Posted by Dan
Just kidding, I don’t really think they should (or shouldn’t for that matter). How’s that for taking a stance? But listening the radio today is my inspiration for this post. Callers calling for Macha’s firing, radio hosts yelling, “IT WORKED FOR THE COLORADO ROCKIES LAST YEAR! IT WORKED FOR THEM!”
First of all, I’m going to be honest– I have too much schoolwork to do all the research necessary to satisfy my curiosity on the subject. So… I’m just going to speak in generalities that I will assume to be true. There’s really only two options when you fire your manager this early:
1. The team is as bad as they are playing, keeps playing badly, and no one cares/remembers
2. The team is not as bad as they’re playing, they turn it around, and the new manager is annointed a hero.
Those are the only two options I can possibly see here. In the Brewers case, they are just not that good. They’re like a .500 team so we can’t act like its a shocker that they get into a funk like this. Sooner or later, they’ll break out and win like 5 out of 6 and people take it too far the other way. Firing Ken Macha won’t make Doug Davis not suck, it won’t fix Jeff Suppan, and it won’t stop OPSing .709 for Prince Fielder. I don’t buy that Ken Macha’s “attitude” has anything to do with anything. Ned Yost was “too intense.” Ken Macha is “too relaxed.” Do people seriously believe this stuff?
I’d love to find some info as to like, winning percentage of teams before and after firing their manager midseason, but even that doesn’t tell the whole story because I suspect that teams who fire their manager early are underperforming and likely to improve anyway. While looking up a few things, I found this article from Baseball Prospectus (which I can only see part of as a non member):
My favorite quote:
“Choosing what amounts to a VP for a $200-million enterprise should be done with the utmost care. There should be interviews and second interviews and headhunters and background checks. When you replace a manager in-season, you don’t get any of that. You get a process that consists of looking around the room and picking the least offensive of the seven guys hanging around, all of whom have been associated with the current failure.”
So, to summarize: Fire Ken Macha. Or don’t, it won’t really matter.