Just another week or two before we get some material to hash over. Dr. D thinks he can say without fear of contradiction that it has been a tepid offseason, this 2017-18 winter, and he thinks he can follow that up by saying it's even more so in Marinerland. It's been a long, cold, boring winter in Seattle. Once the game start, we can start ping-pong'ing our impressions as to whether:
1) "Wolf Pack" pitching is going to leave the Mariners ahead of the (100-year) curve on more relief pitching rather than less
2) Whether Mitch Haniger is going to become a .530-SLG'ing beast in right field
3) Whether Scott Servais is going to make a 7-WAR impact by yanking BOR starters three games earlier or later, whether he deploys his RP's to advantage, and so forth
4) Whether Dee Gordon's speed is going to translate into mediocrity in CF, into apparent whizbangery in the popcorn-popper air current, or what
In the meantime, we make do with gnawing chicken wings. In this weekend's crop of Hey Bills we get this controversial assertion:
It used to be that teams fired managers when their teams underperformed. No team overperformed in the A.L. last year as much as the Yankees, and no team underperformed as much as the Rangers (based on pre-season expectations). I realize certain styles of managing work for different phases of a team's build and win cycle, but whatever Joe Girardi was doing it seemed to be working and whatever Jeff Banister was doing - almost everything went wrong. I couldn't find any explantion for the Girardi firing other than Sports Illustrated's "Cashman cited Girardi's issues with connectivity and communication with players . . ." That sounds pretty lame for the success Girardi has had for the last 10 years. What's your take on this, Bill?
Asked by: hotstatrat /John Carter
I think you have simplified historical patterns to draw a conclusion that would not hold up. The Yankees in 1960 fired Casey Stengel after 12 brilliant seasons; after the 1964 season they fired Yogi Berra after he had won 99 games and the American League. The Cincinnati Reds fired Sparky Anderson after a 92-win season in 1978. The Mets the same year (1978) brought back Joe Torre after he lost 95 games--and brought him back again the next year after he lost 99 games, and brought him back again the next year, after he lost 95.
I just don't believe that your premise is valid. When a manager will be fired was never highly predictable, which I know because I have tried to write formulas to predict it.
First of all: this is a fairly straightforward rejection of something I would have taken to be self-evident.
Second of all: if it is true, it's probably due to personality conflicts between the GM and manager.
Third of all: I've never noticed that the 1977-2017 Seattle Mariners have failed to give their managers fair opportunities. Way TOO fair in almost all cases.
Fourth of all: it is Dipoto himself who is on the hot seat in my book. This is the year that Haniger and Segura and Vincent and Ramirez and, in fact, the entire philosophy, has a swing of outcomes from "look what a genius this guy turned out to be" to something far, far less.
James' last sentence, it really holds up here, though. I thought Scott Servais would have been under a lot of pressure after his 78-84 season, but instead Dipoto gave him a 100-megawatt sunny smile and rearranged the coaching personnel AROUND him - not even changing much of the weaponry on the field.
Yet one more manifestation of Jerry Dipoto's remarkable confidence. He's a very nice man, but right now his self-image is running way ahead of his results.