Monday, October 13, 2008

Managers: Do They Matter?


With the Brewers searching for a skipper, wanted to have an informal poll: Do Managers Matter? Here's an argument for both sides.

1) Managers Don't Matter.
Over a 162 game grind, the day in, day out decisions of a manager will even itself out. The teams with better players will eventually end up with a better record. This was the biggest defense for Ned Yost supporters: "The players have to step up and do their jobs. Ned's not the one striking out, making errors, and serving up meatballs." After all, this is a huge theory of Billy Beane's in Oakland. The manager is basically a figurehead who should sit stoically in the dugout and do exactly what the "Moneyball" theroies say. Hell, if it was acceptable, Beane would probably stick a "Johnny 5"-like robot in the dugout to call a game. You know what? It's worked for Oakland. They've been to the playoffs multiple times using this system with serious payroll restraints.

Joe Torre is a sure-fire hall of famer. He's been in the playoffs and World Series more often than Jimmy Carter took liver pills. BUT, he was a losing manager in his 15 seasons before reaping the benefits of George Stienbrenner's wallet. Then, he goes to Las Angeles. He's guiding the Dodgers to a pretty mediocre season and...BOOM. They trade for Manny Ramirez. He goes apeshit, the Dodgers get hot, roll into the NLCS and Torre looks smart again. Is Torre a great manager, or just lucky to have good players?

2) Managers DO Matter.

Take your 2008 Milwaukee Brewers, for instance. They were rolling, hit a brutal skid in September, replaced Yost with Dale Sveum, won 6 of their last 7 games, got in the playoffs. Would they have finished 6-1 with Ned still at the helm? We will never know, but even the biggest Ned supporters wouldn't have bet their own money of it.

Of course they matter. Why is it when Lou Pinella, Jim Leyland, and Tony LaRussa, Joe Girardi were available, they got a dozen phone calls the next day? Same thing will happen when Mike Scioscia, Ron Gardenhire, and Joe Maddon eventually go on the market. Meanwhile, how many calls have Davy Lopes, Tony Muser, Jerry Royster, and Lloyd McClendon received with managing opportunities lately?

I've already heard plenty of discussion from Brewer fans saying "Keep Sveum." At the end of the day, does it really matter who they bring in?

Vote now, vote often.

10 comments:

DOGY said...

Managers matter.

woziszeus said...

Lots of gray area with that question...but I would say "Yes."

Matt said...

I wish Mariano Duncan and Lopes would have gotten into a fist fight last night. Maybe Larry Bowa could have grabbed a chair out of the dugout and really got things cooking. Alas, it was just your typical boring baseball "fight".

Oh, and managers do matter - just not as much as coaches matter in pro football and pro basketball.

Anonymous said...

Agree with Matt's last paragraph

mgd mike said...

Yes, Managers matter

Ned Yost said...

What do they even do?

AP said...

7 figure salaries mean they had better matter. Agree with the not as much as football/basketball comment, but yes they still matter.

KL Snow said...

Managers matter. It's true that some of the decisions "even out" and teams with the best talent float up to the top anyway, but some of them do so despite being tied to the anchor of bad management. If that anchor were cut loose...

Anonymous said...

i'd have to agree with zeus on this one...but overall players make or break a team on the whole...that was dirty

-sanchez

Keith Ginter said...

Matter more than a NBA H.C, but not as much as an NFL H.C.