Another manager takes a swipe at Dan Jennings’ lack of experience


Last week I noted how Chip Hale made a not-so-veiled jab at Marlins manager Dan Jennings’ handling of the bullpen. Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald points out that Buck Showalter went after Jennings over the weekend as well:

On Sunday, after Jennings’ bullpen moves figured prominently in a win over the Orioles, Baltimore manager Buck Showalter sounded unimpressed: “They used what, three guys three days in a row out of the bullpen to get it done? We’ll see how that works down the road.”

Would a traditional manager — someone groomed for the role — be treated similarly?

No damn way. I can’t remember managers making comments about other managers like this, can you? It strikes me all as clubby you-didn’t-pay-your-dues stuff. Which is kind of lame, frankly. I feel like one can take issue with the Jennings hire — and I’m not personally a fan of it — without it turning into high school like this.

Every manager who has ever run a team has made tactical mistakes. Some make them really frequently. Mike Matheny. Fredi Gonzlez. You name it. But you don’t hear them called out for them the way Jennings has been. I don’t think that’s because his mistakes are any worse. If anything, they’re more understandable given his inexperience and when a super-seasoned guy messes up you have to wonder why he did.

But Jennings isn’t a member of the fraternity, I guess. Didn’t pay his dues either by coaching, managing or playing. Perhaps that made him a poor choice for the job on the part of the Marlins. Indeed, I tend to think it may have. But it doesn’t make him any less-entitled to professional respect than any other manager gets, I don’t think.

Royals fire manager Mike Matheny after 65-97 end to season

Minnesota Twis v Kansas City Royals
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Manager Mike Matheny and pitching coach Cal Eldred were fired by the Kansas Cty Royals on Wednesday night, shortly after the struggling franchise finished the season 65-97 with a listless 9-2 loss to the Cleveland Guardians.

The Royals had exercised their option on Matheny’s contract for 2023 during spring training, when the club hoped it was turning the corner from also-ran to contender again. But plagued by poor pitching, struggles from young position players and failed experiments with veterans, the Royals were largely out of playoff contention by the middle of summer.

The disappointing product led owner John Sherman last month to fire longtime front office executive Dayton Moore, the architect of back-to-back American League champions and the 2015 World Series title team. Moore was replaced by one of his longtime understudies, J.J. Picollo, who made the decision to fire Matheny hours after the season ended.

Matheny became the fifth big league manager to be fired this year.

Philadelphia’s Joe Girardi was replaced on June 3 by Rob Thomson, who engineered a miraculous turnaround to get the Phillies into the playoffs as a wild-card team. The Angels replaced Joe Maddon with Phil Nevin four days later, Toronto’s Charlie Montoyo was succeeded by John Schneider on July 13 and the Rangers’ Chris Woodward by Tony Beasley on Aug. 15.

In addition, Miami’s Don Mattingly said late last month that he will not return next season.