A lame duck veteran manager is a recipe for disaster:
For what possible reason would any GM want to put his manager in the position where he has to endure what amounts to a farewell tour amid speculation as to who's going to replace him? And why would that same GM do that to a Hall of Fame manager who has contributed so mightily to his organization?
Atlanta Braves GM Frank Wren has had a checkered career so far as a boss. I've repeatedly mentioned his one year in Baltimore as the Orioles GM where he made the brilliant maneuver to take on Cal Ripken Jr in a power struggle. Wren lost. (Or won, depending on whether you think getting fired from the Orioles was a negative or positive.) Then, after replacing John Schuerholz as the Braves GM, Wren botched the parting of the ways with both Tom Glavine and John Smoltz and alienated Cox to the point where the manager was prepared to pack up and go home in spring training of this year. He overpaid terribly for Derek Lowe; and messed with the head of Jeff Francoeur so horribly that they traded him to the hated Mets for a mediocre Ryan Church. Now, he's made another gaffe in announcing----a year before the fact----that longtime manager Cox will retire after the 2010 season.
I don't care who the manager is, it's hard to maintain discipline and respect if it's known that he's going to be gone after the season. Cox has lost a step as manager; he's made some strategic and personnel gaffes that have cost his club games; and while he's not making "old man" errors as Connie Mack did while he was still sitting in his suit and waving his scorecard managing the Philadelphia Athletics into his late-80s, it won't take much for the whispers to start next year if his mistakes continue or get worse. Would it have been that big a problem for the Braves to say that Cox is planning to manage in 2010 and possibly 2011, knowing that he had no intention whatsoever to manage after next season? He's under contract as a consultant as soon as 2010 ends, what would be the difference?
This is another huge mistake on the part of an overmatched GM----specifically when it comes to dealing with people----and it's going to come back and bite the Braves. As they get further and further away from their glory days and the stars from that era disappear one-by-one, it'll be Wren who tries to rebuild the club to what it was. His bad start is getting worse and worse and I don't care how much young talent the Braves supposedly have on the horizon, their GM is making a big mess that he's utterly incapable of cleaning up.
I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing for a manager to be functioning under the terms of his contract even if there's only one year left on the deal, but Bobby Cox is different. He doesn't deserve to be left hanging in the breeze, but that's exactly where he is and it's just plain wrong.
Well, this is no more ridiculous than Moneyball:
I got an Email from I-Universe today asking the following:
Paul, is your book ready for the big screen? Find out with a Hollywood Book Trailer.
On the surface, my initial reaction to such a request would be, "What the hell would you make a movie out of my Baseball Guide for? What would the movie be? What's the point?" Then, I thought about it and realized that they tried to make a movie out of Moneyball; how much more ridiculous would it be to make a movie from my book?
Considering Moneyball itself and how time has proven it to be such a farce, why wouldn't someone want to make a movie out of my Baseball Guide? I can do the Brad Pitt over-the-top crap that the original Moneyball script portrayed Billy Beane to be----why not? Just get me a waitress named Cammi and an Igor-like assistant to be my personal Paul DePodesta. In fact, my book is more honest and realistic than Moneyball could ever hope to be. It was more skillfully written by someone who actually knows something about baseball----ME.
I'm open to listening to movie deals. Just bring the checkbook.
Viewer Mail 9.24.2009:
Jane Heller at Confessions of a She-Fan writes RE the rebooting of the space shuttle known as my website:
Congrats on getting this back up and running. But I liked the other site better because we could leave comments instead of filling out this form!!!!!
I'm double-publishing here and on the alternate site, so if there's any preference to that, everyone's free to read me there. I'm beginning the preparations for some major changes in the coming months, so whichever is preferable to the reader is fine with me.
Oh, I'm so clever:
I wrote the following line on Twitter and it was strangely well-received for something that popped out on a whim. I was watching TV and a Cymbalta commercial came on, and the following simply emanated from my empty head:
Side effects of Cymbalta include dry mouth, constipation and diarrhea. These are also side effects of being a Mets fan.
It's funny but also sad. Because it's true.