Eric Wedge bit the bullet yesterday as the Indians' manager. It's hard to conceive of what Wedge could have done differently on a team that couldn't pitch and lost Sizemore to a series of injuries. But that's the way it is in baseball. A manager who leads a club for three seasons with big expectations in each one of them and fails to get the job done usually finds himself unemployed. The question this post asks is if Wedge will have company once the season ends on Sunday.
A casual glance at each team and its manager does host a couple of possibilities for leadership changes in the dugout. The Cubs seem like an obvious one. Everyone picked the Cubs to win the division this year. They were evaluated to have the best talent, the best pitching, etc. Yet they had the Bradley situation and the Zambrano situation and though most of their problems sit at Hendry's feet, Piniella just doesn't seem the right guy for this team. With ownership changing, there might be a sweep out anyway. Hendry might be gone and his manager might be out with him.
Fredi Gonzalez with the Marlins is another possibility. The Marlins have great talent and yet just couldn't seem to get any long-term traction. They had a decent season, but Gonzalez consistently seems to make questionable bullpen decisions and he allowed some clubhouse problems to seep out into the public. He should have chastened Dan Uggla after that incident a couple of weeks ago and didn't stand up and support his star shortstop.
The Mets are in need of a shake up. The Fan can foresee a radical cleaning of that house over there. The GM should go after a series of fiascoes and Jerry Manual will probably be replaced as well. Don't be surprised to see Bobby Valentine in that dugout next season. Valentine will be in somebody's dugout, you can bet on that.
The Pirates are starting to collect some decent players but the Fan isn't sure that John Russell will be around to develop them. Russell doesn't appear to be the right guy there. This is unlike Jim Riggelman's situation in Washington where the Nationals seemed to at least be entertaining at times. The Pirates are on the right track with their pitching and yet they didn't improve their overall performance despite much better pitching.
The one super obvious choice here is Trey Hillman. Anyone who has been a casual reader here knows how the Fan feels about Hillman. While it feels mean to keep picking on the guy, he never makes the right move and he has single-handedly lost several games for his team. A manager shouldn't really make more than a one game difference either way for a team. But Hillman has lost several. He has got to go. If he keeps his job, then the Royals are just plain stubbornly stupid.