Wednesday, June 20, 2007

This Summer's Fall Guy

I know the story is three days old. And anyone who has ever liked, or actually still likes, the game of baseball has an opinion. I still like baseball. I still love the Baltimore Orioles. And I always have an opinion.

I don't enjoy nine seasons in a row under .500, or long losing streaks, but I'm used to it. And I love the underdog, both in this case and in cartoon form. So I've got nothing to complain about.

The Orioles fired manager Sam Perlozzo on Monday. I am not a walking library of baseball stats, or an expert in any sense of the word when it comes to sports. I am just a fan. But I've never understood the firing of a manager in mid-season for a slumping team. I understand you can't fire the owner, nor the players under contract. Some people feel someone should take the fall, but I don't agree one person is ever responsible for the actions of so many, and firing that one person offers a warped sense of satisfaction to those who want something to happen, even if that something is indirect and ultimately futile.

The manager doesn’t swing the bat, doesn’t pitch the ball, doesn’t drop routine fly balls, doesn’t forget to call off other players, doesn’t draft players or negotiate contracts, doesn’t sit his fat ass upon millions of dollars he refuses to spend on talent or pretend as an owner to understand or even care about the game in which he insists on meddling, and he doesn’t inspire adult, professional athletes to do what they were hired to do.

Firing the manager of the team is like keying your CFO's car when your company's stock plummets. It has zero impact on performance but it probably felt good for a minute if you're an a*hole.

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