5 MLB Managers On the Hot Seat Heading Into the 2014 Season

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5 MLB Managers On the Hot Seat Heading Into the 2014 Season

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Ah, the life of a manger. Ride the pine, chew some sunflower seeds, grab a cup of Gatorade, and sit back and become a spectator. Hardly. Managing in professional baseball is one of the most stressful positions in all of sports. You are second-guessed in December for moves you made in June. You have to deal with whiny players, nuisance media members and demanding upper management. Your career is always in jeopardy if you fail to elicit results from a team full of some of the highest-paid athletes on the planet. Why would anyone want that life?

Well, a few reasons really. Some guys probably hate their wives and don't want to go home. Other guys do it for the money and the notoriety. And some guys do it because they love the game. Whatever the reason, this is a results-driven business, and if you can't mold your team into a winner there's always someone right behind you jumping to take your place.

Take Dusty Baker, for example. Baker managed the Cincinnati Reds for six seasons, leading them to three playoff appearances -- two in the last two seasons alone. Prior to Baker, the Reds hadn't seen the playoffs since 1995. Baker was considered a success by many in the baseball community with the work he did to turn the Reds into a productive and successful playoff contender, and now he is gone. He didn't get results. He couldn't win a World Series. The Reds felt it was time for a change, and that's how it goes.

Baker was a casualty of the 2013 season, but he wasn't the only one. Dale Sveum was canned by the Chicago Cubs, Eric Wedge left the Seattle Mariners and Davey Johnson and Jim Leyland both retired. In the same light, let's have a look at five managers on the hot seat for the 2014 season.

Vinny Gala is a baseball writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @VinnyGala.

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5. Ron Washington - Texas Rangers

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2013 Record: 91-72

2014 Result: 2nd in Division; Missed Playoffs

Ron Washington is a high quality manager – maybe the best in the business – except, he can’t seem win the big game. Twice during his tenure with the Rangers he’s lost out on a World Series ring in back-to-back years (2010 and 2011). The last two seasons have been disappointing to say the least. The Rangers would lose the Wild Card game in 2012 and not make the playoffs in 2013.

Washington is going to need a year of results or he may find himself sitting next to Dusty Baker for breakfast at Denny’s after this season is over.

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4. Robin Ventura, Chicago White Sox

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2013 Record: 63-99

2013 Result: Last in Division; Missed Playoffs

The White Sox haven’t seen the postseason since 2008 when Ozzie Guillen led the team to a Division Series loss. The 2014 season will be Ventura’s third season managing the team, amassing a record of 148-176 during his tenure.

Ventura just signed a contract extension in late-January, but management, along with the fans, are expecting results. This will be a defining season for Ventura. If he fails to eclipse the 70-win mark, look for everyone and their brother calling for Ventura’s head on a stick.

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3. John Gibbons - Toronto Blue Jays

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2013 Record: 74-88

2013 Result: Last in Division; Missed Playoffs

Fact – the Toronto Blue Jays haven’t made the playoffs in 21 seasons. If the trend continues into this season, expect the Jays to make a change similar to the change they made in 2008 when they fired Gibbons the first time.

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2. Ron Roenicke - Milwaukee Brewers

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2013 Record: 74-88

2013 Result: 4th in Division; Missed Playoffs

Roenicke will be in his fourth season with the Brewers in 2014. Contractually, his deal expires at the end of last season if not extended by exercising the option. Under Roenicke’s tenure, the Brewers have certainly regressed since he took the wheel in 2011, posting 96, 83, and 74 wins each season, respectively.

Managers in Milwaukee don’t necessarily have the longest shelf life by league standards. Roenicke is in his fourth season. His predecessor, Ken Macha, was not welcomed back for his third season, and Ned Yost was fired in his sixth season with the club, both for performance reasons.

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1 (tie). Don Mattingly - Los Angeles Dodgers

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2013 Record: 92-70

2014 Result: 1st in Division; Lost NLCS (4-2)

You may be asking yourself why Mattingly appears on this list fresh off of a three-year contract extension penned in January, but that’s exactly why he’s on this list. Management has $200 million invested in 2014, and for Mattingly not to lead the Dodgers to at least the NLCS will have been a financial failure. He probably doesn’t get canned this season, but midway through next season, absent improvement, he’s toast.

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1 (tie). Joe Girardi - New York Yankees

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2013 Record: 85-77

2013 Result: 3rd in Division; Missed Playoffs

Joe Girardi just signed a four-year contract extension in October 2013 to remain the manager of the New York Yankees. That’s all well and good, but do you think Yankees fans are going to settle for another 85-win season? What about another year missing the playoffs (fun fact: Yanks have only missed the playoffs twice since 1995 and both have been during Girardi’s tenure)? How about failing to win greater than two games in the ALCS to fall short of a World Series appearance?

Girardi has been a great manager for the Yankees, but fans and management aren’t the most patient bunch, especially when you are dropping $180 million on a “loaded” team to bolster your chances of adding a ring to your collection at the end of the season.