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View Full Version : The value of a good manager



savafan
05-28-2006, 09:50 PM
I know many people have said that a manager's value to a baseball team is minimal to none, and that wins and losses are the responsibility of the players on the field.

The Detroit Tigers haven't had a winning season in 13 years. With no real major acquisitions other than Kenny Rogers, Jim Leyland (okay, granted Leyland has a sub .500 career win pct.) has the Tigers playing excellent ball.

Buddy Bell's Kansas City Royals are abyssmal. Bell has never really managed a good team...or his managing style stinks. The Royals, on paper, look like they should be better than they have been.

Is it possible to say that the Tigers' success and the Royals' failure could be somewhat attributed to their managers? Likewise, Jerry Narron managed the Reds to a .500 record during his stint as manager last year. This year, they've played better under Narron. They clearly reacted more positively to Narron's style than Miley's.

My question is, does the manager of a baseball team play more of a factor in the success or failure of his team than previously thought? Is it possible that some guy's winning attitude spills over to the team, while managers who accept and get used to losing don't motivate their players to winning ballgames the same way managers with winning attitudes? Is this one of the intangibles that so many old timers speak of?

Outshined_One
05-28-2006, 10:06 PM
Buddy Bell's Kansas City Royals are abyssmal. Bell has never really managed a good team...or his managing style stinks. The Royals, on paper, look like they should be better than they have been.

Really? It's a team loaded with over the hill and overrated veterans. I pretty much knew they'd be in a dogfight with the Pirates for the honor of being the worst team in baseball.

A terrible manager can hurt a team much more than a good manager can help a team.

James B.
05-28-2006, 10:08 PM
No manager in the history of baseball could make that Royals team a winner.

captainmorgan07
05-28-2006, 10:09 PM
No manager in the history of baseball could make that Royals team a winner.
it wouldn't matter they need to fire the manager and get rid of tha owner heck if donald sterling can change allan baird sure as heck can spend alil money and make them respectable

TeamBoone
05-28-2006, 10:12 PM
I posted this on a different thread (before I saw this one) and seeing as how I haven't yet gotten an answer, it's probably better suited for this one:


Question: Had he been managing at that point in the game, do you think JN would have pinch hit for Phillips today? For Ross?

I know hindsight is 20/20, but I thought at the time that both these moves were good ones... as it turned out, they were.

RedsManRick
05-28-2006, 10:16 PM
A good manager can enable his players to win games. A bad manager can cause his players to lose games.

James B.
05-28-2006, 10:17 PM
I posted this on a different thread (before I saw this one) and seeing as how I haven't yet gotten an answer, it's probably better suited for this one:



I know hindsight is 20/20, but I thought at the time that both these moves were good ones... as it turned out, they were.


Don't managers usually find a way to manage the game after being thrown out?

M2
05-28-2006, 10:25 PM
IMO, most of a manager's value revolves around getting his team ready to play the game. As a for instance, Jack McKeon was no great gameday manager, but his Reds clubs (particularly the '99 team) showed up ready to play each and every day. They didn't waver when they were in a close fight. They didn't let tough losses fester.

Sparky Anderson may have been the best I've ever seen at it.

Dunner44
05-28-2006, 10:28 PM
I posted this on a different thread (before I saw this one) and seeing as how I haven't yet gotten an answer, it's probably better suited for this one:



I know hindsight is 20/20, but I thought at the time that both these moves were good ones... as it turned out, they were.

Jerry was involved in the decision


Reds manager Jerry Narron wasn't in the dugout to witness the Reds' thrilling come-from-behind victory over the Diamondbacks on Sunday. But, he did have a hand in the outcome.
Narron, who was ejected in the seventh inning by home-plate umpire Larry Vanover for arguing a called third strike on Adam Dunn, had retreated to the tunnel adjacent to the Reds' dugout.

With Austin Kearns on first, and the Reds trailing by a run in the bottom of the ninth inning, Narron consulted with the Reds acting manager, bench coach Bucky Dent, on the decision to use catcher Javier Valentin as a pinch-hitter to face Diamondbacks closer Jose Valverde.

"There were about five different things we could've done in that inning," said Narron. "Kearns got the [infield single] and that just kind of set things up."


5/28 Game Recap (http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/gameday_recap.jsp?ymd=20060528&content_id=1476100&vkey=recap&fext=.jsp&c_id=cin)

Outshined_One
05-28-2006, 10:28 PM
There's something to be said for making up lineups, keeping pitch counts, and bullpen decisions. A good manager can maximize the value of the 25 man roster. A bad manager can make boneheaded pinch hitting decisions, wear out his pitchers, and regularly start guys who have no business playing every day.

TeamBoone
05-28-2006, 10:33 PM
Jerry was involved in the decision

5/28 Game Recap (http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/gameday_recap.jsp?ymd=20060528&content_id=1476100&vkey=recap&fext=.jsp&c_id=cin)

Looks like he was involved in the decision to pinch hit Javey, but not the Kearns pinch hit.

I thought it was a gutsy move to bat Kearns in place of Phillips... if it was Jerry's decision, I'm thrilled... if it was Bucky's, I hope JN learned from it and makes more gutsy moves like that.

M2
05-28-2006, 10:35 PM
There's something to be said for making up lineups, keeping pitch counts, and bullpen decisions. A good manager can maximize the value of the 25 man roster. A bad manager can make boneheaded pinch hitting decisions, wear out his pitchers, and regularly start guys who have no business playing every day.

I agree in theory, but I'll tell what really impresses me: Guys like Bobby Cox and Tony LaRussa who seemingly manage to wring something out of everyone who walks into their clubhouse.

Outshined_One
05-28-2006, 10:37 PM
I agree in theory, but I'll tell what really impresses me: Guys like Bobby Cox and Tony LaRussa who seemingly manage to wring something out of everyone who walks into their clubhouse.

Point taken, although TLR is the kind of guy who uses 4 pitchers to get three outs in an inning. He tends to overthink his decisions, ya know?

M2
05-28-2006, 10:40 PM
Point taken, although TLR is the kind of guy who uses 4 pitchers to get three outs in an inning. He tends to overthink his decisions, ya know?

True, particularly in the playoffs. Pinch bunting Kerry Robinson for Mark McGwire down one against Curt Schilling in 2001 is a perfect case in point.

Yet he still does remarkable work in getting players prepared to play the game.

George Foster
05-28-2006, 10:59 PM
The Reds have never made the play-offs with out a tough manager.

Sparky, MacNamera, Sweet Lou, Johnson, Trader Jack

M2
05-28-2006, 11:01 PM
The Reds have never made the play-offs with out a tough manager.

Sparky, MacNamera, Sweet Lou, Johnson, Trader Jack

Davey, Jack and Spark always struck me as relatively laid back. In fact, they're all kind of notorious for it.

Chip R
05-28-2006, 11:03 PM
I agree in theory, but I'll tell what really impresses me: Guys like Bobby Cox and Tony LaRussa who seemingly manage to wring something out of everyone who walks into their clubhouse.

Exactly. They may get made fun of a lot but their teams win and everyone from the superstar to the 25th guy is a contributor.

reds44
05-28-2006, 11:07 PM
Looks like he was involved in the decision to pinch hit Javey, but not the Kearns pinch hit.

I thought it was a gutsy move to bat Kearns in place of Phillips... if it was Jerry's decision, I'm thrilled... if it was Bucky's, I hope JN learned from it and makes more gutsy moves like that.
He didn't bat Kearns in place of Phillips. BP was double switched out in the 8th inning. Kearns was hitting for Weathers.

Nugget
05-28-2006, 11:11 PM
If it was a double switch I believe that it had to be Narrons call. In most of the game threads there seems to be a groan each time Narron heads for the double switch.

reds44
05-28-2006, 11:14 PM
If it was a double switch I believe that it had to be Narrons call. In most of the game threads there seems to be a groan each time Narron heads for the double switch.
He double switched BP out in the 8th, moved RA to 2nd, and brought in the Hat to play 1st and bat 9th. Then 2 innings later Kearns hit for Weathers.

BP was never pinch hit for. I didn't really understand your post, so I am just clarifying mine.

Newport Red
05-28-2006, 11:24 PM
Exactly. They may get made fun of a lot but their teams win and everyone from the superstar to the 25th guy is a contributor.

Isn't that the result of a competent GM.

Chip R
05-28-2006, 11:44 PM
Isn't that the result of a competent GM.

It's part of it but the manager has to sell everyone on his concept of how the game should be played. And I would guess that guys like LaRussa and Cox have a lot of input in how the roster is made up. Remember that game in StL earlier this year where LaRussa put together a Sunday Special that had Pujols as about the only threat in there. Guys like Johnny Rodriguez and Scott Spezio were starting and contributing that game. Hell, Womack had his best year playing in StL. That is one thing I like that Narron does. He does his best to get bench guys playing time. Q started the other night, Freel in place of Kearns today, Cody Ross played Wed. night. As much as everybody believes the BRM played the Big 8 every day, it is a myth. If you're a bench guy and you go 2 weeks without playing, you don't feel like you are contributing. Plus you aren't sharp.

Look what happened last year in ATL when they brought up all those rookies. Granted they didn't play in a strong division but they were several games out of it before they got hot. And, yes, the GM had a lot to do with bringing those players in but the manager had to make them feel like part of the team. He had to protect them in the media and on the field. He had to make sure the vets treated the kids right. LaRussa's great in his own right but there is no way on God's green earth he would play that many rookies on a regular basis. It took guts to do that and you have to admire that.

George Foster
05-28-2006, 11:48 PM
Davey, Jack and Spark always struck me as relatively laid back. In fact, they're all kind of notorious for it.

What? All three would get in your grill if you needed it.

M2
05-28-2006, 11:56 PM
What? All three would get in your grill if you needed it.

Yeah, but not often. Who's grill on the BRM did Sparky have to get into with any frequency?

Davey Johnson didn't care if you ran Sodom and Gomorrah under his nose (and the late '80s Mets did) as long as you played generally well. Jack had the whole gramps act going by the time he reached the Reds. Not a one of those guys ran his Reds teams very hard.

Highlifeman21
05-29-2006, 12:13 AM
No manager in the history of baseball could make that Royals team a winner.

Casey Stengel says hello

Highlifeman21
05-29-2006, 12:14 AM
Don't managers usually find a way to manage the game after being thrown out?

Only if you're Bobby Valentine

Highlifeman21
05-29-2006, 12:18 AM
There's something to be said for making up lineups, keeping pitch counts, and bullpen decisions. A good manager can maximize the value of the 25 man roster. A bad manager can make boneheaded pinch hitting decisions, wear out his pitchers, and regularly start guys who have no business playing every day.


Can you say pitching coach?

Leo Mazzone says hi.

A manager is 1 guy on a coaching staff. A pitching coach won't let a manager ruin an arm. A bench coach/hitting coach/fill in the blank will REALLY convince a manager to give a guy a day off if need be. I don't care who is the manager, they won't ride a guy for 162 if they know he needs a day or 4 off over the course of a season.

Outshined_One
05-29-2006, 12:32 AM
Can you say pitching coach?

Leo Mazzone says hi.

A manager is 1 guy on a coaching staff. A pitching coach won't let a manager ruin an arm. A bench coach/hitting coach/fill in the blank will REALLY convince a manager to give a guy a day off if need be. I don't care who is the manager, they won't ride a guy for 162 if they know he needs a day or 4 off over the course of a season.

He also typically is the one behind the selection of coaches. The vast majority of the time, he will select people who conform to his own philosophies regarding pitcher usage, hitting techniques, and so on. Guys like Frank Robinson, Felipe Alou, and Dusty Baker will not go out of their way to hire guys who keep track of pitcher abuse points, ya know?

And if you use the counter-example of the general manager or some other front office employee selecting those coaches, the same general principle applies. The GM will hire a coaching staff that follows the same approach to baseball as he does. I don't think GMs want to bring in guys who have contradictory methods and approaches, thereby really confusing the players and causing dissent in the clubhouse. He will also likely follow the recommendations of his manager in hiring this personnel.

The final decision regarding pitchers still rests on the manager. He may follow the advice of his coaches, but it is his decision to make.

KronoRed
05-29-2006, 12:33 AM
Casey Stengel says hello
They would still lose 100

Outshined_One
05-29-2006, 12:36 AM
Casey Stengel says hello

Do you see dead people? :eek:

Highlifeman21
05-29-2006, 12:37 AM
They would still lose 100

and the 1968 Mets and 2003 Tigers would still love them for upholding history, IIRC

Nugget
05-29-2006, 12:38 AM
He double switched BP out in the 8th, moved RA to 2nd, and brought in the Hat to play 1st and bat 9th. Then 2 innings later Kearns hit for Weathers.

BP was never pinch hit for. I didn't really understand your post, so I am just clarifying mine.

I was just looking at TB's post on whether Narron had something to do with the moves. It would seem that Narron has a penchant for the double switch in the late innings which was all I was alluding to.

Highlifeman21
05-29-2006, 12:39 AM
Do you see dead people? :eek:

Only when I've been drinking.

How about you?

reds44
05-29-2006, 12:42 AM
I was just looking at TB's post on whether Narron had something to do with the moves. It would seem that Narron has a penchant for the double switch in the late innings which was all I was alluding to.
:thumbup: gotcha.

Highlifeman21
05-29-2006, 12:43 AM
He also typically is the one behind the selection of coaches. The vast majority of the time, he will select people who conform to his own philosophies regarding pitcher usage, hitting techniques, and so on. Guys like Frank Robinson, Felipe Alou, and Dusty Baker will not go out of their way to hire guys who keep track of pitcher abuse points, ya know?

And if you use the counter-example of the general manager or some other front office employee selecting those coaches, the same general principle applies. The GM will hire a coaching staff that follows the same approach to baseball as he does. I don't think GMs want to bring in guys who have contradictory methods and approaches, thereby really confusing the players and causing dissent in the clubhouse. He will also likely follow the recommendations of his manager in hiring this personnel.

The final decision regarding pitchers still rests on the manager. He may follow the advice of his coaches, but it is his decision to make.

I'd like to think the manager should hire his staff, and the GM should be resigned to making player personnel movements in consultation with the current owner and manager. In that order.

If a manager isn't allowed to pick his staff, then what's the point? Might as well just close your eyes and pick a staff and hope they work out well together... aka, the blind draw.

Outshined_One
05-29-2006, 12:48 AM
Only when I've been drinking.

How about you?

I talked to my dead grandmother last night. She told me not to believe in ghosts, so I don't!

reds44
05-29-2006, 12:49 AM
I talked to my dead grandmother last night. She told me not to believe in ghosts, so I don't!
:laugh:

KronoRed
05-29-2006, 12:49 AM
I talked to my dead grandmother last night. She told me not to believe in ghosts, so I don't!
Hard not to trust dead grandmothers