With last night's surprising announcement, I'll get the rumors rolling.
First a word about Pena. No doubt he was the right man for the job coming off of Tony Muser's reign. His enthusiasm did wonders for a young team in 2003, leading the Royals to their only winning season since 1994. However, as Joe Posnanski wrote in this morning's Kansas City Star, his message began to wear thin. Posnanski wrote about Pena's antics including jumping in the shower in full uniform and guaranteeing a division championship in 2004: "[I]t all was pretty embarrassing stuff. And the team kept losing."
So, who to replace Pena? I don't know, but I will say that last week Larry Bowa was missing in action for his morning radio show on XM Home Plate. His co-hosts didn't know exactly where Bowa was, and I thought at the time that he must be in Kansas City interviewing. A week later, Pena resigns (was he forced out?).
I'm not sure Bowa's the best choice, but it would be nice to see more of a hard-ass manager here to whip guys like Angel Berroa into shape. (In last night's game, Berroa was doubled off on a fly ball. Just the latest of many boneheaded moved by Berroa). At the very least, I hope the Royals go with a manager with experience, and hopefully with post-season experience. I think most Royals fans are tired of first time managers.