Stark: Are MLB managers becoming obsolete?

From SABR member Jayson Stark at The Athletic on April 10, 2019:

A longtime front office man sat in his team’s dugout one day last season, eyeing the dugout across the field. The topic was the two men who would manage the baseball game to be played there that night.

“Our guy,” he said, “is a manager.”

He paused, for maximum dramatic effect.

“And their guy,” he said, “is a middle manager.”

There is no reason to reveal the identity of the man who uttered those words, or the identities of the two managers he was talking about. The names don’t matter. But the point this executive was making? That matters.

His manager was a guy empowered by his front office to run the game and run his team with nearly the kind of autonomy Earl Weaver once had. Or Tony La Russa. Or Bobby Cox. In a 21st-century sort of way, of course.

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Originally published: April 10, 2019. Last Updated: April 10, 2019.