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Managers – Should they stay or should they go now – 1

Spring Training; a time of renewal. All 30 teams are even, their outlook is bright, and every team knows they will go 162-0. Those feelings carry over to opening day. But after a day or two, it’s obvious some teams will be out of the playoff race by June. So, what managers are likely to get fired? Who has more security than the President and who will be on the hot seat all season long? I’m glad you asked. Below is part 1 of a 2-part series that concludes on Friday.


Category: John Rocker (No-Brainer) 

Ned Yost (KC): There’s no doubt that Ned Yost, at times, makes some very strange in-game decisions. That being said, Yost was the manager of last year’s World Series champions, the Kansas City Royals. Unless the Royals were to go completely in the tank or Yost started having off-the-field behavior issues similar to that of Billy Martin, it’s unlikely he needs to worry about job security.

Category: Like DJ Khaled, all I do is win 

Bruce Bochy (SF)When he was an American League catcher, Bochy had one of the largest sized caps in baseball. Now he’s got the biggest ring collection of any active manager. One of the worst decisions made by the San Diego Padres was to let Bochy go north to the Bay area. Since then, the San Francisco Giants won the World Series in 2010, 2012, and 2014…which means the other 29 teams had better watch out because the Giants are due to win again.

Category: Connie Mack never had it this good

Mike Scioscia (LAA)The former LA Dodgers catcher took over the LA Angels club in 2000 when the team was known as the Anaheim Angels. Two years later, he was at the helm when the Angels beat Barry Bonds and the San Francisco Giants for their one-and-only World Series championship.

Scioscia’s squads have won six AL West division titles in his 16 years, topped the 100-win mark once, and passed 90 wins a half-dozen times. Scioscia’s teams have finished below .500 just three times in his tenure, and he has won the AL Manager of the Year Award twice, in 2002 and 2009.

Like the contracts of so many of today’s players, Scioscia’s current contract, which runs through 2018, enabled him to opt out after the 2015 season. There was a strong possibility of it occurring due to the feud between Scioscia and GM Jerry DiPoto, but DiPoto resigned during the season and Scioscia will be back for 2016 and beyond.

Joe Girardi (NYY): The Yankees’ manager probably would have been a one (year) and done casualty had he managed during George Steinbrenner’s heyday. After all, in his first season as manager, the Yankees didn’t make the playoffs for the first time in 13 years. However, a year later the Yankees won their 28th World Series championship, with Girardi adding a World Series ring to the three he had won as a player in NY. Things have been up and down since then for a number of reasons – suspensions, the loss of star free agents, and ownership’s slash of the team’s payroll – and the team’s won-loss record has been directly impacted.

That being said, Girardi has done a fine job of getting the most out of a shaky pitching staff and an injury-prone offense. Ownership and GM Brian Cashman both love him. So unless things really fall apart, Girardi isn’t going anywhere, at least not until his contract runs out after the 2017 season.

Category: It’s now or never, or maybe next year

Joe Maddon (CHC): Kris Bryant, Jake Arrieta, Kyle Schwarber, Jason Heyward, Anthony Rizzo, Jorge Soler, Addison Russell, Jose Baez. Those are just some of the young guns that Maddon has to work with. Unlike the teams he managed in Tampa Bay, the Cubs are a pretty balanced team. With Jon Lester and Arrieta anchoring the pitching staff, Maddon may make his second trip back to the World Series. That could mean that the Cubs might finally break the curse of the billy goat. The Cubs have to win one of these days, don’t they?

Category: Another hurdle to get over

Clint Hurdle (PIT): After parts of eight seasons at the helm of the Colorado Rockies, Hurdle is in his sixth year running the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates fan base is about as excited as they have been in years after last season’s 98-win performance. It was a double disappointment last year, however, when the Pirates not only lost the NL Central division (St. Louis won 100 games), but they also lost in the one-game Wild Card playoff to the Cubs. Hurdle will have to battle the Cards and Cubs again, but he could come out on top.

Category: I’m a rocket man

Mike Matheny (STL): If you are a Major League manager, you want to take the path that Matheny’s Cardinals have taken in his four years as the team’s leading man. His teams have averaged 93 wins per season and made it to the NLCS three times, with one NL pennant. Last year’s team won 100 games but got steamrolled by the Cubs in a four-game division series. Look for Matheny to once again compete for NL Manager of the Year, in which he placed second last season.


Category: Welcome to the new year, sophomores
Whether your high school started with freshman or sophomore year, when you were a sophomore you felt like you were moving up in the world. This collection of sophomore managers hope they make it to their junior prom.

Kevin Cash (TB), Paul Molitor (MIN)Craig Counsell (MIL) and Chip Hale (AZ) were all first-year managers last season. Counsell came in after Ron Roenicke was fired as manager of the Brewers, just 25 games into the season. The team won 68 games, 61 of them under Counsell, (who has just started his first spring training as a manager). He was a beloved, scrappy player in his 16-year Major League career and he’ll get a legitimate shot to help turn the Brewers around.

Molitor was a Hall of Fame player, who spent 15 years with the Brewers and the last three years of his 21-year career with the Twins. One of the best hitters in the game, Molitor had mild success in his first year as the Twins’ manager. The team finished 83-79 and is expected to contend for a playoff spot this season.

Cash is another ex-catcher who became a manager. He led the Rays to an 80-82 record in his first year as the head honcho in the dugout. The Rays, as usual, have a bevy of young talented players, good starting pitching, a decent bullpen, and not nearly enough hitting. There have to be times when the Rays’ one true offensive star, Evan Longoria, wants to run away from home. The non-offensive players will keep the team in contention, which means Cash keeps his job.

Hale’s first year saw a 16-win improvement from the 2014 season and more is expected from the team this year. The Diamondbacks should, at the very least, compete for a Wild Card. You might say they will be hale and hearty. Or, maybe you won’t.

Category: You’d better watch your back

Don Mattingly (MIA): “Donnie Baseball” was fired by the LA Dodgers after five seasons as the team’s manager. Under Mattingly, the team won three straight NL West divisions, but they were eliminated in the NLCS in 2013, and in the divisional round the last two seasons. Now, Mattingly works for the Miami Marlins under an owner that can’t be trusted. Jeffrey Loria has a bad reputation for many reasons. He convinced the tax-paying voters/fans (who never show up for games) to build him a new stadium. He signed a load of highly-paid free agents to draw crowds, then quickly dumped his high-priced players when the team didn’t earn enough wins. Loria also goes through managers like an old version of George Steinbrenner. Mattingly is the team’s eighth manager since 2006 (when Loria hired and then fired his NL Manager of the year, Joe Girardi).

Category: Netflix and Chill, Newbies

Andy Green  (SD) Scott Servais (SEA) and Dave Roberts (LAD) are all Major League rookie managers. They would have to screw up at a monumental rate to not make it through their first year.


Category: Livin’ on a prayer (maybe make that the entire Bible)

Brad Ausmus (DET): The manager of the Detroit Tigers is lucky to be putting on a Detroit Tigers uniform for the third year. Detroit was expected to compete for the AL Central title last year. But after a 9-1 start, the team won just 65 more games the rest of the season and were sellers at the trade deadline. Gone from the start of last season are starting pitcher David Price, outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, relievers/closers Joe Nathan and Joakim Soria, catcher Alex Avila and center fielder Austin Jackson.

The team gave huge free agent contracts to outfielder Justin Upton and starting pitcher Jordan Zimmerman. There is still a strong nucleus of the squad, so if they stumble, Ausmus will most certainly take a tumble.

Category: Quack Quack- So, you got anything to fall back on?

Walt Weiss (COL): You guessed it…the Colorado Rockies manager is a lame duck, in the final year of his contract. The Rockies haven’t given Weiss much hope in continuing as manager past the 2016 season. After a 74-win campaign, which resulted in a last-place finish in the NL West, the Rockies won just 66 and 68 games the last two seasons. In the last three seasons, they have had two last-place finishes and one second-to-last place finish.

Things aren’t looking good for the coming season for a number of reasons, some of which are the fault of the front office and some because of extenuating circumstances. All-Star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and his big contract was dealt last season to Toronto (at the trade deadline) for fellow shortstop Jose Reyes. Many people thought the Rockies didn’t get enough back for “Tulo”, but now the Rockies may have no return. Reyes was arrested on domestic abuse charges and has been suspended indefinitely by MLB.

Trade rumors persist for outfielder Carlos Gonzalez who, along with Nolan Arenado, are the offensive stars of the team. The starting pitching is nothing to write home about, and the bullpen is questionable. Translation: Weiss could be collecting unemployment by July 4.

Robin Ventura (CHW): Like Weiss, Ventura is in the final year of his contract with the Chicago White Sox. Outside of an 85-win season and a second-place finish in the AL Central division in his first year as manager, the White Sox have finished last or next-to-last in the past three seasons.

The White Sox have a superstar in starting pitcher Chris Sale and have added slugger Todd Frazier to help Jose Abreu in the lineup. But new second baseman Brett Lawrie is shaky and shortstop Jimmy Rollins doesn’t have a whole lot left in the tank. Ventura could be one of the first managers to be out of work.

Bryan Price (CIN) : The Cincinnati Reds manager is in his third and final year of his initial contract. Whether he gets another contract or the old heave-ho remains to be seen. The team went from 76 wins in Pryce’s first year to just 64 last season, with only a slight improvement is expected this season. The team already dealt Johnny Cueto (at the trade deadline) and Todd Frazier (off-season), and outfielder Jay Bruce may be next. Price may make it through the season, but the guillotine is still likely to fall.

That concludes part I of our managerial dissection.  Tune in tomorrow, same bat time, same bat channel. (If you don’t know the reference, ask your parents.)