Managing to improve
Wow, those four months sure went by like nothing … Anyway, I’m all-Tweeted out and back …
Between retirements and performance-motivated changes, the approaching offseason could feature an unprecedented turnover in the managerial ranks.
So here’s something to chew on:
Changing managers can make a difference on the field, even though you’ve been forever spoon-fed the idea that they really don’t influence wins and losses.
Colorado’s Jim Tracy experience last season should have routed that myth for good. But, just in case skeptics persist, consider the more recent history.
And I don’t mean just Buck Showalter, who instantly made baseball again relevant in Baltimore. He is just one of five new men on the job, most of whom have had an immediate and positive impact on their teams.
The exception is Arizona’s Kirk Gibson, whose winning percentage (.400, 16-24) is virtually identical to that of predecessor A.J. Hinch (.392, 31-48).
The four other before-and-after snapshots:
- Ned Yost, Kansas City: 12-23 (.343) to 37-46 (.446).
- Edwin Rodriguez, Florida: 34-36 (.486) to 23-23 (.500).
- Showalter: 32-73 (.305) to 9-4 (.692).
- Daren Brown, Seattle: 42-70 (.375) to 4-2 (.667).
Add ’em up, and teams which replaced managers during the season were playing .376 ball (151-250) before the moves and have played .473 ball (89-99) since.
Change for the sake of change — as managerial moves are often greeted? Nope; I’d say change for the sake of improvement.