YES!!! The Rays are moving in the right direction at least as far as I am concerned! Ok, as any of you who have read my blog before know, I am a HUGE Raul Ibanez fan! I absolutely LOVE the guy!
He had an amazing career after becoming an everyday player with the Seattle Mariners right around the age of 30. He went on to have better statistics than after the age of thirty that some HOFer’s numbers couldn’t keep up -at least the numbers they put up after the age of 30.
Raul is in a class of his own in stats and also in the way that he just is a good person. Not a person who has met him has ever had anything to say except praise how humble he is and how it’s never about him, but his team.
He may not have ever managed whether in the bigs or minor leagues but he was basically a coach for the Kansas CityRoyals during the World Series.
Left, understandably, off the Royals’ postseason roster, Ibanez remained with the team acting as a mentor and coach to nearly all of the Royals’ players.
There were one or two who had postseason experience but it was the majority of the teams’ first postseason appearances. Then they made it from the Wild Card all the way to the American League Pennant. It’s apparent that while, Ned Yost is an excellent manager, Ibanez’s tuteledge came into play.
After all he has quite a bit of playoff experience. Just a couple examples include winning a World Championship as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies as well as hitting a game tying homer in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game and hitting another to win the game in the 12th inning during the 2012 ALDS with the New York Yankees.
The Yankees wanted Ibanez as their hitting coach but I’m hoping that he will get the manager position – he’s already beat out a lot of very qualified candidates to make it to the top three. I say, “Go ahead, quit playing Rays – hire him already!”
The other two finalists are Kevin Cash and Don Wakamatsu. Both qualified candidates to be sure but I think that this has been Ibanez’s calling all along. He has the temperment to be an unbelievable manager, he’s an accomplished player and he’s perfect for the position.
Who knows where he could take the Rays? And they most certainly need a little stable support after losing the now Chicago Cubs manager, Joe Maddon and general manager Andrew Freidman to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Raul could provide a stable and calm environment for the players. He’s the ONE! I’ve said it on this very blog before! I just wish some Rays executives new it existed and read it! LOL! He’s got to get the gig!
As soon as they put him on their managerial list, I knew he would go far – but the top three with no managerial experience? That’s incredible!
I’m still rooting for you Raul, just like I always have regardless of what team you are on! Here’s to hoping the next manager of the Tampa Bay Rays is Mr, Raul Ibanez!!!