Vizquel thankful for interview with Angels

Former All-Star shortstop brought in to discuss manager role, but no longer in running

October 18th, 2018

ANAHEIM -- Three-time All-Star and 11-time Gold Glove-winning shortstop Omar Vizquel was among the 10 candidates who interviewed for the Angels' managerial opening earlier this month, though he is no longer in the running to succeed Mike Scioscia, according to the Talk Beisbol podcast hosted by Efrain Zavarce and Oscar Prieto Rojas.
Brad Ausmus and Eric Chavez (both employed as special assistants to general manager Billy Eppler), Cubs bench coach Brandon Hyde and Astros bench coach Joe Espada have also interviewed. Other potential contenders include third-base coach Dino Ebel, bench coach Josh Paul and White Sox bench coach Joe McEwing. The Angels have completed their first round of interviews, but it's unclear who remains under consideration.
• 7 potential candidates for Angels manager
While he is no longer in the mix, Vizquel said he was grateful for the opportunity to interview with the Angels, especially because he had no prior relationship with Eppler. Vizquel, who is currently the manager for the White Sox's Class A affiliate, served as a roving infield instructor with the Angels in 2013 under former GM Jerry Dipoto.
"I'm really happy that the Angels took the time and invited me to interview to be the manager of their team," Vizquel said in Spanish on the Talk Beisbol podcast. "It honestly caught me by surprise. I didn't know general manager Billy Eppler, but he was very generous in flying me out to California to talk and go over what it means to be a manager in the big leagues. I was surprised by a lot of the questions they asked me. There were a lot of sabermetrics involved in all of their questions. They're apparently going far beyond what it means to be responsible and wise about the moves that you can make. They want someone who is very interested in the numbers and can weigh the percentages."
As's Jon Morosi reported earlier this week, the Angels put candidates through a two-hour written exam as part of their rigorous interview process. The test was meant to assess each candidate's critical-thinking skills and their approach to in-game decisions, analytical information and relationships with team personnel.
"Of course, you can handle some parts of them, but some of [the questions] surprise you," Vizquel said. "It's good to go through that experience so that you're not caught off guard the next time that you have an interview and they talk about some of the terms that are used. But I'm very happy. I think I made a good impression with them, and from now on, I'm going to keep preparing, especially with the percentages and those things that they might ask in the future."
One of the criteria that Eppler said he would be looking for in the Angels' next manager is a "probability-based mindset," which he defined as "making decisions in-game tactically that tilt the win expectancy or the run expectancy in your favor." Eppler said he would also prioritize connectivity with players and the ability to foster a team-oriented culture.