What a first round!
We saw two decimations where the winner received at least 90% of the vote, and only one of the eight matches saw the winner receive LESS than 60% of the vote.
The preliminaries concluded with a clash between two legends, where Tony La Russa defeated Cal Ripken, Jr. by a vote of 90-32 (74% to 26%).
The quarterfinals now commence! The bracket is as follows:
(16) Roger McDowell vs. (8) Omar Vizquel
(13) Tim Bogar vs. (5) Bruce Bochy
(3) Joe Maddon vs. (6) Tony La Russa
One is a man not often looked upon as a future manager, while the other one...well, is. Here we go!
ROGER MCDOWELL (ATL) vs. OMAR VIZQUEL (LAA)
Roger McDowell, he whose pitching progeny include Jair Jurrjens, Tim Hudson and our own Tommy Hanson, has served as Atlanta's pitching coach since 2006. His amazing ability to guide pitching prowess in the right direction has become something legendary in Atlanta, and could be something very well desired here, where the pitching struggles have laid within the rotation and/or the bullpen every season since the last residuals of Bud Black's staff subsided. The case could be made for him simply to come aboard as a pitching coach, but his presence as a manager could work just as well; Black has been mildly successful in San Diego and was once OUR pitching coach, so it isn't unheard of.
Omar Vizquel has been long-coveted as a manager since he was a player. As soon as he was DONE being a player, Jerry Dipoto was quick to snatch him up as a fielding instructor, in a sweep of potential-new-coach hires meant to subtly light a fire underneath Mike Scioscia and Mike Butcher (which it clearly did not do, as one is confident he'll return and the other sleeps like a baby). Vizquel, like McDowell, has the looks of being more a coach than a manager--particularly a bench coach or base coach--but is definitely managerial material.
Let's do this thang! Vote and discuss!