Wednesday, November 30, 2016
A “proto-sabermetric tome”!
Read part one and part two.
It was in Baltimore that the seeds of Johnson’s career as a manager took root. A graduate of Trinity University with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, Johnson devoured Earnshaw Cook’s Percentage Baseball, a proto-sabermetric tome, and persuaded Orioles owner Jerry Hoffberger to let him use the IBM mainframe of the National Brewery (of which Hoffberger was chairman), which he programmed to test his theories about baseball. Johnson came to appreciate the importance of on-base percentage, though his printed-out presentation of his “Optimization of the Baltimore Orioles Lineup”—via which he argued that he should bat higher in the order—found its way into Earl Weaver’s trash can. The second baseman nonetheless absorbed plenty from the statistically-inclined Hall of Fame skipper, including his disdain for bunting in favor of swinging for the fences.
Posted: November 30, 2016 at 09:51 AM | 0 comment(s)
hall of fame
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Terry Francona, who led a depleted Indians roster to the franchise’s first division title since 2007, has been named American League Manager of the Year by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, while first-year skipper Dave Roberts of the Dodgers won the honor in the National League.
Posted: November 15, 2016 at 07:02 PM | 33 comment(s)
Monday, November 07, 2016
“Bud talked about it, that urgent feeling of belief that is brewing among our players as they look at themselves and they look around the league in the division and go, ‘OK, we should really start to win games and put pressure on ourselves and pressure on the rest of the division and the National League to get back into the playoffs here,’” said general manager Jeff Bridich. “That’s a wonderful place to be, and I think it’s an honest place to be for who we are right now.
“I think Bud realizes that. I think our players realize that. A lot of people in the organization realize that. I think that is part of what was the attractive piece about the job.”
Posted: November 07, 2016 at 07:09 PM | 1 comment(s)
“This is a tough place, a fun place and a not-so-fun place to play all wrapped into one. No lead feels safe,” Black said about Coors Field during his last season with the Padres. “And no lead feels insurmountable when you are trying to attack. You always feel good about your ability to come back.”
Posted: November 07, 2016 at 06:37 AM | 6 comment(s)
Monday, October 31, 2016
One of the subplots of this World Series that has a million of them is the legacies of Terry Francona and Joe Maddon. They are regarded as two of the best managers in the game today, and both have fun personalities in an era when many managers are look-alike, think-alike robots who rarely say anything too interesting and avoid controversy like those brussels sprouts sitting in your fridge for the past four months.
Posted: October 31, 2016 at 04:09 PM | 34 comment(s)
hall of fame
Tuesday, October 11, 2016
As the Braves near the end of their managerial search, a Major League source said it looks like Brian Snitker will remain in the role he handled on an interim basis this year.
The Braves are expected to announce their decision within the next few days, at a time that does not conflict with Major League Baseball’s postseason schedule. But as they near the completion of this selection process, it looks like Snitker has maintained the early advantage he had on the two external candidates—Bud Black and Ron Washington.
Posted: October 11, 2016 at 08:26 AM | 5 comment(s)
Sunday, October 02, 2016
I guess Ventura isn’t going to last after all.
Ventura is also respected by players and the organization as a sound baseball man and steady leader. The players competed hard to the end despite being out of contention for all of September. In Ventura’s defense, he managed teams his last four years that were too thin on talent and depth beneath a solid core.
Perhaps Renteria can do better, although the direction the Sox will take this offseason — rebuild, go for it or somewhere in between — is not yet known.
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)
for his generous support.
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