MIAMI – Mike Lowell has always had a plan.
After playing baseball through high school and college, Lowell gave himself a year at each level. He reached the big leagues after four and a half years, but if he had not, Lowell had plans to attend graduate school.
But five years after retiring, Lowell does not have a plan. He has been one of many linked to the Marlins’ managerial job, which is expected to be open at the end of the season. Lowell has thought about ways to stay involved but might not be prepared to manage at this stage in his career.
"I don’t have the master plan, which is very unlike me," Lowell said before the series finale against the Red Sox on Wednesday. "I’ve always said that I would love to be on the field somewhere. The talk on [managing in] the near future is just that: talk."
Lowell spent seven seasons in the Marlins organization and is notably familiar with the club’s front office and roster. Although he enjoys spending time in the clubhouse, Lowell does not believe he is prepared to make the time commitment that comes with managing.
"I don’t think I’m at the point in my life where I’m ready to put that time in," Lowell said. "I have two children, 13 and 10. I look at everything they’re involved in and I would miss a lot of it if I was more involved."
Throughout the season, Lowell has joined MLB Network once a month for several days. He is expected to get more involved throughout the postseason and enjoys joining the network because of the distinct prospective he can add.
"I really enjoy what I’m doing," Lowell said. "I feel like I’m an outsider with a bit of an inside track and that’s fun too."
If Lowell does not have an interest in managing, several clubs might be interested in adding him in an advisory-type role. As is the case with managing a major league team, Lowell has not ruled out the possibility.
"I don’t ever want to close any doors," Lowell said. "I enjoy the game of baseball too much. I just take it as maybe two years down the road I will be in a different phase of my life and can get involved a little bit more."
While Lowell does not believe he would have difficulty making decisions throughout a game as a manager, working through some of the nuances might take getting used to.
"As long as I’ve played I feel like I would know how to handle the double switches and situations like that," Lowell said. "I don’t think I would have a problem with that. I do think I need to learn a little bit more, [such as] what impact does it have when you get a guy hot in the seventh and he doesn’t come in. I think every manager does that. You lean on your pitching coach and hitting coach and your bench coach is a big factor."
Although the Marlins have been plagued by injuries and are sitting in last place in the National League East, Lowell believes the organization has the three things necessary to "make me want to buy a ticket for a game."
"You want to see someone hit a ball further than you’ve ever seen, which Stanton does," Lowell said. "You also want the speed factor. And finally, a pitcher that has stuff that you don’t normally see, which is Jose."
Even though managing is not a part of his immediate plan, it might be in the years to come. Regardless of the role, Lowell wants to remain involved.
"If [managing] is something that’s still available to me, I’m sure I’d like to entertain it," Lowell said. "I’ve always enjoyed the grind. I feel like I can relate to what they do and what they go through. I feel like I’ve been through each phase. I just like being a part of that. I like being in the clubhouse."