Joe Maddon and Dave MartinezKevin Cash, Raul Ibanez, and Don Wakamatsu are the three finalists to be the next manager of the Rays the team announced on Friday.

The one name not on the list that may surprise many Rays fans is bench coach Dave Martinez.

However, as we have mentioned before there were plenty of signs that the Rays wanted to move in another direction including the constant theme expressed by the team that they were looking for a fresh voice in the dugout. Martinez would have been just the opposite of that and would have instead been a vote for the status quo.

Matt Silverman emphasized that point after announcing the finalists.

“The decision on Dave Martinez was especially difficult,” said Silverman. “He’s played a key role in our organization’s evolution, and he’s done all he can to put himself in position to be a manager. In the end, we determined that our clubhouse would best benefit from a new voice that will add to our already strong and cohesive culture.”

Of the three who did make the cut, Wakamatsu has been my favorite from the beginning and continues to be so.

When he was hired to be the manager of the Mariners many considered him to be “the next Joe Maddon” and he has experience managing a club that believes in pitching, defense, and sabermetrics.

This also means Martinez has gone from one of the hot managerial candidates in baseball to out of a job as the next manager will almost certainly want to pick his own bench coach.

Here is a quick bio on the three finalists via the Rays.

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  1. edward says:

    hmmmm, out of the three wakamatsu would have to be my choice, how can you put a person to manage a team who hasn't announced his retirement (Ibanez) or a bullpen coach, when you have a manager down in triple a whom has won consistently and would somebody like jim hickey want to coach under somebody who has no experience as even a coach, sorry not real impressed with the choices, but that is why the pay matt the big bucks and not me, lol. well who ever it is I as a fan will support them, might not agree with the choice, but hey one never knows. GO RAYS

  2. Matt says:

    I get that some people really wanted Davey, but its been written on the wall from the beginning he wasn't really being considered. While some think he deserved it just because he served as a bench coach for 6 years, this is baseball. There are only 30 managers, and no one is handed anything. Look at Wotus, he's been a bench coach for over a decade and still hasn't gotten a shot. Plus, Davey has been a candidate for several teams in the past and hasn't been a finalist. Something about him just doesn't appeal to teams. Very excited about the remaining three. Ibanez and Cash both have rave reviews from coaches and players, and Wakamatsu has that experience the Rays might want. Wakamatsu is my guess, with Montoya getting promoted to be bench coach (If/when Davey decides to leave).

    • Dave L says:

      Explain Ibanez to me.

      • Matt says:

        I only go off what I've read about him, but many have credited him with turning the Royals around midseason. KC brought him in knowing he didn't have much to offer in the field, but they signed him to provide veteran leadership. He has always been regarded as a strong leader. Personally, I would rate him as the least likely of three to get the gig, judging off lack of coaching experience, but this is the Rays. Who knows what they're thinking.

  3. Mr. Smith 1980 says:

    Would've laid even odds on Wotus... Now I move my money to Wakamatsu.

  4. Berdj Rassam says:

    The Rays have big shoes to fill in their manager.

  5. Rays Renegade says:

    I swear some times the Rays front office makes you want to push your head down into our fine sugar sand and scream until you pass out.

    Eliminating some of the pomp names was a given, but Martinez not even in the trio......I am heading to Treasure Island beach for a mild rant.

    I guess my loyalties now have to be with the guy I felt was the M's scapegoat in his last Managerial gig....... I'm all in on #TEAMWakaWaka.

    Let the healing begin.

  6. Alex says:

    Great so we're going to get some retread trash in Wakamatsu. Yea

  7. bbmern says:

    So, why was Wakamatsu let go by the Mariners? Out of the three, I like Ibanez. I think he is ready to rock and roll. There must be something about poor Davey that no one seems to want to give him a shot. Speculation is that he will land in the windy city. Makes sense to me.

  8. zenbobrist says:

    I really don't have a problem with the Rays going a different direction than Martinez, but I sure wish the finalists were a little more exciting. Wakamatsu, while a Rays way kind of manager, basically got fired from the Mariners for losing the clubhouse (and clubhouse morale had been up to now a huge priority for the Rays). Maybe Raul Ibanez is a good choice if he can DH for us too...bring back the player/manager!

  9. Dave says:

    Ibanez will be the next Rays manager. Book it.

  10. Alex says:

    I'm thinking Kevin Cash. Former catchers seem to be all the rage

  11. Mr. Smith 1980 says:

    I'm not in love with a player who isn't even officially retired becoming the manager of my favorite team. I don't feel he'd command the same respect as someone with management experience on some level. I fear the players would consciously or subconsciously approach him more as a fellow player than as an authority figure.

  12. TOM says:

    Like someone else said, and I agree I liked Wotus. None of the three that are left excite me but I guess if I had to pick one it would be Wakamatsu. I can't believe Ibanez is even in the running. From inside the organization I would have picked Montoya. It really doesn't make any difference because I'm more of a Reds & Marlins fan.


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