Manager Under Fire

Hello readers, it seems to me that I have been focusing on teams instead of issues. Sometimes I’ll do that, but here’s something that has caught my eye. Here’s my thoughts on something vital to teams: managers.

You can call them managers. Head coaches. Sideline stalkers. The big cheese. Whatever name you have for them, whatever sport you play, they’re everywhere.

Just recently, the Seattle Mariners released Don Wakamatsu from his duties. Earlier, Baltimore sent Dave Trembley packing. Last season, Eric Wedge was fired after the 2009 season from the Indians. Going a few years back, Jerry Narron was kicked out on July 1st, 2007 from Reds Country. These are all baseball examples, but never fret because there’s plenty more examples in other sports. Hopefully I’ll touch on some of these other sports in the blog.

There’s a ton of examples of managerial replacements. There’s even one time where two teams traded managers, read this blog here by Power Line. The first time I heard about it was when I was watching MLB Network. Nowadays, that doesn’t really seem like a thing that could happen. While I’m talking about managers, you rarely hear about General Managers getting the boot, but that does happen as well. The latest incident was Arizona canning both manager A.J. Hinch and GM Josh Byrnes.

So what is the difference you might ask? The General Manager is the person responsible for players contracts (either new, editing, or terminating) and for hiring the coaches and personnel. You might still have these examples where the GM also serves as a coach (see the Dayton Gems new hire) but this is a practice more common in the history books.

The coach has a duty to the players to prepare them for competition. You have your head coach that is in charge of everything, then there’s some coaches that focus on defensive assignments, pitching, offense, recruiting, and so on. In the high school and college level, one could argue they have the duty to prepare those kids to succeed in areas not just involving sports, mainly academics. To a certain degree, you still are taught things in the pros (if a manager has been coaching for a long time, some things learned will be passed down.)

No one coach is alike. Sure, you can teach a coach new plays, but nobody has the same personality. Once stood a coach that was patient and stood in one place watching the plays, to  someone shouting more than the cheerleaders to change plays with keywords as every second clicks down on the coach. No coach might have the same playbook, but never the same in personality.

So why do coaches get fired? Too many bad seasons. Breaking the law. Your kids don’t do as well in class as some people like. Team stops selling tickets and empty seats become more prominent. A rumble in the owner’s jungle. Of course, some coaches retire or take better paying jobs or better located jobs.  Some become broadcasters, like Bob Knight did after retiring from Texas Tech.

Why is it that coaches usually get the boot before the GM? It seems to me that the General Managers have more reasons to get the boot (unless it’s high school, where General Managers don’t exist.) To me, the coaches are just in charge of the actual people on the team. The GMs are in charge of people on the team and contracts.

I guess the reason why I’m writing this post is because of my pet peeve with managers getting chucked in the middle of the season. They have a contract for that year, let them do their job. I understand bad records do not make a lot of money, I understand the owners and GMs want to get better right now. Remember though, the General Manager picks the coaches. Let them run their contract course and if you don’t want them back, send them on their way.

Perhaps I am missing the point. Perhaps I don’t fully understand the whole system of sports business. The way I feel though, everyone is human. I know this post is kind of random, but it is relevant as we see another manager bite the dust.

Until next post,


*Power Line is a blog written by John Hinderaker, Scott Johnson, and Paul Mirengoff.

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