Look to the A's for sucess

Published October 2, 2005

Let's be realistic. The Rays don't want to be the Yankees. They don't have the tradition, fan base or $200-million payroll.

So forget about big-name, high-salaried managers such as Jim Leyland or Davey Johnson.

If there's a team the Rays should emulate, it's the A's, who find their way into the playoff race every season despite one of the league's lowest payrolls.

If Tampa Bay wants to duplicate Oakland's success, what better place to start than with one of its coaches? Bullpen coach Bob Geren, a former catcher, has Triple-A managing experience and a reputation for developing young players. Third-base coach Ron Washington has worked well with young infielders such as Eric Chavez, Bobby Crosby and Miguel Tejada.

Going outside the organization to hire Geren or Washington would allow the Rays to start anew while keeping the focus on player development, where both men already have established themselves.

Any money saved can go toward players. If we learned anything from Lou Piniella, it's that fans don't go to games to watch managers.