Friday, September 27, 2013
Top 3 NL managers on the hot seat
By AJ Mass
When a major league team finishes 10-plus games from the team that won the division, its front office tends to reassess the manager position, especially if expectations were much higher.
Philadelphia already decided to pass along the duty of filling in the lineup card from Charlie Manuel to Ryne Sandberg, and we know that Davey Johnson is handing over the Washington Nationals' manager reins at season's end. Still, there are bound to be a few managers who get a surprise pink slip over the next few months. Here are the three National League managers we think are in the most danger of having to clean out their desks before the start of the 2014 season:
- Dale Sveum, Cubs: It's not so much that there were lofty expectations in Chicago. After all, Cubs president Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer both are fully aware that the Cubs are in rebuilding mode. That said, the front-office duo has yet to say that Sveum would be back, and given that Joe Girardi and Ron Gardenhire might both be on the market when the coaching carousel comes to a stop in a few months, a change seems like it's destined to happen.
- Ron Roenicke, Brewers: The fact that the Milwaukee Brewers will end up so far behind the three playoff teams in the National League Central has little to do with Roenicke, really. Ryan Braun's suspension and injuries to Corey Hart, Aramis Ramirez and Mat Gamel certainly had a cumulative effect on the team's disastrous 2013. The team didn't fire Roenicke after a 6-22 May, so there's a chance management could look at the team's final record and be thankful is wasn't so much worse under the circumstances. Then again, general manager Doug Melvin is signed only through 2015, and may want to make a change simply to point the finger of blame elsewhere.
- Bud Black, Padres: In seven seasons as the manager of the Padres, Black has yet to lead this team to the playoffs, and in five of those seasons -- including each of the last three -- they finished under .500. This was a team that was playing .500 ball after 80 games in 2013 and then went 1-14 over their next 15 games to effectively end their chances at a playoff run. New ownership, which took over in 2012, may have kept Black around when they bought the team to maintain some consistency in the clubhouse, but if the consistency they're getting is in the form of less than 80 wins on an annual basis, a shakeup may well be in order.