2. There is precedent
Last offseason, the Chicago Cubs fired Joe Maddon and replaced him with a Chicago fan favorite in David Ross. The Cubs made the playoffs after struggling in 2018 and 2019 and observers have generally agreed that Ross did a pretty good job in his first season as manager.
There would inevitably be those irked by the decision to hire Pence as a manager because they would feel it was a nostalgia play or because he would not have any head coaching experience. However, with the role of modern MLB managers, a role that has seen a large decrease in autonomy as more and more on-field decisions are dictated from the front office, experience seems to be less and less of a priority in favor of how well one can follow orders.
Plus, Pence wouldn’t be hired to help a rebuild, but rather, a team that’s on the verge of contention, but failing to make the leap. He knows that progression as well as anyone throughout his playing career.
One of the big reasons that Farhan Zaidi hired Kapler was because he felt that he would be a good pawn for whatever decisions he made in the front office based off analytics. While Pence’s play could be described as old-school, his focus on diet, staying in shape, and willingness to rebuild his swing in the winter of 2018 are all tell tale signs that he’s more than happy to learn whatever the newest trends are to help players (and teams) suceed.