Our own Jim Baker, who is a terrible writer and an even worse person, recently wondered,
I still don’t get why teams will invest millions in players yet allow those players to be managed by a man who never managed before at any level.
This was in response to Rob's piece on Don Mattingly. That's right, this is a Baseball Nation blog post about a comment made by another Baseball Nation writer in re: an article by yet another Baseball Nation writer. Since I got my computer back from IT, I can only visit Baseball Nation.
Anywho, Jim, who I genuinely hate, went on to remark, "Why would you let someone get on-the-job training at a top salary? Let them prove themselves at a lower level first."
He's right. There are thirty field manager jobs in Major League Baseball. Their salaries range from about $500,000 to $5 million. Major League Baseball is a $7.5 billion industry. So let's not think too hard about who should manage our team and just give the job to our old shortstop.
Has he ever managed before?
I think he managed his son's Little League team once when one of the other dads was having knee surgery.
How'd he do?
Pretty good, I think. He had to wear a brace for about three weeks, then --
No, how did the team do?
Oh, they won.
I'm probably forgetting something, but the only other job I can think of where you can vault to the top of your profession without a moment's experience is ... color commentator for Major League Baseball broadcasts. Occasionally, as with first-time managers, it works out, and you get an Al Leiter or a Jerry Remy. Other times you get "He gone!" and two minutes of seething silence when the opposing team hits a go-ahead home run.
Here's my advice for prospective college students. Instead of studying computer science like everyone says, I recommend that you become a professional baseball player. Sure, your career will be short, but your earning potential is enormous, and then you'll have all the necessary qualifications to be a manager or announcer or GM or analyst or scout ...