MLB Odds: How Many More Managers Will Be Fired?
by Alan Matthews - 7/14/2011
It has been a relatively quiet Major League Baseball season in terms of managers being fired. Only the Oakland A’s have dumped their manager, Bob Geren. A managerial firing worked out very well for Oakland last time the A’s did it: The Geren firing was the first time Oakland let go of a skipper during the season since the team fired Jackie Moore after 73 games in 1986. Jeff Newman took over for 10 games on an interim basis before Tony La Russa was brought in to start a mini-dynasty that included four division titles and the 1989 World Series championship.
Two other managers have been replaced this year, Florida’s Edwin Rodriguez and Washington’s Jim Riggleman. But those two stepped down on their own accord, although Rodriguez was probably pushed out and certainly would have been fired with the Marlins in a freefall.
One of Bodog’s recently released props is how many managers will be fired from Friday until the final day of the regular season. The ‘over/under’ is just a half (meaning if you bet the ‘over’ and one manager is canned, you win your bet), with the ‘over’ a big -250 favorite and the ‘under’ at +170. With that said, let’s look at the only three guys I think could go. For what it’s worth, I tend to lean to the ‘under’ here.
Ozzie Guillen, White Sox: The Pale Hose have been one of the majors’ most disappointing teams as they start the second half at 44-48 and five games behind the first-place Detroit Tigers in the AL Central. Owner Jerry Reinsdorf signed off on a big payroll increase in re-signing Paul Konerko and bringing in free agent Adam Dunn, who has been just terrible. Frankly, both Guillen and GM Kenny Williams could be gone after this season, but Reinsdorf loves Guillen and I don’t think he cans him during the year just for salary reasons. But look for Ozzie to be the Marlins’ manager next season unless the White Sox make the playoffs.
Mike Quade, Cubs: I don’t mean to pick on the Chicago teams here, but the Cubs have been awful. For what it’s worth, Fox baseball writer Ken Rosenthal said he thought Quade, who is in his first season, wouldn’t be back next year. And it does seem like the rookie manager is in a bit over his head; he had a heated exchange with pitcher Ryan Dempster, who is one of the most respected players in baseball. Quade has had some very questionable decision as well, including not walking St. Louis star Albert Pujols in an extra-inning game in St. Louis with first base open. Pujols then hit a winning homer. I don’t think Quade is back next year – former Cubs legend Ryne Sandberg, who was beaten out by Quade for this job, says he is still interested – and neither is GM Jim Hendry. But the Ricketts family, which owns the team, is too conservative to fire Quade before the season is out.
Jim Tracy, Rockies: Colorado hasn’t been shy about making a managerial change in the past, and making that move spurred the team to the playoffs when the club dumped Clint Hurdle when it was 18-28 in 2009. Tracy took over and led the Rockies to a 74-42 finish, the NL Manager of the Year award and a Wild-Card spot. But Tracy hasn’t done much since, with Colorado finishing just three games over .500 last year and struggling along at 43-48 and 8.5 games out of first in the NL West this season (the first time the Rockies have been below .500 at the break since 2008).
Colorado had high expectations after spending a ton to lock up Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez this offseason. The struggles of Ubaldo Jimenez and season-ending injury to Jorge De La Rosa haven’t helped things, and those really aren’t Tracy’s fault. But that hardly matters. Tracy is only signed through next year so it wouldn’t cost too much to dump him. Colorado has traditionally been a second-half team, but if the club stumbles out of the gate, Tracy might be a goner.
If any manager is fired in the second half, Tracy is it. But take the ‘under’.
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