Vlad contacted me earlier today to propose a series of interviews with fellow bloggers about potential managerial candidates, so I think he might do some of these and I might do some. I'm going to stick with candidates who the Pirates are at least reportedly interested in, and the one candidate who's come up so far, via Chuck Finder, is former Cleveland Indians manager Eric Wedge. (Wedge oversaw the Indians as they transitioned from a rebuilding club to a playoff team, but he also oversaw them as their playoff team quickly came apart.) I wrote to Ryan Richards of the Indians blog Let's Go Tribe and asked him for his thoughts. Here's what he said:
Eric Wedge is a very intense guy. He's a great motivator and communicator, he has strong convictions on doing things the right way, and will stick to those convictions. He likes everyone to have a role, and he'll use players in those roles religiously, especially the relievers. He doesn't like to bunt or hit-and-run (though during most of his tenure with the Indians, he didn't have players conducive to running). He doesn't like to use his bench players, though if he managed in the NL, that flaw would be mitigated.
Would I recommend him? I think he's had enough success to deserve another shot, but I'm not sure if he'd be the right fit for the Pirates. I think he'd work best with a roster full of players who have spots locked down; obviously he's gone through a rebuild before, but I don't think handling a roster in flux is his specialty.
Since Neal Huntington has shown a preference for people he's worked with before, I also asked Ryan about other potential candidates from the Indians organization, such as former Indians AAA manager and current Red Sox AAA manager Torey Lovullo and Indians AA manager and former third base coach Joel Skinner. Skinner (edited - not Lovullo, sorry) was a prominent Pirates managerial candidate in 2007, before the Pirates ultimately hired John Russell.
The most obvious potential manager from the Indians organization would be AAA manager Mike Sarbaugh, who's had great success in the minors. This season, the [Columbus] Clippers won the International League title despite losing most of their lineup to the majors. He's had success in just about every level in the minors.