MLB: FEB 19 Rays Spring TrainingThere is something surprising about the Tampa Bay Rays’ search for a new manager.

No, it is not the surprising list of candidates, such as Raul Ibanez (still a player), Doug Glanville (no coaching experience), and Barry Larkin (coaching experience limited to exhibitions).

Those are outside-the-box decisions and there is nothing strange about the Rays thinking outside the box.

No, none of those candidates are as surprising as the Rays’ decision to be completely public and transparent about their managerial search and that is completely uncharacteristic for the Rays.

Here is the graphic the team released to announce the addition of Larkin and Glanville to the list of candidates. The graphic feels like a promotional item akin to a bobblehead or a post-game concert schedule.

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The Rays are typically the most secretive team in baseball, sharing information with only a very small circle of people, and that goes for everything from uniform moves to personnel decisions.

And yet, here are the Rays doing a complete-180 and are not only not hiding information but are actually being more open than most teams are during their own managerial searches.

Why? The Rays have always operated from the point-of-view of a Wall Street firm. Information is king and information is only valuable if you have it and they don’t.

But the cost of secrecy in the sports world is the lack of self-promotion.

Maybe Matt Silverman is going to change the way the baseball side of the front office is run. Instead of keeping everything secret and dealing with some leaks, maybe the Rays will release information in a controlled manner.

By doing this, the Rays now control the information and at the same time, it keeps the team in the headlines.

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6 Comments

  1. Doesn't Matter says:

    Or maybe the new sudden transparency has more to do w/ the appearance of transparency in light of the bogus charges being made against the Cubs?

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  2. Dave L says:

    Well for an open manager search its sort of what MLB wants. But at the end of the day you just announced 9 rejects. I hope they all consent to participate in this beauty contest. Better way to operate a reality show than a baseball team IMO. With the manager search its relatively harmless.

    I am concerned with the Hellickson announcement. If they already have more than 1 good offer on the table and are dealing from a position of strength in attempt to drive up his value thats fine. But if there are no deals already on the table or he is actually not traded its counter-productive and not a smart way to trade horses.

    I always associated Silverman with everything concerning Rays except baseball. Now he is the one making baseball decisions, not bobblehead promotions and I'm skeptical. Am I wrong about his previous role with the team? I hope so.

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    • Gus says:

      1. They've been handed a huge PR blow both locally and nationally. This is good ink so that people don't forget about them.

      2. MLB may not have a Rooney Rule, but this is surely being done so publically to curry favor with the new Commissioner's office when you have such a diverse group of candidates (the last two almost seem laughably obvious as diversity interviews given that Glanville didn't even seem to be seeking the job). It is also in stark contrast to the Cubs (who had no such process and hired the old white guy) and thus may help the optics of the tampering case.

      3. Interviewing other teams is a good way to spy -- I'm sure one of the reasons that Martinez gets interviewed so much is as much to download him on the way the Rays do business as much as it is for him to get the job. Rays have lots of top organizations -- Giants, Royals, etc. -- covered here.

      4. As Dave L. notes, Silverman was formerly the head bean counter, was the guy in charge of Michael Kalt and the Al Lang stadium fiasco, and generally was Sternberg's Girl Friday. Not sure how much latitude Friedman ever had from Stu, but you can be sure there is less now. We might be closer to a Jerry Jones Onwer-GM scenario than most of us might like to admit.

      Put another way, does Stu Sternberg have another job? I don't believe he does, and I see his financial (and philosophical) fingerprints all over this winter so far. Anytime you see a story sourced by Phil Sherman (or Jon Heyman), it is Stu talking. Sad that he is closer to NYC media than anybody in Tampa Bay. But all too true.

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      • Dave L says:

        Now you are suggesting Stu is the puppet master pulling the baseball decision strings? Yikes

        Say it aint so Gus! Ur scaring me.

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      • Geoff Peterson says:

        MLB does have their own version of the Rooney rule created by Selig and it predates the Rooney version by several years. Clubs must submit a list of potential candidates for any management openings to the commissioner's office which includes one or more minority candidates. I heard of no such list as it pertains to Maddon's hiring, so I am guessing they will be punished by the incoming commissioner.

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