To what extent does a manager contribute to the success of a baseball team?
Do in-game strategies have a significant effect, or is the manager's role primarily motivational?
I see the impact mostly int he handling of pitching. For instance, Eric Wedge in Seattle completely mismanages his starting staff, leaving in pitchers well beyond effectiveness and bringing in the wrong reliever at the wrong time. As an A's fan, this pleases me, but Eric Wedge, I believe, has cost the Mariners several wins this season.
Managers are more responsible for losses then they are for wins.
We must first ask ourselves what is a manager in baseball. He's the person that has to get the most out of the players the general manager has assembled. Bad players result in bad teams, over 90% of the time, regardless of who is manager. There are exceptions. 2012's Baltimore Orioles have been getting by, in my opinion, on the manager's skills (Buck Showalter). But the majority of the time, a team of proven players will outplay a team of unproven players. It's therefore my conclusion that a manager can have a significant impact on how a team fares in any major league baseball season.
It depends on preparation and talent. I'm amazed with all the stats and charts available to field managers these days, most "go with their gut". What made Earl Weaver great was that he was totally into stats. Boog Powell was 1-for-61 against Mickey Lolich before Weaver got there. Guess what? MVP or not, Boog Powell sat against Lolich. Buck Showalter keeps running J.J. Hardy and his .265 on-base percentage out there in the two hole every day rather than giving him a rest or seeing the stats. Hardy's had a couple of homers lately, but it's obviously Buck is just rotating people rather than playing people who can actually hit the opposing pitcher.
That being said, if you don't have talent, the manager can't win anything. Sparky Anderson said as much.
A manager probably means the difference of five games within a 162 game season. So a great manager turns an 85 win team into a 90 win team (see Mike Scioscia) while a mediocre manager may cost his team a few wins in the long haul. I would say baseball managers have the least impact on his team among the 4 major sports. Basketball for example has a lot to do with making in game adjustments and in playoff series adjustments from game to game. Take the 1998 Yankees..I could've managed that team to a World Series Title. So yes while a MLB Manager will have to make key in-game decisions along with filling out lineup cards and starting rotations i can not recall the last time i saw a great championship caliber team and said to myself..only if they had a great manager they woulda won.
The manager is the spokesperson for his team and all the other managers below his title answer to him and are directed by him. It is an "All do your part"game from the players, scouts, general manager, pitching and batting coaches and medical personal, as well as those who oversee rehabilitation of the injured. The guys who put grass on the field and mow it, mark it off and sprinkle water on the grass to keep it green, the folks who sell peanuts and popcorn, police who oversee safety measures and commentators who carry the games over the airwaves, all have a special role in the game of baseball. The manager takes on the role as being responsible for it all and answers for the teams ups and downs. A good manager knows how to relate to the players and make them feel that he is there for their own best interest and appreciation.He also has to be the head disciplinarian and must do this in a positive way to promote the best from each person involved. He depends on his stats readers and scouts to bring in new and favorable talent for the sake of the team and winning seasons. A good manager knows the game of baseball in and out and makes the decisions about starting line ups and rotation involving pitchers. The pitchers depends on the manager in deciding when to take out starters and put in back-ups, or closers.It is a big job and requires a lot of know how and patience in order to oversee the team's progress. It is a very demanding job in the game of baseball.
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