Question of the Day: Which MLB managers are not likely to survive the season? [Updated]
Writers from around the Tribune Co. discuss Major League Baseball managers. Check back throughout the day for more responses and weigh in with a comment of your own.
Phil Rogers, Chicago Tribune
Down goes (Bob) Geren! Who will follow him out the door? It’s possible that there will be no other mid-season firings, as an overall period of stability should follow the rash of changes in 2010.
But how much loyalty will Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria show Edwin Rodriguez, who was given only a one-year contract? Rodriguez is in a terrible spot with a team that has collapsed (losing 14 of 15 through Wednesday) and construction finishing on a new stadium. He’s a huge longshot to stay on the job into 2012 but could make it to the end of this season.
Other guys who could go before their time is up are the White Sox’s Ozzie Guillen, the Dodgers’ Don Mattingly, the Rockies’ Jim Tracy and the Astros’ Brad Mills (although General Manager Ed Wade is under more heat than him).
The answer to this question can be found in the lower reaches of the National League Central standings. The Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros are both looking way up at the Pittsburgh Pirates right now, which is not exactly the kind of thing that promotes managerial job security.
There is an online wagering site that has posted a "Who's the next MLB manager to go?" proposition bet, and Cubs manager Mike Quade is the favorite at the moment, but Astros skipper Brad Mills has to be looking over his shoulder, too.
The Astros have the worst record in baseball and are in the midst of an ownership change. Throw in some dugout turmoil that led to the recent firing of popular pitching coach Brad Arnsberg and it's fair to speculate that incoming owner Jim Crane may be looking to shake things up after the sale of the franchise is finalized.
Juan C. Rodriguez, South Florida Sun Sentinel
The two most tenuous managerial situations might be in Florida and Houston.
Edwin Rodriguez, who replaced Fredi Gonzalez as interim manager last June, led the Marlins to a 29-19 start. Due in part to injuries (Josh Johnson, Hanley Ramirez) and nonperformance, they lost 17 of their next 20. The Marlins retained Rodriguez through the 2011 season, but the prevailing thought is they would look for a higher profile guy heading into the new ballpark in 2012. Owner Jeffrey Loria has an itchy trigger finger with managers, and he’s already fired the hitting coach.
In Houston, second-year man Brad Mills is 101-130 during his season and a half, including a 25-44 mark in 2011. Pitching coach Brad Arnsberg has lost his job. The new ownership could be looking to make a splash by installing their manager of choice, particularly after seeing Clint Hurdle's immediate impact with the National League Central rival Pittsburgh Pirates.
[Updated at 12:30 p.m.:
Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times
Florida Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria always believes his team should win but seldom pays the price for players, with Hanley Ramirez and Josh Johnson as exceptions -- and Johnson got a contract extension only after the commissioner's office and players' union reminded Loria all that revenue-sharing money was supposed to be helping his team. Loria instead pays a well-regarded baseball management team, led by Larry Beinfest. So at whom does Loria point the finger when the Marlins don't win? The manager. Sorry, Edwin Rodriguez.
Three other National League managers appear in danger because of ownership issues. In Chicago, new owner Tom Ricketts inherited general manager Jim Hendry, but the Cubs' high-priced ineptitude could cost Hendry his job, which could cost Manager Mike Quade his job.
In Houston, incoming owner Jim Crane could dump the management that assembled the team with the worst record in the league, and that could cost General Managed Ed Wade and Manager Brad Mills their jobs. In Los Angeles, where the Dodgers play to a half-empty stadium, the team could be up for sale soon, and a new owner might sweep out General Manager Ned Colletti and Manager Don Mattingly.]
Photo: Florida Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez. Credit: Steve Mitchell / US Presswire