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Tuesday, August 28, 2018

USA TODAY survey: MLB power shift has managers’ salaries in free fall

CHICAGO — Joe Maddon helped lead the Chicago Cubs to the Holy Grail of sports, with a consistent level of success they haven’t seen in a century, but there are whispers his job could be in jeopardy if they don’t play deep into October.

Houston Astros manager A.J. Hinch and Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, who led their teams to the World Series a year ago, have contracts that expire after this season.

Interim managers Mike Shildt and Jim Riggleman, who have done marvelous jobs since taking over the St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds, have no idea whether their gigs will be prolonged or have a September expiration date.

QLE Posted: August 28, 2018 at 07:27 AM | 50 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: managerial openings, managerial search, managers, salaries

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   1. McCoy Posted: August 28, 2018 at 08:29 AM (#5734649)
Who the hell is whispering that maddon's job is in jeopardy? What more do you want out of manager during his tenure?
   2. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: August 28, 2018 at 09:02 AM (#5734658)
Who the hell is saying Jim Riggleman has done a marvelous job?

Though on the flip side, maybe this means he'll give the team an ultimatum and then quit.
   3. Man o' Schwar Posted: August 28, 2018 at 09:02 AM (#5734659)
Not a chance they get rid of Maddon. 3 seasons, 3 trips to the NLCS, 1 WS win, and likely headed to the playoffs again this year? Most wins in a season (in 2016) since 1910?

Who's the last Cub manager to take the team to the postseason 4 years in a row? Nobody. Frank Chance did 4 out of 5 about 110 years ago.

The players seem to love him, the fans definitely love him. There would be a total mutiny if Maddon was let go after the Cubs win another division crown. No one in the front office is that tone deaf.
   4. TomH Posted: August 28, 2018 at 09:09 AM (#5734662)
To pile on, even if the Cubs slump in Sep, snag a wild card spot and lose the play-in game, and rumors come out Maddon is ruining Javy Baez who went 15-for-his-last-100 whil swinging at balls in the dirt, you don't let Maddon go.
   5. TomH Posted: August 28, 2018 at 09:13 AM (#5734665)
As to salaries, I'd like to see a table/chart/graph of avg manager salary in 1993-1998-2003-2008-2013-2018 instead of anecdotes. As well as length of contracts. Then maybe we could coherently discuss if they are in "freefall".
   6. TomH Posted: August 28, 2018 at 09:14 AM (#5734666)
As to salaries, I'd like to see a table/chart/graph of avg manager salary in 1993-1998-2003-2008-2013-2018 instead of anecdotes. As well as length of contracts. Then maybe we could coherently discuss if they are in "freefall".
   7. Stormy JE Posted: August 28, 2018 at 09:19 AM (#5734668)
Who the hell is whispering that maddon's job is in jeopardy?
Nightengale wrote the piece. Nuff said.
   8. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: August 28, 2018 at 09:31 AM (#5734675)
Yeah this is a little questionable. This paragraph jumped at me though;

The days of Walter Alston, Tommy Lasorda, Cox and Scioscia are over. Teams don’t dole out 10-year, $50 million contracts anymore like Angels owner Arte Moreno provided Scioscia. No one earns $7.5 million a year like Joe Torre did 11 years ago with the New York Yankees.


I realize it's not quite linked but to mention Alston one sentence before referencing a 10 year contract for a manager seems a bit off. The Scioscia deal itself, I'll ask Angel fans if they are happy with that? My perception is that they are not.

Similarly Torre, whatever you want to say, won 4 World Series titles, 6 pennants and about 10 consecutive division titles. That he had an unusually high salary isn't hard to understand.

Also, this;

Boone left the ESPN broadcast booth to sign a three-year, $3.75 million contract with the Yankees last winter. Alex Cora of the Red Sox is earning $4 million over four years.

It’s a far cry from the 10-year, $100 million deal the Oakland Raiders paid to lure Jon Gruden from the ESPN booth, or the 10-year, $75 million deal Texas A&M gave football coach Jimbo Fisher to leave Florida State.


is a delightful bit of apples to oranges comparisons. Gruden and Fisher are both experienced coaches with track records (and I think the Gruden contract is idiotic). Cora and Boone are both first timers.

With all that said I think we ARE at a crossroads for managers. There certainly seems to be a trend toward younger managers and a willingness to accept alternate ways of doing things is something that teams are going to value. Three playoff teams from last year hired first time managers this winter (Cora, Boone, Martinez) so there is going to be some drop off in salary.

This article is crying out for the full on FireJoeMorgan treatment because every paragraph has an easy counterpoint. Nightengale's larger point that managers' salaries aren't rising in conjunction with revenues and the big name manager is being phased out are probably valid. But the way he gets there is just questionable at best.
   9. SoSH U at work Posted: August 28, 2018 at 10:30 AM (#5734726)
With all that said I think we ARE at a crossroads for managers. There certainly seems to be a trend toward younger managers and a willingness to accept alternate ways of doing things is something that teams are going to value.


I think general managers increasingly value managers who will do only what they tell them to do.
   10. bobm Posted: August 28, 2018 at 11:15 AM (#5734760)
Compensation of a Manager: The Case of Major League Baseball

[...]

April 2014

[...]

Abstract

In this paper, we are interested in the informational value of Major League Baseball (MLB) managerial compensation on a team’s performance. Using data on manager’s contracts, team performance, and team and manager characteristics, first, we determine the variables that influence a manager's salary. Then, we use a forecasting-type analysis to study the determinants of a manager’s performance, measured by winning percentage, attendance or playoff appearances. We find that a manager's past performance affects his current salary, but his current salary does not affect the team's performance. Our results support the lack of a competitive and efficient market for MLB managers.

[...]

We consider all MLB managers from 1991 onward [through 2013] who were hired by a team. Unlike for players, and for CEOs of public corporations, there is neither a single reliable source for MLB manager salaries nor are they consistently reported. Some teams routinely disclose manager’s salaries, while others seldom do it. Additionally, a manager’s agent may leak the information to the press, likely as a marketing tool, and sometimes, after a manager is fired, the value of the remaining years in the contract is reported by the press. It is rare to see the publication of the complete distribution of MLB managerial salaries for one specific year. One of the few published salary distributions by Sports Illustrated for the year 1987 is used by Khan (1993). He relies on the 1987 Sports Illustrated dataset, also mentioned in Chapman and Southwick (1991), to estimate market salaries from 1969-1987. For this paper, we hand-collected salaries and contract duration from newspapers and internet websites. Our starting point was the Baseball Prospectus Cot's Baseball Salaries website. Then, we checked managing hiring and firing announcements from local and national newspapers, which usually cited AP reports, along with several other websites. We were able to collect 217 manager-contracts with salary information. Bonuses and incentives are, in general, not available. That is, we are forced to focus on a manager’s base salary compensation. As previously discussed, this is not likely problematic due to the absence of moral hazard. Given that contracts are, in general, reported as an aggregate number for the total duration of the contract, we focus on the contract’s annual average salary.

[...]

Table 1 presents the distribution of annual mean manager salaries, along with the annual means of team valuation, team revenue, and player salary. Table 1 shows a large increase in manager’s salaries, with the mean growing at an average annual rate of 9.7% from 1991-2013. This annual increase in managerial salaries is slightly higher than the average annual increase in team’s mean valuations (8.6%), revenues (6.9%) and payroll (7.8%) over our sample.


Link to PDF
   11. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: August 28, 2018 at 11:24 AM (#5734764)
Who the hell is saying Jim Riggleman has done a marvelous job?

Virtually everyone? Whether he has or not is a different question, but he is absolutely getting a ton of credit for how well they've played since he took over.
   12. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 28, 2018 at 11:28 AM (#5734767)
I think general managers increasingly value managers who will do only what they tell them to do.
Would you want a subordinate who refused to implement your plan for his/her department?
   13. SoSH U at work Posted: August 28, 2018 at 11:34 AM (#5734774)
Would you want a subordinate who refused to implement your plan for his/her department?


Do you think it's wise for a supervisor to micromanage every aspect of his subordinate's work?
   14. JL72 Posted: August 28, 2018 at 11:48 AM (#5734780)
I realize it's not quite linked but to mention Alston one sentence before referencing a 10 year contract for a manager seems a bit off.


Agreed. My recollection is that Alston (and Lasorda) were signed to a series of 1-year contracts (Darren Rovell claims it was 1954-83).

So including them does not seem to support the point.
   15. JAHV Posted: August 28, 2018 at 11:52 AM (#5734783)
I realize it's not quite linked but to mention Alston one sentence before referencing a 10 year contract for a manager seems a bit off. The Scioscia deal itself, I'll ask Angel fans if they are happy with that? My perception is that they are not.


I think your perception is largely correct, although there is a significant portion of the Angels fanbase that will always love Scioscia for the World Series win and the regular season success during the aughts. Most, though, see that contract as having given Scioscia more power than he should have had and led to him being de facto GM for several years (the Reagins era). Then, once the Angels realized they needed a real GM and hired Dipoto, Scioscia didn't take kindly to the GM telling him how to run his team and won handily over Dipoto in the resultant power struggle. Regardless of what you think of Dipoto as a GM, the rift wasn't healthy and was at least partially the result of an entrenched manager with a ton of job security and the ear of the owner digging in further when a guy with new-fangled ideas came around.

I don't think Scioscia is a bad manager. He's worked well with Eppler and has shown signs of adapting with the times the last few years. But I do think it's time for a change, and I think his contract situation played into the front office drama that set the organization back a few years. He has seemed checked out at times over the last month or so, especially now that the Angels are all but eliminated from the playoffs. My guess is that he knows his contract won't be renewed after the season and is playing out the string.
   16. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 28, 2018 at 12:43 PM (#5734855)
Who the hell is whispering that maddon's job is in jeopardy? What more do you want out of manager during his tenure?

What more did Boston want out of Terry Franconia? There's some unfairness built into the job - managers take the fall before the front office or owner almost all of the time.
   17. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: August 28, 2018 at 01:06 PM (#5734885)
Who the hell is saying Jim Riggleman has done a marvelous job?

Virtually everyone? Whether he has or not is a different question, but he is absolutely getting a ton of credit for how well they've played since he took over.


It may be my own internet myopia, but that's not how I've viewed the general response to Riggleman. He has gotten credit for not being Bryan Price. I haven't noticed the radio/TV guys falling over him.
   18. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: August 28, 2018 at 01:08 PM (#5734888)
Sure, if the Cubs have a Red Sox-esque collapse next year, after failing to make the playoffs this year, then maybe the whispers make sense. It hasn't happened yet, so anyone whispering it now is ####### insane. Firing Maddon now would be like firing Tito after 2005.
   19. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 28, 2018 at 01:09 PM (#5734890)
the rift wasn't healthy and was at least partially the result of an entrenched manager with a ton of job security and the ear of the owner digging in further when a guy with new-fangled ideas came around.
It occurs to me that people who have new ideas might have a better chance of getting them accepted more quickly if they can resist the temptation to fangle them.
   20. JAHV Posted: August 28, 2018 at 01:25 PM (#5734908)
It occurs to me that people who have new ideas might have a better chance of getting them accepted more quickly if they can resist the temptation to fangle them.


To be fair, that conflict wasn't completely on Scioscia, even if his lengthy contract enabled it to happen. Dipoto fangled his ideas in ways that were too fangly for others to get behind. There were some serious fangling faux pas committed by the front office. Finally, the fangling went too far, and Dipoto was told to fangle off.
   21. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 28, 2018 at 01:30 PM (#5734910)
It's a common problem. You get so excited about a new idea, you just want to fangle it - that or falute it highly. Either way, it seems to breed resistance.
   22. villageidiom Posted: August 28, 2018 at 01:46 PM (#5734920)
I'd like to see, even just once, a high-fangled GM try some new-falutin' ideas.
   23. Rally Posted: August 28, 2018 at 02:02 PM (#5734930)
I think your perception is largely correct, although there is a significant portion of the Angels fanbase that will always love Scioscia for the World Series win and the regular season success during the aughts. Most, though, see that contract as having given Scioscia more power than he should have had and led to him being de facto GM for several years (the Reagins era). Then, once the Angels realized they needed a real GM and hired Dipoto, Scioscia didn't take kindly to the GM telling him how to run his team and won handily over Dipoto in the resultant power struggle. Regardless of what you think of Dipoto as a GM, the rift wasn't healthy and was at least partially the result of an entrenched manager with a ton of job security and the ear of the owner digging in further when a guy with new-fangled ideas came around.


Scioscia is the greatest manager in team history. If I have to choose between taking his 19 year control of the team or leaving it, I've got to take it. That said, he was the greatest manager in team history after the 2009 season and if there was a metric to rank managers, he hasn't done anything since then to increase it.
   24. JAHV Posted: August 28, 2018 at 02:13 PM (#5734933)
Scioscia is the greatest manager in team history. If I have to choose between taking his 19 year control of the team or leaving it, I've got to take it. That said, he was the greatest manager in team history after the 2009 season and if there was a metric to rank managers, he hasn't done anything since then to increase it.


I agree. I'm not a Scioscia-hater by any stretch. I don't know how much another manager could have done with the pathetic stable of bullpen arms and the UCL disease that Angels starters have all contracted over the last several years. I'm also not usually one who advocates change for the sake of change. Further, Scioscia has seemed to embrace the application of statistical analysis under Eppler more than in the past.

All that said, time is running out to convince Trout that he should stay an Angel for the rest of his career. And if the Angels can upgrade at manager for next season, even marginally, I think they need to do it. I don't think Trout signs an extension unless the team makes the playoffs in 2019.

I think it's more likely that Eric Chavez is the Angels' manager next season than Mike Scioscia, but maybe I'm misreading that.
   25. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 28, 2018 at 02:52 PM (#5734953)
Further, Scioscia has seemed to embrace the application of statistical analysis under Eppler more than in the past.
Is "grudgingly starting to accept using data in the late 2010s" really a point in the guy's favor?
   26. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: August 28, 2018 at 03:35 PM (#5734969)
Scioscia is the greatest manager in team history.

Alternately, he's the guy who happened to be there when a new owner started throwing money around.
   27. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: August 28, 2018 at 03:50 PM (#5734981)
Cards name shlidt full time manager.
   28. JAHV Posted: August 28, 2018 at 03:57 PM (#5734992)
Is "grudgingly starting to accept using data in the late 2010s" really a point in the guy's favor?


It's a step up from "throwing a tantrum every time someone uses the phrase 'batted ball profile.'" If he's using the data the front office wants him to use, then he's fine at this point, despite his past reluctance. I just think it's time for new blood.

Alternately, he's the guy who happened to be there when a new owner started throwing money around.


The list of Angels managers isn't exactly full of legendary names. Gene Mauch is probably the closest you get.
   29. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: August 28, 2018 at 04:03 PM (#5735001)
It's not likely Maddon will leave the Cubs this offseason, but, sure, I could conceive of it. Epstein should never have left Boston. But power struggles happen, and if behind the scenes Maddon gets to (or has gotten to) agitating for more authority at Epstein's expense, sure it could reach "this town ain't big enough for the both of us" territory.
   30. Master of the Horse Posted: August 28, 2018 at 04:11 PM (#5735008)
Is it not possible that Riggleman and Shildt (Cards manager) are seeing their teams do better by not being the last guy? Price had a rep as a hardass and so did Matheny right? Or at least by player standards I don't know these guys personally obviously but a lot of the talk was that both guys didn't have great relationships with the players. Or maybe just the key players on the team. As a Brewer fan this is a well understood thing because twice the Brewers have dumped managers who had bad people skills and both times the teams got a lot better. Ken Macha was hated if you believe everyone around the Brewers because he was good at being himself which was not good for the players or at least if you believed the players
   31. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 28, 2018 at 04:21 PM (#5735017)
1. Team underachieves its perceived level of talent under Manager A.
2. Team fires Manager A, hires Manager B with opposite personality characteristics.
3. Team regresses positively, plays closer to perceived level of talent under Manager B.
4. Causality!!
   32. Rally Posted: August 28, 2018 at 04:32 PM (#5735025)
#26,

That doesn’t explain the best year, 2002. Angels were 8th of 14 AL teams in payroll, and Arte Moreno didn’t buy the team till 2003 and sign big free agents until 2004.

2002 team was heavily home grown. Only significant purchased talent was Kevin Appier, acquired in trade when they got rid of the Mo Vaughn contract.
   33. Rally Posted: August 28, 2018 at 04:36 PM (#5735034)
I’m going to cut Scioscia more slack for 2002 than objective observers might find reasonable. Sometimes that happens when your team plays 58 years and has only 1 ring to show for it. Doesn’t mean he’s necessarily the best choice to lead the team in 2019, but he will always have a certain level of respect from the fans.
   34. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: August 28, 2018 at 04:56 PM (#5735052)
That doesn’t explain the best year, 2002. Angels were 8th of 14 AL teams in payroll, and Arte Moreno didn’t buy the team till 2003 and sign big free agents until 2004.

He managed the same roster to sub-.500 finishes in 2001 and 2003. The sustained success only started after Moreno started throwing around money.
   35. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: August 28, 2018 at 05:12 PM (#5735062)
That doesn’t explain the best year, 2002


Steroids.
   36. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: August 28, 2018 at 05:23 PM (#5735068)
Scott Spiezioids.
   37. QLE Posted: August 28, 2018 at 05:37 PM (#5735078)
That doesn’t explain the best year, 2002.


Unsustainable fielding by Erstad, the one really good year Eckstein ever had, the one year Garret Anderson was good at the bat and in the field at the same time, the one year Adam Kennedy was any good at bat, the one above-average full(ish) season from Brad Fullmer- essentially, the good luck of having a bunch of people having their career years in the same year, which is why it turned out not to be sustainable.
   38. greenback slays lewks Posted: August 28, 2018 at 05:41 PM (#5735080)
Sandfrog?

Is it not possible that Riggleman and Shildt (Cards manager) are seeing their teams do better by not being the last guy? Price had a rep as a hardass and so did Matheny right? Or at least by player standards I don't know these guys personally obviously but a lot of the talk was that both guys didn't have great relationships with the players. Or maybe just the key players on the team.

It's more complicated than that with Matheny, I think. Mainly Matheny seemed too soft on his players, if anything.

AFAICT Matheny's problems with players boiled down to (1) saying Molina looked like he needed a rest (which was pretty obviously true) and Molina acting throwing a temper tantrum, (2) Matheny thinking that a red-ass like Bud Norris should mentor/haze Jordan Hicks (not an awful idea, since Norris was the only veteran in the pen likely to be with the team at midseason, Hicks was 21 with little professional experience, and Matheny has seen some bad stuff with young MLB players such as Ankiel and Taveras), and (3) Tommy Pham was angry with the entire Cardinals organization about everything (which presumably is the reason that Pham was also cast off). The first two were media-driven, and it's fair to say that Matheny did a poor job of controlling the narrative. I guess you could say the same about Matheny not controlling Pham too, but Pham is a bright guy with a big mouth who realized he was getting completely screwed by the remnants of the reserve system. If they fired him over these things, then God help them.
   39. Walt Davis Posted: August 28, 2018 at 05:50 PM (#5735089)
Would you want a subordinate who refused to implement your plan for his/her department?

In the olden days, managers (reportedly) played a key role in the planning and decision-making. The GM might have been the CEO-equivalent but the manager was the chief technical officer and had substantial influence on those decisions. On many teams, the manager is clearly a subordinate role now. We certainly seem to be undergoing a changing of the guard ... and maybe future "manager usage" will make HoF managers very few and far between.

On Maddon ... as noted, if things fall apart now and next year, there will be grumblings but that hasn't happened yet. So the only way I can see him leaving after 2019 is (a) he wants to retire; (b) he wants a 5/$50 contract; or (c) he wants to become a PBO/GM. I haven't noticed any indication of (a) or (c) but you never know. On (b), obviously there's some amount too high for Theo to agree to and some amount too low for Maddon to accept, given other options ... I suspect there's plenty of common ground but obviously don't know.

I can easily see where a currently rebuilding team starts to surge and is willing to toss lots of money at Maddon to take over in 2020 (esp given low player payroll) ... maybe even the White Sox. Or a team that should be winning but isn't, depending on how 2019 goes, maybe the Yanks or Dodgers. In short, if the Cubs want Maddon after 2019, I'd suggest giving him an extension this offseason.
   40. Walt Davis Posted: August 28, 2018 at 06:01 PM (#5735093)
Put another way ... traditionally, even after being let go from his first managerial job, a candidate could argue that he'd learned from that experience and was the right guy for another shot. (See Torre and a billion other recycled managers.) To the extent that today's managers are mostly just doing what the FO tells them to do, there's little autonomy and therefore little benefit to experience. "In my last job, I did what they told me to do, it's not my fault the team stank" is not a winning interview answer. When asked what would you do differently, neither "nothing, I'd just do what I'm told" nor "next time I disagree, I'm gonna do what I want to do" are persuasive arguments.
   41. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 28, 2018 at 06:33 PM (#5735102)
How many managers have won World Series since Scioscia got his in 2002, and still ended up fired? I think it's John Farrell, Joe Girardi, Charlie Manuel, Terry Francona, and Ozzie Guillen. A couple of those guys were better managers than Scioscia, too.
   42. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: August 28, 2018 at 06:56 PM (#5735109)
Unsustainable fielding by Erstad, the one really good year Eckstein ever had, the one year Garret Anderson was good at the bat and in the field at the same time, the one year Adam Kennedy was any good at bat, the one above-average full(ish) season from Brad Fullmer- essentially, the good luck of having a bunch of people having their career years in the same year, which is why it turned out not to be sustainable.


That's what I said. Steroids
   43. PreservedFish Posted: August 28, 2018 at 07:06 PM (#5735113)
2. Team fires Manager A, hires Manager B with opposite personality characteristics.


Teams' habit of replacing Little Napoleons and Peerless Leaders with Uncle Robbies is like a slow-motion good cop/bad cop routine.
   44. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: August 28, 2018 at 08:13 PM (#5735135)
How many managers have won World Series since Scioscia got his in 2002, and still ended up fired? I think it's John Farrell, Joe Girardi, Charlie Manuel, Terry Francona, and Ozzie Guillen. A couple of those guys were better managers than Scioscia, too.

Guillen resigned from the White Sox. Unless you mean how he got fired by the Marlins.
   45. Walt Davis Posted: August 28, 2018 at 10:57 PM (#5735258)
Unsustainable fielding by Erstad, the one really good year Eckstein ever had, the one year Garret Anderson was good at the bat and in the field at the same time, the one year Adam Kennedy was any good at bat, the one above-average full(ish) season from Brad Fullmer- essentially, the good luck of having a bunch of people having their career years in the same year, which is why it turned out not to be sustainable.

You forgot turning into the 27 Yankees in the postseason. Yes, it's an exaggeration but the "contact, small ball" team that hit 152 HR in the regular season hit 24 in 16 postseason games.

I'm surprised it's been so easy for me to forget -- i.e. folks should talk about it more probably -- but Troy Glaus was a beast that postseason. 344/420/770 with 7 HR and 13 RBI, 8 of those in the WS. He was a beast in the 2004 ALDS too. For his postseason career, 9 HR in 88 PA.
   46. SoSH U at work Posted: August 28, 2018 at 11:16 PM (#5735268)

I'm surprised it's been so easy for me to forget -- i.e. folks should talk about it more probably -- but Troy Glaus was a beast that postseason. 344/420/770 with 7 HR and 13 RBI, 8 of those in the WS.


He was the MVP, though it should have gone to Bonds.
   47. Rally Posted: August 29, 2018 at 01:46 PM (#5735573)
essentially, the good luck of having a bunch of people having their career years in the same year, which is why it turned out not to be sustainable.


Of course it wasn't sustainable. Did I mention it was the only championship the team has had in 58 seasons? Scioscia led the team, at best contributed to the once in a lifetime accomplishment, and at worst didn't screw it up.
   48. cardsfanboy Posted: August 29, 2018 at 05:55 PM (#5735830)
It may be my own internet myopia, but that's not how I've viewed the general response to Riggleman. He has gotten credit for not being Bryan Price. I haven't noticed the radio/TV guys falling over him.


Cardinals announcers were fawning over him, before Matheny's firing. I think they were pushing that a change is good argument.
   49. cardsfanboy Posted: August 29, 2018 at 06:18 PM (#5735838)
Is it not possible that Riggleman and Shildt (Cards manager) are seeing their teams do better by not being the last guy? Price had a rep as a hardass and so did Matheny right?


I think it's a mistake to list Matheny in the same sentence as Price. Matheny wasn't really a hard ass, he was a professional, meaning he expected professional standards from his players, and some players didn't get along with that concept, which created a small rift between the players and the coaching staff that grew over a bit of time. It was not toxic, but there was a lack of effort created by the attitudes.

At the same time, Matheny was a much better manager in pretty much every aspect of the game than Price. Matheny took every piece of advice given to him by everyone he talked to, TLR, Oquendo, Jocketty, Red etc. and tried to incorporate as much as he can, while fully acknowledging that he was still learning. (Matheny was the first 'humble' manager, the Cardinals have employed since I was alive... before all of the managers claimed they knew everything, and didn't need to learn....from TLR, Whitey, Torre and the illustrious Vern Rapp.... and then of course the incredibly lazy Red Schoendist, who thought a managers only job was to fill out a lineup card.... Matheny is the first time I've ever heard a manager make a claim that he didn't know everything. It was refreshing. At the same time, since he admitted he didn't know everything, he pulled from all the sources. He didn't run like an idiot, like people wanted him too, he didn't always follow sabermetric wisdom either, because TLR and Oquendo told him that was a fool's errand at times.

Shildt is a tool created by Walt, but we'll see if his ability to create tools is as good as his ability to create rosters.
   50. cardsfanboy Posted: August 29, 2018 at 06:39 PM (#5735855)
AFAICT Matheny's problems with players boiled down to (1) saying Molina looked like he needed a rest (which was pretty obviously true) and Molina acting throwing a temper tantrum, (2) Matheny thinking that a red-ass like Bud Norris should mentor/haze Jordan Hicks (not an awful idea, since Norris was the only veteran in the pen likely to be with the team at midseason, Hicks was 21 with little professional experience, and Matheny has seen some bad stuff with young MLB players such as Ankiel and Taveras), and (3) Tommy Pham was angry with the entire Cardinals organization about everything (which presumably is the reason that Pham was also cast off). The first two were media-driven, and it's fair to say that Matheny did a poor job of controlling the narrative. I guess you could say the same about Matheny not controlling Pham too, but Pham is a bright guy with a big mouth who realized he was getting completely screwed by the remnants of the reserve system. If they fired him over these things, then God help them.


Good summation, but there was already a slight trend in some of those directions, that indicated that Matheny was already losing the clubhouse. I wasn't a fan of the firing happening when it happened, it was premature in my opinion, as Matheny has generally done better in the second half than the first half---partially because he is too nice and has allowed the front office to dictate how he handles the roster the first two months of the season. (which I actually agree with---you need to let players prove themselves or fail to prove themselves before making full time changes to the roster, with a large enough sample size to prove it... So if you have a guy like Dexter Fowler, who has been a 114 ops+ hitter the previous 5 or so seasons, his 58 is more likely to be a fluke and he'll regress to 110 or so over the rest of the season, you have to play him if you are listening to your front office, even if you have a guy like Bader on the bench or O'Neil in the minors... by July it was apparent he was going to return to form so he started to lose playing time, but before that you had to lose games with him on the roster. Same with Carpenter in the first month, same with Ozuna for the first few months, same with Holland, etc... )

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