Temple: Are managers getting smarter about intentional walks?

From SABR member David G. Temple at FanGraphs on March 13, 2014:

Billy Heywood never actually managed the Minnesota Twins. Billy Heywood was a movie character, the titular character from the movie Little Big League. When you think about it, he was technically more of a manager than any of us will be, in that he got to wear a uniform and sit in actual major-league dugouts. The idea behind Little Big League is that Heywood is bequeathed the Minnesota Twins from his grandfather. The Twins stink and Heywood decides to fire the manager and instill himself into the position. The Twins start winning and all the players and Heywood himself find out a lot about themselves in the process. It’s a fairly dumb movie.

We are still quite a ways away from quantifying just to what extent a manager can affect a team, and perhaps further away from quantifying to what extent a manager who is a child can affect a team. There are so many variables, so many anecdotes from players about how managers can influence a winning attitude, that we really can’t put a number on most things. Some we can, like bunting, since a manager is largely responsible for calling those plays. He’s also responsible for initiating intentional walks.

Read the full article here: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/are-managers-getting-smarter-about-intentional-walks/

Originally published: March 13, 2014. Last Updated: March 13, 2014.