Wyers: On the recent trend of hiring inexperienced managers

From SABR member Colin Wyers at Baseball Prospectus on November 8, 2012:

The Colorado Rockies have announced the hiring of new manager Walt Weiss, and it’s an interesting case study in what might be a new trend in managerial hiring. Weiss had a long and fine career as a player, split mainly between Oakland and Colorado. After that, he turned to coaching… at the high school level.  Weiss is making the jump straight to the majors from Regis Jesuit High School (although notably he has been a minor-league instructor and scout in the Rockies’ system until now.)

Weiss wasn’t even the most inexperienced manager under consideration by the Rockies; they were seriously considering Jason Giambi, who actually played for the team in 2012. Such a thing would not have been entirely unprecedented—through much of baseball history it wasn’t unheard of to have players themselves managing—but it’s certainly not very common these days.

It’s really hard to know what to say about Weiss in particular—evaluating major-league managers is hard enough as it is, and evaluating high school managers with an eye to how they’ll do as major-league managers is several orders of magnitude more difficult. What we do know is that he’s hung around the Rockies’ organization long after his days there as a player ended, and so the team is very comfortable with whom and what they’ll be getting. To the rest of us, he’s a cipher.

This is the second time this offseason that a team has hired someone with no major-league experience to manage. The Marlins hired Mike Redmond to fill the vacancy that Ozzie Guillen left when he opened his mouth so wide he swallowed himself.

Read the full article here: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=18864

Originally published: November 9, 2012. Last Updated: November 9, 2012.