Between the time the White Sox announced they were parting ways with Rick Renteria and the time general manager Rick Hahn spoke with the media about the decision, it seemed A.J. Pierzynski would be as good a pick as any to be a top candidate for the manager’s job on the South Side.
But then Hahn dropped a few hints about the direction the White Sox would likely go. The White Sox are looking for someone, ideally, with postseason managerial experience. Hahn said that the team is likely to buck its own trend and hire its next skipper from outside the organization.
Pierzynski has no managerial experience and is part of the organization, currently a team ambassador following his eight seasons in a White Sox uniform.
Of course, “likely” does not mean “definitely,” and Pierzynski is indeed interested in the gig.
Prior to Hahn laying out those loose criteria, Pierzynski made plenty of sense as a candidate. It’s been a trend of late for teams to install recently retired players with no managerial experience as their field leaders: Aaron Boone with the Yankees, David Ross with the Cubs, Rocco Baldelli with the Twins. The first two of those guys made the jump to the dugout from the broadcast booth, where Pierzynski currently has a gig as a color commentator with Fox.
But Hahn seemed to paint a relatively clear picture of the kind of manager the White Sox are looking for. Free-agent managers like A.J. Hinch and Alex Cora, two of the last three World Series winners, have that recent October success that Hahn described.
Bringing in either of those guys would be the kind of splash that would go along with the White Sox desire to go from rebuilders to contenders to champions.
Pierzynski might still wind up a candidate, sure. But at the outset, it seems the White Sox are thinking differently.