What is a Good Manager?
I think there is the prevailing opinion amongst some fans that the difference between a bad team and a good team is its manager. Hell, we even got a comment from some moron saying that Macha would lead Pittsburgh to the playoffs, and then we'd all look stupid. I think it's important to first understand just exactly what a manager is, and more importantly, isn't.
A good manager will not make a bad team good, nor will he make a good team great. A good manager will be handed a team good enough to win 90 games, and that team will win 90 games. And at the end of the year, people will say, "Well, of course they should have won 90 games. Look at the talent they had." And that's exactly right. A good manager won't fuck shit up. Which is why so many good managers don't get noticed. When an offensive lineman does a good job, the only way you can tell is because there isn't an impression of the quarterback in the sod. When your cable company is doing a good job, the only way you can tell is the absence of calls to them on the phone bill. Mike Hargrove wasn't a hall of fame manager in Cleveland, nor is he a pathetic manager in Seattle. After managing 1871 games with a .471 winning percentage, Joe Torre didn't all of a sudden "figure it out" when he became manager of the yankees. A good manager won't win games. It's all about the players, and always has been.
So what's the difference between a good manager and a bad one? The good ones will put his players in a situation both where the player can succeed, and in situations that represent the best interests of the team. A bad manager will cost his team wins. A good manager will not cost his team wins. Ken Macha cost us a bunch of wins.
Ken Macha, my friends, is not a good manager. In fact, he just might be the worst manager in all of baseball. History. The last two years, he has taken teams that should have won 95 or more games and led them all the way to 91 and 88 wins. Do you think Joe Torre, after watching his pitcher walk the bases loaded in the 4th, and then give up 3 straight hits to start the 5th, would let his pitcher stay in to give up a homerun to Carlos Beltran? Not a chance. Would Bobby Cox bring in his 6th best reliever in the bottom of the 10th, with the bases loaded and 1 out? Would anybody in their right mind continue to bat Hatteberg cleanup, and leave Kendall at the top of the lineup? Not a chance. How many times would Bruce Bochy have to see Joe Kennedy allow every single inherited runner to score before he figured out it wasn't just a coincidence? And how fucking stupid do you have to be to pinch hit for a hitter who is going to be intentionally walked? I mean, jesus! Don't blame injuries. Every team has injuries. Every team will have to suffer through a Seth Etherton or Ryan Glynn start a time or three during the year. You have to manage those games differently. Pay attention to what's going on. Don't just pencil in the starter for 5 innings regardless of the circumstances. Stay awake. Make some moves. Be a manager. Fucking do something.
Ken Macha is a bad manager.
And a moron.
And I hate him.