We hear from managers all the time about how they are “hired to be fired.” Well, we’re still early in the 2012 season but here are a half-dozen who already have earned a pink slip and a free pass out of town.
Ozzie Guillen is a head-case. He has been a one his entire career. Combine that with his pro-Castro rant coupled with his penchant for being a loose cannon and his team playing terribly I don’t see him surviving the season — and I believe that baseball will be better without him.
Speaking of head-cases; Bobby Valentine was an epic mistake for the Boston Red Sox unless they were sure this team wasn’t going to be any good. Then hiring him was a genius move, because then they have a built-in scapegoat – all the team’s problems can be blamed on him and injuries. Valentine never had his players’ respect, and called out one of the best people in baseball in Kevin Youkilis earlier this season. Red Sox bloggers are universally against Valentine, the fans in the stands hate him and his players can’t possibly like him. Former MVP Dustin Pedroia already shot back at Bobby’s comments on Youkilis. I don’t expect Valentine to make it to the All Star Game.
Dale Sveum (Cubs), Bud Black (Padres), and Ned Yost (Royals) all need to be put out of their misery. Nobody deserves the headache that is Wrigleyville. Black may be scarred for life from having to watch that offense and defense every day. Yost may be a solid manager, but this is the Royals, and not even Yoda could mentor this many younglings into a winning team. I don’t believe any of them are currently on the burner so to speak, but these are three managers whose teams don’t have any chance of winning and who have little chance to see improvement from their teams’ collective weaknesses.
Then you get to former Manager of the Year award winner Ron Gardenhire in Minnesota. I get to listen to him throw rookies and young players under the bus often while having no accountability for his veterans. He has an incessant need to shuffle his lineups and to use players like Drew Butera, Nick Punto and Matt Tolbert.
Most recently, he plucked Clete Thomas off of waivers. He struck out 16 times in 28 at-bats before being cut for the May Waiver Wire Walking Dead signee, in Erik Komatsu. His roster consists of 13 pitchers and three catchers (one of whom is the third-worst hitting position player in the last 75 years of baseball in Butera on a 25-man roster.
The team went through a four-game stretch last week during which it was no-hit and one-hit and had a total of just nine hits, which Elias Sports Bureau confirmed was a historical achievement for futility. This is not the time to bring up a career .178 hitter with a.220 on-base percentage.
Wednesday night’s game where the Angels’ Jered Weaver no-hit the Twins may have been rock bottom, but the combination of a lack of talent and a coaching staff that has not been getting results over the last couple years could make no-hitters against the Twins a common theme.
I am committing a blasphemous act here in Minnesota by calling for his firing, but I’m not the first. The blog Fire Ron Gardenhire was created in 2005. I don’t think that the injuries were the only reason the team lost 99 games last year and is on pace to do even worse in 2012. His smoke-and-mirrors career is based more on having beaten up the American League Central. His winning percentage against the AL East is pathetic, and against the Yankees alone is 20-53 during the regular season. His record is 6-21 in the post season alone could have netted an axe. When you add his horrible coaching staff, a GM that has cut payroll, and added nothing to the pitching staff, nothing coming up in the minors for another year or two, and an owner that has always cared more about profits than winning, I expect Gardenhire to retire at the end of the season if he isn’t fired. But as a Twins fan I’m hoping to see the axe.