Craig Calcaterra

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Baseball’s Most Handsome Managers: 2015 Update

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SAN DIEGO — One year ago today I changed managerial analysis forever by introducing the one metric that people should, if they had any sense, care about the most: how handsome each one is compared to the others.

We have several new managers this year and some of the existing ones have had their handsomeness either enhanced or diminished by circumstances, so it is time to revisit the subject.

First, the disclaimers:

  • No baseball manager is ugly. All of them have inner beauty, I’m sure.
  • This is a subjective list, obviously. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Understand that I and others will privately judge you for thinking unattractive managers are handsome, but that reflects poorly on us, not you. Let no one besides you dictate your feelings.
  • Finally, because some of you will inevitably offer a neanderthal comment about all of this, let me head it off by assuring you that this is merely a list of aesthetic handsomeness, not one of love or longing. I hate that even in 2014 I feel as though I have to say it, but I will say that I am a totally straight man making these judgments. If you find something wrong or amiss with that, I feel sorry for you. There is far too much beauty among people in the world for us to fail to acknowledge 50% of it merely because we’re worried about appearing less than traditionally masculine or feminine. Free your mind, the rest will follow.

Now, rankings. I’ll include comments for holdovers from last year if they had a RIoH (Relevant Impact on Handsomeness)

1. Brad Ausmus: Still the big dog, but his hold is not as strong as it was last year. Last year he was confident and we projected so much onto him. Watching him sweat a little bit as he bungled his bullpen moves all year and in the postseason was like seeing Brad Pitt pick his nose. It didn’t change his looks at all, but the spell was broken, however briefly.

2. Mike Matheny: His lack of strategic confidence was already baked into last year’s ranking, so he is close to Ausmus. Very, very close.

Tied-3. Ned Yost: Yost moves up! Everyone loves a winner and if you thought he exuded confidence before, you should see him strutting around San Diego this week. He’s gonna give you your interview, drop a casual reference to winning the AL Pennant and then go home to Georgia and shoot a big animal and he doesn’t care what in the hell you think.

Tied-3. Robin Ventura: He’s been all smiles given the White Sox moves in the past few days and smiling makes everyone look better.

5. A.J. Hinch: With a bullet. He’s a bit more gray around the temples now compared to when we saw him with the Dbacks, but that certainly helps his case and his gravitas. And look at his posing! He’s a natural:

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6. John Farrell

7. Jeff Banister: This says it all:

I DON’T CARE HOW GOOD YOU LOOK, YOU JERK! YOU’LL NEVER BE MY REAL DAD!! *runs into room, slams the door*

8. Paul Molitor: A VERY VERY tough case. On the one hand, Molitor may have been the single most handsome person on this list at one time in his life. Check this hunk of beef out:

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But time is undefeated, man:

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Gleeman observes that, in the right light, Molitor still looks like his old self, but he’s very, very dependent on the light. So, for now, consider his ranking provisional. We’ll see how he does under the spotlight for the next year. Wait, no spotlight. Maybe some shadows would be helpful here.

9. Bud Black

10. Ryne Sandberg

11. Mike Redmond

12: Joe Maddon: A move up for Maddon. It’s the college effect. You know that sort of nerdy hipster kid you knew in high school who moved on to college? You didn’t see him for 10 months and then he came back and  . . . something was different? You can’t say exactly how he improved, but he did somehow. And when you think hard about it, you realize that it’s really just you. He’s more important now and lives in a cooler place and you’re just superficial, man.

13. Ron Roenicke

14. Terry Francona

15. Don Mattingly: He and his wife just had a baby. At age 53 for Don. We’re going to see him a lot more haggard on homestands and a tad fresher on the road.

16. Bob Melvin: As the A’s slid from being the best team in baseball at midseason to just barely making the wild card game and then losing it, Melvin’s countenance tended to change along with it. Something like this:

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Still, I saw him here yesterday and he’s looking a bit better. Not enough to arrest a slide down the rankings completely, but enough to help a bit.

17. Joe Girardi He has A-Rod to deal with again this year, so expect some more stressful looks. But he’s still as solid as a rock.

18. Bryan Price

19. Matt Williams 

20: Fredi Gonzalez: His rating is actually improved by the Braves’ confusing offseason moves. His default appearance is one of confusion, so he’s now more in his element and that matters.

21. Kevin Cash: He has a boyish thing going on:

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Here cheekbones and soulful eyes do better for you in the rankings, thus the lower ranking, but I realize some people go for the boyish look.

22. Lloyd McClendon: Last year I gave him credit for his winning smile. And then the Mariners and went and won a lot of games, giving him a lot more reason to smile.

23. Buck Showalter Same as McClendon, really. More smiles in 2014 and even some jokes — maybe his first ever — definitely help is cause.

24. John Gibbons

25. Chip Hale: That’s a rugged man. Not a matinee idol, but rugged. And some folks like rugged.

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26. Walt Weiss

27. Terry Collins 

28. Mike Scioscia

29. Bruce Bochy Bruce has three World Series titles in five seasons and is probably heading to the Hall of Fame now. He could grow a second (very, very large) head and he wouldn’t care a lick. Nor should he.

30. Clint Hurdle: Last year someone told him that I ranked him last and he was reportedly happy about it, as I would hope a legit old school baseball man would. Indeed, he even took it as a compliment. So far be it from me to elevate him from this position of honor. Which is difficult! He just had hip surgery and, as my father has told me, when you get to a certain age in life, your attractiveness is positively influenced by your access to handicapped parking placards. So use what you got, Clint. Use what you got.

Quote of the Day: Chris Antonetti would like the good players to stay out of the AL Central

chris antonetti indians
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I always assumed that this reflected the inner-monlogue of every general manager. It’s funny to see it as Indians GM Chris Antonetti’s outer-monlogue too:

“If you’re asking me my preference, I would prefer that better players would not come to our division, other than to our team.”

The Twins will comply because, well, that’s just what they do, but no one else makes any promises.

UPDATE: Jon Lester’s $30 million signing bonus is included in the $155 million

jon lester getty
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UPDATE: Bruce Levine reports that Lester’s $30 million signing bonus is included in the $155 million. Why it’s characterized as a signing bonus is still an interesting questions but, no, it’s not a $185 million deal.

11:36 AM: Just some added flavor to the deal the Cubs gave Jon Lester:

From what I can tell based on what everyone is saying, that’s on top of the $155 million, but we’ll certainly update that if it’s being misreported. If so, it’s a 6-year, $185 million contract. Yeah, I think it’s safe to say the Cubs wanted him.

As for why it’s being characterized as a $155 million deal with a “bonus” paid out over the life of the deal, which makes it functionally the same as additional salary: my guess is that it’s an ownership politics thing in which no one really wants to be the team that gave out the $30M+/year contract to a pitcher, so let’s just call it a bonus. Or there could be some luxury tax-avoidance issues in play for down the road.

Which, whatever. People aren’t idiots and can do math. But I can’t otherwise see why they’d structure it that way as opposed to just paying the man straight dough.

Report: Major League Baseball revenues to top $9 billion this year

Money Bag
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Maury Brown of Forbes reports that Major League Baseball’s annual revenues for 2014 will top $9 billion. That figure is an increase of $1 billion over last year.

Driving the increase: media revenue, with new deals with FOX, ESPN, and TBS doubling the previous national TV take and local deals for the Dodgers, Rangers, Angels and others all leading to increases.

As Brown notes, gross revenues for Major League Baseball have grown 321 percent in the past 19 years.

UPDATE: the Astros sign Pat Neshek to a two-year, $12.5 million deal

Pat Neshek
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UPDATE: Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reports that a deal is in place, and Neshek will get a two-year, $12.5 million contract from Houston. There is an option for a third year as well.

9:50 AM: The Astros just made news of one bullpen signing, inking Luke Gregerson to a three-year, $18.5 million contract. But they’re not done yet, it seems: Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Astros are “closing in” on signing reliever Pat Neshek as well.

Neshek is coming off an All-Star season with the Cardinals in which he posted a 1.87 ERA with 68 strikeouts and just nine walks over 67 and a third innings.

If this gets done, the Astros have made over the back end of their bullpen before 10am Eastern time. What have you accomplished today?