.
ridiculous at what point are people gonna let this go? honestly! none of the players got punished, Cora and hinch took the brunt of it. unfortunately they were scapegoated. I get it they cheated why are we acting like hou is the first? this outrage is crazy it’s over with already let it go. once you get past that cora and hinch did well at their job everyone makes mistakes doesn’t mean they should forever be penalized for it! I like that the tigers are giving them a look as they should they payed the price already. good for Detroit being open minded I only hope more teams do so
Traderumorsuser its because all these commenters are perfect individuals. All choir boys who have never done one wrong thing in their lives.
“this outrage is crazy..”
Had the Astros NOT won the World Series or lost to the Yankees. I could bend and see your point.
But they did win, and that changes a lot of things,
I guess if McCloskey says it, it must be true. No context provided. This would be so unlike the Tigers organization. Yes they are more high profile than the others that have been mentioned, but many names are still in the playoffs, and yet to surface. Plus, some team will let a qualified manager go for stupid reasons. No rush.
AJ Hinch, a man who openly mocked an opposing team during a press conference when the suggestion of cheating was broached. Yup, sounds like a reputable hire.
I was also disappointed in ESPN media like Buster Olney who said earlier this week that the Red Sox NOT hiring Alex Cora back would be a grave mistake. People are so quick to forgive when they’re not directly affected by the behavior and negative consequences of others.
at one point do you realize and get the fact it’s a game? not a matter of life and death! Not like they stole money or physically hurt someone stop crying already.
Its not a game. It a multi billion dollar busiess. Wake up.
This is a poor and near-sighted take.
First of all, they did steal money. Do you realize that by cheating throughout the regular season AND playoffs, the Astros took money out of the hands of the other teams? And I’m not just talking about playoff bonuses and World Series appearances. I’m talking about the lower level employees like clubhouse attendants, concessions, janitorial security etc. By cheating and advancing, these other workers didn’t get paid because the Astros won.
Secondly, do you know how dangerous it is when a pitcher throws a baseball and the hitter KNOWS what pitch they’re throwing? There’s no barrier protecting the pitcher from the baseball and the likelihood of a line drive hit back to the pitcher is only increased if batter has a signal as to what’s coming.
Although there are many other points, my last one is legacy, the life and reputation after baseball. Clayton Kershaw threw a gem in Game 1 of the 2017 World Series, then somehow, couldn’t hold a lead in game 5. If you’ve watched the youtube video from Jomboy, then you would know just how badly the Astros cheated to come from behind several times. The narrative is “Kershaw blew it” and “he is not a big game pitcher.” Given what transpired behind the scenes, both are unfair descriptions.
If you can’t understand the above points, I cannot help you.
Good luck with those thieves
Noooooooooo, Cora is coming bk to Boston, no where else. Detroit can have that sad excuse for a manager, AJ.
Hinch and Cora should have been banned from baseball…they lucked out big time by serving their suspensions during a compressed season. Mandfred is a spineless joke.
The Tigers will have plenty of candidates to choose from and at the end of the day, it needs to move the needle. I prefer someone with some experience and not over 55.
Tigers looking to start a bang
What, Carlos Beltran didn’t want any of that?
Detroit, why taint your young team with cheaters and bad leaders? Why?