I love the game of baseball. In fact, I’d call myself a baseball enthusiast.

That being said, there’s a topic that seems to stick in my craw more often than not. While I have my own opinion on players’ salaries and how most aren’t worth half of what they’re getting, that’s not one of the biggest issues in the game today.

What is? Controversial managers.

Guys like Ozzie Guillen, Billy Martin, Lou Piniella, and more that I won’t start to list here. My problem is how they affect the game and the players around them. Not only that,  but how it’s almost gotten to a point where a few of these guys almost act entitled.

Take Ozzie Guillen, for example. Maybe he gets a bad rap. Maybe his players love and respect him and maybe most of the guys that have played for him have nothing but good things to say about him. At least on the record.

Guillen is one guy that a lot of baseball guys focus on as to what’s wrong or what’s gone wrong with the game of baseball today. The fact of the matter is that some managers just want to hear themselves talk and believe they’re entitled to say what they want.

It’s the same problem I have with a guy like Mark Cuban, but that’s a different story for a different day.

As much as a White Sox fan wants to sit here and tell me Guillen is entitled to say what he wants because he’s won a World Series, I’ll put Joe Torre up there as an example. I don’t ever remember Joe Torre running his mouth just to hear himself talk or spark the kind of controversy Guillen has.

This isn’t out of disrespect for a guy like Ozzie because, to be honest, he makes me laugh. While I can’t understand a lot of what he says especially when he really gets to talking fast, he does have some pretty insightful or comedic things to say.

The other problem I have with these managers is the kind of fight that they put up if they don’t agree with a call. I’ll use Lou Piniella as a perfect example.

While there have been some legendary meltdowns, Lou Piniella is one of the all-time greats at melting down in front of the umpires, players, and fans.

Most of us remember the big time meltdown he had last season where the hat hit the ground, a quick ejection, and an in-your-face argument took place at Wrigley Field against the Braves. What you’ll also notice in the above video is Cubs fans throwing stuff onto the field. Classy.

Is there a reason that managers have to have this kind of meltdown to prove their point or is it all an act to give fans more entertainment for their money? Don’t get me wrong, but I enjoy a good meltdown just as much as the next fan, especially the classics like this one, but I just wonder if they’re necessary.

The umpire isn’t going to change the call, and the egotistical ones won’t even admit they were wrong after the fact. So again, what’s the point?

There have been some other classic meltdowns from guys like Bobby Cox, Charlie Manuel, and others. But what makes these managers controversial? Is it their style on the field, their style in the clubhouse, the way they handle the media, or is it everything combined?

To me, and to a lot of fans, we can only speak to what we see on the field and through the media. Maybe it’s a skewed view of what these guys are really like. Maybe it is all just for the entertainment value. Maybe the arguments are nothing more than a way to show the fans that they are fighting for their players.

While I respect that from a lot of managers, it can be handled a lot better than it is these days. Call me a sap if you want, and I know a lot of fans love a good meltdown, but there’s a better way to handle a blown call from an umpire than getting in his face for more than three minutes.

I understand that a tirade against an umpire, and a subsequent ejection, can fire up the players and send a signal to them that they need to wake up. But there are some tirades that don’t make an impact at all.

The best managers have the best timing, but the managers you see skipping from team to team, never able to hang on to a managerial job for more than a few seasons at a time, don’t seem to have good timing at all or a good handle on their players.

To answer the question that started this article, is it good or bad for baseball, it’s not a bad thing at all. Managers will say what they want to say and a lot of us fans will get nothing but a good laugh from the best of them. We enjoy some good dirt kicking, hat throwing, and rosin bag tossing. 

The only way that this becomes bad for baseball is if it starts to effect the game itself. Until then, the game remains unchanged. If you notice, even the most controversial managers seem to to hang on to their jobs long term.

Even the most controversial and outspoken managers are loved by not only their players, but the fans of those respective teams.

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