Manager Brad Mills of the Houston Astros argues with home plate umpire Gary Cederstrom after Prince Fielder of the Milwaukee Brewers was called safe on a close play at home in the third inning at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Earlier today, my Baseball Nation colleague Grant Brisbee wrote about four MLB general managers who might wind up looking for work when this season is over.
Who might be next? It's getting pretty late in the season to replace a manager whose team is doing poorly, so the next firing will probably take place in October. (But see below for a fun exception to that general rule!)
So, to match the four "candidates" for firing as GMs mentioned in Grant's article, here are four current managers who might be out of work come World Series time.
Mike Quade - Chicago Cubs
Quade was promoted to manager upon Lou Piniella's retirement last August; the Cubs promptly went 24-13 and Quade was rewarded with a two-year extension. After beginning the season muddling around .500, the Cubs tanked in June and July, after Quade made such bizarre decisions as giving a perfectly serviceable middle reliever (James Russell) five starts and using Blake DeWitt, who had never started a professional game in the outfield, as a starting left fielder 17 times.
The Cubs' dead-cat-bounce seven-game winning streak, just snapped on Sunday, may save Quade's job. Or not, if GM Jim Hendry is dismissed.
Brad Mills - Houston Astros
The Astros, as noted in Baseball Nation's Hot Corner, are about to go 41 games under .500 for the first time in their 50-season history. This is largely because the roster is now comprised of minor-league players, after the deadline deals that shipped Michael Bourn, Jeff Keppinger and Hunter Pence elsewhere. Minor-league teams generally don't do well playing against major-league teams. Thus, even if the Astros lose 110 games (they'll have to go 15-33 to do it, entirely within the realm of possibility), Mills is probably safe -- again, unless his GM, Ed Wade, is fired by new Astros ownership.
Buck Showalter - Baltimore Orioles
Three times -- as manager of the Yankees, Diamondbacks and Rangers -- Buck Showalter took a team that had a losing record in his first full season and made it a winner the following year. Like Quade, Showalter took over a seemingly dead team late last season and got it to play well over .500 for two months (34-23). But this year, the Orioles are 44-67 and haven't been able to figure out who they want to be; they're a curious combination of young pitching that hasn't matured, and old players playing out the string. The biggest news they made all year was the brawl Kevin Gregg started by throwing at David Ortiz.
They can lose 100 games for only the second time in franchise history -- and the first since their inaugural year in Baltimore after moving from St. Louis in 1954 -- by going 18-33. Would that get Showalter fired?
Ned Yost - Royals
Here's a Ned Yost story. In 2008, while managing the Brewers, he had them just 4-1/2 games behind the front-running Cubs on August 31, when CC Sabathia one-hit the Pirates. But did Ned give CC props for that? No, he spent his postgame news conference bitching and complaining that it should have been a no-hitter; the one hit was a squibber by Andy LaRoche that Sabathia couldn't quite make a play on. Ned thought it should have been ruled an error.
So instead of celebrating a great feat, the Brewers had a giant distraction. They lost 11 of their next 14, and when the Phillies swept a doubleheader from them on September 14, Ned was fired and replaced by Dale Sveum, who guided the Brewers through the last 12 games of the season to the NL wild card.
Ned Yost? Definitely. He should be fired on general principles.
Which manager will be fired first?
Brad Mills (12 votes)
Mike Quade (18 votes)
Buck Showalter (2 votes)
Ned Yost (6 votes)
None of these men will be fired before the 2012 season begins (5 votes)
43 total votes