Drayton McLane and his so-called brain trust are supposed to start meeting this week to discuss names for the next manager of the Houston Astros.
Brian McTaggart over at Astros.com throws out some of the usual names we would expect to hear -- Jim Fregosi (friend of Ed Wade), Manny Acta (failed at Washington), Ned Yost (fired only weeks before the Milwaukee Brewers advanced to the playoffs last season), Willie Randolph (fired by the New York Mets), Eric Wedge (recently fired by the Cleveland Indians), Lloyd McClendon (flopped badly as manager of the Pirates), and Tim Bogar (yeah, the former shortstop who was so bad that even Adam Everett was an improvement).
McTaggart also tweets that Don Baylor (fired by Colorado and the Cubs) is under consideration, and the Houston Chronicle's Jose de Jesus Ortiz writes that Mike Hargrove -- who quit the Seattle Mariners in midseason several years ago because he lost his passion for the job -- is also under consideration.
Yeah, that list isn't very inspiring.
But I've done some digging around the Union Station offices, and I discovered another list of ten names, and it was written on paper with the letterhead of one Drayton McLane.
10. Bugs Bunny. Now laugh all that you will. But he once played every position and caught himself while pitching and managing at the same time. He's smart. He's good with the media. And he should get along with Junction Jack.
9. Bud Abbott. Sure, the guy was a comedian. But he knows how to fill out a lineup card. He doesn't lose track of where his guys are playing or batting, and he keeps his composure under intense pressure.
8. Jose Cruz. The fans like him. He looks good when he's directing traffic at first base. And his number is already retired so the team doesn't have to fork out money for another ceremony.
7. Harold Reynolds. I've seen this guy on TV a lot, and he sounds like he knows what he's doing. Plus maybe he can help with the female fan base.
6. Miguel Tejada. Hell, this guy already thinks he's running the club anyway. So let's just make it official.
5. Casey Stengel. Sure he's dead. But Ted Williams is dead and that doesn't keep him from playing baseball, so why should death stop Stengel from managing.
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4. Milo Hamilton. The guy can't handle it in the broadcast booth anymore. But the fans love him, and he says that he knows everything there is to know about baseball, so he should be perfect.
3. Kevin Costner. Think about it. He's been a catcher. He's been a pitcher. And hell, he even built his own stadium. This guy knows baseball.
2. Morris Buttermaker. I just saw this great documentary about this old dude who managed a little league team called the Bears. Now hear me out. The team was full of a bunch of losers that nobody else wanted, plus he even had to deal with a woman pitcher. And if he can deal with that Kelly Leak kid thinking he was the world's greatest player, then he should easily be able to handle Carlos Lee.
1. Lou Brown. I just saw another documentary, and this one was about the 1989 Cleveland Indians. And this Lou Brown guy came from managing a tire store to managing a baseball team of has-beens, never-weres, losers, convicts, and kids. And he got this team past the mighty Yankees and into the playoffs. Sounds like just the right guy if you ask me.