The odds makers in Vegas have released their numbers concerning who the next Tigers manager will be, because if Vegas knows anything about people who bet on sports, it's that they will literally bet on anything. I'm sure there are sports betting shops in operation right now that will gladly set some odds for you if you want to bet, say, on the number of relievers John Farrell will use in the first game of the World Series, or whether Quintin Berry will clap his hands before the eighth inning.
How does Vegas know where to set these numbers when it comes to probable managerial picks? First they scour the headlines looking for names. Then they count the number of occurrences for each name and rank them by frequency, weighting each name more heavily based on certain other factors: Has this person ever managed a team before? Does this person have postseason experience? Has this person died recently? Does this person have a hilarious-sounding name that would pair well with "Dombrowski"? Finally, they write these names on slips of paper, throw all the slips in the air, and assign odds based on where each slip landed.
Using these same in-depth techniques, I will assess each of the candidates and explain which is the best bet.
Brad Ausmus - 4/1 odds
Former Tiger, former All-Star, former catcher, and one-time manager of the Israel national baseball team in 2012, when the team was attempting to get to the World Baseball Classic. Does that mean he has managing experience? Absolutely not. You don't even know what the qualifications for managing an international baseball team are. As far as we know, "able to provide a valid passport" may be the only requirement. Plus, according to Wikipedia, Ausmus's team lost to Spain in the "Pool Finals." I don't see the Tigers hiring a guy who doesn't even realize that you don't play baseball in a pool. No wonder they lost. Don't bet on this one.
Lloyd McClendon - 9/2 odds
Former player for several National League teams, former manager of the Pirates, current hitting coach for the Tigers. He's already in the Tigers organization, so that plays in his favor. Nobody wants to pay for a new employee's moving costs, especially when most of the budget is tied up paying for [shockingly offensive Prince Fielder joke deleted]. On the other hand, count up the number of times you've seen Lloyd McClendon this year - on the field, in the dugout, anywhere. Did you even need two hands? Exactly. It's because he has the power of invisibility, and he likes to use it, and trust me, the Tigers don't need a manager who has weird supernatural powers. They've got Cabrera, and that's plenty. Don't bet on Lloyd.
Tom Brookens - 5/1 odds
Former Tiger, former World Champion Tiger, former manager and championship winner with the Tigers' Class A Whitecaps team, current third base windmill for the Tigers. Jim Leyland used to be Brookens's manager in the early 70's, when Brookens played for the Montgomery Rebels. This little anecdote means absolutely nothing in terms of Brookens's chances for getting the managerial role in Detroit, so it's best to just forget you heard it. Brookens is a long-time "org guy," but he also has a twin brother named Tim, and apparently the two of them used to enjoy switching identities so Tim could get on the field in Spring Training and exhibition games. The Tigers really don't need any of those wacky hijinks going on in the dugout, so forget it. Betting on Brookens is bad.
Torey Lovullo - 5/1 odds
Are you serious? Two guys named Torey/Torii on the same team? One whose last name sounds like "LOL"? Forget it.
Gene Lamont - 11/2 odds
Another former Tiger, former Pirates manager (who replaced Leyland there), and current bench coach for the Tigers. He's already succeeded Leyland as manager once in his career, and he's already in the organization, so he has a few things working in his favor. Unfortunately, he has one thing working against him, namely, that he's 66 years old, and the Internet can't even verify for me if he's currently alive. Even if he is, his most recent experience is coaching benches, not players. This would be a very, very bad bet.
Manny Acta - 8/1 odds
The ESPN analyst? The shaved-head dude who looks like a bouncer? Ok, that might make for some cool umpire confrontations, I'll admit, but his name just doesn't work with Dombrowski's. "Who will the Tigers sign for the bullpen? Dave and Manny are looking into it." Nope. Doesn't work. But still, he looks like he could take down an angry buffalo, so maybe he'll bulldoze his way through the interview process. You might want to throw down a few bucks here.
Larry Parrish - 8/1 odds
Yes! Former Tiger, former catcher, the "Big Wheel," a member of the 1984 cham--OH! Right, that was Lance, not Larry. Larry. Larry. It's one of those names that just sounds really weird the more you say it. Larry, Larry, Larry, Larry, Larry. Larry and Dave. Nope. Forget it. Also, he just got promoted to manage the Mud Hens, and I'm pretty sure that's where managers go to end their careers. Don't bet on Larry. Larry. Larry. Weird.
Tony Pena - 15/1 odds
Former catcher, former Royals manager, winner of the Manager of the Year Award, current first-base coach for the Yankees. Let that sink in. The Yankees. The Tigers don't engage in trade with the Evil Empire, for any reason, SHHH! NO! STOP IT, I'M NOT LISTENING, LA-LA-LA-LA-LA! Do not bet on Pena. On second though, it's 15-to-1 odds, so why not? Throw three bucks down.
Dusty Baker - 15/1 odds
I don't need to tell you about this guy. He was just all over the news because he was fired by the Reds when their postseason ended. He burns through pitcher arms faster than Leyland burns through a pack of Marlboro Reds. Is that what people want? A manager who will leave his starters out there to throw their arms ragged, rarely turning to the bullpen to provide much-needed respite for his all-star starting rotation? Actually, according to about 8,000 Facebook and MLive comments I've collected this season, this is EXACTLY what many people want. And wasn't the great Sparky Anderson also
prone to leave his starters out there too long from Cincinnati? This is not a safe bet. He's only on the list because he just became available. Still, again, for 15-to-1 odds? Sure, put a few bucks on the table.
I realize I haven't given very many great betting options here, so I have a different proposal. Instead of betting your money on who may or may not become the next Tigers manager, send the money to me directly, and the bet will be, quite simply, "will he send it back?" (Answer: no.)