September 30, 2002

MLB Firings Begin.: Pujols, Gone. Kimm, See Ya. Who's next on the MLB Managerial Chopping Block? Who should be next?

posted by rosey8810 to baseball at 11:26 AM - 17 comments

Steve Phillips. Best Mets outfielders since Straw left us for sunnier shores: Kevin McReynolds & Rickey Henderson. an OPS > 800 in Right Field practically grows on trees (ahem) nowadays - and it's not Valentine's fault that he's had to field a team led in doubles by Mike Piazza.... and Rey Ordonez.

posted by djacobs at 12:39 PM on September 30, 2002

At least Pujols was given a decent chance. He must really stink if he couldn't turn around a team with all that talent in less than a full season.

posted by yerfatma at 01:03 PM on September 30, 2002

I'm hearing Boston wants Grady Little's head as well. Amazing how that squad falls apart at the end of every summer.

posted by rosey8810 at 01:29 PM on September 30, 2002

I had a nice little rant all ready when I read your comment, yerfatma. Then I realized that you HAD to be sarcastic. Right? If I were a Brewers, Tigers, Devil Rays, Pirates, or KC fan, I'd be very upset about how the franchises have been run and the absolutely dismal future they have as of right now. The firing of managers won't fix things in those towns. They need to can the GMs, scouts, minor league instructors and even the presidents of those franchises. They need to hire people with new ideas and a better understanding of how the game is played. Someone like Billy Beane, J.P.Riccardi, Brian Cashman and others that can evaluate talent, understand the meaning of "sunk costs" and are willing to try "young and unknown" over "old and known" players. If you can't hire/buy/trade for one of them, then hire their proteges. Just do something more than fire your manager. It's a scary prospect to clean house like that, but if you can convince your fans that it's the right thing to do, it can work. The Toronto Blue Jays cleaned house in 2002 and by the end of the season the fans are suddenly realizing that this was a good thing. Hinske, Phelps, Hudson, Walker, Werth, Cash, Politte, Hendrickson...none of these players were in Toronto in 2001. They are the future of the Jays for 2003 and beyond, and as a fan, I'm more excited now than I have been for the past 7 years. Cheap, young and talented: it's the way to go.

posted by grum@work at 01:59 PM on September 30, 2002

djacobs: You're absolutely right, but we both know it's not going to happen that way. As the NY Press says in this week's "Best of Manhattan" issue:

It looks like Bobby Valentine has to go. Weve grown to like him, and its a shame that he has to be sacrificed, but blood must be shed and Bobby V. is looking more and more like the lamb led to slaughter. The good news is that, whatever happens from here on into the offseason, 2003 has to be better than 2002.

posted by languagehat at 04:00 PM on September 30, 2002

I will also never forgive Steve Phillips for letting John Olerud go. And trading Bubba Trammell for Donne Wall... why??

posted by djacobs at 07:54 PM on September 30, 2002

I would never want to be a manager in Boston or New York unless I won it all every year...job is always in doubt...

posted by carbs at 07:35 AM on October 01, 2002

I still don't understand why Davey Johnson was let go, or why he has such trouble getting jobs. He has one of the best winning percentages ever. I know he puts some people off, but can you really argue with that kind of success?

posted by languagehat at 08:42 AM on October 01, 2002

Grady Little's job should be taken away. How can you let Pedro say he's shutting it down before they are mathematically eliminated from contention? It would be one thing if Little came out and said, "we want to keep him healthy for next year, etc...." but when players have more clout than the manager, and there is no attempt to mask the situation to the press and fans, well, that's a problem in my book. And to miss the postseason with the seasons that Manny Ramirez, Derek Lowe and Martinez had, with Cliff Floyd and Nomar on that same team, well, that's downright inexcuseable.

posted by Conquistador at 08:56 AM on October 01, 2002

Bobby V is gone. How sad, he was hilarious. Oh, but there is that coaching thing.

posted by corpse at 10:46 AM on October 01, 2002

If Grady Little goes, why not Bobby V in Boston? At least it'd be interesting to see him and Torre lock horns in the AL East. My guess though is that Grady stays. If Bobby V goes anywhere, it should be to the Brewers. Its worth a shot at least. My pick for next manager for the Mets: Paul Molitor.

posted by jasonbondshow at 11:22 AM on October 01, 2002

Conquistador, I'm no Grady Little fan, but trotting out Lowe, Pedro, Nomar and 5/6 of Manny Ramirez is a bit disingenous: the team had no rotation beyond Lowe and Pedro and no bullpen whatsoever (ok, so Ugie was fine, but that's it). If Little is responsible for the complete lack of heart the team showed, show him the door. But I'm not sure a new manager could have inspired this team to overcome John Burkett and Frank Castillo.

posted by yerfatma at 12:10 PM on October 01, 2002

dj, you and I both know there was nothing Phillips could do to re-sign Olerud--the guy was getting out of New York no matter what. I blame Phillips for Rey Ordonez's salary and little else. There was no way to foresee the abysmal performances of Burnitz and Alomar. Nevertheless, I think that they'll get rid of him next year when this team still sucks, new manager and all...

posted by bfried at 02:23 PM on October 01, 2002

Phillips should have gotten an OFer. Bonds was available! Olerud *wanted* to stay in New York, and that was well documented. Phillips low balled him and then tried to match Seattle's offer at the last minute.

posted by djacobs at 03:16 PM on October 01, 2002

Paul Molitor: terrible idea.

posted by djacobs at 03:16 PM on October 01, 2002

I'm torn on Grady Little. I like him, but I don't know if he has what it takes to drive a team in Boston. He's really laid back. Sounds harsh probably, but I kind of want a manager who is going to discipline Manny for "being Manny". I want someone who is going to flip out and bench a player for not hustling or more succinctly, not trying. I think this year was a learning experience for Little, so hopefully next season he will bring a bit more discipline and a bit more drive to the team. How can you argue with his first year as a manager in a big baseball town? 90+ wins in the first year alone. That's pretty decent for a seasoned manager. The offseason promises to be exciting as the Red Sox attempt to pare down their salary, restaff their bullpen, still maintain their high salary star players and hopefully resign Tim Wakefield and Cliff Floyd. It's been 84 years for us. So... I'm willing to stick it out one more year with Grady and see what happens.

posted by jerseygirl at 09:58 PM on October 01, 2002

I hate crazy people - like the people who want to fire Grady Little. The Red Sox were 11 games better this year than last year! Why would you fire him?

posted by djacobs at 10:11 PM on October 01, 2002

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