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.