Waiting to see if the carousel for the game of managers musical chairs stops before or after the World Series, and wondering how much the past reflects the present in the Phillies' ongoing search.
It's generally forgotten here that Joe Girardi reportedly had turned down the Orioles job before Andy MacPhail hired Buck Showalter to take over in 2010.
Now, with Girardi and Showalter both marquee names on the managerial search lists, it can be presumed MacPhail, as team president, is heading the Phillies' search team, along with general manager Matt Klentak, who was also in the O's front office when Showalter came on board.
The unknown part of Showalter's acceptance of the job in 2010 is whether or not he would have taken it had he known MacPhail would only stay around one more year before moved on after the 2011 season, the end of which set the stage of the O's improbable playoff run in 2012 and a stretch during which they were the winningest team in the American League.
While it has generally been believed that the "old school" types are being phased out for the analytical types, Girardi, Showalter, Dusty Baker, Bruce Bochy, the recently "retired" skipper of the Giants, along with Mike Scioscia, let go by the Angels last year after almost two decades in the chair, are the most familiar names being kicked around.
And there is more than a little sentiment that some owners of the clubs seeking managers (most notably the Phillies and Mets) are said to be in favor of name recognition rather than unproven candidates who have "bought in" to the analytics trend.
Girardi, Bochy and Scioscia have all won the "big dance" in October before, so they naturally draw attention. Showalter and Baker are both in the "close but no cigar" category and would surely love a crack at the brass ring with a team believed on the cusp.
By various sources, Girardi has been rated the favorite for three jobs -- the Cubs, Mets and Phillies, and it seems almost certain he'll end up with one of those teams. It will be interesting to see how the dynamic plays out in Philadelphia.
Jim Henneman can be reached at JimH@pressboxonline.com
Photo Credit: Mitch Stringer/PressBox