Do not read too much into Larry Bowa getting set for a second interview for the Marlins' managerial opening on Thursday. The second conversation does not mean he is the front runner. In fact, there is still a good chance he is not the favorite.
While it might appear as if the Marlins are bringing Bowa back because they feel he could bring the type of personality the front office feels it needs in the clubhouse, he could just be the safety net. There is a chance he is not at the top of any list. The Marlins are just accounting for all possibilities.
Miami is known to be interested in Don Mattingly. Owner Jeffrey Loria reportedly has developed a close relationship with Mattingly. He probably wants to make Mattingly the next manager of the Miami Marlins. But there are multiple things that have to happen first.
Los Angeles heads into game five of the National League Division Series on Thursday night. Mattingly's future with the organization has been questioned since the middle of the season. But the Dodgers made the postseason. If they advance, it might become even harder to justify dismissing Mattingly. Even if they fall, it is not guaranteed Mattingly will lose his job.
If everything happens as Miami is hoping it will, Mattingly will be fired and subsequently hired by the Marlins. But it is not that simple. Multiple other clubs are seeking new managers, and each of them would probably see Mattingly as an ideal candidate. There is no reason to believe he would drop everything and manage the Marlins. And that is exactly why the Marlins likely called Bowa back for the second time.
Miami is known to be seeking an experienced candidate and Bowa is just that. He has managed the Phillies and Padres and, if he does not get hired to lead another club, is expected to return to Philadelphia's coaching staff as the bench coach. Bowa also has, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald, the type of "fiery personality that appeals to Loria."
If the Marlins cannot land Mattingly, Bowa might be the next best available option. Bo Porter struggled with Houston. Phil Nevin does not have major league managerial experience. Neither Manny Acta nor Joey Cora has Bowa's experience.
There is a chance Bowa is hired after his second interview on Thursday. But if the Marlins do not hire him immediately, what they are waiting for is quite clear.