Monday, October 13, 2014

Who to Blame? Fire the GM or the Manager

The baseball playoffs are in full swing, which usually means the teams that ended up in the basement of the standings are starting to make changes to their managerial staffs. Teams this postseason shopping for a new manager include the Houston Astros and the Texas Rangers, as the Arizona Diamondbacks just hired Chip Hale, who was the Athletics bench coach. Although the Rangers lost manager Ron Washington to personal reasons, the Astros let Bo Porter go for needing someone to lead them in a "new direction." But wouldn't you expect everybody to lead their teams in the same direction, a winning direction?

Bo Porter during his time as Astros manager
The Houston Astros have been an interesting franchise over the past 10 years. After being a World Series contender in 2005, the team has found itself in either the bottom of the NL West or the AL West, and are planning for a breakout in the 2017 season, which is still two seasons away. Their hiring of Porter in the 2012 season looked very good for him, as he was one of the most desired candidates that season, like what Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo has been the last two years. But can you blame Porter for being fired? He was put in charge of a team that isn't planning on being a winning team for another two years and had to listen to just about every analyst rip his team to shreds for the past two seasons.

I think the problem is more of a general manager issue than a manager issue. The manager can only play with the toys he is given, but the general manager is the one who buys the toys. If you can't give a manager a team that can win, than don't be surprised when they become upset and begin to lose. Even the best of managers can't produce wins if they're not given a winning team. Look at the Boston Red Sox this season. John Farrell won a World Series as manager in 2013, but when they lost talent, -- like Jacoby Ellsbury -- in free agency, and general manager Ben Cherington replaces him with an unheralded rookie, it comes as no surprise they did not have much success this year, finishing last in the AL East. 

I don't think all the blame should go on the general manager, as the manager's job is to produce a winning lineup, but it is just worth looking a little deeper into the moves of the general manager, a position that will soon start to get even more attention that it has ever had. 


Bennett Schiff is a sophomore in the Drexel Sport Management program, and one of the few members of the major from the powerful state of Rhode Island. He has volunteered for the U.S. Open of Squash held at Drexel as well as becoming a member of the Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity. He has worked hard as a member of the SMTSU, and is currently its treasurer. 

No comments:

Post a Comment