I'm 55, and I never thought 'a this:
Hey Bill, what is your current understanding of the impact of managers on team won/loss records? In other words, how would you currently answer the question, "do some managers consistently move their team's win/loss record away from what would be estimated purely by the individual players?" To me, the question is impossible to separate from discussions about "clutchness" and year-to-year variance, but many fans act like it is obviously true (like clutchness). What do you think?
Asked by: HF
Not "consistently", no. No manager CONSISTENTLY has a positive impact on his team. Some managers have a tremendous impact in some seasons, but it's a question of the match between the manager and the needs of the team. Everybody has different skills. Gene Mauch was a wizard at solving bullpen issues, so when his team needed a better bullpen, he would find somebody like Darold Knowles or Mike Marshall or somebody and fix that problem, which would have an impact. But other times he would have no impact at all. It's mostly a matter of finding the manager that you NEED right now.
Isn't that a fascinating thought?
If you've been paying attention you know what Dr. D will do next :- ) which is ask whether Servais and the 2018 Mariners might be such a match. Well... do you consider Servais good at selecting a 5th-inning pitcher after Marco Gonzales needs to come out? Is it likely that he can spot a #5 pitcher on the verge of a breakout - and spot it a month early, or is it more likely he'll select the wrong #5 out of Arizona and we'll spend a month losing games with him? Can Servais come up with two or three "Wolf Pack" decisions that really work out well?
The question isn't about the Mariners overall; it's about SERVAIS. Can HE add six wins? It seems to the 'Frame that there's one way he can do it, and that would be to pitch the right middle-inning pitching.
For sure he's got reams of data on his desk before each game. My opinion, he looked real good in 2017; he got +WAR out of fifteen (15) guys last year, though the M's reliever WAR was only #16. 'course it wasn't like he was working with the Yankees' or Indians' bullpens and could just ride Chapman, Betances, and Robertson.
So, we'll see. Again, the question is whether SERVAIS can contribute to a pennant run with above-average selection of mediocre pitching.