The Rays today are expected to name the 12 or so candidates to replace Joe Maddon. They haven't said exactly what they're looking for, beyond someone to maintain the current clubhouse culture, but it's safe to assume their next manager needs to communicate well; welcome analytical and statistical input; share philosophies on roster construction; and embrace the small-market challenge, all with a positive perspective. Given the disruptive offseason thus far, being at least somewhat familiar to and with the organization should help. So will not seeking a $5 million salary. Grouped by categories, here are some names you will see, and many you may not:
7 years as Maddon's bench coach makes him the obvious fit.
8 seasons of success as Triple-A Durham manager warrant at least an interview.
Worked for Rays, Red Sox, Rangers; just joined Angels front office.
Red Sox bench coach interviewed for several jobs, Twins finalist.
White Sox third-base coach has energy and charisma, experience managing in minors, has interviewed for a few jobs.
16 years as solid Giants coach (bench now), managed in minors.
Others that could fit: Sandy Alomar Jr. (Indians 1B), Brian Butterfield (Red Sox 3B), Dino Ebel (Angels bench), Tim Flannery (Giants 3B), DeMarlo Hale (Blue Jays bench), Randy Knorr (Nationals bench), Jose Oquendo (Cardinals).
Has been doing TV work since stints with Indians, Nationals.
Has solid rep, but being fired so Cubs could hire Maddon doesn't look good here.
Had 1¾ seasons with Mariners, currently Royals bench coach, very sharp.
Others that don't seem to fit: Ron Gardenhire, Kirk Gibson, Ozzie Guillen, Ron Washington, Bobby Valentine.
Former Rays players
Tampa native has played, scouted, and coached (Indians), interviewed very well for Texas job.
Local roots, broad background, AL intel, success as pitching coach (currently with Royals).
Quick-thinking, affable original Devil Rays catcher, currently a Yankees TV broadcaster.
Leadership skills are obvious, currently assistant hitting coach for Cubs and that Maddon guy.
Long a favorite of Rays brass, ex-outfielder likely leaving TV gig for job in Dodgers front office.
Outside the box
Former Rays outfielder has been working in front office, but he's capable of doing much more.
Still playing when last seen, but strong leadership skills could translate to manager's office.
It's too soon and he doesn't want to manage, but local call and Starbucks meeting = big headlines.
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Dick Vitale (above)
TV hoops maven/huge Rays fan already tweeted his offer to take the job for four season tickets.
Contact Marc Topkin at email@example.com. Follow @TBTimes_Rays.