10 MLB Managers On the Hot Seat Heading Into 2014
10 MLB Managers With Their Jobs on the Line
It has been said that professional managers and coaches are hired to be fired as it's just a matter of time until it happens. This season will be no different, and a handful of skippers will feel the heat from the start of spring training in 2014.
The impact of a manager on his team is nearly impossible to quantify, but as we all know you can't fire all the players, so someone has to take the fall. Bullpen management is often deemed the area of greatest impact on the game as well as how the manger handles the veterans and stars on the club.
Overall, there are countless reasons a manager gets fired, although a team's record and overall performance generally trumps all. However, other factors such as a new owner or general manager could lead to an early ouster for the field general. Even the team's success may not be enough as managers simply may not meet the club's higher expectations or fit in with the organization's philosophy.
Five MLB franchises have new managers in 2014, leaving the door open for plenty of changes during or after the new campaign. A handful of teams also handed out extensions for this season and beyond, but that isn't a guarantee the manager's job is safe. On the surface, it may put the skipper at ease and instill confidence in the players; however, all it takes is a 6-22 start and suddenly the contract is spoiled.
Keep all that in mind as we get a glimpse at the men who are on the hot seat before the first pitch has even been thrown in 2014.
10. Bo Porter -- Houston Astros
The wins and losses won’t determine Bo Porter’s fate as the Houston Astros are in full rebuilding mode. However, no one knows the official length of his contract, so he could be on his final year anyway. The young guys need to develop and take big steps forward or the organization will quickly look elsewhere to ensure their plans are carried out effectively.
9. Lloyd McClendon -- Seattle Mariners
It’s strange to see a newly-hired manager on the list, but there’s major dysfunction throughout the Seattle Mariners' management structure. General manager Jack Zduriencik is in his final year, the president and COO retired and the club is “going for it” in adding Robinson Cano and Corey Hart. Lloyd McClendon is entering a swarm, and he may be stung after one year.
8. Ron Washington -- Texas Rangers
Despite four 90-win seasons in a row and two World Series appearances, Ron Washington has always appeared to be on the verge of losing his gig. The sentiment is that Washington lacks in the area of in-game management decisions, costing the Texas Rangers in the playoffs. He’s only signed through 2014, and if the club takes a step back it may be enough to go in a different direction.
7. Mike Scioscia -- Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Though Mike Scioscia is under contract through 2018, there were rumors that he and general manager Jerry DiPoto could have been let go after a disappointing 78-84 season. Considering the free agent acquisitions and trades the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have made, a fifth straight year of missing the playoffs may lead to swift action.
6. Bud Black -- San Diego Padres
The San Diego Padres have had three straight seasons with 76 or fewer wins, putting Bud Black on notice. Technically signed through 2015, Black probably needs his club to hit 80 victories to stay on board in San Diego. They’re in a tough division, but if management doesn’t see some improvement, 2014 could be his last.
5. Terry Collins -- New York Mets
It was a bit shocking Terry Collins received an extension last September seeing as the New York Mets have averaged 75 wins in his three seasons at the helm. Veteran additions of Curtis Granderson, Chris Young and Bartolo Colon turn up the heat on Collins in 2014. A fourth consecutive season with fewer than 80 wins might be enough for a change.
4. John Gibbons -- Toronto Blue Jays
Some were surprised when John Gibbons was retained following the 2013 campaign after failing to bring together the wealth of new talent. In fact, 2013 saw rumors of a mid-season firing and ended with only a one-win improvement for the Toronto Blue Jays. His seat starts off hot in 2014 as many questioned Gibbons’ hiring to begin with, and he didn’t prove the doubters wrong last year.
3. Ron Roenicke -- Milwaukee Brewers
The Milwaukee Brewers' signing of Matt Garza says they plan on competing for the playoffs in Ron Roenicke’s final year of his contract. Last year was a mulligan as missing Ryan Braun and Aramis Ramirez for most of the season torpedoed the offense. Keep in mind, owner Mark Attanasio has had a quick trigger before when his expectations are raised.
2. Ned Yost -- Kansas City Royals
The Kansas City Royals finished over .500 last year for the first time under Ned Yost. While he was extended through 2015, that means little if they slide back this season. Yost tends to bring clubs up to the point of competing, but his limitations prevent him from leading teams to the promised land. Any prolonged struggles will spell doom for Yost.
1. Kirk Gibson -- Arizona Diamondbacks
The Arizona Diamondbacks declined to pick up Kirk Gibson’s options for 2015 or 2016, so he’s squarely in the cross-hairs. There was an overhaul of Gibson’s staff and many wonder if his act has worn off. After back-to-back 81-win campaigns, the Diamondbacks need to be in playoff contention in the season's final week if Gibson wants to keep his job.