Monday, October 25, 2010
Tim Wallach out of Brewers mix
By Tony Jackson
PHOENIX -- Tim Wallach has been told by the Milwaukee Brewers that he is no longer a candidate for their managerial vacancy, a development that all but assures Wallach will be the third-base coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2011.
Wallach confirmed via text message Monday that he is out of the running for the Brewers job. Brewers general manager Doug Melvin has narrowed his search to four finalists -- with former Seattle Mariners and Arizona Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin and Chicago White Sox bench coach Joey Cora widely reported to be two of them -- and Wallach isn't among them.
Wallach will be returning to the Dodgers' big league staff for the first time since serving as the team's hitting coach under former manager Jim Tracy in 2004-05. Wallach left the organization after that season, but returned in 2009 as manager of the Dodgers' Triple-A Albuquerque affiliate, a job he held for the past two seasons.
Wallach signed a contract earlier this month to join the major league staff, shortly after Don Mattingly was named to succeed Joe Torre as manager. The contract called for Wallach to be either the Dodgers' third-base coach or their bench coach, but former Kansas City Royals manager Trey Hillman has emerged as the clear frontrunner for the bench job.
Wallach's contract allowed him to interview for some of the eight major league managerial vacancies that existed when he signed it, but not all of them, and Wallach was allowed to choose the teams with which he could interview. Only one of the teams on his list, the Brewers, asked the Dodgers for permission to talk to him. One of the teams that weren't on Wallach's list, the Toronto Blue Jays, also asked the Dodgers for permission to talk to him but were denied.
Meanwhile, Wallach's replacement as manager at Albuquerque has been tentatively set. Lorenzo Bundy, who preceded Wallach in that job, also will succeed him, according to multiple sources. But one of those sources said that will change if Bundy lands a major league coaching position.
Bundy left the Dodgers organization after the 2008 season to join Melvin's staff with the Diamondbacks as first-base coach. But Melvin was fired 29 games into the 2009 season, and Bundy and third-base coach Chip Hale were let go after the season. Bundy returned to the Dodgers for 2010, serving as manager of their short-season Rookie-level affiliate in the Arizona League.
Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.