Out With The Old, In With The New: 10 Offseason MLB Managerial Changes
The 2010 MLB offseason definitely will be known as one of the busiest in terms of managerial moves and firings. Some the of the games best might call it quits and it will certainly be the end of an era in baseball.
We've already had a pair of managers who seem very much safe in the Royals' Ned Yost and Orioles' Buck Showalter.
Come Opening Day 2011, we will have seen a 60 percent of the managers from the 2010 Opening Day, an amazing and shocking drop from 40 percent.
The offseason will feature many moves and hirings that will be the start of new eras in ball clubs around baseball and here are those managers on the fringe:
The Obvious Suspects
Let's begin with the obvious names, now, these people have either officially said they are retiring at seasons end or are more than likely leaning towards not returning back with their respective teams:
- Atlanta Braves: Bobby Cox (Likely Replacement: Fredi Gonzalez)
- Toronto Blue Jays: Cito Gaston (Likely Replacement: Brian Butterfield)
- Chicago Cubs: Lou Pinella (Likely Replacement: Ryne Sandberg)
- St. Louis Cardinals: Tony LaRussa (Likely Replacement: Jose Oquendo)
- Los Angeles Dodgers: Joe Torre (Likely Replacement: Don Mattingly)
Now, out of these names, Joe Torre and Tony LaRussa have not said they are retiring but the duo are likely to either take a year or so off or manage another team with a managerial opening. Yet, I can't envision LaRussa leaving a team like St. Louis with Albert Pujols and Adam Wainwright.
New York Mets
Departing Manager: Jerry Manuel
Arriving Candidates: Joe Torre (LAD) , Tony Pena (NYY), Don Mattingly (LAD), Bobby Valentine
Reason: Jerry Manuel managed well enough to remain with the Mets to see the opening of Citi Field. Yet he has labored through his first two full seasons as Met manager, he struggled in 2009 in part because of injuries to Carlos Delgado, Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes, and Johan Santana and the struggles of David Wright didn't help either. Yet, look at Terry Francona, he has fielded a winning product this season despite not having his best players. It's not a great comparison but yet Manuel had a second shot, returning in 2010.
2010 hasn't quite worked out either, after a pretty good two and a half months or so into the season, the Mets have taken a nose dive in the standings and have paved the way for Jerry Manuel's exit. He could also be taking general manager Omar Minaya with him.
Departing Manager: John Russell
Arriving Candidates: Eric Wedge, Willie Randolph (MIL), Jose Oquendo (STL)
Reason: Oh the torture, it has to stop, this team has not been a .500 team is 1992, thats essentially since I was born. Perhaps I'm a curse? Likely not, but the last time the Pirates were winning they had a franchise player in Barry Bonds and they had made three consecutive trips to the NLCS, only to lose all of them.
The other thing is they also haven't won 80 games in that stretch so they haven't been real close in achieving their goal of winning. It's obvious that this team needs to win. Imagine 20 consecutive losing seasons of baseball in Pittsburgh, a team entrenched in tradition with the likes of Roberto Clemente, Danny Murtaugh, Bill Mazeroski, and Barry Bonds (pre-controversy).
Twenty years is too much, it's not that this team hasn't made the playoffs since '92 but they just haven't won. There recent moves won't help them move forward, they must build from the draft and draft the right players and sign players to contracts rather than letting them go. John Russell is just a victim of the Pirates curse and he hasn't undone it.
Departing Manager: Edwin Rodriguez
Arriving Candidates: Ted Simmons (SD), Bobby Valentine, Tony Pena, Bryan Price (CIN)
Reason: Only a playoff berth can save Edwin Rodriguez from a sure axing by the Marlins. Of course, this wasn't E-Rod's job to have and really was only suppose to have it on a interim basis. The Marlins brass had conflict from within and it didn't hire their first choice, Bobby Valentine.
I do believe the Marlins, if they feel they are a playoff team will not retain Rodriguez, who doesn't have that much experience. E-Rod might still stay with the Marlins, whether as a bench coach or a trip back to the minor leagues but he is likely not to manage the Marlins because they want an experienced guy coaching.
Departing Manager: Kirk Gibson (interim)
Arriving Candidates: Fredi Gonzalez, Willie Randolph, Bob Brenly, Alan Trammell (CHC)
Reason: Kirk Gibson is only with Arizona on a interim basis and really has not shot of being retained as manager unless the Diamondbacks finish on a unbelieveable run to end the disappointing season.
The Diamondbacks are regressing a bit and have lost their flavor with the loss of Brandon Webb. The team never got to debut its 1-2 punch the rotation and thus fell completely apart. They are in a similar rebuilding mode like in 2004 although this time they have better players to do it in perhaps less time.
Departing Manager: Bob Geren
Arriving Candidates: Orel Hershiser, Willie Randolph, Tony Pena
Reason: Geren was hired in 2007 and has gone 280-313 (as of August 8th) in his tenure in Oakland and that's not a good sign of returning next season in the Bay Area.
The Athletics were a winning team in 2006 but fired a good coach in Ken Macha to hire Geren who has essentially flat lined the Athletics with 75 wins a season and nothing more to show. Those numbers are great considering they don't have a hefty contract in the books to show for it and have lost Rich Harden, Barry Zito, Huston Street, and Tim Hudson throughout the years but this team is better than that. They've had pretty good rosters but to no avail, Jason Giambi, Matt Holliday, Nick Swisher, have all come and gone.
Oakland didn't have a losing season since 1998 when it went 76-86 in 2007 and they have been down that same path since then which is why Geren is likely to see the door this offseason.