Baumann: Building the perfect MLB manager

From SABR member Michael J. Baumann at Grantland on April 23, 2015:

Cincinnati manager Bryan Price’s now-legendary tirade on the role of the media got me thinking: If Price fundamentally misunderstands the role of the media, does that make him a bad manager? If so, why? If not, what would?

A manager’s job is incredibly difficult and calls on a variety of skills, some baseball-related, some not, and the task of finding a guy who possesses all of them is made even more difficult by two factors: First, managers aren’t like players, who have produced years of data, both quantitative and qualitative, by the time they reach the majors. Often, a team doesn’t know if a manager is any good until well after it’s hired him, and sometimes not even then. Second, there’s the unwritten but universal qualifier that a manager must have played some level of professional baseball, even though having once been good at baseball has absolutely nothing to do in and of itself with a manager’s actual job.

The magical person who does everything well is hard to find in any sport, which is why teams put up with Bill Belichick’s Harvester of Souls aesthetic and José Mourinho’s incessant, comprehensive bullshit. It might be easier to build the perfect manager out of parts of other managers than to find a perfect skipper ready for hire.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: April 23, 2015. Last Updated: April 23, 2015.