I thought I’d try something different around here today. The Mets reportedly have or are planning on interviewing six members of their organization for the open manager position:
- Brooklyn Cyclones Manager Wally Backman
- Minor League Field Coordinator Terry Collins
- Third Base and Infield Coach Chip Hale
- Bench Coach Dave Jauss
- Scout Bob Melvin
- Buffalo Bisons Manager Ken Oberkfell
Now, I’ve noticed something about evaluating managerial candidates: I have no idea how to do it. I’m not going to endorse anyone, because I have no clue who would be good. I don’t get to interview any of them, so most of this is guessing games in the dark. Instead I’m just going to present background information on each, and then you can make up your own mind. Mostly.
But instead of dumping an epically long background post that covers all of them, I’ve decided to split that up into six posts throughout the day, each post focusing on a single candidate. So today is “Manager Day” around these parts, or “Organizational Manager Day.” Or just “Friday.”
Two things you should know first:
1. I created a “managerial experience scale” to measure … well, you know. The scale gives points for every year spent managing or coaching — 1 point for each year spent managing rookie ball, 2 points for each at A-ball, 3 for Double-A, 4 for Triple-A, 5 points for coaching at the major league level, and then 7 points for every year spent managing at the major league level. It’s not a perfect system — seeing that it’s almost completely arbitrary — but I hope it gives a vague way to eyeball and compare the candidates’ track records. I also decided to ignore Manager of the Year awards, mostly because Jerry Manuel won one of those once. The candidates’ scores run from a 9 on the low end to a 99 on the high end.
2. I also have a managerial strategy scale, which runs from 3-9. It’s based on bunts, stolen bases and stolen base percentage, and intentional walks. I went with those three because they are presumably things the manager directly influences. Also, I went with those three because they are easily found on Baseball-Reference. A manager gets more points for not bunting as often as the rest of his league, having a smart base running team, and not issuing free passes. This is obviously just a small piece of the managerial puzzle, but I figure it’s better than nothing. It should give a small sense of how likely a candidate is to over-manage.
Alright. The first post should be up in a little bit. Just sit by your computer and hit refresh until then.