After Jim Leyland’s resignation last week, we have examined some options for the Detroit Tigers’ managerial position which is vacant. Tim Wallach, the current third base coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers, has been contacted by the Tigers about the manager’s position and the Dodgers have given the Tigers permission to speak to him.
Wallach does not have any major league managerial experience, but he has managed in the minor leagues for the AAA affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Albuquerque Isotopes. Wallach served as the manager of the Isotopes for two seasons, the first of which he won the Pacific Coast League’s manager of the year.
After Joe Torre retired from the Dodgers in 2010, Wallach was passed up for the then hitting coach Don Mattingley for the managerial position. Mattingley chose Wallach to be his third base coach for his three year tenure. Wallach was one of the final candidates for the Boston Red Sox’s managerial position last offseason along with Gene Lamont, but was passed up for John Farrell.
Wallach has made it clear through his career that he wants to become a manager in the big leagues. In the 2010-2011 offseason when he was asked about the Dodgers’ job, Wallach said,
“I’d like to manage in the big leagues someday. That’s always been a goal. There were some things I had to do, so I’m doing them and hopefully somebody will think I’m ready after this year.”
No one has thought that Wallach was the right choice for their teams since then, but after an interview with the Tigers’, he may get his shot. While in Los Angeles, Wallach has seen the media circus that can be LA. He has also dealt with players with different and sometimes difficult personalities like Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, Clayton Kershaw, Adrian Gonzalez, and Hanley Ramirez. He has also watched how to study a bullpen with many moving parts.
Wallach has the credentials to be a manager in the big leagues. The only way to know if he will actually work is to see him in action. He looks like he has the experience to handle big name players as he dealt with them in LA. He would bring a breath of fresh air into the clubhouse and probably bring his own staff with him. Would he win now? There is only one way to find out. It would be a big risk to bring him into the organization, but it could yield big rewards.