Exit manager, stage left

Bill Lyon, a much-missed retired scribe for one of the East Coast papers, told this story about baseball managers awhile back:

In 1963, Bobby Bragan, the recently-hired replacement manager for the hapless Milwaukee Braves, found two envelopes in his desk, marked #1 and #2. A cover note from Bragan’s predecessor, Birdie Tebbetts, said this: “Open only in emergencies.”

The Braves continued to free-fall. A worried Bragan opened the first envelope, and found this message: “Blame it on me.” More losses followed. Finally, Bragan opened the second envelope, and read: “Prepare two envelopes.”

There’s no real point to firing manager John McLaren [mb], but he’s become the latest ritual sacrifice on the altar of the Mariners’ continued suck. The new guy might as well have his jersey manufactured by Manpower Inc., since he’ll doubtless be replaced in turn as soon as a new permanent GM is hired.

Here’s an idea: what if we started replacing the guys who can’t hit and aren’t pitching well? Just a thought.

Meantime, for John McLaren: Thanks for trying. You deserved better. Go prepare two envelopes.

2 Comments so far

  1. 1michael on June 20th, 2008 @ 10:48 am

    There actually was a point – despite, by all accounts, his being a stand-up guy, he couldn’t manage a Little League team. Consistently putting the worst batter in baseball high in your line-up is just one sure sign that either it just isn’t what you’re cut out to do or that you really want to be fired.

    Maybe your argument is that the M’s should continue to fail as badly as possible and ensure the #1 draft pick in 2009…?


  2. colin on June 20th, 2008 @ 2:35 pm

    Meh. Managers don’t swing bats or pitch. Remember Terry Francona? He got run out of Philadelphia on a rail after years of managing mediocre Phillies teams. Now he’s a genius because he’s managing the Red Sox, with all that star power and payroll. I’d buy your argument if Bavasi hadn’t overloaded the team with such an appalling pile of inverse talent.

    To your point about shaking up the batting order: That only works if you have somebody to replace the guy. Cairo’s average was miserable, so who do you move up? Morse? Bloomquist?



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