Tuesday November 13th, 2012
Jake Dal Porto: While the baseball world has shifted the focus to the hot stove rumors, the main yearly awards are starting to be announced. This year, the manager of the year is very intriguing with several surprise teams making their mark on a memorable MLB season.
Here’s who should win and who will win in both leagues:
Who Should Win: Davey Johnson
Johnson transformed the Nationals into a middle of the pack team to baseball’s best team record wise in the span of a year. That alone, is an impressive feat, but his case goes on. Read the rest of this entry
Friday November 9th, 2012
Jake Dal Porto: If the Miami Marlins fired Ozzie Guillen with the intention to improve the team, they are going to find that replacing Guillen will not make much of a difference. Perhaps Mike Redmond, the newly hired Marlins’ manager, has other thoughts on the topic. But realistically, a new face at the helm cannot improve a lethargic Marlins’ roster that was constantly tinkered with throughout the season.
Michael Hill, Miami’s general manager, twinkled with high hopes before the 2012 season with a couple of blockbuster moves that seemed to change the shape of a team that hadn’t posted a winning season since 2009. These moves in particular—-signing free agent Jose Reyes, signing Mark Buehrle, and signing Heath Bell. Reyes churned a sub-par season, compiling a .780 OPS. The upside is the fact that he stayed off the disabled list, a rarity indeed. For such a hefty contract though, (6-years, $106 million) it’s safe to assume that Hill and his team envisioned a bit more production out of the all-star shortstop. Read the rest of this entry
Wednesday October 17th, 2012
Codey Harrison(Lead MiLB Prospect Analyst): Jason Giambi, who was once a superstar with the Athletics and Yankees, is more recently known for his role with the Colorado Rockies as the team’s go-to pinch hitter. Giambi, currently rehabbing from offseason surgery, has been given a chance to interview for the vacant Rockies Managerial position. Most people in baseball believe Giambi doesn’t have a legitimate shot at being named the Rockies next manager, given that Giambi is still an active player and has no coaching experience. However it is worth noting that during his tenure in the Rockies organization, Giambi has helped the young Rockies hitters grow and mature on and off the field, as well as discussing strategies with former Rockies manager Jim Tracy. A mentor and leader, Giambi now has the chance to graduate to MLB manager.
The Rockies this year become known for unconventional decisions running the franchise, whether it was the failed experiment of the 4-man starting rotation, or believing in Jim Tracy for so long as they did- given that so many people in baseball thought of Tracy as arguably the worst manager in all of baseball. This is a team that is seen to be run almost completely by the front office. With so much politics and turmoil surrounding the team, it may be very difficult for the Rockies to get an experienced winning manager to take the job. Thus the team may need to look in order directions, including giving Giambi a shot at the vacant role. Read the rest of this entry
Tuesday October 2nd, 2012
Jake Dal Porto: The Cleveland Indians began their expected renovations early on Thursday, firing manager Manny Acta with just six games left in the season. Acta was at the helm of a team that currently holds a 67-93 record, and more simply, a mess. Acta, who managed the Nationals for three years (2007-2009), also managed Cleveland for nearly three years as well, though never did he lead them to a winning season. In fact, he has never managed a team that has finished the regular season with a winning record, period. So it’s safe to say that he has dealt with some pretty bad clubs, and the Indians of 2012 were just another one of those clubs.
With Acta out of the picture, the Indians have to find a new manager to take on their mess. That will be much easier said than done, but the two early front-runners appear to be former Red Sox manager Terry Francona and assistant coach Sandy Alomar Jr. whose currently serving as the interim manager. With those two, the Indians have two very worthy candidates with two very different managerial portfolios. Read the rest of this entry
Wednesday February 22nd, 2012
Bryan Sheehan (MLB Reports Intern): A new year of baseball brings with it so many questions, rumors and, most importantly, expectations about every team in the league. Will the Marlins improve? Can the Red Sox make the playoffs this year? And behind every question and prediction is the team that hometown fans and front-office executives expect to win. More specifically, the manager of each team is expected to take the players that he has and mold a winning ball club; if he can’t, he’ll be the first one to go. Read the rest of this entry
Tuesday October 18, 2011
MLB reports – Sam Evans: Before we even begin to speculate on who will be the next Cubs manager, there is something baseball fans have to realize. The most important move made by the Cubs this offseason will be naming their General Manager. It looks like Theo Epstein will be taking over duties as the GM, if everything goes according as planned. One of Theo’s first moves will be to decide whether to keep Mike Quade and his coaching staff for next year. I think there is little to no chance that this happens considering the Cubs on-field product from the last year. My guess is that Epstein would be looking for a very intelligent manager that is behind the recent sabermetrical discoveries but at the same time, has a lot of experience in the game of baseball. Someone similar to Joe Maddon of the Rays.
One of the top managerial candidates for the Cubs position, and for other open coaching spots around the league, is Hall of Fame Second Basemen Ryne Sandberg. Sandberg was born in 1959 in Spokane,WA. He was drafted in the 20th round of the 1978 Rule 4 MLB draft by the Philadelphia Phillies, and he shot through the minors and made his major league debut in 1981. After the 1981 season, Sandberg was shipped along with Larry Bowa to the Cubs for shortstop Ivan DeJesus. This turned out to be one of the best trades in the history of the Chicago Cubs organization. The Phillies made this trade due to a middle infield logjam, and it will forever haunt Phillies fans.
In his career, Ryne Sandberg hit .285 with 282 home runs and 344 stolen bases. From 1989 to 1992, Sandberg hit 122 home runs. He was MVP in 1984, he was named to ten all-star teams and was a nine-time gold glove award recipient. Cubs fans will remember “Ryno” for his amazing defensive plays and his ability to hit home runs. Sandberg was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2005.
Once the 2006 season had come to a close, Ryne Sandberg met with Cubs GM Jim Hendry and told him that he was wanted to manage the team. Smartly, Hendry decided that Sandberg needed experience managing so he gave him a job managing way down the Cubs depth charts. In 2007, Sandberg began his managing career with the Class-A Peoria Chiefs, and he led the Chiefs to 71-68 finish. With the Chiefs again in 2008, the Chiefs went 60-78. In 2009, the Sandberg was promoted to manager of the Cubs AA team, where in one year he went 71-69. In 2010, he was the Cubs AAA manager and he finished 82-62, and earned the honor of being named Pacific Coast League Manager of the Year. As you may remember, in 2010 Lou Piniella stepped down from his position as interim Cubs manager. Mike Quade was the interim manager and he led the team to a 24-13 record for the rest of the season. However, after the season, the Cubs organization didn’t make it clear that Quade was their man until October 19. Most baseball people thought that Ryne Sandberg would be named manager and that he deserved to be the Cubs manager. The Cubs decided to remove the interim tag from Quade’s position and promote him to the full-time manager. Unfortunately, Quade and the Cubs had a rough year, finishing 2011 with a 71-91 record.
I almost feel sorry for Sandberg. He worked so hard managing in the minors and when his opportunity finally arose when Piniella retired, Jim Hendry turned him down. I definitely think he deserves a chance at managing the Cubs. He not only has playing experience but successful managing experience in the minors.
After an awkward offseason for Sandberg, he took up an offer to manage the Philadelphia Phillies Triple-A team, the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs. He was also, according to sources, offered by Theo Epstein to be the manager for the Pawtucket Red Sox. Despite a very minor league baseball-esque name, the Iron Pigs are actually considered to be in the upper echelon of the minors. They average a higher attendance (over 10,000 per game) than any other MiLB team. Ryne Sandberg put together another winning season leading the Iron Pigs to an 80-64 record. His career managerial record is 364-341, which is good for a .556 winning percentage.
Who knows what the Cubs relationship is like with Sandberg? Their relationship appeared to be very stalwart but after the Cubs denied Sandberg the chance to manage at the major league level last year, you have to wonder why they would want him this year. Even if Theo Epstein does end up getting the job, just because he wanted Sandberg to manage the PawSox, there is no guarantee that he would want to work with Sandberg at the major league level.
The X-factor in this situation is Terry Francona. Epstein and Francona got along beautifully in Boston, and maybe Theo wants to keep Terry as his manager. This would not surprise me because the two are so comfortable with each other, and they have proven that their methods work with two World Series rings. Although their relations were apparently strained at times, the bottom line is that they were able to get the job done together.
There is one thing that I am sure of from this Sandberg debacle. Ryan Sandberg will have a major-league coaching job come April. The Phillies might have an assistant coaching position open, or the Red Sox could be interested in Sandberg as their manager. Options will be available to him. The most likely option is that Sandberg will return to where he already spent fifteen years of his baesball life: Wrigley Field.
Today’s feature was prepared by our Intern, Sam Evans. We highly encourage you to leave your comments and feedback at the bottom of the page and share in the discussion with our readers. You can also follow Sam on Twitter.
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Saturday September 10, 2011
Rob Bland (Baseball Writer – MLB reports): When a team has a disappointing season, the most likely candidate to lose his job is the manager. So far in the 2011 season, there has already been three managers who have either resigned or been fired. The Oakland Athletics fired Bob Geren on June 9th and replaced him with Bob Melvin. A week and a half later, Edwin Rodriguez resigned from his post as manager of the Florida Marlins. Jack McKeon became the oldest manager since Connie Mack at 80 years old. Yet another week later on June 26th, Jim Riggleman of the Washington Nationals resigned and was replaced by Davey Johnson two days later. With only a few weeks left in the regular season, who are the frontrunners to be replaced after the World Series?
With eight managers being new to their respective teams to start the 2011 season, one would think there can’t be too many jobs to lose. The first criteria I look at in order to predict who will not be returning his club is if the team was expected to contend for the playoffs, and fell short. Another thing I look at is the perception of the clubhouse, ie. if players get along, or if the manager is able to manage egos. Of course, the manager’s ability to create a lineup and manage a bullpen is taken into consideration. Other factors such as injuries and expectations of players are measured as well. The list that follows are my top 3 managers who could be canned after this season.
It is not often that I would think a first year manager would be fired like this, but there are so many circumstances that make me believe he will be gone. First, there has been grumbling since day one in Chicago that Quade was hired over franchise icon Ryne Sandberg. The Cubs have been packed with talented players such as Carlos Zambrano, Aramis Ramirez, Alfonso Soriano, Geovany Soto, Ryan Dempster and Carlos Marmol. Add in Matt Garza and Starlin Castro, and you would think they could at least come close in the terrible NL Central. They are 22 games behind the streaking Milwaukee Brewers, and 21.5 behind Atlanta for the Wild Card. Their record is 62-81 with a 35-40 record at Wrigley Field.
Bud Black, San Diego Padres
With 2011 being Black’s 5th season with the Padres, a 62-82 record and already 21 games behind Arizona for the NL West title, he could be on the way out. The Padres have yet to reach the postseason under Black, however they were involved in a 1-game playoff with Colorado for the Wild Card title in 2007 that many of us will never forget as one of the most exciting games we have ever witnessed. In 2010, the Padres held a 6.5 game lead over eventual World Series Champs San Francisco Giants on August 25th. After a 10 game losing streak, the Padres were still in contention, and were not officially eliminated from the playoffs until the final day of the regular season with a 90-72 record. Those were the only winnings seasons in Black’s tenure and his time in San Diego may be up.
Ron Gardenhire, Minnesota Twins
Is it really fair to say Gardenhire’s job is in jeopardy? Probably not, but it definitely is possible. Over his 10 year career with the Twins, he has amassed an 861-740 record and they have been in the playoffs 6 times. However, they have only won 6 games, 4 of which were in one series, in Gardenhire’s first season; 2002. The Twins have not won a playoff game since 2004, being swept in 2006, 2009 and 2010 in the American League Division Series. This year, Gardenhire has had to deal with crippling injuries of former AL MVP’s Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer. Statistically, the best hitter has been Michael Cuddyer, hitting .282 with 18 home runs and 64 RBI. The best pitcher has been Scott Baker who is 8-6 with a 3.21 ERA and 1.19 WHIP in 131 2/3 innings. Francisco Liriano has not been the same as he was before undergoing Tommy John surgery after the 2006 season, and aside from his no-hitter against the White Sox on May 3, he has been downright awful and is now on the 15-day disabled list. When the best players don’t perform, or are hurt, the manager is forced to do the best he can with what he is given. However a 59-84 record may just be the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back for Gardenhire.
This year, with 3 mid-season changes already, and eight new managers at the beginning of the season, shouldn’t see too much activity. I do believe that with the Cubs’ search for a new general manager under way, Quade’s days are numbered in Chicago. I also believe that Black’s inability to get the always promising Padres to the next level will leave him without a job by November. Gardenhire has not proven to me that he can bring the Twins to the World Series, and that is what the job description entails. Has it ever happened where both Managers of the Year from their respective leagues gets fired the following year? It could happen if Black and Gardenhire are let go.
***Today’s feature was prepared by our Baseball Writer, Rob Bland. We highly encourage you to leave your comments and feedback at the bottom of the page and share in the discussion with our readers. You can also follow Rob on Twitter.***
Please e-mail us at: MLBreports@gmail.com with any questions and feedback. You can follow us on Twitter and become a fan onFacebook . To subscribe to our website and have the daily Reports sent directly to your inbox , click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage.