Art Howe (Getty Images)
But rather than let that conflict serve as our final memory of a good baseball man's life, Howe wants to add one more chapter by playing himself in the dugout. As such, Howe has thrown his name into the Toronto Blue Jays managing derby after a chat with Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun:
"I want to manage again, the best thing I have going for me is my experience — seven years in the NL, seven in the AL," said Howe, 65. "Toronto has always been an interesting team, they have some nice talent and were very competitive until they fell off with those injuries to their position players.
"The New York Yankees are a little long in the tooth, with 13 free agents. Toronto plays in the toughest division in baseball, but they are only a few pieces away from doing something."
Is Howe one of those pieces? We have no idea of knowing if Toronto GM Alex Anthopoulos would consider him one. The Jays are one of only two teams with a manager opening — the Colorado Rockies are the other — and Anthopoulos said he's content to wait until after this week's GM meetings to really pursue someone for the job. Tim Wallach, Matt Williams, Sandy Alomar Jr., and Don Wakamatsu have all been mentioned as possible candidates.
Howe is 65 years old and hasn't managed since leading the New York Mets in 2004. His last dugout gig came in 2008 when he was a coach with the Texas Rangers. But with the success that Davey Johnson, Charlie Manuel and Jim Leyland have experienced in recent years, there really shouldn't be any grounds to doubt that Howe is too old for the job. In fact, that type of experience — Howe managed three teams over 14 years — could prove valuable to a Blue Jays franchise that's looking for a steady hand to push it over the hump.
Whether or not Anthopoulos shares that same belief remains to be seen. But you can't fault Howe for speaking up and suggesting himself for the job. What has he really got to lose?
Big BLS H/N: BBTF
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