I would hire Cal Ripken as manager in a heartbeat. Is it a slam dunk he’ll succeed? Absolutely not. Guess what? Mike Matheny wasn’t a slam dunk, either. Neither was Don Mattingly or Robin Ventura.
There were huge questions about all three of those guys since they had never managed a game at any level. Here’s the deal, though. Unless a team hires a guy with years of Major League managing experience, there are going to be questions.
Just because someone has managed in the Minors or coached third base in the Majors does not necessarily make him more likely to succeed than a Ripken or a Matheny.
Managing a Major League team requires patience, smarts, people skills, toughness, organizational skills, consistency, honesty and strategic knowledge. It’s unclear which of those is the most important. At various times, all are critical.
There’s no way of knowing if a guy can succeed unless he has a chance to do the job. All a team can do is gather as much information as possible and make an educated guess.
At a time when front offices can furnish managers with loads of data about lineups, pitching matchups and defensive alignments, managing a Major League team is more about managing people than ever before. It’s about surrounding himself with competent people, delegating responsibilities and knowing what he doesn’t know.
...Anyway, the point is that Ripken would bring a long list of talents to the dugout. He’d need to be surrounded with a great coaching staff, but the same can be said for every manager on the planet.
In the end, a team looking for a manager would be lucky to have him. And it would be great to have him back in the game.
Posted: October 10, 2013 at 12:06 PM | 25 comment(s)
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