*Just a few tidbits out of my column on why any team would be lucky to have Raul Ibanez as their manager for 2016 for the full story head over to Today’s Knuckleball.
Raul Ibanez almost got the managerial job for the Tampa Bay Rays prior to the start of the 2015 season. He has no managerial experience but he has a way with working with younger players, something he proved last season serving as a mentor to a young Kansas City Royals team throughout the playoffs and into the World Series
Just last year, he was let go by the Los Angeles Angels and generously signed to a big league contract with the Royals. He appeared in just 33 games for the Royals, and none in the postseason, but his presence in the clubhouse was invaluable to a young team trying to help their franchise make the postseason for the first time since 1985.
Royals outfielder Alex Gordon credits Ibanez for their run from the All-Star break to the World Series.
“It’s no coincidence it all started with Raul,”Gordon told USA Today. “We were kind of in the dumps. We had just been swept coming out of the All-Star break. Things weren’t looking good.”
As previously noted, he almost became the manager of the Tampa Bay Rays but withdrew his candidacy, citing family issues. That may still be the case and he may not feel the need to manage. He should, though.
The Seattle Mariners, the San Diego Padres, the Washington Nationals and the Miami Marlins are all in need of a new manager. Each of those teams would be lucky to have such an inspirational leader in their clubhouse.
He spent a good chunk of time of his career with Seattle, but if I had to pick the best place for him to land, a clubhouse that desperately needs to be united, it would be the Nationals.
For more on Ibanez’s career, personality and why he’d fit best with the Washington Nationals you can read my full column on Today’s Knuckleball by using the link below: