tampabay.com

Who needs a retread?

By RODNEY PAGE
Published October 2, 2005


Now that Lou Piniella is gone, Stuart Sternberg and his ownership group will begin a nationwide search for a manager. Perhaps Sternberg has somebody in mind. If not, might I humbly suggest some people in the Devil Rays system.

If Piniella, the high profile, hometown manager couldn't get people to Tropicana Field and raise the Devil Rays from last place, then forget about whatever retread outsider is available.

Perhaps look at Bill Evers, who managed the Rays' first Gulf Coast League team and has won two International League championships as manager of Triple-A Durham. Evers knows the young players better than anybody, and with the youth the Rays will have next season, he seems like a good fit.

Or there is Tom Foley, a former major-leaguer who started as the Rays' director of minor-league operations before becoming the team's third-base coach. Another solid candidate.

Then there is Billy Hatcher, the only coach who has been with the Rays all 10 years, including as a minor-league coach. There may be big names available this offseason, but here's hoping these loyal coaches get a chance.