While I shared in everyone's frustration about Mattingly, sadly, a lot of the moves that he made that frustrated us to no end are probably done by about 90% of other MLB managers. The problem isn't so much Mattingly in a vacuum, but the horrid philosophies that have permated baseball, particularly over the past 30 years, from the save, to LaRussa bullpen micromanagement. Bring in a closer in a tie ballgame, instead of worrying about a save? Most managers sadly leave their closer hanging; ask Fredi Gonzalez in the 2013 NLDS. It's going to have to take a real gutsy guy, willing to free himself from some of the past, with the support of the FO, to really turn something like that on its heels.
This is why I've come around to Kapler, lately. Oddly, his inexperience is appealing in that he hasn't been indoctrinated with "the book" and how things are supposed to be done. He wrote this article a couple of years ago that I thought was pretty good: http://www.foxsports.com/mlb/just-a-bit-outside/story/new-competitive-edge-in-baseball-091114
By all accounts, he's quite willing to F with the system and get really creative. That's something I always felt was really Maddon's best quality. I like Maddon, but I think he's overrated in the sense that people think he's this crazy genius. Really, what makes Maddon great is that he's willing to get creative and make decisions that sometimes goes against what "the book" says. Sometimes it works, a lot of times it doesn't, but it's that openness to ideas that's really his best strength. He's, at the very least, curious, and that's a great thing to have in a manager, and I think Kapler has that. I'm not trying to discount experience, it's quite valuable, but not if it's being experienced in making robotic, generic, crappy decisions. Although, for better or worse, experience is something that's increasingly decreasing in importance, with the FO taking on larger roles in decisions.
Which brings me to the next point: whoever it is, the next Dodgers manager has to be on board with analytics. But what I think is equally important, beyond having those tools, is being able to effectively communicate these philosophies to players and show why these tools are better, both for clubhouse cohesiveness and for the next manager not appearing as a puppet. I think Kapler could be quite effective in that regard, having been a former player and, at one time, being on the other side of that debate. After last year, he's also one of the few people who have really great, personal insights into the Seager's, and Schebler's of the world, something that will become more important as they and others continue to get promoted.
What actually scares me about Kapler is that, at times, he almost comes across as a parody. The organic eating stuff is all well and good, and more power to him, but, unless he wants to piss off a clubhouse pretty fast, he might have to tone that part down a bit with the team, and perhaps save the talk of tanning your balls and other quirks for another audience. Other than that, I think he's pretty much the best candidate, with the highest ceiling. If you're going to do this, you might as well rip off the band-aid and go for it. Putting him as a bench coach is only going to be unfair to the next manager.
Therefore, I voted for Dusty Baker.