No matter what your chosen profession in life, there is always enough blame to go around when failure arises. Even if its not justified blame, someone has to accept it. Baseball is no different from any other business, someone has to take the fall. Today’s book takes an interesting look at that unjustified blame phenomenon.
When in Doubt, Fire the Skipper
By:Gary Webster – 2014 McFarland
The old saying goes Managers are hired to be fired. Whenever a team is going down the tubes quick, the skippers head is always the first one destined for the chopping block. Gary Webster has undertaken the task of reviewing and analyzing every midseason managerial change from the turn of the twentieth century through the 2012 season.
The author breaks down each season into its own chapter, then reviews each team that made a change at the top. You see the two managers in the scenario and what was going on with that team as a whole. He analyzes the team performance before and after the management change and then looks at what the overall result was. Sometimes the manager switch brought a team back from the brink of death, and for others it finally pushed them over the edge. It shows that most times, midseason managerial changes are not a good idea.
Overall, Gary Webster has done a very nice job of analyzing each change. You get great information about the team and their change at the top. You also get the opportunity to see some names that have been forgotten as time has marched on. Some extremely obscure names pop up in here that you may have never known were given a shot at managerial glory. Also you can see some managerial moves that propelled certain people on to Hall of Fame careers. It really is an interesting book for someone who likes to read about managers.
The knowledge base alone that is contained in here is enough of a reason for fans to add this book to your collection. You see countless moves that have both helped and hindered teams and changed baseball history in the process. If you have any interest in managers, this should be a must read for those fans.
You can get this book from the nice folks at McFarland.