It’s December 1 and the Yankees’ managerial search is finally over. They interviewed six candidates for the job: Carlos Beltran, Aaron Boone, Rob Thomson, Eric Wedge, Hensley Meulens, and Chris Woodward. In this piece, I will be talking about only two of them: Beltran and Meulens. Why am I singling out those two and not the other candidates like Aaron Boone, Rob Thomson or Eric Wedge? It’s because I, for one, would love it if the Yankees could break their streak of hiring white managers and hire someone of color. It’s 2017 for the love of God and it would be about damn time.
On Wednesday, they interviewed former Yankee and reigning World Champion Beltran, who apparently told GM Brian Cashman prior to a regular season Yankees-Astros game that he was planning on retiring at season’s end and that he would be interested in a position within the organization. If you recall, it was Beltran who came up with the idea for the Monument Park blazers that the players who have plaques out in centerfield now wear when their fellow honorees are being inducted.
The Yankees also interviewed Hensley “Bam Bam” Meulens back on November 16. Meulens, who has spent the last eight seasons with the San Francisco Giants, played with the Yankees from 1989-1993.
So who would you rather see manage the team? The guy who just retired, has no experience but is willing to give it a shot? Or do you give the job to the guy who has paid his dues and has coaching experience? You’d think the answer would be obvious but it’s not. At least it isn’t for me.
I’m the type of person who thinks that it could be cool for the Yankees to do something totally out of the box and hiring Beltran would definitely be just that. Could you imagine the headlines? The tabloids would have a field day. Beltran said that he would like to have his bench coach to have managerial experience. He’s looking for his Don Zimmer, someone who could help him with the tough decisions that he may not be ready to make. We all know he’s a good clubhouse guy and he already knows a lot of the players so that works in his favor. According to reports, his interview went very well.
But then there’s Meulens who has coached before and who can speak five languages: English, Spanish, Dutch, Papiamento, and Japanese. Well, okay, four and a half. He claims to speak Japanese at about 50 percent, but that’s still pretty impressive. I lived next to a Japanese exchange student for a year in a college and all he taught me were bad words and phrases. Meulens also knows what it’s like to be a Yankees. Sure, it was 25 years ago but he was around when The Boss was at his craziest, just before he was suspended and he was there while Mr. Steinbrenner was away from baseball. He was also with the San Francisco Giants when they won three World Series titles so he knows what it’s like to win.
I wouldn’t be disappointed with either choice. And it won’t be as easy a choice for the Yankees as you may think but the possibilities are definitely intriguing. Both stories are of the “feelgood” variety so the Yankees win no matter what.
So now that the search is finally over, we should expect an announcement soon. And while we wait for that decision to be made, I will be pulling for both Beltran and Meulens over the other candidates because I believe both would be solid choices for manager.
So what do you say, Yanks? How about we make the 35th manager of this storied franchise a man of color!