Following the Astros Game 7 loss to the Rangers in the ALCS, Dusty Baker announced he would retire, creating a managerial opening that will be coveted around the league. The Astros have one of the best front offices in sports and have been to seven straight American League Championship Series. They are loaded with talent, and nothing suggests they will be slowing down anytime soon. Whoever they hire will be walking into a dream scenario, and Chandler Rome of The Athletic recently mentioned two Braves coaches as potential candidates for the job.
Walt Weiss; Eric Young
Atlanta Braves bench coach; Atlanta Braves first-base coach
In a scenario where Brown has full autonomy to hire his own manager, both Atlanta Braves coaches are obvious candidates. Brown spent four seasons with the Braves before arriving in Houston last February. He and Young were high school teammates at New Brunswick High School while Weiss has four years of managerial experience with the Colorado Rockies.
Weiss and Young are both deserving candidates that have been instrumental to the Braves recent run of success. Their ties to Dana Brown, who previously was Alex Anthopoulos’ right-hand man before taking the job to become the Astros general manager, makes them intriguing candidates. However, I would be a little surprised if Houston wasn’t targeting someone with a little more experience.
In fact, I don’t even think either of them is the best fit for the position among the Braves coaches. Ron Washington has been interviewed but passed over for managerial positions in each of the last two offseasons. He previously spent time as the Texas Rangers manager from 2007-2014, leading them to the World Series in back-to-back years (2010-2011). In 2014, he resigned for personal reasons.
Washington returned to coaching for the Braves in 2016 as their third base coach when the team decided to promote Brian Snitker from his interim role as the manager. He’s become beloved in Braves Country, but he’s made it known that he would like to be the top dog in the clubhouse once again. While becoming the next manager of the Astros may not be likely, expect him to receive some interest again from other clubs with vacancies this offseason. Washington is more than deserving of the opportunity.
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