Is changing managers in the middle of the season a good idea?

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In honor of the firing of Bob Geren, The Common Man updates and re-presents his study from a year ago in which he examined whether changing managerial horses in midstream actually helps teams.  The short version: eh, not really, at least from a won-loss perspective.  But it’s entirely possible — and in the case of Geren, probable, based on what we’re hearing — that not changing him would have been way worse due to the risk of even more clubhouse strife.

Oh, one other random note on Geren: John Shea of the Chronicle tweeted a little while ago that Billy Beane said that one of the reasons the move was made now was because Bob Melvin was available.

Hey, good luck to Melvin and the A’s and everything, but he’s been available for, like, two years now, and he hasn’t exactly made anyone jump at him.  And I’m sure that, had Beane waited three months to fire Geren, Melvin would have been available then too.  So, nice not to throw Geren under the bus here, Billy, but there was a reason why he was fired today, and it had little to do with the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to snag The Bob Melvin.

Umpire admits he blew the call that got Joe Maddon ejected last night

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Last night in the top of the eighth inning of the Dodgers-Cubs game, Curtis Granderson struck out. Or, at the very least, he should’ve. After the game, the umpire who said he didn’t admitted he screwed up.

While trying to squelch a Dodgers comeback, Wade Davis got Granderson into a 2-2 count. Davis threw his pitch, Granderson whiffed on it, it hit the dirt, and Willson Contreras applied the tag for the out. End of the inning, right? Wrong: Granderson argued to home plate umpire Jim Wolf that he made slight contact with the ball, Wolf, after conferring with the other umps agreed, and Granderson lived to see another pitch.

Before he’d see that pitch, Joe Maddon came out to argue the call and got so agitated about it all he was ejected for the second time in this series. He was right to argue:

It all ended up not mattering, of course, because Granderson struck out eventually anyway.

Normally such things end there, but after the game a reporter got to Wolf and Wolf did something umpires don’t often do: he admitted he blew the call:

It’s good that the bad call ended up not affecting anything. But the part of me who likes to stir up crap and watch chaos rule in baseball really kinda wishes that Granderson had hit a series-clinching homer right after that. At least as long as it didn’t result in Cubs fans burning Chicago to the ground.