October 04, 2005

For Most of the League, the Offseason Starts Now,: which means firings and changes throughout the league. While Motor City residents may be pleased with the firing of Alan Trammel, not everyone's happy about the old boy replacement system. Detroit Tiger pitching prospects, say goodbye to your arms.

posted by yerfatma to baseball at 08:40 PM - 6 comments

The day the Detroit Tigers fired Alan Trammell as manager, the word was out that Jim Leyland would come out of retirement and manage. It made perfect sense. Leyland and GM Dave Dombrowski won a World Series title together in Florida in 1997. There is nothing more humiliating than to interview for a job you have no chance of getting, yet this is baseballís way of suggesting progress and openness in hiring. What a joke. But how do you avoid one without the other? If Leyland is who they want, and it makes perfect sense, and yet you must interview minority candidates, isn't this sometimes going to be the result, with the hope that the greater good is worth the price?

posted by justgary at 11:41 PM on October 04, 2005

The Lions got fined for the same thing a couple years ago, when they hired Steve Mariucci. Thing is, if San Fran hadn't fired him, the Lions woulda stuck with Marty Morningweig one more season, and then hired Mooch after his contract with San Fran was up. So why force a team to interview anyone else, minority or not, when they already have a replacement in mind?

posted by MeatSaber at 08:29 AM on October 05, 2005

So many issues go along with this topic. First off, the good ol' boy network does definitely exist. It's in baseball (and other sports) just as it is in big business. But a specific team's real motivation for a certain hiring can automatically get snowed over by inevitable talk about other candidates, candidates with less experience, and, especially, minority candidates. Trammel was young and inexperienced when he took over the Tigers' job. But he was practically a lifelong Tiger, so that had to carry a lot of weight. As for Leyland, you can't argue the thinking a manager with his vast experience may be just what a team with some definite young talent like Detroit may need to take that next step. That type of longtime managerial experience is hard to come by. When an organization wants that type of experience for it's team and has it's mind set, it is sort of degrading to go through the charade of an interview when you won't get the job, minority or otherwise. In football, the Cardinals made no mistake they wanted Dennis Green as their coach, a minority AND an experienced head coach. What's the protocol for that entire interview process? As a Bills fan, I obviously notice they've been killing themselves with their two recent head coach hires (Gregg Williams and Mike Mularkey) who had no head coaching experience and did/have struggled greatly. People around this area were talking all along about hiring a head coach with pro experience AS a head coach, and Dennis Green's name was talked about. It just seems there are other reasons for wanting specific coaches, but when race is entered into the conversation, everything from that point on revolves around that subject. I understand sports in general has a long way to go with regards to hiring practices involving minorities, but case-by-case reverse discrimination will also keep some individuals, and organizations, from possible success.

posted by dyams at 09:49 AM on October 05, 2005

Trammel's firing was a farce. He had the team going in the right direction. Injuries and egos really done him in this year!

posted by daddisamm at 10:38 AM on October 05, 2005

Under some circumstances, hiring a specific coach/manager makes perfect sense without the interviewing of other qualified candidates. If there was a level playing field & qualified minorities had just as much chance for the general hires, then sports wouldn't need these requirements. However, I find myself underwhelmed with the hiring practices of these teams. The fact that Leyland with his losing record as a manager is such a shoo-in is questionable. I won't doubt that Parcells or Mariucci with plenty of head coaching position should have been hired without delay. But for everyone of them, we see plenty of Mike Tices.

posted by bperk at 11:55 AM on October 05, 2005

A "successful" manager/head coach can't always be judged based soley on win/loss record. Leyland fielded very competitive teams many years without the financial backing to bring them to the next level. Lou Pinella, with Tampa Bay's puny little payroll, had them playing very good, competitive baseball for a good portion of the season. On the other hand, some coaches (Phil Jackson) always seem to have the top-shelf talent everywhere he goes. He's got the great win/loss record and the championships, which would seem to indicate he's a absolutely tremendous coach. But could he take a team of lesser talent and make them a highly-competitive, overachieving team? I'm not really so sure. I think Bill Parcells' best coaching job ever was when he took a Giants team with inferior talent and crafted a game plan to beat the much-better Buffalo Bills in the Super Bowl. There are many different ways to look at "great" coaching.

posted by dyams at 06:00 PM on October 05, 2005

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