Breaking down the Yankees' managerial candidates: Chris Woodward

On Saturday, the Yankees interviewed their fifth potential managerial candidate, Dodger’s third base coach Chris Woodward. Woodward spent 12 years in the major leagues, mainly with the Toronto Blue Jays, but also had stints with the New York Mets, Seattle Mariners, Atlanta Braves, and the Boston Red Sox. He was not really an everyday player, but filled in nicely when needed. Once he called it a career in 2011, he worked with the Mariners as a minor-league infield coordinator (2012 -2014) and then advanced to an infield coach for the major league club (2014-2015). After this, he took on his role he is currently in with the Los Angeles Dodgers prior to the 2016 season.
Photo credit: FanRag Sports

While in LA, Woodward got some great exposure. He was a part of a long-storied franchise, with some young up and coming talent (some of which was homegrown) and came within a game of winning the World Series. These draw some great comparisons to the team that he is interviewing for. He was also right alongside Dave Roberts, who has set the standard for the new crop of managers. Roberts has shown that young, analytically driven managers can provide a fresh outlook on the game and that it can work, considering that the Dodgers were within a game of the World Series title. Roberts was also beloved by his players, both his attitude and open mindedness reached well with his players.
It seems as though this rubbed off on Woodward as well, who said “Dave never broke stride. He never changed from an attitude standpoint. He’s relentlessly positive. I think that is probably what I take the most out of that.” ( Yankee fans will remember that some of the criticism on Joe Girardi was his attitude at times and not staying even keel.  Woodward also has a hard stance on new age stats that seems to line up with the Yankee higher ups. His approach to it seems to be, “get on board or get left behind”. He seems to know the importance of gathering all the data available to benefit the team.
At the end of the day, it will be interesting to see where Woodward falls on the Yankees list. He certainly checks a lot of the boxes for what Brian Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner are looking for; he is a young, pro-analytical guy, with MLB experience both as a player and coach and has been in a big market. While some of the other names out there may be more enticing, Chris Woodward is one that shouldn’t be scratched off the list just yet.

Article by: AJ Welch


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