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Which MLB Managers Will Be Entering the 2011 Season on Thin Ice?

When the 2011 Major League Baseball season commences in March, there will be 12 teams heading into this season with new managers (Marlins, Orioles, Royals, Cubs, Mariners, Diamondbacks, Pirates, Braves, Blue Jays, Brewers, Dodgers and Mets). With all that managerial turnover, you would expect a quiet midseason regarding managerial changes, right? 

Well, not so fast. Several managers will be heading into the 2011 MLB season on the hot seat and the pressure is on for these skippers to win or else. And so without further adieu, here are the managers who will be pressure-cooking this upcoming season:

Eddie Rodriguez, Marlins

He was originally supposed to be a three-day interim manager in Florida after Fredi Gonzalez got the ax. Then it became a week-long job, which escalated into a season-long job, and finally after a failed attempt by owner Jeffrey Loria to find a quality replacement, Loria had no choice but to give E-Rod the job on a permanent basis. If the Marlins disappoint this season, expect the Marlins to open next season with not only a new ballpark but a new manager as well. 


Bud Black, Padres

He is a quality baseball guy and an excellent handler amongst his pitchers which resulted in him receiving NL Manager of the Year honors. But the fact of the matter is that the Padres have come a win short of making the postseason in two of Black’s four years with the team. Another disappointing finish will doom Black’s chances for a return.


Jim Riggleman, Nationals

Riggleman finds himself an easy target for an ownership team that is trying to make a splash, and has overspent on free agents thinking that the Nats will be a force in 2011 when in reality the Nats are expected to finish last again in the NL East, making Riggleman a likely scapegoat.


Ozzie Guillen, White Sox

The mouthy Guillen has been a favorite with owner Jerry Reinsdorf but so is equally outspoken GM Kenny Williams and the ongoing battles between the two men will force Reinsdorf to choose between Guillen and Williams. With a possible vacancy in Florida, Guillen will love a change of scenery.


Joe Girardi, Yankees

He’s the Yankees manager, of course. However, nothing’s a certainty in the Bronx. With longtime mainstays Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera getting up in years expect the Yanks to make a major overhaul this offseason if the Bronx Bombers don’t make the postseason.


However, the guys who will be feeling the pressure this season are the usually safe general managers. Among the GMs who will be entering the 2011 on shaky ground include Doug Melvin (Brewers), Tony Reagins (Angels), Jack Zduriencik (Mariners) and Neal Huntington (Pirates).

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Arizona Diamondbacks Let Go of A.J. Hinch: What Other Skippers Are in Trouble?

As ESPN MLB writer Tim Kurkjian put it, “Managing in the Major Leagues is a really hard job.”

And to tell you the truth, he is absolutely correct.

Case in point: A.J. Hinch, who along with GM Josh Byrnes were relieved of their duties as Manager and GM of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The D-Backs, once the darlings of 2001, have the second-worst winning percentage in the National League, trailing the Pittsburgh Pirates (whose skipper John Russell is in the managerial hot seat as well). 

And so we enter the first of July and already four managers (Trey Hillman, Dave Trembley, Fredi Gonzalez, and now Hinch) are out of a job.

It’s used to be that the MLB manager has a cushy job security compared to NBA and NHL coaches since the team can fire either a pitching coach or hitting coach (compared to the NBA and NHL who have assistant coaches).

But this year could be like 2002 when seven teams made midseason managerial changes—we may very well have as many as ten skippers out of a job before the 2010 season is over.

Here are the job security status for the remaining managers, not counting Bobby Cox and Cito Gaston who will retire after this season:

Joe Girardi, NYY—safe

Terry Francona, BOS—safe

Joe Maddon—iffy

Ron Gardenshire, MIN—safe

Jim Leyland, DET—iffy

Ozzie Guillen, CWS—iffy

Manny Acta, CLE—iffy

Ron Washington, TEX—safe

Mike Scioscia, LAA—safe

Bob Geren, OAK—iffy

Don Wakamatsu, SEA—out

Charlie Manuel, PHL—safe

Jerry Manuel, NYM—iffy

Jim Riggleman, WSH—iffy

Dusty Baker, CIN—iffy

Tony LaRussa, STL—iffy

Ken Macha, MIL—out

Brad Mills, HOU—iffy

John Russell, PIT—out

Bud Black, SD—safe

Bruce Bochy, SF—iffy

Joe Torre, LAD—iffy

Jim Tracy, COL—iffy


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Dave Trembley Let Go: Turnaround Unlikely

When the Baltimore Orioles fired beleaguered manager Dave Trembley on Friday they hoped to have Juan Samuel turn this underachieving team around.

Simple, isn’t it?

Hardly. Firing a manager in the middle of the season isn’t necessarily the answer to the team’s problems.

In fact, since 2001, only two teams made the postseason after changing skippers during the season.

Last year, the Colorado Rockies fired Clint Hurdle after an 18-28 start and replaced him with then-bench coach Jim Tracy. The Rockies ended up making the postseason by going 74-42 the rest of the season before losing to the Philadelphia Phillies in the NL Division Series in four games. Still, Tracy became the NL Manager of the Year that very same season.

Back in 2003, the Florida Marlins coaxed Jack McKeon out of retirement by having him take over for Jeff Torborg. This uncanny personality resulted in a World Series title, when his team defeated the New York Yankees in six games.

With the likes of Jerry Manuel (New York Mets), John Russell (Pittsburgh Pirates), Ken Macha (Milwaukee Brewers), Lou Piniella (Chicago Cubs), and other select managers walking on pins and needles, maybe their teams could try to recreate the fortunes of those two ballclubs.

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Trey Hillman Fired: Who’s the Next Manager on the Chopping Block?

The struggling Kansas City Royals have dumped Trey Hillman and replaced him with former Brewers skipper Ned Yost. But don’t expect Hillman to be the only MLB manager to be sent packing. There are plenty of other managers who also find themselves standing on thin ice. And so without adieu, here are the managers who I think will be gone before season’s end.

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