Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Sunday, September 25, 2016
Thursday, September 22, 2016
Walt Weiss, Rockies
The Rockies, showing significant progress, need only two more victories for 75, which would be their highest total since their last winning season in 2010.
Posted: September 22, 2016 at 11:00 AM | 16 comment(s)
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
We’re calling the resulting metric weighted reliever management plus (wRM+), and in the style of other “plus” statistics, it’s been rescaled for ease of interpretability: 100 is average, with numbers above 100 corresponding to the percentage factor by which a manager is better than average (or worse than average, for scores below 100). For example, Joe Torre grades out as the best manager since 2000 with a score of 113, meaning his bullpen management was 13 percent better than average.
At a glance, this leaderboard passes the sniff test. Aside from interlopers such as erstwhile Braves skipper Fredi Gonzalez and former A’s manager Bob Geren, it’s a list of eight well-respected tacticians. Moreover, the first five men listed have all won Manager of the Year awards, as have seven of the top 10. While it is famously difficult to predict who will win that honor, which suggests the award might not be the most robust measure of managerial quality, it’s still good to know that our new metric isn’t coming completely out of left field.
Friday, August 19, 2016
Bloodlust rages with each bullpen meltdown, a one-sided social media referendum calling for Farrell to lose his job. On the heels of a six-game winning streak, a single defeat – granted, a brutal one – is sufficient to unleash nitroglycerin. Yet despite the trending prominence of #firefarrell calls in the wake of defeats, the Red Sox haven’t dropped the guillotine and they almost surely aren’t going to do so this season.
How well does the manager work with the GM/president of baseball operations and the front office? In a Red Sox organization where Dombrowski is empowered with immense authority on personnel decisions, this is arguably the most important factor in the manager’s job status. That being the case, the fact that Farrell’s relationship with Dombrowski and other members of the front office is considered strong and productive represents a significant factor in explaining why Dombrowski has remained committed to him.
Wednesday, August 10, 2016
During Francona’s daily pregame meeting with reporters, the manager stopped momentarily and complained of chest pain. Francona felt well enough to finish the question-and-answer session, but then retreated to the clubhouse, where he was examined by medical staff on hand at Nationals Park.
Francona, 57, remained at the ballpark after being checked out. The Indians’ media relations staff noted that the manager was feeling better by first pitch, but had experienced some dizziness and lightheadedness in the hours leading up to the game.
Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Minaya, who currently works for the players’ association, definitely deserves another shot. The Mets thrived and reached the World Series last year with many of the players he left in the system when he was fired in October 2010.
In his annual address to the Baseball Writers’ Association of America before this year’s All-Star Game, Commissioner Rob Manfred noted the “glaring” lack of Latino managers.
Posted: July 20, 2016 at 10:43 AM | 4 comment(s)
Thursday, June 30, 2016
I said it a week ago, and I’ll say it again—Farrell may be part of the problem, but he’s certainly not the reason the floundering Red Sox are suddenly in a virtual tie with the Blue Jays for second place in the AL East. And firing him would let his players off the hook when they don’t deserve it.
No manager is blameless when his team plays .385 ball for a month, but Farrell’s sliver of blame pie could barely feed a waif compared to the 1,600-calorie slab that is his roster.
A new manager won’t magically fix David Price’s 4.74 ERA or propensity for allowing deafening contact. A new manager won’t reach October with the bottom two-thirds of the rotation pitching like John Wasdin. A new manager can’t win with a Triple-A bench or Marco Hernandez, Deven Marrero and Ryan LaMarre getting key at-bats because there’s nowhere else to turn.
Farrell’s not the reason Koji Uehara hangs half his splitters, and he’s not the reason Craig Kimbrel keeps triggering heart attacks. He’s not why Clay Buchholz can’t get out of his own way, Jackie Bradley hasn’t hit in a month, or Travis Shaw once again resides below sea level.
Monday, June 27, 2016
Green told me McGwire is the most humble superstar he has ever been around. He doesn’t want to talk about himself or his career, he always wants it to be about their current players. He also said it only took about a couple weeks for Big Mac to get his flow and learning what Green needs from him during a game. That’s an incredibly short amount of time for two guys who had never worked together.
So when I asked him if Mark McGwire could be a big-league manager one day, Green was hesitant to speak for his bench coach.
“It’s not my place to say what his desires might be, but in my opinion he could absolutely do it and do it well if he wanted to,” Green said.
Posted: June 27, 2016 at 01:55 PM | 7 comment(s)
Tuesday, June 07, 2016
Between the rise of data-driven decision-making, the inflation of player salaries and the increased influence of the front office, field managers have largely transformed into middle managers. And the old dictatorship has become more of a democracy.
“If you’re going to get hired as a manager now,” New York Yankees third baseman Chase Headley said, “you’d better be open to listening.”
Once-common strategies like sacrifice bunts and stolen bases have gone the way of flannel uniforms and scheduled doubleheaders. Today, the toughest decision a manager may have to make during a game is whether to give his player a high-five or a butt-slap when he gets back to the dugout after hitting a home run.
This isn’t entirely new—the “Moneyball” Oakland Athletics of the early 2000s turned general managers into rock stars and managers into cranky old white dudes played by Philip Seymour Hoffman.
But it has reached a new level this season. Excluding pitchers, teams are bunting about once every 320 plate appearance, by far the lowest rate of bunts since at least 1920, according to Stats LLC. Last season, teams bunted once every 250 plate appearances. Meanwhile, teams are attempting to steal less frequently than they have in the last 45 years, while the rate of hit-and-run attempts has dropped around 23% in the past decade.
Posted: June 07, 2016 at 06:08 PM | 8 comment(s)
Friday, June 03, 2016
Women have made significant strides in baseball in recent years. USA Baseball has a women’s national team. Amanda Hopkins is working as a full-time scout for the Mariners. Mo’Ne Davis starred in the Little League World Series in recent years. Justine Siegal was the first female coach in affiliated baseball when she worked at the Athletics’ instructional league camp last fall.
The idea of women in baseball will take another step forward this fall when Fox rolls out “Pitch,” a drama about the first woman to play for a big league team. The show has a promotional tie-in with Major League Baseball, which has granted full use of MLB trademarks for the show.
And now softball star Jennie Finch and Siegal are both serving as guest managers in the independent leagues this season.
Finch became the first female manager of a professional team when she served as guest manager of the Atlantic League’s Bridgeport Bluefish for a late-May game against the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs.
Finch signed autographs, set the lineup, threw out the ceremonial first pitch and led the Bluefish to a win.
Siegal will follow in Finch’s footsteps when she leads the Pacific Association’s San Rafael Pacifics for two days as their guest manager in June.
Siegal is the logical candidate to become the first full-time female manager in pro baseball. Now it’s just a matter of getting the offer.
Friday, May 06, 2016
Don’t worry. Tony thinks it’s all good.
Thursday, May 05, 2016
Paul Hagen talks with Butch Hobson.
Big league coaches make far more than Atlantic League managers. If he had gotten another chance to manage in the Majors, the payoff could have been huge. He’s also 63 days short of having 10 years of big league service, which would allow him to max out on his pension plan.
Sunday, April 03, 2016
Few managers today retain the stature and independence Scioscia has with the Angels. While far from the baseball Luddite he was cast as during last year’s power struggle with former general manager Jerry Dipoto, Scioscia is nonetheless more old school than new math.
None of that can be said of Roberts. With the Dodgers, he serves at the whim of perhaps baseball’s most empowered, and crowded, front office. Analytical input will be a part of his life every day of the season.
“Yeah, that’s fair,” Roberts said of assertion that managers of his generation are not as independent as the men he played for, Scioscia’s peers such as Bochy and Terry Francona. “But I think that’s a great thing. Having other people help in this big machine that you have as a baseball organization is a good thing. I think what’s most important is to have that aligned mindset and thought and voice. The organization thinks a certain way going down to the manager.
“It’s not a one-man show by any stretch of the imagination.”
Gold Star - just Gold Star
Posted: April 03, 2016 at 01:39 AM | 0 comment(s)
for his generous support.
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