5 Major League Baseball Managers on the Hot Seat Heading into the New Year
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There are very few Major League Baseball managers gifted with the privilege of job security.
Major League Baseball’s coaching carousel has been fully operational over the last few months as teams scramble to find viable candidates for the job.
With the Blue Jays’ hiring of ex-manager John Gibbons last month, the carousel seems to have come to an abrupt halt, but managers should be far from convinced they’ll still be there in October.
With next season just three months away, there are a number of coaches whose seats are getting too hot to sit in.
Here are five Major League Baseball managers on the hot seat heading into next season.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly.
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With a disappointing and underachieving 2012 season in the rear view, Don Mattingly has a lot to prove as manager of the Dodgers next season.
It begins with the fundamentals.
Over the course of the season, Mattingly’s managing style has been criticized for things like taking Matt Kemp’s bat out of the game and familiarity with rules every manager should be accustomed to.
In 2010 Mattingly was charged with two mound visits, spurring a Giants ninth inning comeback.
Mattingly’s relationship with Kemp has also been questionable after Kemp was pulled from a game in August.
This season the Dodgers will play all 162 games with their all-star lineup and stellar pitching rotation collected through the August megadeal with the Red Sox, as well as a few significant offseason moves.
Don’t be surprised if Mattingly gets pulled mid-season if the Dodgers continue where they left off.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia
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Mike Scioscia has always been known as one of the geniuses of the game, but his tenure in Los Angeles could come to an end in 2013.
With an offensive arsenal consisting of Rookie of the Year Mike Trout, offseason acquisition Josh Hamilton, Albert Pujols and Mark Trumbo, Scioscia needs to win to keep his job.
In 2012, the Angles were pushed out of a playoff spot by a resurgent Athletics squad and the World Series worthy Tigers.
While the news is the acquisition of Josh Hamilton, the most important offseason moves for the Angels may have been what they’ve done to fix a broken bullpen.
The Angels pen ranked 22 in the majors in ERA, costing them games and a spot in the playoffs.
Now, with a few offseason deals, which included acquiring Ryan Madson and Sean Burnett, the Angels are more than prepared to make a World Series run.
If Scioscia is unable to piece together the puzzle, the Angels will not hesitate to bring in new leadership.
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez.
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Like the Dodgers and Angels, the Braves were a team with high expectations going into the 2012 season.
While able to make the playoffs, they fell victim to the one game Wild Card showdown against the Cardinals.
Next season the Braves return with a similar roster, but with one notable addition: B.J. Upton.
Upton, who batted .246 with 28 home runs, 78 RBI and 31 stolen bases, will fill the hole in center for the Braves and will be a threat in the leadoff spot.
Fredi Gonzalez will also have the keys to a rotation of excellent young talent and one of the best bullpens in all of baseball.
If the Braves aren’t playing baseball in late October, Gonzalez will likely not return as manager in 2014.
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel.
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The Phillies were by far the biggest disappointment in baseball last season.
Fueled by mostly chronic injuries, the Phillies posted an 81-81 record, rather impressive for a team that sat in the bottom of the NL East at the All-Star break.
Philadelphia finished out the season 44-31, good enough for Manuel to utilize his job security.
Next season, Manuel won’t get a free pass if the Phillies struggle.
With additions like Ben Revere, Michael Young and John Lannan to a roster that already includes guys like Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard, there’s no excuse for this team not to succeed next season.
Charlie Manuel is beloved by fans, but like Andy Reid, if you don’t win in Philadelphia, you’ll find yourself on the way out.
Royals manager Ned Yost.
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After years of bad baseball, Ned Yost and Kansas City fans finally have what looks like a somewhat formidable roster that could make a run in a lackluster division next season.
Including their deal for James Shields this month, their rotation will in clue Jeremy Guthrie, Wade Davis, Ervin Santana and Bruce Chen.
The above average rotation will be able to do some real damage in a division, other than Detroit, that lacks good starting pitching.
Yost, who’s going into his fourth stint in Kansas City, will find himself jobless if the Royals fail to post a record above .500.
They’ve grown talent, made the appropriate trades and had a relatively successful offseason; it’s time for the Royals to perform.