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Jim Furtado
Founder & Publisher
Editor - Baseball Primer


Managers Newsbeat

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Jeff Banister and Joe Maddon Managers of Year |

The award season continues.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 18, 2015 at 08:07 AM | 50 comment(s)
  Beats: awards and honors, managers

Friday, November 06, 2015

Lee Smith: Here Comes Dusty Baker

Ok, it’s true the Nats made something of a hash of the hiring process. A week before the club announced that Dusty had the job, news leaked that they were going to name Bud Black, a former big league pitcher who managed the San Diego Padres for eight years until he was fired midway through the 2015 campaign. Reportedly, the sticking point was that Black felt Nationals’ owner Ted Lerner low-balled him, with an initial offer of $1.6 million for one year. Eventually, Lerner offered Black three years at a much higher salary—according to one report, “well above the average major league managing salary, perhaps in the top 10.” But Black, say insiders, was so “deeply offended” by the initial tender that negotiations never got back on track.

The news Black was going to get the job shouldn’t have been leaked until everything was in order. But it’s pretty clear that the Nats dodged a bullet here. Bud Black was “deeply offended”? Excuse, but is that a former big-league pitcher whining?—because it sounded an awful lot like the Iranian foreign minister. Is Black “deeply offended” when ballplayers spit sunflower seeds in the dugout? What about when a hitter doesn’t get a runner over, pitchers leave an 0-2 pitch out over the plate, or infielders bungle a double play? How does a guy with a .477 winning percentage as manager get to be “deeply offended” when a club that has proven it is serious about winning a World Series opens the bidding with more than a million and a half dollars for a year’s worth of work. ...

Why are baseball writers effectively defending the professional etiquette of a guy who clearly needs to find out how the rest of the world works, outside of Major League Baseball? Or maybe the Post works like that, too—in which case Jeff Bezos has probably already offended his employees, deeply. A number of Post staffers, along with other Washington baseball reporters, seem intent on drawing a picture of a dysfunctional baseball franchise that keeps embarrassing itself. The fact is that all professional sports franchises are by definition dysfunctional because their billionaire owners keep them as luxurious pets, to be coddled, humored, and scolded when they make a mess of the furniture. What owners know, and the talent and the media don’t understand, is that the so-called big business of sports isn’t big business at all. If you want to make money, you go into something like finance, or real estate, like the Lerners, whose wealth is estimated around $4 billion. You don’t go into an industry that depends on the whims of spring and summer weather and an even more capricious customer base, fans. In real business, you are surrounded by real business people, like executives who know their worth and seek to leverage their advantage when it comes time to negotiate compensation. In baseball, [mid-level] management is former athletes, who don’t know any better but to pout to the press when things don’t go their way.

Boswell says he likes the Nats’ owners. “The Lerners are good people,” he writes. “Their hearts are in the right place: dreaming of a title for their home town. The problem is with their ears. They don’t listen.” Ok, I’ll bite—who is it the Lerners should listen to?

Boswell is perhaps the gold standard of baseball writing, but it’s hard not to read him sometimes as just another Washington beat reporter willing to cash in common sense for the sake of a story. And luckily for Boswell, the Nats’ front office leaks against its internal rivals as much as the State Department. So what if the substance of the story is patently silly? It advances my relationship with a highly placed source, and besides, it’s a scoop—with my byline. Who is Boswell’s source in this article critical of the Lerners? I don’t know, but the Nats GM sure comes out of this looking good.

“As for Mike Rizzo,” writes Boswell, “a general manager who has built a team that has averaged 91 wins the past four seasons, [the Bud Black] episode doesn’t seem like how he does business.” Ok, maybe Rizzo didn’t leak the details of the Black story to Boswell, and frame it to make himself look like an innocent bystander watching a train wreck. And maybe Rizzo screamed at the Post reporter on the phone for jeopardizing his job by daring to suggest in print that there is any difference between how he and the people who sign his paycheck operate. But I doubt it.

We don’t know what really happened here, but given that Nats’ officials are leaking against ownership in typical bureaucratic Washington fashion through the Washington press corps, it’s not hard to surmise the intent of this CYA campaign. How about this: let’s say there were two final candidates for the manager’s job. The GM wanted Black but saw it was close so he needed to tip the scales. By leaking that Black had the job, he’d back Lerner into a corner so that if Black wasn’t picked the boss would look like an incompetent, if well-intentioned, baseball outsider who doesn’t understand how the business of the game works. Lerner called Rizzo’s bluff and picked Baker. He preferred Dusty, and perhaps wanted to remind Rizzo how he got to call the shots—you don’t become rich in the real business world without a pretty good sense of character. To save face in front of the professional community where he will someday have to go looking for a new job, Rizzo concocted an absurd story about a baseball lifer with nerves as fragile as a geisha’s.

In short, the Black episode really does highlight a problem in NatsWorld, but the clown show isn’t the Lerners.

JE (Jason) Posted: November 06, 2015 at 04:25 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: bud black, dusty baker, managerial search, managers, nationals

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Dusty Baker wins the press conference with one terrific quote after another - The Washington Post

The quotable Dusty Baker.

Dusty Baker on existential voids

“I had a burning desire to succeed in my heart that wasn’t filled in my life [without baseball]. You’re going to have voids in your life. I mean, you can live without them. But I’d rather not.”

Jim Furtado Posted: November 05, 2015 at 03:58 PM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: dusty baker, managers, nationals

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Terry Collins, Mets agree on two-year extension, sources say | Newsday

Collins is not a good tactical manager. I’m still shocked that he let Harvey talk him into staying in the game. I’m even more shocked that he also left him in after he served up a leadoff walk.

Now, Collins has been given the opportunity to chase another championship, and to do so on his own terms. Sources told Newsday on Tuesday that Collins, 66, agreed to a new two-year contract that will keep him in the Mets’ dugout through the 2017 season.

The deal officially will be announced Wednesday at Citi Field. According to, it is worth about $3 million total, which would be a modest raise for Collins, who last season made a little more than $1 million. It represents a reward for Collins, who spent the first four years of his Mets tenure helping to oversee a rebuilding project that led to lean times on the field.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 04, 2015 at 05:39 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: managers, mets, terry collins

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Washington Post: Bud Black, Nationals Have Contract Issues; Dusty Baker Reportedly Being Reconsidered

If your hire isn’t worth market rate, maybe something needs to be reevaluated:

Five days after the Washington Nationals picked veteran Bud Black to be their next manager, the team did not announce a hiring Monday because contract talks crumbled over the weekend, according to people familiar with the situation. The deal wasn’t expected to be announced until after a contract was signed and after the World Series. But the playoffs ended Sunday and there was still no public word from the team Monday, a sign that a deal between the two was in jeopardy.

And according to a CBS Sports report late Monday night, the Nationals have even circled back to the other finalist, Dusty Baker, the veteran who last managed in 2013 with the Cincinnati Reds, and intend to offer him the job. Messages for Black, Baker and Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo were not immediately returned.

The Nationals chose Black on Wednesday, but the terms had to be ironed out. According to another person familiar with the situation, Black was “deeply offended” by the Nationals’ first offer and the talks didn’t get back on track after that. The high point of negotiations for the Nationals, despite a $165 million player payroll, was believed to be a two-year deal and team options for Black, according to another person familiar with the deal. USA Today reported the offer was for less than $2 million.


The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 03, 2015 at 06:06 AM | 141 comment(s)
  Beats: bud black, dusty baker, managers, mike rizzo, snafu, washington nationals

Friday, October 30, 2015

Padres introduce Andy Green as their full-time manager |

Sorry, missed this yesterday.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 30, 2015 at 04:19 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: andy green, managers, padres

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Marlins dismiss general manager Dan Jennings |

Take one for the team. Now get out.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 29, 2015 at 07:44 PM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: dan jennings, general managers, managers, marlins

Nationals expected to name Bud Black next manager - The Washington Post

The Nationals intend to hire former San Diego Padres manager Bud Black to become the sixth manager in the team history, according to multiple people familiar with the situation. The Nationals have not announced Black’s expected hiring as Major League Baseball frowns upon teams making major announcements during the World Series.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 29, 2015 at 09:27 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: bud black, managers, nationals

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Is It Time For Robot Managers? | VICE Sports

Great idea. Next up, sportswriters.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 27, 2015 at 02:31 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: managers

Monday, October 26, 2015

MLB teams keep hiring inexperienced managers. It’s not working. - The Washington Post

It’s a war on all those newfangled whippersnappers. If only those stupid kids knew as much as sports writers, every team would be in the World Series.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 26, 2015 at 11:14 AM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: managers, world series

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Seattle Mariners manager Scott Servais’ hiring continues a troubling trend of no experience necessary | FOX Sports

I don’t mean to call this bullshit. If only those old-school baseball men weren’t being discriminated against, there would be be more diversity.

I don’t mean to disparage new Mariners manager Scott Servais, who has never managed or coached at any level, or new Phillies GM Matt Klentak, whose résumé actually is quite sufficient for his new position.

Edit: Link fixed. Sorry, Jim.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 25, 2015 at 01:16 PM | 55 comment(s)
  Beats: diversity in baseball, general managers, managers

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Dodgers looking for a manager open to collaboration — like Gabe Kapler? - LA Times

Several hours after the Dodgers confirmed Don Mattingly wouldn’t return to their dugout next season, Gabe Kapler was asked if he was ready to take over as the team’s manager.

“I have to go work out,” Kapler said.

He smiled, politely declined to comment further and slipped into an elevator.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 24, 2015 at 02:02 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, gabe kapler, managers

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Sources: Mattingly, Dodgers part ways -

No shock here.

Don Mattingly and the Dodgers will part ways, sources tell CBS Sports.

The decision is being described as mutual.

Dodgers higherups like Mattingly very much, but it was apparent there wasn’t support for the long-term. Word is Mattingly felt he was treated very well by baseball president Andrew Friedman and others, but the sides ultimately decided it was better to move on.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 22, 2015 at 09:53 AM | 46 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, don mattingly, managers

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Jason Varitek interviewed for vacant Seattle Mariners manager job -

If I were a GM, I would find it incredibly difficult to hire a manager who has no managing experience or coaching experience.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 20, 2015 at 02:23 PM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: jason varitek, managers, mariners

Monday, October 19, 2015

Dusty Baker wants to be a Major League manager |

“I’d like to be back in the right situation before it gets too late,” he said. “A lot of people think it’s too late already, but I’m the coolest old dude there is. I don’t think I really compare to too many people. [Age] doesn’t matter. How old was Casey Stengel? I’m younger than Tony La Russa. I’m younger than all of those dudes [Bobby Cox, Joe Torre, Jim Leyland] when they left. Plus, I’ve got a 16-year-old that keeps me hip about how to deal with everybody.

“Age is all relative. There are some young dudes that act older than old men. I think I transcend almost all generations.”

The two years off, he said, have been essential to his health.

“I’m feeling great,” he said. “The worst year wasn’t last year. I felt fine. The worst year was the year after my stroke. I got a warning, man. I ain’t going nowhere. How many people have a mini-stroke when they’re in the hospital and survived prostate cancer? I ain’t going anywhere. It’s all good. The Lord don’t want me yet.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 19, 2015 at 06:33 AM | 96 comment(s)
  Beats: dusty baker, managers, nationals

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Lindbergh: The Good, the Bad, and the Bullpens: Joe Girardi, Mike Matheny, and the Manager’s Most Dangerous Game

There’s no well-known statistic we can use to quantify bad bullpenning. But as the Grinder would say, “What if there was?” After the 2009 season, former Baseball Prospectus author and quantitative consultant Tim Kniker developed a managerial reliever-use rating system, which he dubbed Bullpen Management Above Random. BMAR’s purpose is simple: It’s a way of assessing how closely each manager lined up his best relievers with his team’s highest-leverage relief opportunities. Essentially, it’s a stat that tells us how often a manager’s bullpen moves made fans lie awake and wonder, “Why him?”

Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: October 13, 2015 at 10:23 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: bullpen usage, managers, sabermetrics

Friday, October 09, 2015

Mariners reportedly dismiss Lloyd McClendon |

The purge in Seattle continues.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 09, 2015 at 12:04 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: lloyd mcclendon, managers, mariners

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Bill Plaschke: It might be World Series or bust for Don Mattingly - LA Times

Is this a repeat from last season?

Mattingly has led the Dodgers to three consecutive NL West championships, but the guess here is that if he can’t lead this team to a World Series his locker will be empty by Halloween.

Somebody is going to have to take the fall if baseball’s richest team still can’t find the Fall Classic after 27 years of classic falls, and Mattingly is the one wearing the target.

Management demoted Ned Colletti, traded Matt Kemp, let Hanley Ramirez walk. The Dodgers have rid themselves of every perceived problem from the previous two seasons, and now, if they fail again to survive two rounds of the tournament, it would figure to be Mattingly’s turn.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 07, 2015 at 12:31 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, don mattingly, managers

Joe Maddon is everything you want in a manager — and a person | Chicago Sun-Times

But is he nice to dogs and little kids? I bet he is.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 07, 2015 at 08:21 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, joe maddon, managers

Marlins’ president Samson regrets unorthodox move of GM as manager - Sun Sentinel

Who could have predicted this result?

“Do I regret doing what we did? I think it’s hard to say that I don’t because it did not have the desired result on the field, it did not accomplish what we expected it to accomplish,” Samson said. “So, do I regret coming to that conclusion? Yes, I do. I regret everything that doesn’t work.

“I think he did the best he could given the fact that he was put in a less than ideal situation.”

As to why Jennings didn’t succeed in turning the season around, Samson said: “I think there were a lot of factors. I think the fact he was coming from the front office, the fact it had never been done, the fact that he came in the middle of the season, the fact he was responsible for both putting players on the field and then what he did with them on the field — it’s why you don’t see a general manager/manager combination because that’s very difficult.

“The reason we put Dan in there was we thought it was the right move. It wasn’t.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 07, 2015 at 08:17 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: manager, managers, marlins

Monday, October 05, 2015

Pat Murphy won’t return as Padres’ manager |

As for Murphy, who spent six seasons managing in the Padres’ system at various levels, he talked late last week about this experience and the biggest regret that he had.

“I don’t think I got a chance to be me,” Murphy said. “I didn’t get to set the tone the way that I wanted to do it. I found out that my inner self isn’t great unless I really get to put my mark on it.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to have experienced this, but at the same time, the competitor in me wishes that I could have had more impact at a deeper level in how we play, the mentality.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 05, 2015 at 07:24 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: managers, padres, pat murphy

Saturday, October 03, 2015

The Managerial Meddling Index, 2015 Edition «

The overall index doesn’t mean much but the components are very interesting.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 03, 2015 at 09:42 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: managers, sabermetrics

Sunday, September 27, 2015

5 reasons Al Avila gave for retaining Brad Ausmus as Detroit Tigers manager |

I’m sure his dreamyness is a factor.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 27, 2015 at 08:05 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: brad ausmus, managers, tigers

Wednesday, September 23, 2015 Baker, Acta candidates to be Marlins manager in ‘16

As the Marlins enter their final homestand of the season, the organization already is weighing its managerial candidates for 2016. Miami is seeking an experienced manager, and a source told that Dusty Baker is a very strong candidate.

Swedish Chef Posted: September 23, 2015 at 08:33 AM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: dusty baker, managerial search, managers, marlins

Pete Mackanin extended, will be Phillies manager in 2016

Looks like 2016 will be a Re-Pete for Phillies fans.

When Ryne Sandberg stepped down from his post as Phillies manager earlier this season, Pete Mackanin was named as the interim manager. Tuesday, the Phillies announced that he will be the manager for the 2016 season.

“The Phillies are pleased that Pete has accepted the position of manager for the 2016 season,” said Andy MacPhail, new club president, in a statement. “We believe that Pete is the best fit for the role. Since assuming the interim manager position in June, Pete has developed an excellent rapport with our players and has also connected well with the media and our fans. Equally as important is his eagerness to take on the challenge of rebuilding the team and further developing our players. We look forward to his contributions.”

Taking over a 26-48 team in the midst of a rebuild, Mackanin has gone 30-46.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 23, 2015 at 08:33 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: managers, pete mackanin, phillies

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