The 2017 MLB postseason is still ongoing and three of the 10 playoff teams need managers. All three advanced past the Wild Card round. All three won more than 90 regular-season games.
Girardi, Baker, and Farrell combined to go 271-215 this year. Not good enough, apparently.
Girardi’s departure is the most perplexing when one considers how the Yankees greatly exceeded expectations and fell a game shy of a World Series berth. Baker’s is the least, considering his habit of bowing out early into October. Farrell’s is tough to process as his tenure included both last-place finishes and a World Series title.
Three jobs where winning immediately will be easy but unappreciated are now open. All three will be taken with the understanding that anything less than a world championship is unacceptable and a disappointment. With great resources comes great responsibility.
Perhaps that’s part of the reason it’s so difficult to rattle off a list of names well-suited for the three open positions. When three proven winners are shuttled out of town, that suggests it’s not entirely about winning. It suggests it’s about finding the right personality to shepherd talent to the promised land.
In my opinion, this is a logical result of increased focus on scouting and analytics. More decisions are made in the front office, further in advance. A baseball manager is still sure important, but oftentimes serves as the mechanical arm pressing the buttons which best reflect an organization’s ethos.
It’s a heck of a time to be a big baseball brain looking for work at the highest levels. It’s not so great of a time being a big baseball brain trying to keep it.