Roenicke waits his turn to manage
Angels bench coach itching to skipper big league club
SEATTLE -- Whenever Ron Roenicke visits Seattle, the Angels bench coach can't help but remember the one time he interviewed for a big league managerial job.
It was the winter before the 2004 season, and the Mariners ultimately went with Mike Hargrove, but Roenicke, then the Angels' third-base coach, had what he described as a valuable learning experience that he figured would ultimately pay off with more interviews as the years went on.
He's still waiting.
On Wednesday, Roenicke said he hasn't had any phone calls for managerial job openings since then and can't quite understand why.
"I have no idea," Roenicke says. "You think that as you progress in your job, and you get your name out there, you'll get some interest. Sometimes it seems like there's a different hot name out there every time there's an opening, so you really don't have any control over who that might be."
Roenicke repeatedly made the point that he's very happy where he is. He was born in Covina in Southern California, he played for the Dodgers and with his wife, Karen, and son, Lance, he has lived in the area for years.
"I like what I'm doing, and I'm at home," Roenicke said. "It's not like every winter I'm saying, 'I hope I get a call.' Yeah, I would really like the opportunity, but I'm at the point now where I'm not expecting anything to happen."
It wouldn't be surprising if it did, however, especially considering the success of other Mike Scioscia disciples.
Two of them were the hot names during recent offseasons. Former bench coach Joe Maddon was a finalist for the Boston Red Sox job that went to Terry Francona in 2004. He then landed the Tampa Bay gig in 2006, ultimately taking that team to the World Series last year. Former Angels pitching coach Bud Black took the helm of the San Diego Padres in 2007.
"It was great to see both of them do well," Roenicke said, "Joe obviously did a fantastic job last year, and I thought Buddy did a great job two years ago, just missing the playoffs."
This winter, maybe it'll be Roenicke's turn again, and current pitching coach Mike Butcher said he thinks Roenicke is ready.
"Ron has the knowledge and the skills to be an excellent manager," Butcher said. "He understands every aspect of the game, and he's very prepared. He also has good feel, which is a big part of it."
Butcher also pointed out Roenicke's managerial experience in the Minor Leagues. Roenicke, 52, skippered six different teams from 1994-99, compiling a 346-283 overall record.
"Experience goes a long way," Butcher said. "He's been around the game for a long time, and guys feel comfortable around him, because they know that he has that understanding of what it takes to get through a season."
Reliever Scot Shields agreed.
"He's kind of like Joe [Maddon]," Shields said. "He's personable, and you can go to him with any question, even pitching questions. His demeanor is even-keeled, and that helps out, too. He's never too high or too low."
Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.