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A’s stalwart Eric Chavez looks to manage, as does another ex-A who might surprise you – Chico Enterprise-Record

You know you’re getting old when your boys of summer start applying for managerial jobs.

Give you a for-instance: According to Bleacher Report, former A’s third baseman Eric Chavez is the leading candidate to become manager of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. As we speak, Mike Scioscia is the Angels skipper, but The Athletic assures us his tenure with the team will sunset along with his 10-year contract at season’s end.

If you were an A’s fan in the late 1990s and 2000s, you likely recall Chavvy fondly. He was a six-time Gold Glove winner, a stand-up, laid back, quietly intense, steadying presence in the Oakland clubhouse. In an era that saw players post cartoon statistical lines, there was never a suspicion or the barest hint that Chavez was juicing. In a six-year span from 2001-06, he averaged 29 homers and 96 RBI and won six Gold Gloves.

He heard it from the fans who thought he was underachieving. “Certain standards have been set that are unrealistic,” he said in early 2005. “It’s not worth it to me to take it to the next level.”

A ceaseless barrage of injuries ground his A’s career to a halt. He played four more years after leaving Oakland, two each with the Yankees and Diamondbacks.

After retiring, he was part of the A’s broadcast crew. The Yankees employed him as a scout. He hooked on with the Angels after the 2015 season as a special assistant. He managed the Triple-A Salt Lake Bees this season. If I was an Angels fan, even as successful as Scioscia has been, I’d be excited to have Chavez take over.

“He can bring a high sense of baseball acumen in a number of areas,” GM Billy Eppler once told “He’s just a really magnetic personality and someone I have a lot of trust and lot of faith in.”

But here’s the thing — there are other 1990-ish A’s players that have endeavored to manage as well. Catcher AJ Hinch managed the Diamondbacks in 2009-10. He currently is manager of the Astros who, you may recall, won the World Series last season. Walt Weiss, a Rookie of the Year shortstop for the A’s, managed the Rockies from 2013-16. Dale Sveum, a Bay Area native and a 12-year major leaguer who played 30 games for the A’s in 1993, managed the Brewers in 2008 and the Cubs in 2012 and ’13. And every Coliseum bleacher bum’s favorite utility man, Jamie Quirk, has had at least two managing assignments in the minors.

Surprised? You shouldn’t be. The managers who played under Tony La Russa and Art Howe were immersed in a competitive and cerebral environment Same with players that went into the front office jobs (Dave Stewart), or became hitting coaches (Mark McGwire, Carney Lansford, Matt Stairs), or pitching coaches (Rick Honeycutt, Curt Young, Dave Righetti) or garden variety coaches (Mike Gallego, Terry Steinbach).

Now here’s something that might surprise you: Jason Giambi is getting the itch.

It seems just like a few weeks ago that Sports Illustrated put Giambi’s wild-haired visage on its cover and proclaimed him “The New Face of Baseball” (speaking of feeling old). He wants to manage. He actually applied for the Rockies job that went to Weiss. Giambi retired after a 20-year playing career and has spent the past four years in domestic tranquility with his three young kids in Las Vegas. But if his conversation with The Sporting News at the Yankees old-timers game in June is any indication, he’s about to start printing resumes.

“I played 20 years in the game,” Giambi said. “I played for some of the most incredible managers in Tony La Russa and Joe Torre, Terry Francona. I’ve seen a lot of incredible things. I’ve learned a lot in this game and it would be a shame not to pass it on.”

His is not a typical resume. For starters, he excelled at the game to the point of being voted Most Valuable Player. In the past half-century, only five MVPs have been hired as a major league manager. More common is the less-heralded player who struggled, scrapped, hung on, asked questions and soaked up all the knowledge he could. La Russa, a .199 career hitter, for example. Superstars as managers? It is said they bristle overseeing players who struggle with a game that came so easily to themselves.

Then there is Giambi’s confessed steroid use, for which he apologized.

“He stood up, took it on the chin and moved on,” former Giambi teammate Nick Swisher told TSN. “In a town like (New York) or America in general, people are willing to forgive.”

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