With one month left to the season, it is easy to see the teams that have struggled all season and which ones will be considering other managerial options once the season is over. Yesterday, I covered the American League and made my predictions on which AL managers will get fired and which should or should not. Today is the National League’s turn. If I believe correctly, we do not have to cover Davey Johnson as unfortunately, at the age of seventy, he is probably going to step down anyway. Here are the rest of those to consider:
Terry Collins – I like Terry Collins. He has learned from past mistakes as a manager and has been a kinder, gentler version of himself as the Mets manager. He passionately cares about his players and they play for him. He has not had the talent to be competitive. But I like where the pitching has gone under him and how he got the most out of a really bad bullpen. But…despite the lack of talent, he will probably go by the wayside. Because that is how baseball works. Will not be back. Should be back.
Mike Redmond – Redmond has not had a lot of fun in his first season. The Marlins were totally bankrupted for talent after the team purged all its higher priced talent. They had the worst offense in the National League and finished dead last in average, on-base percentage and slugging. Mike Stanton did not explode onto the scene and struck out far too often. Young Jose Fernandez has been the only bright light in the entire season. Does Redmond get any of the blame for this? He should not. The team is slightly behind their Pythagorean win-loss record, but that is not much to sneeze at nor is a smoking gun. There seems to be no harm in bringing Redmond back. But it is hard to know what the owner will do here. Should be kept. 50/50.
Ron Roenicke – It is hard to know what to make of Roenicke’s situation. His three years have seen diminished returns since his brilliant first year there in 2011. He has had the Ryan Braun mess and has never had a bullpen he can count on. This year, the rotation was continually in flux. But they have been pesky late in the season and if they continue to play well and act as the spoilers and beat their NL Central rivals somewhat regularly for the rest of the season, he might survive to fight another day. The Brewers have some nice pieces but have some large holes to fill. I think Roenicke survives. Stays. Should.
Dusty Baker – I threw Baker in here in case the Reds do not win the division and end up losing the wildcard game. If that happens, with the talent the team has and the window not seized, Baker might be the blame and be a consideration. He is alternatively loved and hated by Reds’ fans who see flaws like not trusting young players and some on-field decisions. If the Reds falter, this could be interesting. Probably stays. Probably shouldn’t.
Dale Sveum – I felt at the time Sveum was hired that is was a bad choice. I felt that Ryne Sandburg and paid his dues and deserved the nod. And Sveum’s Cubs have done nothing to change my mind. The team is four games under their Pythagorean win-loss record based on their run differential and not only that, but their young players like Starlin Castro, Darwin Barney and Anthony Rizzo have not only not improved but in most cases, regressed. Add in some of Castro’s off-field behavior and the lack of any team response and I think Sveum should be out the door. Whether he is or not remains to be seen. Shouldn’t stay. 50/50.
Walt Weiss – I don’t know if anyone can win as a manager with the Rockies. As long as they play baseball a mile high, they will never pitch as well as they need to pitch. They did pitch somewhat better, but the offense never really gelled into the juggernaut they have been in the past. Plus, the Rockies leadership is such a mess that it seems impossible to blame Weiss. If anything, he has hardly been noticeable and if no news is good news, then his presence must be good news. His chances at surviving seem to be 50/50 but I do not see any reason he should lose his job.
Bud Black – Now that new ownership is in place, you have to wonder if Bud Black will survive in San Diego. The team might want to set up their own shop and that might not be good for their current manager. The Padres are four games better than their run differential says they should be and that is good on Black. But you would think that a team managed by a former pitching coach would be better at pitching. Their staff was pretty much a disaster this season. The offense made some strides, but not nearly enough. The lack of pitching progress might be seen as a dagger on Black. I think he should probably keep his job, but I don’t think the odds are good that he will.
Bruce Bochy – I get the feeling from many blog writers that cover the Giants that the team won two World Series titles despite their manager and not because of him. And both titles were followed by relatively stinky seasons. They play so far away from where I live that I do not know what to think of him. I would say that a manager who has won two titles in his last four seasons is probably about as safe as a bad team’s manager can be.
I am not a real fan of Kirk Gibson and the whole Diamondback rah rah, scrappy vibe. I think it is overdone. But I think Gibson will be managing that team for a long time because of the organization he manages for.