The Tampa Bay Rays announced that 10 managerial candidates will be interviewed as they seek a successor to Joe Maddon, who opted out of his Rays contract and subsequently joined the Chicago Cubs as their new skipper.
In alphabetical order, the 10 candidates are Manny Acta, Kevin Cash, Craig Counsell, Doug Glanville, Raul Ibanez, Barry Larkin, Dave Martinez, Charlie Montoyo, Don Wakamatsu and Ron Wotus. Half of them played in the Midwest League, one was a MWL manager, and one was a MWL coach.
Acta played and managed in the Midwest League. His final season as a player was with the 1991 Burlington Astros; he batted .257 with 2 HR and 35 RBI in 78 games. He managed the 1997 Quad Cities River Bandits, who went 59-75. The only notable player on that River Bandits team was Aaron Miles, who hit .262 with 1 HR, 35 RBI and 18 SB in 97 games.
Ibanez played 143 games with the 1993-94 Appleton Foxes, batting .300 with 12 HR and 80 RBI. His most notable Foxes teammate was Alex Rodriguez, who hit .319 with 14 HR, 55 RBI and 16 SB in 65 games with the 1994 team.
Martinez played 56 games with the 1983-84 Quad City Cubs, batting .238 with 15 RBI and 13 SB. In 1983, he was teammates with Shawon Dunston, who was named the Midwest League Prospect of the Year after hitting .310 with 4 HR, 62 RBI and 58 SB in 117 games.
Montoyo batted .266 with 5 HR and 19 RBI in 55 games with the 1987 Beloit Brewers. His manager was Gomer Hodge, who was a Midwest League skipper for seven seasons (Waterloo from 1981-84 and Beloit from 1986-88). Hodge also played in the MWL, hitting .218 in 8o games with the 1963 Dubuque Packers.
Wakamatsu batted .216 with 7 HR and 41 RBI in 103 games with the 1987 Cedar Rapids Reds. His teammate Keith Lockhart, who went on to play 10 seasons in the major leagues, batted .313 with 23 HR, 84 RBI and 20 SB in 140 MWL games.
Wotus didn’t play in the Midwest League, but he was the hitting coach for the 1990 Clinton Giants. Only one of his hitters, Clay Bellinger, made it to the big leagues. Bellinger batted .217 with 10 HR and 48 RBI in 109 games with Clinton; he went on to play 183 games in the major leagues, mostly with the New York Yankees.