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   1. Dag Nabbit: Sockless Psychopath Posted: August 30, 2006 at 07:55 PM (#2161933)
Depends what one means by players' manager I think.

The problem, well, a problem the Cubs are having right now with Baker is that players aren't being taking to task in public or in private. Baker will blame anything other than the games on the team for the season's problems in interviews, and though I don't know for sure what he says behind closed doors, it certainly doesn't seem like he calls them out there either. A lot of times the press judges a guy a players' manager or arse kicker based on what he says to the press about a player. Going as far back as the early 20th century Connie Mack was the genteel players' manager, but he did hold his players accountable. He just did it in one-on-one conversations. John McGraw was the dictator that would rip out a players arteries with his teeth and let the blood spew on his other players in full view of the public if he wanted to. It ain't really a matter of players' manager or dictator as far as I can tell. It's a matter of holding them accountable. Ain't seeing it happen now, but a players' manager type could do it.
   2. CFiJ Posted: August 30, 2006 at 08:47 PM (#2161995)
Well, there's a taskmaster who lights a fire under a club, and then there's a control freak who alienates everybody. As near as I can tell, the doubts about Girardi run toward whether he's too authoritarian to be a good manager.
   3. Kiko Sakata Posted: August 30, 2006 at 09:04 PM (#2162018)
As near as I can tell, the doubts about Girardi run toward whether he's too authoritarian to be a good manager.

From what I can tell (here in Chicago, so who knows how accurate my take is), Girardi's players seem to like him - at least that's the impression I got from an article linked here the other day. Certainly it's troubling that a guy who's gotten a team to overachieve as much as the Marlins have this year was practically fired mid-season. But I'm willing to chalk that up to Loria being an ass.
   4. Who Swished In Your Cornflakes? Posted: August 30, 2006 at 09:37 PM (#2162044)
A recent article I read on the Girardi/Loria drama made a sensible observation. The observation was that for young, inexperienced players, an authoritarian manager's style can get them going and really lift their spirits through hard work and perseverance. However, as the players become more established, the "attention-to-everything" style from that same manager can become grating.

I'd like to see Girardi keep managing that young ballclub for a better idea of just how authoritarian and nitpicky he can be, and to what extent his players will tolerate it. I think that if things play out like they seem, Girardi will be fired and the next time a team takes a flyer on him, taking that article's point into account, they may be in for a risky proposition.
   5. dcsmyth1 Posted: August 30, 2006 at 09:53 PM (#2162058)
Ozzie Guillen seems to have a pretty effective way of handling the authoritarian/players manager dichotomy. He is not that much older than the players, and because of his "immaturity" he comes off to them as not too different. Yet he is also a guy who will try to tell it like it is, and won't tolerate too much BS from the players.

Of course, you can't manage like Ozzie unless you *are* Ozzie. But guys like Girardi should be paying attention.
   6. paytonrules Posted: August 30, 2006 at 10:04 PM (#2162060)
<quote>Wouldn’t an authoritarian from the Buck Showalter mold be just the type of manager the media and fans would want the Cubs to look for?</quote>

Fans maybe - as a group "we" tend to be reactionary. Don Baylor wasn't an established manager? GET DUSTY! Dusty is too player-friendly? Get a dictator! The team certainly needs improvement from it's manager - but re-acting to the polar opposite isn't good either.
   7. Andere Richtingen Posted: August 30, 2006 at 10:30 PM (#2162080)
I don't have a problem with the idea of Girardi, or anyone else, for being no-nonsense.

My thinking is that Girardi is learning on the job, and if he's going to be any good as a manager, he's going to learn from his own mistakes. That would include doing things like hanging Jason Johnson out to dry like he did against the Cubs earlier this season, and learning which battles are worth fighting in trying to control his clubhouse.

That said, I can't imagine him working in the context of the Cubs organization if he's a call-it-like-he-sees-it kind of guy. The Cubs are going to want someone who will toe the line and not question what they do.
   8. Kiko Sakata Posted: August 30, 2006 at 10:37 PM (#2162086)
That said, I can't imagine him working in the context of the Cubs organization if he's a call-it-like-he-sees-it kind of guy. The Cubs are going to want someone who will toe the line and not question what they do.

Hendry seems pretty willing to roll over and do Dusty's bidding. Or at least that's the charitable view many of us have given Hendry's decisions with regards to Neifi, Macias, and others of their ilk. He could be more inclined to want to call the shots with a younger manager, but in general, Hendry seems to not be too inclined to tell the manager how to do his job.
   9. Kiko Sakata Posted: August 30, 2006 at 10:39 PM (#2162087)
Following up on #8, how is Girardi's relationship with Beinfest in Florida? Because the Cubs don't really have somebody in the Loria role that seems (again, based on my reading from afar) to be the source of Girardi's problems.
   10. Andere Richtingen Posted: August 30, 2006 at 10:43 PM (#2162090)
Hendry seems pretty willing to roll over and do Dusty's bidding.

That's not how I see it working. I think they're willful co-conspirators, and Hendry fully vetted Dusty's POV before hiring him.
   11. Kiko Sakata Posted: August 30, 2006 at 10:50 PM (#2162097)
That's not how I see it working. I think they're willful co-conspirators, and Hendry fully vetted Dusty's POV before hiring him.

That could be. As I said, I was giving "the charitable view" of Hendry. If Hendry's a "willful co-conspirator" and he's hiring Dusty's replacement, then we're doomed. I also think that makes it fairly unlikely that he'd hire Girardi, but I don't know - it's hard to have a feel for what Girardi's "POV" is based on one year.
   12. Hack Wilson Posted: August 30, 2006 at 11:16 PM (#2162126)
If you're gonna go for an ex-Yankee catcher get the one with the most rings and the most managing experience.

The new Cub manager:.... Yogi Berra

and the Aflac duck would be a substantial upgrade over Hendry
   13. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: August 31, 2006 at 02:32 AM (#2162586)
and the Aflac duck would be a substantial upgrade over Hendry


At least it could hook up the Cubs with insurence for the inevitable injuries.
   14. Walt Davis Posted: August 31, 2006 at 08:17 AM (#2162827)
I would like a "professional" manager -- one who holds players accountable, doesn't throw any of them under the bus with the press, answers questions about his 3B getting hit in the head with a popup with something like "of course that was a screwup, you ever watched a baseball game? But that's just a one-time dumb mistake. It's the mistakes we make every day that upset me." And yeah, if it occasionally takes showing up a player publicly to get their attention (a la Cox pulling Jones mid-inning all those years ago), then so be it. And of course a manager who has enough sense to distribute playing time intelligently and is going to work hard to prepare for and address injuries and other contingencies.

I'll grant you, I'm not sure who fits my bill other than Cox. LaRussa I suppose despite my instinctual dislike of the guy. Bochy? Scioscia (no I don't like his philosophy much either)? Maybe Davey Johnson or Larry Dierker but I don't think those are realistic possibilities. But no, I don't want a Larry Bowa type. Far as I know, Showalter doesn't call out his players in the media regularly, so I can live with that type. But how about a manager that doesn't seek the media spotlight, keeps the media heat off his players as best as possible, and doesn't inflame stupid controversies about what the broadcasters say.

And of course I'd like to see that manager teamed up with a good, smart, professional GM.

Anyway, the Cubs have been enough of a circus the last few years and I don't think a tough-guy routine will be a step in the right direction.

Plus this is baseball. The drill sergeant bit might work in football or hockey. But "let's show them how tough we are by going out there and hitting the cutoff man" just isn't inspiring.

OK, I seem to have wandered off from authoritarian to tough guy -- not quite the same thing.

How about this? I don't want some authoritarian manager sitting Aramis Ramirez for a week because he didn't run out a popup.
   15. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: August 31, 2006 at 01:52 PM (#2162925)
The observation was that for young, inexperienced players, an authoritarian manager's style can get them going and really lift their spirits through hard work and perseverance. However, as the players become more established, the "attention-to-everything" style from that same manager can become grating.

I always thought the observation was that authoritarians tended to have better success when they are first hired, but then became less effective when the team grew used to them -- regardless of how old/experienced the players are.

Anyway, it seems to me that if the media is beating the drums for a red-ass guy, then an authoritarian may be just what they want. The team is full of either young, impressionable kids, or veterans who could use a kick in the rear. (Jacque Jones, I'm looking at you.)

Speaking of Jones, I'm struggling to think of a Cub I've seen in my lifetime who, as an established MLB veteran, consistently displays complete idiocy on the basepaths, consistently makes fundamental mistakes, and despite having a powerful arm, consistently makes throws of less than 50 feet -- in other words, doing less with more, while remaining in perfect health.
   16. Clute Posted: August 31, 2006 at 03:14 PM (#2163033)
Better players are going to help more than a different type of manager and that is the providence of the GM. The question you have to ask yourself, "Is Hendry the guy to do it?" Of course with his two year extension is he capable of understanding what we need or have the authority to actually sign the players we need.
   17. Kiko Sakata Posted: August 31, 2006 at 03:22 PM (#2163044)
Speaking of Jones, I'm struggling to think of a Cub I've seen in my lifetime who, as an established MLB veteran, consistently displays complete idiocy on the basepaths, consistently makes fundamental mistakes, and despite having a powerful arm, consistently makes throws of less than 50 feet -- in other words, doing less with more, while remaining in perfect health.

The obvious comp is Moises Alou, but Alou was a much better hitter and also wasn't nearly as bad at baserunning and fielding (although he was bad at both).

In a way, Jones is fascinating, because he's got such glaring weaknesses - he can't hit lefties, he can't hit with two strikes (at one point, he was like 0-53 when the count got to 0-2), he can't throw, he can't run the bases - and yet, overall, he's probably an average player. For a smart team, that actually would give the Cubs a great opportunity to really improve the team tremendously fairly cheaply. Find a right-handed hitting, good-fielding, good-baserunning right fielder and plug him in as Jacque's platoon partner/pinchrunner/defensive replacement and all of a sudden the Cubs would likely have as much production in right field as anybody in the National League (unless I'm forgetting somebody obvious). Even if you had to use two guys - one platoon partner and a second guy to pinch-run/play defense - that would still probably be a great use of resources. Too bad the Cubs would never do something that clever.
   18. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: August 31, 2006 at 03:27 PM (#2163049)
The obvious comp is Moises Alou, but Alou was a much better hitter and also wasn't nearly as bad at baserunning and fielding (although he was bad at both).

See, I think Alou was every bit as lousy of a baserunner as Jones, but a better fielder. He didn't have the range Jones has, but his arm was at least fairly accurate.

With Jones, it seems that everytime the ball is hit to him, he gets flustered and in haste throws a 5-hopper back to the infield. I have to think that he hasn't always been this way; otherwise, I'm amazed he wasn't turned into a DH.


Find a right-handed hitting, good-fielding, good-baserunning right fielder and plug him in as Jacque's platoon partner/pinchrunner/defensive replacement and all of a sudden the Cubs would likely have as much production in right field as anybody in the National League (unless I'm forgetting somebody obvious).

If only Murton was better defensively . . .
   19. John Lowenstein Apathy Club Posted: August 31, 2006 at 04:37 PM (#2163137)
"let's show them how tough we are by going out there and hitting the cutoff man" just isn't inspiring

OK, that was brilliantly pathetic. The Cubs manager in the novel I'm developing is definitely using that line.

Find a right-handed hitting, good-fielding, good-baserunning right fielder and plug him in as Jacque's platoon partner/pinchrunner/defensive replacement and all of a sudden the Cubs would likely have as much production in right field as anybody in the National League

I know how sad it is to talk about your fantasy team, but my DMB team did this with Jones this season; he's platooning with Mike Cameron. Performance has not been good, but in theory, it's great. :)
   20. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: August 31, 2006 at 05:41 PM (#2163258)
OK, that was brilliantly pathetic. The Cubs manager in the novel I'm developing is definitely using that line.


It's going to be hard to find a title for your book. "The Comedy of Errors" is already taken.
   21. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 31, 2006 at 05:44 PM (#2163263)
As is "A Confederancy of Dunces."
   22. JPWF13 Posted: August 31, 2006 at 05:46 PM (#2163270)
I always thought the observation was that authoritarians tended to have better success when they are first hired, but then became less effective when the team grew used to them -- regardless of how old/experienced the players are.


I think both are true- Authoritarians have more success at first AND they have more success in general with younger rather than older players.

Authoritarians yend to have more success in College than the Pros for the same reasons- the players are younger, and generally speaking by the time they've had it with the coach- well their time is up any way.

Also not all authoritarian copaches are the same- the common denominator may be the "my way or the highway" approach- but some have an idea of proportionality and importance- whil some just engage in chickenshit stuff.
   23. Flynn Posted: August 31, 2006 at 06:20 PM (#2163347)
Authoritarians yend to have more success in College than the Pros for the same reasons- the players are younger, and generally speaking by the time they've had it with the coach- well their time is up any way.

Also young guys need an authoritarian more because they're in an unfamiliar environment and are less certain of when to take liberties. Veterans usually know how that all works and don't need a daddy type watching over them.
   24. paytonrules Posted: August 31, 2006 at 10:31 PM (#2163851)
If only Murton was better defensively . . .

Check out the Baseball Prospectus defensive stats. He's not as bad as we all think:
AdjG Rate RAR RAA Rate2 RAR2 RAA2 BatOut EQR
93.0 112 17 11 113 22 12 254 44

Rate2 implies he's above average. Go figger.
   25. Walt Davis Posted: September 01, 2006 at 05:02 AM (#2164353)
As are:

Send in the Clowns
Less than Zero
Fiasco
Bored of the Rings
Alice in Wonderland
101 Reasons to love the Cubs

Also apparently: Necrofiles and Necrofiles II

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