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Thursday, October 05, 2006

Giants' Cut Ties With Felipe Alou

It took less than 24 hours from the final out of the season for the Giants to officially announce that Felipe Alou will not be returning for a 5th season as the teams skipper. This was probably the easiest decision the Giants will be faced with over the next 6-8 weeks. Alou made it pretty clear that this was his last season as a manager before the season even started, and even if it wasn't, the Giants where going to go another direction after the season anyway. Alou had a nice first two seasons as the Giants manager, leading the team to the best record in the NL in 2003, but ever since Steve Finley's home run (as a Dodger) sent the Giants home for the year in final series of 2004, the Giants have spiraled downhill. Even though Alou didn't have the best tools to work with as far as the bullpen goes, I think he overmanaged his bullpen and besides lacking good leadership skills, this is where Alou was the weakest. Again, it would have been tough for anyone to succeed having the arms that the Giants have thrown out there the last few seasons, I just think Felipe Alou was too quick to hook people, and he favored lefty-righty matchups too much.

Now that Felipe Alou's reign has ended, it has opened a door for a whole slew of managerial candidates and there have been a lot of interesting names thrown out there. The Cubs recently cut ties with former Giant skipper Dusty Baker, and Brian Sabean didn't rule out Baker as a possible candidate to replace Alou. Another intriguing name that has been mentioned is veteran skipper Lou Pinella. Pinella has been out of baseball for a few years after a few misarble years with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. The teams' current bench coach Ron Wotus will get an interview as well. However, a couple of former Giants' may be the two front runners for the job. Former Giant catcher and coach Bob Brenly will most likely get a call as will Former Giant starter and current Angel pitching coach Bud Black. Brenly has already won a world series managing the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2001, and Black has been groomed by one of the AL's best manager's, Mike Scoscia, for the past 5 seasons. I wouldn't mind welcoming either back to the organization and if I had to pose a guess right now, I would say Bob Brenly will be the next manager of the San Francisco Giants. Brenly had good success in Arizona for a few years although some question about him because he won when he was working with the two best starting pitchers in the game at the time. There is no Curt Shilling or Randy Johnson on the Giants roster, but I think Brenly would do well. I really like how he handled his bullpen in the postseason in 2001. He had a rookie closer who was giving up games left and right, but he still made the right moves at the right times to push the D-Backs past a very good and determined Yankee team. The Giants are going to need someone who knows how to handle pitching staffs because they haven't had one here for the last few years and Brenly is a guy who I'd have confidence in doing so.
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The Giants Baseball Blog
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