By Sam Bush
Phillies managing partner John Middleton prefers Joe Girardi to be the new manager, according to MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, but it is unknown if a job offer has been made or will be made.
An announcement could come as early as Thursday between Games 2 and 3 of the World Series. Girardi has a second interview scheduled this week with the Mets, who also are looking for a manager. Girardi also interviewed for the Cubs’ managerial opening.
Phillies general manager Matt Klentak and assistant general manager Ned Rice conducted the first round of interviews with each candidate, who have a combined 53 years of managerial experience. Phillies president Andy MacPhail, Klentak and Rice worked with Showalter in Baltimore. Rice has remained close with him. The trio’s connections to Showalter made him the presumed favorite to replace Kapler, even before Middleton dismissed Kapler a couple weeks ago.
The Phils want somebody that can blend the traditional and modern approaches to the game. The Phillies have invested millions in building an analytics department. They want somebody who believes in what they do, although none of the candidates believe the numbers are an end all be all.