December 8, 2013
And here's the full roster.
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Following are the one hundred most recent articles for the category Managing .
11/14/2013: Let’s discuss the THT Annualby Dave Studeman
12/06/2013: Cooperstown Confidential: Ed Charles and 42by Bruce Markusen
12/06/2013: The Athletics get busyby Brad Johnson
12/06/2013: Getting to know Ryan Haniganby Chad Dotson
12/04/2013: Cataloging the non-tendered playersby Brad Johnson
12/04/2013: Alone on the pedestalby Jason Linden
12/03/2013: Mascot fight!by Greg Simons
12/03/2013: Why is a sinker “heavy?”by David Kagan
12/03/2013: The role of fall leaguesby Jeff Moore
12/02/2013: Nationals make great deal for Fisterby Matt Filippi
12/02/2013: The Twins go holiday shopping, but to what end?by Brad Johnson
12/02/2013: The end of the benchby Chris Jaffe
11/29/2013: Card Corner: 1973 Topps: Danny Waltonby Bruce Markusen
11/29/2013: The best rookies of the ‘30sby Chad Dotson
11/27/2013: Towards an award prediction systemby Shane Tourtellotte
11/26/2013: MLB’s coffers are overflowingby Greg Simons
11/26/2013: The role of prospects in tradesby Jeff Moore
11/25/2013: Stepping up to the plateby Frank Jackson
11/25/2013: 10 things I didn’t know about player birthdaysby Chris Jaffe
11/22/2013: The end of the road for Chris Carpenterby Chad Dotson
11/21/2013: All the news that’s fit to inventby Azure Texan
11/20/2013: Marcus Stroman, the mythbusting machineby Kyle Boddy
11/20/2013: Welcome to the birthplace of… someone elseby Jason Linden
11/19/2013: 2013 THT awards reviewby Greg Simons
11/18/2013: THT Fantasy has moved to Rotographsby Dave Studeman
11/18/2013: Atlanta gets burned againby Frank Jackson
11/18/2013: The 2014 Hall of Fame VC ballotby Chris Jaffe
11/18/2013: Must See MLB.TV 2013by Dave Studeman
11/15/2013: The best rookies of the ‘40sby Chad Dotson
11/15/2013: Card Corner: Wayne Granger: 1973 Toppsby Bruce Markusen
11/14/2013: 10th anniversary: the A.J. Pierzynski tradeby Chris Jaffe
11/14/2013: The Screwball: The face of championship baseballby Azure Texan
11/14/2013: Player-A-Day: Casey Fienby Brad Johnson
11/13/2013: Player-A-Day: Tim Lincecumby Brad Johnson
11/13/2013: Pitcher performance after batting successby Shane Tourtellotte
11/13/2013: 25th anniversary: Rob Neyer writes a letterby Chris Jaffe
11/13/2013: Houston hoodoo ‘62by Frank Jackson
11/12/2013: It’s The Hardball Times Annual 2014by Dave Studeman
11/12/2013: Player-A-Day: Joe Mauerby Brad Johnson
11/11/2013: Fastball velocity by game stateby Jon Roegele
11/11/2013: The rise of the middle-aged managerby Chris Jaffe
11/08/2013: Player-A-Day: Josmil Pintoby Brad Johnson
11/08/2013: Hall monitor: The case for Andruw Jonesby Chad Dotson
11/07/2013: Big leaguers, bit partsby Azure Texan
11/07/2013: Player-A-Day: Nathan Eovaldiby Brad Johnson
11/06/2013: If he’d only gotten another shotby Jason Linden
11/06/2013: Player-A-Day: David DeJesusby Brad Johnson
11/05/2013: Player-A-Day: David Ortizby Brad Johnson
11/04/2013: Player-A-Day: Jose Dariel Abreuby Brad Johnson
11/04/2013: The Boston (Braves) Marathon of 1928by Frank Jackson
11/04/2013: 10 things I didn’t know about birthdays in 2013by Chris Jaffe
11/01/2013: Taking the close pitch with two strikesby James Gentile
11/01/2013: Card Corner: 1973 Topps: Don Baylorby Bruce Markusen
11/01/2013: The best rookies of the ‘50sby Chad Dotson
10/31/2013: The Screwball: Celebrate good times, come on!by Azure Texan
10/31/2013: Player-A-Day: Leonys Martinby Brad Johnson
10/30/2013: Player-A-Day: Jon Lesterby Brad Johnson
10/30/2013: Forecasting the major 2013 awardsby Shane Tourtellotte
10/30/2013: The effect of seeing pitchesby Jon Roegele
10/29/2013: Putting the knock on pitching changesby Joe Distelheim
10/29/2013: Player-A-Day: Ryan Howardby Brad Johnson
10/29/2013: Losing momentum in the sixth gameby Dave Studeman
10/29/2013: Previewing the fall Stars gameby Jeff Moore
10/28/2013: Player-A-Day: Travis Woodby Brad Johnson
10/28/2013: Marquis Grissom: Mr. October Jr.by Frank Jackson
10/25/2013: The blackballing of Dick Dietzby Bruce Markusen
10/24/2013: Player-A-Day: Xander Bogaertsby Brad Johnson
10/24/2013: The Screwball: Put it in neutral?by Azure Texan
10/24/2013: The all-decade team: the ‘00sby Richard Barbieri
10/24/2013: Player-A-Day: Michael Wachaby Brad Johnson
10/23/2013: Earn money watching baseballby Dave Studeman
10/23/2013: Player-A-Day: Jose Iglesiasby Brad Johnson
10/23/2013: 20th anniversary: The Joe Carter gameby Chris Jaffe
10/23/2013: Giants take a risk with Lincecum’s two-year dealby Matt Filippi
10/23/2013: BOB: Nolan Ryan retires…for nowby Brian Borawski
10/22/2013: Where does David Price fit?by Jeff Moore
10/22/2013: Survey says?!?!?by Greg Simons
10/22/2013: ALCS post-mortem: The Fielder playby Shane Tourtellotte
10/21/2013: The best rivalries of 2013by Chris Jaffe
10/21/2013: World Series workhorsesby Frank Jackson
10/20/2013: WPS recap: ALCS, 10/19/2013by Shane Tourtellotte
10/19/2013: WPS Recap: NLCS, 10/18/2013by Shane Tourtellotte
10/18/2013: WPS recap: ALCS, 10/17/2013by Shane Tourtellotte
10/18/2013: Card Corner: 1973 Topps: Bob Baileyby Bruce Markusen
10/18/2013: The 2013 Atlanta Braves and core WARby James Gentile
10/18/2013: The best rookies of the ‘60sby Chad Dotson
10/17/2013: The Screwball: What about Bob Lemon?by Azure Texan
10/17/2013: WPS Recap: LCS, 10/16/2013by Shane Tourtellotte
10/16/2013: WPS recap: LCS, 10/15/2013by Shane Tourtellotte
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August 13, 2013
Welcome to 1,000 wins, Charlie ManuelLast night, the Phillies beat Atlanta, 5-1, and in doing so gave a nice little milestone to manager Charlie Manuel. This win marked Manuel’s 1,000 career victory as a baseball field general. He’s the 59th member of the club and one of eight still managing. (Care to guess who the other still-actives are? Give it a few seconds and check the bottom of this piece.)
Manuel has a pretty good record for a new member, with just 824 losses versus his 1,000 wins. That’s the 19th-fewest losses for a manager who won his 1,000th game. A lot of the guys ahead of him are the really ancient guys. For example, all of the first seven members of the 1,000-win club had fewer than 824 losses when they joined. (Club win-loss records were more extreme back then.)
In the last 50 years, Manuel’s 1,000-824 record is the seventh best of the 35 managers who have joined the club. So welcome to the club, Charlie Manuel.
Now, for the active members of the 1,000-win club, below the fold:
Click for more...
Posted by: Chris Jaffe
July 25, 2013
The cool seatAround this time last year, I wrote on THT Live observing that no manager had been fired through roughly 100 games of the season, and that this was a pretty uncommon event. On the other hand, my writing about this phenomenon turns out to be a pretty common event, because it is happening again this year.
Despite one close call with Don Mattingly of the Los Angeles Dodgers, no manager has yet gotten the boot in 2013. His team having risen from worst to first in the NL West, Donnie Baseball now looks pretty safe. There have been rumbles here and there about a couple other managers, but no hot-seat watch like there was with Mattingly. And there might not be any this season.
That's not guaranteed, of course. I ventured in my original article that we'd get through the 62 remaining games of 2012 without a mid-season canning, but we got two: Brad Mills of the Astros, and Manny Acta of the Indians, just six games shy of season's end.
Before I go farther down that road, let me update and extend my previous table of firings by 100 games, extending by a few years and adding a line for all in-season firings.
Year '13 '12 '11 '10 '09 '08 '07 '06 '05 '04 '03 '02 '01 '00 '99 Firings by 100G 0 0 3 4 3 3 3 0 1# 2 1 7 4 0 0 Firings by 161G ? 2 4 5* 4 4 4 0 3# 4 2 7 5 0 3
* Excludes the resignation of Lou Piniella from the Chicago Cubs.
# Excludes the resignation of Tony Pena from the Kansas City Royals.
Given my swing and a miss last year, it would be wise for me to refrain from making any predictions about what will happen this year. But where's the fun in a measured, conservative analysis? Well, maybe I can split the difference.
For maybe half the managers in the league, one can make at least a sketchy case for his in-season firing without invoking some bizarre PR meltdown. I'll take a quick look at most of them, breaking them down into several categories.
Teams making big acquisitions that didn't pan out: This category includes John Gibbons of the Blue Jays, Ned Yost of the Royals, and Mike Scioscia of the Angels. Yost is probably most vulnerable of the three. Royals GM Dayton Moore made an off-season "playoffs or bust" trade, getting James Shields and Wade Davis for, primarily, Wil Myers. KC has improved this year, but not much and not enough. (And they really wish they had Myers around to fill the space of the released Jeff Francoeur.) Moore might well drop the axe, to avoid the one aimed at his own neck.
The general underachievers: Under this heading I would count Robin Ventura of the White Sox, Ron Roenicke of the Brewers, and Terry Collins of the Mets. The Pale Hose collapse this year could definitely imperil Ventura, favorite son of Chicago or not. Three solid years of losing can't be raising Collins' stock, whatever the woes of the franchise owners, but it's not like the Mets were expected to win. As for Roenicke, firing him on the heels of the Ryan Braun suspension would be a rabbit punch to a reeling fanbase. Not impossible, but really cold if they do it.
Too little, too late?: Ron Gardenhire of the Twins, Dale Sveum of the Cubs, and maybe Eric Wedge of the Mariners fit here. Their teams are looking up this year, while still looking up at .500. Gardenhire has division titles in six of his 12 seasons, probably enough to buffer him. Sveum has Theo Epstein the Miracle Worker behind him, who can't be too disappointed with an escape from the cellar this year.
Wedge is suddenly a special case. After the mild stroke Wedge suffered on Wednesday, Jack Zduriencik would be a cad to fire him this season. The worst I can imagine happening is a mutually-agreed retirement at year's end, if Wedge's medical condition is worse than it currently appears. Get well and stay well, Eric.
The anchor men: Bo Porter of the Astros and Mike Redmond of the Marlins. Porter is safe. The Astros front office expected and accepts the terrible year they're having, and no blame will accrue to the rookie manager. Redmond isn't as safe, because while the Astros have a management with a plan, the Marlins have Jeffrey Loria. If any owner could turn into George Steinbrenner Redux, it's Loria. Then again, he waited one full season to fire Ozzie Guillen. Redmond should survive, and may wish he hadn't.
How the mighty have fallen: Dave Johnson of the Nationals and Joe Girardi of the Yankees stand under this Sword of Damocles. Johnson has less excuse for his team's drop, but he announced before the season that this would be his last campaign helming Washington. There's no point to firing him other than spite, and it won't happen. Canning hitting coach Rick Eckstein earlier this week will have to suffice. (Good thing you saved Stephen Strasburg for this season, right, guys?)
As for Girardi, remember in early May the boom behind him for Manager of the Year? A few months of DL therapy cured that. There was also more recent talk of the Steinbrenner brothers extending Girardi's contract, which expires this year, but that has also faded as the Yankees have faded. Girardi's on the last year of his deal, so his situation resembles Johnson's. Scapegoating him in-season with all his team's injuries would look awful: quietly waving good-bye at year's end is much more likely.
The least of the
That is as close as I will get to making predictions about this year. But there is next year to tempt me also. Does two years of no firings through 100 mean we have entered an era of managerial peace, where skippers know they'll have a few months to prove themselves without having to worry about a quick sacking?
I'm not ready to say that. We had two such years in 1999 and 2000, and the years right after that were almost a shooting gallery for managers. Nothing's proven yet—but if it happens for a third straight year, then I'll venture to say that we have a pattern.
So if you see another article like this, same time next year, you know at least some of what I'll be saying.
Posted by: Shane Tourtellotte
January 21, 2013
A tribute to Earl WeaverOne could make an argument for Tommy Lasorda, Dick Williams, Bobby Cox, or Joe Torre, among others. But I suspect that a number of baseball observers would nominate Earl Weaver, who died on Saturday at age 82, as the finest manager of the expansion era.
When it came to use of statistics, in-game smarts, and a value system that placed a premium on home runs and defense, Weaver just might have been the standard for major league managers of the past 45 years.
Weaver took over the helm of the Orioles in the middle of the 1968 season, replacing the fired Hank Bauer. Weaver and Bauer did not get along; for years they refused to have pictures taken with one another. But Weaver managed to follow up on some of Bauer’s success, which had culminated with an Orioles world championship in 1966.
Weaver placed an immediate emphasis on pitching, defense and power. The Orioles happened to be good in all of those areas. Despite playing in the year of the pitcher, the O’s had five players who reached double figures in home runs in 1968 (Boog Powell, Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson, Don Buford and Curt Blefary). They had three Gold Glove defenders in Brooks, Mark Belanger, and Paul Blair. They also had three talented young starting pitchers in Dave McNally, Jim Hardin, and Tom Phoebus.
In 1969, two additions to the Orioles’ pitching staff elevated Baltimore from a good team to a great one. Jim Palmer returned from major arm problems that had knocked him out for all of 1968, while Mike Cuellar arrived in a trade for Blefary.
With his rotation fortified, Weaver led the Orioles to 109 regular-season wins and a sweep of the Twins in the first Championship Series. The O’s moved to the World Series, where they faced the upstart “Miracle Mets” of Gil Hodges.
After the Orioles won the first game of the Series, Weaver’s first title seemed inevitable. But the pitching-rich Mets stormed back to win the next four, stunning Weaver and the rest of Baltimore. To add insult to the outcome, Weaver was ejected from Game Four after a heated argument with the umpires.
Undeterred, Weaver led the Orioles to a 108-win season in 1970 and a return to the World Series. This time, they did the expected, dispatching the Reds of Sparky Anderson in five games. It would be the first and only world championship for the “Earl of Baltimore.”
The 1971 season brought more World Series disappointment. After dominating the American League for a third straight season, the O’s swept the A’s in the playoffs and then routed the Pirates in the first two games of the World Series. With the Orioles seemingly on the verge of a repeat championship, the Pirates somehow managed to win four of the next five games, including a decisive Game Seven on Baltimore turf. Weaver drew some criticism for his refusal to sit slumping first baseman Boog Powell, who was struggling with an injured wrist.
I'll always remember one Weaver moment from that Series in particular. It was Game Seven, with the Orioles facing a red-hot Steve Blass. In the very first inning, Weaver stormed out of the dugout to stage several protests with home-plate umpire Nestor Chylak. Weaver had a number of complaints: Blass was illegally putting his hands to his mouth, he wasn’t coming to a complete stop with a runner on base, and he wasn’t keeping his right foot in contact with the pitching rubber. The latter infraction grated Weaver the most. “Rule 8:01(b) says you have to be in front of the rubber or on it,” Weaver said adamantly.
It was all part of an effort to rattle Blass, to throw him off his game while he was in the midst of a pitching hot streak. It didn’t work, as Blass pitched beautifully that day, but it was pure Weaver, trying to acquire any advantage he could find.
Weaver’s baiting of the umpires became his trademark. He was ejected from 91 games, mostly for arguing with the arbiters. On three occasions, he was kicked out of both ends of a doubleheader. He carried his arguments to the extreme, sometimes kicking dirt on home plate and often spinning his cap around to avoid “head-butting” the umpire with the bill.
Perhaps his most famous argument came in 1980, when he and umpire Bill Haller exchanged an array of insults. Haller didn’t like Weaver to begin with; Weaver had questioned whether Haller should be allowed to umpire games involving the Tigers, whose catcher, Tom Haller, happened to be Bill’s brother.
Another Weaver trademark involved his chain-smoking. He often sneaked into the dugout runway to sneak a cigarette and calm his nerves before returning to his usual perch in the dugout. Weaver’s nerves especially fell prey to reliever Don Stanhouse, a wild right-hander who ran deep counts and issued his fair share of walks. Stanhouse became known as “Full Pack,” the reasoning being that Weaver went through a full pack of cigarettes during one of his high-wire relief acts.
In spite of the fraying of his nerves, Weaver had the Orioles back in the World Series for a rematch with the Pirates. The O’s were no longer heavy favorites, but they still took a three-games-to-one lead over the Bucs. Then came three straight losses at the hands of “We Are Family,” denying Weaver that elusive second world title.
From the time that Weaver took over the Orioles until his initial retirement in 1982, the Orioles were a paragon of success. Weaver posted winning records each year, with his “worst” season coming in 1972, when the O’s finished at 80-74 for a winning percentage of .519. In fact, it would not be until his second tenure as Baltimore’s manager that Weaver put up a record below .500. That came in 1986, when an aging O’s roster compiled a mark of 73-89. It was the only blemish on an otherwise spotless regular-season record.
Weaver was humble as far as the role and impact of the manager. As he once said, “A manager’s job is simple. For 162 games, you try not to screw up all that smart stuff your organization did last December.”
Weaver certainly had very capable general managers, with people like Harry Dalton and Frank Cashen supplying him with talent, but he also achieved the optimum with the players at his disposal. He adopted a philosophy that sounded simple, emphasizing “pitching, defense, and the three-run homer.”
But within that simplicity, Weaver enacted the complicated details. He kept note cards on each of his hitters, indicating how they fared against each pitcher, and adjusted his lineup accordingly. He also believed that certain players, not his stars but his role players, needed to be platooned in order to maximize their productivity.
Weaver crafted roles for each of his players. He advised them of what he expected them to do; if they failed, they were susceptible to being replaced. He manipulated his roster like a chess master.
In the early 1970s, he had four outfielders (Blair, Don Buford, Merv Rettenmund and Frank Robinson) for three slots. Rather than designate three starters and a clear backup, Weaver mixed and matched according to players’ strengths. He tended to play Buford against right-handers, and Rettenmund against left-handers. Sometimes Rettenmund played left, sometimes he played center, and at other times he played right. When Weaver wanted more offense, he played Buford in left and Rettenmund in center; when he wanted better defense, he reinstated Blair to center and moved Rettenmund to left.
By the mid-1970s, it was clear that Weaver had little use for baseball stereotypes. He made Ken Singleton, a slow-footed outfielder acquired from Montreal, his leadoff man. Singleton couldn’t run, but he drew walks and compiled high on-base percentages. In other words, he fulfilled Weaver’s No. 1 requirement for a leadoff batter.
Like Casey Stengel before him, Weaver believed in platoon baseball. He alternated catchers (Andy Etchebarren and Elrod Hendricks), second basemen (Rich Dauer and Billy Smith), and right fielders (Rettenmund and Terry Crowley), among other positions.
He also concocted the most famous platoon of the era, putting Gary Roenicke and John Lowenstein into a time-sharing plan in left field. Roenicke and Lowenstein were good players, but they were not stars and arguably did not merit being everyday players. By playing Roenicke against lefties and Lowenstein against righties, Weaver maximized their strengths as hitters. In tandem, Roenicke/Lowenstein gave Weaver star-level production.
And then there was Weaver’s approach to pitching. For most of his Orioles tenure, he had strong rotations and thin bullpens. So he stayed with his starters longer than most managers, allowing them to eat up quality innings, while saving his relievers for optimal situations in which they could be better used.
Weaver’s brilliance as a manager was certainly noticed by his American League opponents. At least one league rival tried to approach Weaver about switching teams.
In a story that appeared in the Dec. 8, 1973, edition of The Sporting News, Oakland owner Charlie Finley contacted the Orioles about the availability of Weaver and did so during the World Series. According to reporter Doug Brown, Finley had placed the call while Dick Williams was still manager, several days before his publicly expressed intention to leave the A’s. According to Brown’s story, Baltimore’s vice-president and general manager, Frank Cashen, refused to give Finley permission to talk to Weaver. Nothing ever came of it, and Weaver remained in Baltimore for the rest of his managerial days.
Another rival owner who appreciated Weaver was George Steinbrenner. After the Yankees were swept by the Orioles in a regular-season series in 1980, “The Boss” expressed grudging admiration for Weaver’s work. “I wouldn’t invite Earl Weaver to Christmas dinner, but you’ve got to give the devil his due,” Steinbrenner told a New York baseball writer.
Weaver’s story is particularly compelling in that he never made it to the major leagues as a player. A longtime minor league second baseman in the Cardinals system, Weaver could not break through. After all, it was a time when only 16 major league teams existed and major league jobs were scarce.
Today’s players sometimes complain about having managers who never played, as if they somehow lack the credibility to have the job. It is one of the silliest arguments in contemporary baseball. The players who make such contentions conveniently ignore the accomplishments of Weaver, or someone like Joe McCarthy, who also failed to play in the major leagues. Weaver and McCarthy were simply two of the game’s managerial giants.
Was Weaver the greatest manager of his era? Based on regular-season performance, there was no one better. And if we chalk up his World Series shortcomings to bad luck and random chance, then we can safely say that he was the best of the era, period. Either way, baseball has lost one of its greatest minds and its most brilliant strategists. Of that, there is no doubt.
Posted by: Bruce Markusen
August 24, 2012
Bruce Bochy aims at .500Today, Bruce Bochy fights to get back to sea level. As of this moment, his all-time career record is 1,430-1,431. Thus, if the Giants win today he’ll no longer be underwater but be at .500.
He’s been underwater for quite some time with all those sad sack San Diego games. The early squads, most notably the 1998 Padres pennant winner, put him over .500, but a loss on June 27, 2002 put him under .500, and he’s been under ever since.
That’s a long time ago. It’s so long ago that there was a still a big league team in Montreal. As a matter of fact, the day Bochy went under .500 the Expos got Bartolo Colon. St. Louis still mourned the recently departed Darryl Kile. Don Baylor was still a big league manager.
Moving beyond baseball, it was the same day Who bassist John Entwhistle died. Elsewhere, Saddam Hussein was in charge of Iraq, George W. Bush was president with very high approval ratings, and Pluto was still a planet.
On June 27, 2002, Bochy’s record fell to 597-598. He’s managed 1,666 games since then, which means that if he does get back to .500, he’ll make history. For a manager who was once over .500 and went under, it’s the longest stretch ever to get back to .500.
The current record holder is Jim Leyland, who went over 1,250 games between going .500. He fell under .500 in May 1998 and went back over at the very end of last season.
I figured Connie Mack would hold the record, but that’s not the case. He was over .500 for almost all his career. He was under .500 from 1922-26, then went back over. He fell under again in 1942, but never got back to .500.
Please note there is a key qualifier up above. Bochy would have the longest stretch in the wilderness for someone who had once been over .500. A few managers had longer stretches under .500 but hat never posted a winning record in the first place.
That’s true of Casey Stengel. He began his days managing some bad Dodgers and Braves teams. That left a sizable hole for the Yankees to dig him out of. They didn’t do it until April 17, 1953, when his record was 972-971. But the record holder is another former Yankees manager: Joe Torre. His first term with the Mets put him under .500 and he didn’t get to and over .500 until Aug. 12, 1998 when his record was 1,169-1,168.
So it took Torre 2,337 games to get there. That’s like Bochy not getting there until September 2016. But Torre had never been there. Among those who’d once been over .500, Bochy will be the new king.
Well, that’s all assuming Bochy does get there. While it’s likely given how well the Giants have played so far, it’s not a guarantee. Good teams go on slumps, and winning teams can have a bad month. And who knows what’ll happen in the offseason.
But, barring a considerable turnaround in the fortunes of the San Francisco Giants, Bruce Bochy will soon end his time under water.
Posted by: Chris Jaffe
April 16, 2012
Enough with the blowhard managersBobby Valentine, being Bobby Valentine, spouted off about Kevin Youkilis' game prep to the Boston Globe's Pete Abraham:
I don't think he's as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason.
Anyone expecting him not to say things like this doesn't understand Valentine's M.O. He's bombastic, confrontational and publicity-seeking. In other words, he's Boston's version of Ozzie Guillen. You know Guillen, the guy who recently said he loves and respects Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.
I get that these two managers enjoy stirring the pot. They love to be the center of attention. They prefer to call our their players in the media instead of addressing their issues face-to-face in the privacy of the clubhouse. What I don't get is why, at least regarding that last point.
Sure, generating controversy boosts their notoriety and helps land them broadcast gigs when they're not in the dugout. That's smart (if annoying) business, helping set them up professionally and financially when their managerial schticks finally wear out their welcome.
But embarrassing their players in public, as Valentine just did and Guillen often did in Chicago, serves only to create a divide between themselves and their players. Who wants to listen to a manager who questions your integrity in public? Who wants to play for a manager who doesn't have your back?
I know these antics bring attention to a team, and as the old saying goes, there's no such thing as bad publicity. And plenty of people seem to revel in these controversies. But it seems the negative impact of this behavior in the clubhouse—and by extension, the playing field— would outweigh the positive impact of a few more ears and eyeballs focused on the team.
I guess what I'm trying to say is, I wish Valentine and Guillen would just shut up.
Posted by: Greg Simons
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