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View Full Version : The manager rebound



RedsManRick
07-19-2007, 07:45 PM
I've heard at least a dozen time in the last two weeks that teams tend to get a short term boost from hiring a new manager mid-season. The implication of course is that the new manager comes in, shakes things up, and inspires the team to victory. We're seeing it right now with Mac and everybody is lauding him, particularly after the Freel-move, which somehow is being credited as the reason Brandon Phillips made that great catch, even though Phillips wouldn't have been positioned any differently.

So what's my point? My point is that of course teams get better when a manager gets fired mid-season. Why does a manager get fired mid-season? He gets fired because the team is performing worse than expected. Is this due to horrible managing? Possibly. However, it's also quite likely due to a combination of injuries and bad luck (remember, it's not just being bad that leads to the mid-season firing, it's being worse than expected).

So, you have a team who's got some players hurt and has had the ball bounce the wrong way more than once. Well, thanks to regression to the mean, players tend to get healthy again, and luck tends to turn around. If this happens in the new manager's tenure, he gets all the credit. If it doesn't happen, he gets none of the blame. It's the perfect storm for making a poor decision regarding that manager's long term role.

Don't get me wrong. Narron abused his bullpen with Torresque favoritism, rode Arroyo until he broke, and couldn't make out a lineup card worth crap until he was a lame duck futilely trying to save his job. However, I'm much more inclined to say that the Reds recent surge is as attirbutible to a simple regression to the mean (look at our Pythag under Narron) than anything Mac has done.

Matt700wlw
07-19-2007, 07:46 PM
Maybe they should fire their manager every month and bring in somebody new.

They may win something then :)

princeton
07-19-2007, 07:51 PM
Maybe they should fire their manager every month and bring in somebody new.

They may win something then :)

:thumbup:

Elbow surgery makes you throw harder, and losing a finger gives your pitches more movement. I have ideas about implementing those anecdotes, too.

BuckeyeRedleg
07-19-2007, 08:03 PM
It's been mentioned before that all in all, the manager has little, if any, effect on the W/L column.

If that's the case, I would prefer to just have a likable straight-shooter that has a good feel for his players and their abilities and doesn't necessarily always go by the book in given situations.

With that said, I see nothing wrong with Pete Mackanin. I've liked him since his press conference. His answers to the questions that day were like a breath of fresh air and he has done nothing since then (except maybe for saying he'll keep putting Stanton out there- ha ha) to make me feel otherwise.

And so I'll will continue to lobby for Mack for 2008.

Blitz Dorsey
07-19-2007, 08:16 PM
Maybe they should fire their manager every month and bring in somebody new.

They may win something then :)

Steinbrenner already tried that. It doesn't work. ;-)

Always Red
07-19-2007, 08:50 PM
It is the new manager effect, for sure. (The early improvement in W-L, and then slowly fading back to expected results)

I don't think it has anything to do with luck or injuries, RMR.

The team knew Narron, knew what he expected of them ,and they were comfortable with him. Maybe not dogging it, but not exactly busting their tails either. Just doing their job to JN's satisfaction.

All of sudden, their boss is fired (because of their performance), and a new guy is brought in. They recognize him, but don't really know him. A lot of them feel bad for Jerry, because he is a good man, and they feel they let him down. So, they start to play a little harder, a little more desperately.

Some of the guys suddenly realize that their jobs are on the line, too. There's a resurgence of energy, and for some (fans, too) it feels like the heady days of late March.

Whattayaknow, all of a sudden, they're winning more games than they're losing. This happens a lot, not all of the time, but a lot for teams that are about .500 type teams. I fully expected this Reds team to win about 83 games this year. I attribute the collapse to about a third Narron, a third Kriv, and a third the players.

The manager always takes the blade first.

This is an OK team, not a good team, by any means. What we're seeing now is what we expected in ST, a team with a weak bullpen and a thin bench. The bullpen is still struggling. And Chad Moeller still PH's, which tells you all you need to know about the bench.

I loved Sparky's quote today, on another thread, about going for the kill in innings 1-5. If you constructed this teams lineup correctly enough, you could do exactly that against the right pitching. Neither manager this year has gone for the kill early in the game.

Pete Mack? I love him, but he's not the answer. He's merely a breath of fresh air. A closer, a setup man (assuming Weathers will be traded) and another SP or even two is the answer.

It's not that hard, really. Managing that is, if you have the right players. The hardest thing about managing in MLB is the 2nd guessing and having tough enough skin. Unless you're Joe Torre, in which case you have to add the wrath of the Boss, too. Which results in your pay being double what it ought to be. And well earned, too!

flyer85
07-19-2007, 08:55 PM
a lot of the time there is a helping of bad luck that gets a manager fired. Regression to the mean has a powerful pull.

traderumor
07-20-2007, 02:18 PM
Does someone want to explain to me the uncanny "regression to the mean" occurring at the exact same time as the firing/hiring a new manager? Its a nice and tidy explanation, but I don't think it explains why it coincides with the manager change. In the Reds case, I think it shows that the team had either consciously or unconsciously lost total confidence in Narron's decision-making and it resulted in the inability to handle adversity on a nightly basis, not to mention the nightly attempts to make players fit a strategy instead of strategies fitting the players.

mbgrayson
07-20-2007, 02:52 PM
I would go a little further. Managers only have a limited number of things they can control. On many of those, Narron did a poor job.

1. Bullpen management. Narron failed to let the bullpen all know their roles. He ran Cout out there every day, when he does much better on a day rest. He didn't use Coffey right, etc.

2. He made bizarre pinch hitting decisions....Moeller in, Catro for Hamilton....

3. He didn't manage EE properly. (Still happening).

4. He didn't inspire or motivate the team. Look at the other threads about 'late inning lethargy' and poor hitting with runners in scoring position.

I think this is about a .500 team, potentially a little better if Arroyo turns it around. They shouldn't have been almost 20 games below .500 at the midpoint.

Yes Krivsky gets to share the blame for putting and keeping Castro and Moeller on the roster. But he also picked up Hamilton, Phillips, and Ross for almost nothing. He also got rid of Wily Mo, Kearns, and FeLo, for better and worse. Milton will soon be off the payroll. I still think Harang and Arroyo have good potential.

I guess I see more going on in the last 14 games(Mac is 10-4) than simply regression to mean or the 'dead cat bounce'. I think the team is much closer to being well managed, and that some of the potential is showing through.

RedsManRick
07-20-2007, 03:38 PM
Does someone want to explain to me the uncanny "regression to the mean" occurring at the exact same time as the firing/hiring a new manager? Its a nice and tidy explanation, but I don't think it explains why it coincides with the manager change. In the Reds case, I think it shows that the team had either consciously or unconsciously lost total confidence in Narron's decision-making and it resulted in the inability to handle adversity on a nightly basis, not to mention the nightly attempts to make players fit a strategy instead of strategies fitting the players.

I wouldn't go so far as to say the manager has no effect. I think Narron was certainly making things worse. But I think there's a little bit of both going on.

Are the Reds now suddenly a .700 team instead of a .400 team because of a change in their manager? Isn't it sort of funny how managers get fired during a bad losing streak when the team loses a lot more games than the level of talent (and often production) on the roster would suggest?

Dead Cat Bounce is the perfect analogy. The Reds were likely to bounce back somewhat with our without Narron. Now, maybe the managerial change added another win or two to that streak, but I refuse to believe that a manager change turns a cellar dweller in to a playoff contender.

RedsManRick
07-22-2007, 04:32 PM
So... where's the manager effect the last few days. Bad teams have good stretches, but are bad regardless of who coaches them...

Always Red
07-22-2007, 04:35 PM
So... where's the manager effect the last few days. Bad teams have good stretches, but are bad regardless of who coaches them...

The dead cat has stopped bouncing. :(

traderumor
07-22-2007, 06:43 PM
So... where's the manager effect the last few days. Bad teams have good stretches, but are bad regardless of who coaches them...The point was and still is that "regression to the mean" is saying "I have no good explanation, its a long season."

RedsManRick
07-22-2007, 07:23 PM
Not at all. It's saying that a team's record doesn't always reflect it's ability. Over the course of time, the record will gravitate toward their true ability. The Reds record was worse than their ability/performance would suggest. Even without a manager change, and barring a significant roster change, it was likely the Reds would increase their overall winning % in the second half.

The correlation between changing the manager and the run of wins COULD be coming from the same thing, namely that they were losing more games than they should have. That led to change in manager and the Reds couldn't sustain losing at that pace given their performance. Am I saying Mac had no role in them winning games? Of course not. But correlation is not causation, particularly when the everything suggested the Reds were due for a ball or two to bounce their way when the change was made. Believing that somehow a new manager will turn this club around is stupid. Maybe we win a handful of games that we wouldn't have previously, but that's 3-4 over the course of the half-season, not 3-4 over the course of 10 games. Much of the explanation for the winning streak had little to do with the managerial change.

traderumor
07-22-2007, 11:15 PM
Not at all. It's saying that a team's record doesn't always reflect it's ability. Over the course of time, the record will gravitate toward their true ability. The Reds record was worse than their ability/performance would suggest. Even without a manager change, and barring a significant roster change, it was likely the Reds would increase their overall winning % in the second half.

The correlation between changing the manager and the run of wins COULD be coming from the same thing, namely that they were losing more games than they should have. That led to change in manager and the Reds couldn't sustain losing at that pace given their performance. Am I saying Mac had no role in them winning games? Of course not. But correlation is not causation, particularly when the everything suggested the Reds were due for a ball or two to bounce their way when the change was made. Believing that somehow a new manager will turn this club around is stupid. Maybe we win a handful of games that we wouldn't have previously, but that's 3-4 over the course of the half-season, not 3-4 over the course of 10 games. Much of the explanation for the winning streak had little to do with the managerial change.
All of what you said is little more than stating the obvious. The team had barely won a series in months and had not swept for nearly a full year. I'd say that is a little more "than our luck has to change at some point" and the managerial change. The team got their head out of their butts for the new manager for a few weeks, I think it is attributable in the short term to the managerial change more than "regression to mean." It will not likely have any long-term impact, but these are humans playing a game where each game is usually decided by a few turning points, which having a little extra sense of purpose under new management is playing a significant role.

RedsManRick
07-22-2007, 11:24 PM
So did their heads just happen to go back in their butts the last few nights?

If what you say is true, I'm advocating we fire/hire a new manager every two weeks to keep these guys focused. Clearly the difference between being the worst team in baseball and a playoff team is having your head in the game or not.

traderumor
07-24-2007, 06:01 PM
So did their heads just happen to go back in their butts the last few nights?

If what you say is true, I'm advocating we fire/hire a new manager every two weeks to keep these guys focused. Clearly the difference between being the worst team in baseball and a playoff team is having your head in the game or not.Did I say that? Forgive me for thinking "regression to the mean" when the team had barely put two wins together since April is a very lazy, dismissive explanation.