December 11, 2013
And here's the full roster.
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General Managers Articles
Following are the one hundred most recent articles for the category General Managers .
11/14/2013: Let’s discuss the THT Annualby Dave Studeman
12/11/2013: Alone on the pedestal, Part 2by Jason Linden
12/11/2013: The Applegate factorby Shane Tourtellotte
12/10/2013: All about the latest Bill James Handbookby Dave Studeman
12/10/2013: Though night may fall, play ball!by Frank Jackson
12/10/2013: Roy Halladay retiresby Jeff Moore
12/09/2013: Leverage Index by inningby Dave Studeman
12/09/2013: How far are the Mariners from relevancy?by Brad Johnson
12/09/2013: Prince Halby Chris Jaffe
12/09/2013: Three underrated acquisitionsby Pat Andriola
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
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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 12, 2012
On Ryan Madson: Parsing Boras’ commentsPhiladelphia general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. and super-agent Scott Boras are having a skirmish of words regarding the Phillies' non-signing of closer Ryan Madson. Boras seems to be saying the Phillies reneged on their offer of $44 million over four years, while Amaro says, "there never was an agreement."
Obviously, since Madson is now a Cincinnati Red, Amaro is correct that there never was an agreement—at least not one so formal that it led to a signed contract. However, there may have been a verbal agreement, a handshake deal, a nod-and-wink, nudge-nudge, say-no-more pact that simply needed to be put to paper and submitted to Major League Baseball's offices for confirmation.
Or there may not have been. If we read exactly what Boras said, it becomes clear that he did not say that he and the Phillies had agreed to a four-year, $44 million contract.
Boras first stated, "We never rejected any offer from Philadelphia at four years and $44 million. We advised Philadelphia that we would agree to such a proposal." He followed that comment up with, "We agreed to a four-year, $44 million offer, and Philadelphia decided to sign someone else."
Let's take a look at the first sentence. While he and Madson never rejected the contract in dispute, Boras didn't say the Phillies made such an offer. You can't reject an offer that isn't made, so Boras may not be lying. Also, "never rejected" is not the same as "accepted."
His second sentence says they would have taken such a deal. Hey, so would I, but no one made me such an offer and, again, maybe the Phillies didn't make one to Boras for Madson's services.
The last sentence uses "we" vaguely. Which "we" agreed to the four-year, $44 million contract he mentions? It could be that "we" is Boras and Madson. Perhaps those two men decided between themselves that such an offer would be acceptable. Good for them, but if the Phillies never tendered such a deal, there was nothing for Boras to accept.
Scott Boras obviously is a phenomenally successful agent. He has made his clients billions of dollars and himself a nice cut of those salaries. He produces gold-lettered, platinum-laced, diamond-encrusted binders to demonstrate how clients such as Alex Rodriguez and Prince Fielder are the greatest athletes in the history of the universe and should be paid like minor deities. Boras does his job extraordinarily well.
But his success does not come from blunt directness. It comes from deception, obfuscation and borderline flat-out lying. Boras knows where that borderline is, and he has no fear of going up to it and nudging his toes right up against that line. It's what he gets paid so well to do.
Posted by: Greg Simons
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